Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has confirmed he intends to remain at Schalke next season and suggested he could even see out the rest of his career in Gelsenkirchen.
After having missed much of the first half of the season with a knee injury, Huntelaar has played a key role since his return, scoring nine goals in 15 games as Schalke close in on Champions League qualification.
However, the former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan striker is approaching the final year of his contract and revealed in January that he could be tempted by a move to the Premier League, but he has now confirmed he has no intention of moving on this summer.
“I will play for Schalke next season,” the 30-year-old told Sport Bild.
The Netherlands international said he would not open talks over a contract extension before the start of the 2014-15 season as his priorities for now are “qualifying for the Champions League, the World Cup and then the holidays.”
However, he insisted: “The contract issue will not endlessly linger on next season.”
Asked if he could end his playing career at the Veltins Arena, he said: “I have always said that I feel great here.
“It’s important that we have a good plan for the future. We need a few good players and to make some investments. Moreover, the team should be kept together.”
Huntelaar was part of the Netherlands squad that reached the World Cup final in South Africa four years ago, but he is realistic about his prospects for Brazil.
“Prior to the World Cup, I don’t have high expectations,” he said. “I believe that the tactics are to some extent clear already and that Robin van Persie is ahead of me in the pecking order, but I will allow myself to be surprised.
“With Chile, Spain and Australia, we have a difficult group. We played the final last time, but it won’t be easy to repeat that.”