Report discloses the advantage West Ham have in potential Nicolai Muller deal

West Ham United's Scottish manager David Moyes gestures during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Burnley at The London Stadium, in east London on March...

Schalke want to keep Hamburg winger Nicolai Muller in the Bundesliga, meaning West Ham must move fast if they want to bring him to the Premier League.

Hamburg's midfielder Nicolai Mueller celebrates scoring the 2-2 goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between TSG Hoffenheim and Hamburg SV in Sinsheim, southern...

Despite missing all but 15 minutes of the Bundesliga season through injury, it appears that Nicolai Muller will not be short of options when his contract at Hamburg expires in the summer.

Hamburg are second from bottom in the German top flight and are seven points adrift of the relegation play-off spot. To make matters worse, the club are in crisis behind the scenes too with spiralling debts meaning they simply cannot afford to offer a new deal for Muller, who dislocated his knee when scoring the winner on the opening day against Augsburg and hasn’t been seen since.

So West Ham United, who Football London point out were interested in signing the 30-year-old last summer for around £9 million, have the chance to sign him on a free though they would face competition from a Schalke side rejuvenated under Domenico Tedesco and a good bet to play Champions League football next season, the Hamburger Morgenpost reports.

Schalke's head coach Domenico Tedesco celebrates the first goal for his team during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs Schalke 04 in Munich, southern...

Can West Ham really compete with that? There will be no European football at the London Stadium any time soon, the Hammers are just three points above the Premier League drop zone and, like Hamburg, appear to be in dire straits both on and off the pitch right now.

Football London reports that any hopes West Ham have of signing Muller are likely to depend on whether they survive the season.

Hamburg's midfielder Nicolai Mueller celebrates scoring the 2-2 goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between TSG Hoffenheim and Hamburg SV in Sinsheim, southern...

The report, however, does provide some reason for optimism, because it is understood that West Ham can enter pre-contract talks with Muller now as a foreign club, while Schalke would be forced to wait until the end of the season.

West Ham would need to move quick to snap up Muller but, fortunately, they have the chance to do just that.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch