Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has indicated that Kevin-Price Boateng and Sidney Sam will not play for the club again after they were given indefinite suspensions.
The Bundesliga club announced on Monday that the pair had been released following a 2-0 defeat to Cologne – only to then clarify that they had only received bans.
“We feel the trust has gone. We aren’t convinced they can help us in the games against Paderborn and Hamburg,” Heldt said.
“It’s not about the loyalty of individuals. It’s about the attitude and desire to be successful.”
A club statement delivering Heldt’s views ominously included the phrase: “There is no way back.”
In addition to the sanctions handed out to Boateng and Sam, Marco Hoger has also been suspended up to and including Saturday’s game with Paderborn.
Heldt added: “We’ll talk [to Hoger] after the Paderborn game and then make a decision about whether we can work together in the future.
“We will spend the next few days observing the players’ reaction. I assume they realise it’s about the team and everyone can be affected.”