Ruud van Nistelrooy ponders return to Real Madrid

Ruud van Nistelrooy may well have scored his last goal and played his last game for Hamburg as he confirmed that his former club Real Madrid are interested in taking him back.

The Dutchman has received an enquiry from his former club, who have lost their first-choice striker Gonzalo Higuain until the end of the season and are looking for cover, and he admits to being tempted by the offer.

"It is crazy what is happening," he said to Liga Total television.

"I mean for such a club to come calling at this stage of my career - that is something which has got to be considered seriously.

"It has been a strange week. I had to focus all of my efforts on today's game and that was not easy.

"I think we are going to clear this up in the next few days."

However, despite Real's reported interest, Hamburg's director of sport Bastian Reinhardt said that no official approach had been made.

"We have spoken to Ruud and we know about Real's interest in signing him this winter," he said.

"But they have not made an offer and, therefore, we don't even need to discuss it.

"Of course Ruud is staying with us."

Hamburg coach Armin Veh hopes Reinhardt keeps his word after seeing the Dutchman grab the winner against Schalke yesterday.

"Ruud is fitter now than he has ever been," he told ZDF television.

"To lose him would be a bitter blow. Therefore we will do all that we can to keep him here, even though I can understand him."