BERLIN (AP) — American midfielder Jermaine Jones was loaned to the Turkish club Besiktas from Schalke for the rest of the season after telling the Bundesliga team he wanted a move before the winter transfer window closes Friday.
The 32-year old, a regular starter for the U.S. national team, had skipped Schalke’s training camp in Qatar during the winter break.
Besiktas announced the deal Thursday, and Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said Jones will get more opportunities to “lay the foundations for a successful World Cup in Brazil.”
Jones’ contract with Schalke ran through June, but Heldt said it had been terminated by mutual consent.
“Our thanks to him for his efforts in the Schalke jersey over the last seven years,” Heldt said. “As soon as the opportunity arises, we will bid farewell again in a worthy manner. We wish him all the best in his professional and personal future.”
Besiktas has the option to make the transfer permanent.
Jones joined Schalke in 2007 from fellow German club Eintracht Frankfurt after a stint at Bayer Leverkusen. He spent the second half of the 2010-11 season in the Premier League during a loan to Blackburn.
He has scored seven goals in 129 Bundesliga games for Schalke and also played in 17 German Cup matches and 36 European matches. Jones has two goals in 38 appearances for the U.S.
While Schalke plays Real Madrid in the second round of the Champions League, Besiktas was expelled from the Europa League by the Union of European Football Associatios, which said Besiktas fixed its victory in the 2011 Turkish Cup.