As reported by SportNet earlier this week, Mainz defensive midfielder Baumgartlinger is being tracked by West Ham as a potential summer arrival, and he has addressed the rumours to the same media outlet.
The 27-year-old Austrian international is out of contract in the summer, and with the Hammers deliberating over the future of Alex Song - whose loan deal from Barcelona may not be made permanent - he has been earmarked as a likely replacement for the Cameroonian international.
The same SportNet report indicated that other clubs are looking at the midfielder, mostly all based in the German Bundesliga, but his extreme suitability to the Premier League has piqued the interest of West Ham.
However, the other interest will increase the challenge the Hammers face in securing the signature of their man, and speaking to the Austrian press during the ongoing international break, Baumgartlinger has placed even further pressure on the East London club, by suggesting that he is keen to stay in Germany.
Quoted in SportNet, the defensive midfielder said: “I have learned of it only from the newspaper. It is normal that rumours come, but I am concerned only with concrete things.
“Change usually means further development [for the player]. My focus is more on Germany. This is the most balanced, perhaps even the strongest league in Europe.”
With the praise of the Bundesliga and his focus upon staying there, this opens the door for a move to Hannover 96, who have also shown an interest in Baumgartlinger.