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.
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.
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.