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Schalke encourage Max Meyer to make decision on new contract

Schalke's Max Meyer could be leaving the club this summer on a free transfer.

Schalke would like Max Meyer, who is out of contract this summer, to decide on his future sooner rather than later.

Meyer, 22, turned down a contract offer from Schalke last summer but has since become a crucial part of head coach Domenico Tedesco's starting XI. Going into the season as an attacking midfielder, the Germany international found a new place in holding midfield.

He has yet to sign a deal that could make him Schalke's top earner with a reported annual salary of €5.5 million. However, the club have now encouraged him to not wait much longer before revealing his plans.

"We are going into two and a half incredibly important months for us," sporting executive Christian Heidel told reporters following the 2-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday. "I want the focus to be on our goals in the league and cup and I want the other things to be resolved."

Schalke have already had to accept Leon Goretzka's free transfer to Bayern Munich next season and want clarity over Meyer's plans to make sure they can look for replacements should the midfielder follow his teammate out the door.

According to Bild, Meyer is set to make his decision in the international break at the end of March.

"Everything's been said, now it must be decided," Heidel said. "We can't accept a decision three match days before the end of the season because we can't plan [for the new season]."

Schalke, in third, have moved eight points clear of eighth-place Hoffenheim with the first seven clubs likely to qualify for European competition.

They have also qualified for the semifinals of the DFB Pokal, in which they will host last year's runners-up, Eintracht Frankfurt.

Elsewhere, a Schalke supporter sustained critical injuries when falling down the stairs at the Bay-Arena on Sunday.

"Sadly, during the first half of the match there was an accident involving two Schalke fans," the club said in a statement. "Both were injured, and one of them sustained severe injuries. We cross our fingers for him and hope everything will be OK."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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