Schalke 04 have confirmed the signing of midfielder Amine Harit from FC Nantes, with his transfer fee believed to be €8 million, with the potential to rise to €10 million with add-on clauses.
The club confirmed the completion of the transfer on Monday, after he completed his medical on Saturday. His is the second new face for the Royal Blues this summer, with the 20-year-old signing a four-year contract.
Starlet jumps ship from Nantes
Harit only made his debut for Nantes at the beginning of last season, but he made a big impact for them, playing 30 times in Ligue 1, playing mostly through the middle or on the left. He finished the season as the second-best dribbler in the league.
He has also been recognised on the international stage, playing for France at under-18, under-19 and under-20 levels, although he is also eligible to represent Morocco. He played three times in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea over the summer, scoring one and setting up another.
He also played a key role in the UEFA Under-19 European Championship in Germany last year, assisting two of the goals in their 4-0 over Italy in the final. His team-mates in that tournament included Kylian Mbappé and new RB Leipzig signing Jean-Kévin Augustin.
Despite signing a new contract with Nantes only in January, the club’s management, including new coach Claudio Ranieri, were unable to convince Harit to stay. Club president Waldemar Kita had criticised him a couple of weeks ago, saying that he had been “messing us around” and that it was clear that “he doesn’t want to come back.”
Harit hoping Schalke will improve him
Speaking on the club’s website once the move was confirmed on Monday evening, coach Domenico Tedesco said Harit was a “technically accomplished” player with strong dribbling and defensive skills. “He often looks for courageous attacking solutions and can make the difference,” he added.
Harit meanwhile feels himself that the transfer is “a big step” in his career, and he feels that Schalke can help him “develop into the player that I want to be.” Describing the kind of player he is, he said that he “love ones-on-ones,” can play in “all attacking positions” and will do “whatever the coach says.”
He joins Spanish defender Pablo Ínsua in signing for the club this summer, although Nabil Bentaleb and Yevhen Konoplyanka have also been bought outright during the off-season.
He adds to an array of young midfield talent, with Royal Blues fans hoping to see him lining-up alongside the likes of Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer. With both being constantly linked with moves away from the club though, it could be that Harit is seen as a potential replacement.
Quotes via ESPN and Schalke 04.