Schalke have often relied on their academy graduates in the past and aren't known for spending lavishly in the transfer market. Because of their impeccable production line, they have often refrained from spending despite the backing from Gazprom. The only time they did spend a lot of money was under Ralf Rangnick. Schalke reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2010-11 season and had a good team.
In the summer of 2010, they spent a combined fee of £18.05m on the likes of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Jose Manuel Jurado, Sergio Escudero, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Atsuto Uchida in what was one of the most notable transfer windows in recent time for the club.
The club's academy starlets have been sold for large sums in recent years. The likes of Leroy Sane, Julian Draxler and Manuel Neuer have left for teams with greater resources to compete for major trophies. Having said that, quite a few fans have been vocal about the club's lack of ambition, especially when it comes to tying down players to contracts. The club have let quite a few prominent players leave for free. Some of the names are Joel Matip, Sead Kolasinac and more recently, Leon Goretzka.
Because of the departure of a few key players and the domestic form of the club, Schalke spent good money in the summer of 2017. Nabil Bentaleb's loan move was made permanent as the Royal Blues paid a fee of £17.1m for the midfield. Amine Harit was signed from Nantes to add more creativity and he cost the club £7.2m. The Moroccan's value has increased after a good debut season with the club.
Schalke also signed Bastian Ozipka and Pablo Insua from Frankfurt and Deportivo respectively to add more depth to the defence. Benedikt Howedes departed on loan to Juventus while Johannes Geis move to Sevilla to get more game time.
The club also released Sidney Sam, Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting and Sead Kolasinac.