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Schalke would love to re-sign Lewis Holtby from Tottenham, but the Bundesliga side say cannot afford him at present.
Holtby had been out on loan to Mainz and then Bochum before completing a permanent move to Spurs last year, having been unable to hold down a regular first-team place at Schalke.
Unfortunately, first under Andre Villas-Boas and now Tim Sherwood, history has repeated itself for the former German under-21 captain, and he has been courted by his former club.
However, speaking in Germany’s Bild newspaper, Schalke coach Jens Keller said: “We can’t really imagine such a transfer financially.
Talks have not yet reached an advanced stage. Lewis has already played as a defensive midfielder under me.
“He can play there and is tactically very well-schooled.”
The key to Holtby’s return is if Schalke can find a buyer for USA international Jermaine Jones who has handed in a transfer request. At the age of 32, he has not got much mileage left, though, and despite not joining up with the squad at their winter training camp in the hope of negotiating a move, no one has shown any interest.
That is bad news for Holtby, who will not be content to just kick his heels on the bench at White Hart Lane for much longer.