Schalke are not ruling out the prospect of a return for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby despite suggesting they cannot currently afford to re-sign the midfielder.
Holtby, 23, left Schalke a year ago but has found himself down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, and his agent recently said a return to Gelsenkirchen would be “an interesting option” for the Germany international.
Schalke coach Jens Keller recently indicated that Holtby would be his preferred option to replace U.S. international Jermaine Jones, who has been made available for transfer, but he added in Bild: “We can't really imagine such a transfer financially. Talks have not yet reached an advanced stage.”
The Royal Blues’ general manager, Horst Heldt, has now told Der Westen that there have not been any offers for Jones -- who is one of the club’s biggest earners and would free up funds for new signings -- but they are still considering their options with regard to Holtby following Jan Kirchhoff’s injury.
“It’s obviously annoying that Jan Kirchhoff was injured in his second training session,” Heldt said. “With regard to Lewis, I’ve always said that we’ll keep our eyes open. We look at things and prepare in case we do decide to strengthen.
“We are still in contact with Lewis, we never broke that off. At the moment he doesn’t feel completely positive about things in London. There is nothing more to say.”
He said Kirchhoff’s absence means “a certain problem remains” and added: “Therefore, you have to look at things, and naturally we look at Lewis, but we are definitely not in a position where we can say we would have concrete negotiations with Tottenham.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report