Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar intends to remain at the club no matter what happens in the final four games of the Bundesliga season.
Poor form has put the Royal Blues’ hopes of Champions League qualification in danger - they are three of four clubs competing for fourth place. The Ruhr Area club only holds a two-point lead over Hamburg, who are eighth in the standings.
Instead of cruising towards European qualification they are in danger of finishing outside the Europa League spots altogether. Part of the reason for that poor form has been the absence of Netherlands international Huntelaar due to injury.
However, he told kicker that he is hopeful of a return to action against Hamburg this weekend, a welcome boost considering Schalke have only managed seven points in five games without him.
“I had two full training sessions now and I am very, very optimistic,” he said.
Of the club’s chase for European football, he added: “We still are fourth. And we want to stay there until the end of the season. Champions League is the goal for everyone at the club. And with the qualifiers we’d have to more games that mean extra cash for us.”
Huntelaar warned that missing Europe altogether would be “a catastrophe” for both players and the club. “But I don’t think like that,” he explained. “I am totally focused on the fourth spot. That’s what I believe in, why should I be concerned with anything else?”
If the worst did happen, though, there is no chance of him moving on during the summer. The former AC Milan, Ajax and Real Madrid forward insists he is content with the club’s plan to improve.
“I would be very upset [to miss out on Europe], would go on holiday for a couple of days to take a step back,” he said. “But then I would certainly return to Schalke. I will stay in any event. I feel great here and in the Bundesliga. I never had a better atmosphere. And I am totally convinced that Schalke has a good prospect.”