U.S. international Weston McKennie has signed a new five-year deal with Bundesliga club Schalke, the club announced on Sunday.
The 20-year-old was set to see his current deal expire at the end of next season, prompting rumors of a move away from the German club, including links with Liverpool in January. Now with the extension he will be under club control through the summer of 2024.
McKennie is currently on international duty with the USMNT in the 2019 Gold Cup, playing in the first two group stage games before serving as an unused substitute in the third with a knockout stage spot already confirmed. At just 20 years old, he is a major part of the youth movement in midfield for the United States along with Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic.
“It was an easy decision for me to make. I love the club and everything here: my teammates, the head coach and the fans”, McKennie said after official announcement of the deal. “I’d love to stay here forever.”
After joining Schalke from the FC Dallas academy in 2016 as a 17-year-old, McKennie began a meteoric progression as he developed into a regular starter for the German side. He has made 46 appearances for Schalke in Bundesliga play over the past two seasons, scoring one goal and assisting four in a deep-lying playmaker role. He has also made six Champions League appearances for the club, scoring a critical late goal against Lokomotiv Moscow that helped the club reach the knockout stage of last season’s competition.
“Weston will develop into a key part of our first team with us. Weston has shown in the past few months that he is more than capable of contributing significantly to the future of Schalke”, said Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel in the official team release. “Thanks to his talent and his willingness to learn, Weston has made the rise from the U19s to the Bundesliga and it’s been a success from the get go. We’re very happy that Weston sees his long-term future to be at FC Schalke 04.”