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Heidel to replace Heldt as Schalke's sporting director

Schalke have announced Christian Heidel will take over as the club's sporting director.

Heidel, who is employed in the same role at Mainz, will begin working at Schalke in time for the start of next season.

Schalke's supervisory board chairman Clemens Tonnies highlighted the Bundesliga knowledge Heidel will bring to the club.

"We are convinced that Christian Heidel, with his undoubted sport expertise and experience, his proven leadership and his positive aura, is the man for FC Schalke 04," he said.

Heidel, who has been at Mainz for 24 years, will be succeeding Horst Heldt, Schalke's sporting director since 2010.

"It was definitely a quick decision, because all things were exchanged that needed to be exchanged," Heidel told Sky.

"I always told Clemens Tonnies that I would like to get to know all of the gentlemen on the board of directors.

"It only makes sense if they are all agreed on the path over the next few years. If that is not the case, then all of this does not make any sense."