Cologne - FC Schalke 04 will stage part of their pre-season preparations for the 2015/16 season in China, the club's marketing director Alexander Jobst confirmed during a talk at the newly-founded S04 Sportakademie on Thursday.

The trip is planned for the end of July, with opponents and venues to be announced in due course as the Gelsenkirchen club look to increase marketing activities in the Asia.

Lucrative market

"The Bundesliga on the whole, and that of course means us too, have a lot of ground to make up, particularly compared to the English Premier League," said Jobst. "More and more clubs have recognised this and are flying out to the Far East, the Middle East or to the USA."

Schalke have staged their last four winter training camps in Qatar, although the contract they had with the Aspire Sports Academy has now expired. It is not yet clear whether the Royal Blues will pay the 2022 FIFA World Cup host country a visit again during the next winter break.