U.S. national team defender John Brooks is staying put right where his professional career began, with his hometown club Hertha Berlin, after agreeing a new contract that runs through the 2018-19 season.
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Brooks, 23, had recently been the subject of transfer rumors linking the German-American behemoth of a center back to perennial UEFA Champions League competitors Schalke. It was announced by Hertha on Saturday, though, that Brooks had agreed a new deal that would be signed, sealed and delivered in the coming days.
Rather than jumping at Schalke’s approach, which would have given Brooks the opportunity to play in the Champions League sooner rather than later, Brooks chose to remain a part of Hertha’s own UCL push, as Die Alte Dame (The Old Lady) currently sits third in the Bundesliga, four points ahead of Schalke in Germany’s top-four race.
In a series of tweets posted to Hertha’s official club account on Saturday, Brooks said, “Everyone knows that Hertha are my club, and Berlin is my home. I am delighted to continue being part of the great development of Hertha BSC in my hometown. Together we want to achieve great things, not only this season. We are the capital club — something unique is in the making here.”
Said USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of Brooks’ decision — quotes from ESPN FC:
“That has been in the planning for a couple of months. They went back and forth. John I think he switched agents at a certain point in time. I was talking to their GM. They were eager to sign him, and I think it’s important that he commits to his next couple of years.