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FFA sanctions loom over Melbourne Victory

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Doubts persist over Holtby future

Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby's future remains in doubt amid reported interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.

Holtby, 22, is in the final year of his contract and, despite Schalke general manager Horst Heldt having indicated that solid progress had been made during negotiations, no agreement has been reached.

Kicker has reported that it is an "open secret" that both Arsenal and Liverpool have shown particular interest in the Germany Under-21 captain, while Heldt recently told Bild: "I know there are concrete offers and clubs are interested."

Holtby recently stated his longstanding affection for Arsenal's style of play and has also indicated that he would also welcome a move to Anfield.

"I have always said that one day I would play in England," he said. "I wouldn't even rule out Liverpool, even if it would be tough for my dad - he's an Everton fan."

However, when questioned about the subject on Monday, he insisted his focus was purely on the upcoming Champions League clash with Arsenal.

"I think people talk about it too much in the media," Holtby said. "I am blue and white, I am with Schalke and agents are there to deal with that. My focus is on the squad, the team, the club and tomorrow's game. I play for Schalke - I don't play for Liverpool, Arsenal or anyone else."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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