Schalke attacker Breel Embolo says he had offers to leave the club in January but never considered departing.
Embolo joined Schalke for a reported €25 million at the start of last season after developing into one of Europe’s most sought-after youngsters with Basel.
But he suffered a fractured ankle in October 2016 which ruled him out for the rest of the 2016-17 campaign, hampering his development.
Although the Switzerland international has played 20 times in the Bundesliga this season, he has never been considered first choice, making just eight starts from a possible 29 for second-placed Schalke.
However, RB Leipzig were linked with a move with the Switzerland international, and the club’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick, claimed in December 2016 that Manchester United had also made a €40 million offer for the forward.
And, while Embolo also received proposals for a new start elsewhere in January, Embolo is certain he still has the backing of CEO Christian Heidel.
“Not once,” he told RevierSport when asked if he considered leaving. “I have found a family club with Schalke, in which football is lived.
“When I was hurt I had so much support, was purposefully and gently re-introduced.
“Here at Schalke, it’s also the person in their thinking, not just the footballer. This is sometimes even more important because it builds great trust.
“In the winter a few requests came. It’s clear that clubs become alert when a young player does not play.
“I have always talked to Christian Heidel. For me it was clear, when I felt good in the winter and saw myself on the right way, that there is only a plan ‘A’ with Schalke.
“Christian Heidel has always stressed that he does not want to sell me.”
Up next for Schalke is the Ruhr derby with Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, a club Embolo was strongly linked with back in his Basel days, though he thinks the colours he wears in Gelsenkirchen suit him just fine.
“Let’s put it this way; there were some other interested parties from the Bundesliga,” Embolo said. “But at that point I did not have the impression that I was ready for the Bundesliga.
“I wanted to stay in Basel, where I also finished my apprenticeship. And basically, I think that the royal blue colour is good for me.”