Klass-Jan Huntelaar is a January target for Tottenham Hotspur as the Schalke forward could be available for a reduced fee of about £7m during the next transfer window.
Huntelaar has been one of the most dangerous strikers in Europe since he moved to Germany from AC Milan in 2010 but the Dutchman is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League.
He is out of contract with Schalke at the end of the season and has yet to sign a new one, meaning he would be free in January to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside Germany for the 2013-14 season.
Schalke still hope to persuade Huntelaar to stay but, if he decides to leave, selling him in January would be the club’s last chance to recoup any of the £9m they paid for him two years ago.
At 29, Huntelaar is older than the kind of player Daniel Levy usually likes to sign, as the Tottenham chairman places considerable importance on re-sale value when deciding whether to proceed with transfer negotiations.
But Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe are Tottenham’s only senior forwards, and Adebayor will be absent for some of January while he is playing for Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Spurs have looked at Huntelaar twice before — when he left Real Madrid to join Milan in 2009, and again when he was made available by the Italian club the following summer.
The Holland international earns about £60,000 a week at Schalke and, though it is difficult to imagine Huntelaar’s next club making a profit on him, the chance to sign a proven international striker for a relatively low fee is one Spurs will explore.
But they are likely to face competition from Liverpool, whose manager Brendan Rodgers is desperately seeking a partner in attack for Luis Suarez.
Meanwhile, Huntelaar will attempt to damage Arsenal’s chances of progress in the Champions League tonight by scoring against them for a second consecutive match.
Huntelaar struck the first in Schalke’s 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium two weeks ago and his club will take control of their group if they can repeat that result.
He said: “Arsenal may be suffering more in defence than in other seasons but that doesn’t mean it will be easier to beat them.”