Schalke chief addresses Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's future

Klass Jan Huntelaar Netherlands

With Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's contract set to expire next summer, Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt is determined to keep the in-demand striker in Gelsenkirchen.

Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a wanted man across Europe, but the club’s sporting director Horst Heldt remains hopeful of warding off interest.

Huntelaar, 31, hit his 100th Schalke goal on the weekend in a 4-1 defeat of FSV Mainz, with a hat-trick helping his side recover from their 5-0 Champions League thumping at the hands of Chelsea.

The Netherlands international has scored an impressive 101 goals in 157 total appearances since joining the German club from AC Milan in August 2010 but, with his contract set to expire next summer, rumours of an imminent exit have been rampant in recent months.

A long-time target for various Premier League sides, claims that Schalke could be forced to sell their star man for a cut-price this winter has led to the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all being linked to his signature, while Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg are also said to be monitoring the situation.

Heldt admits that he knows of interest, but is pressing ahead in his bid to tie the former Ajax and Real Madrid ace down to a new deal at the Velits-Arena.

“There are also clubs looking at him, maybe even one or two clubs from Germany,” he told Sport Bild. “But we want him to end his career at Schalke.

“We already met once and both sides signalled their interest in extending the contract. We agreed to meet for a second time right before Christmas and then go into details. We definitely want to keep him, but it’s not a done deal yet.”

Huntelaar has scored 10 times in 18 games for Schalke so far this season, including the equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea in their first Champions League meeting in September.

He would serve as excellent addition for a number of English top-flight sides looking for help up top, but it remains to be seen where planned talks with Schalke over the coming month will lead.

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