Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are monitoring the progress of German international midfielder Lewis Holtby.
The 22-year-old Schalke starlet is out of contract at the Veltins-Arena at the end of the season, with both the Gunners and north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur keen on adding the player.
Indeed, The Independent claimed yesterday (Thursday) that Holtby favoured a move to White Hart Lane over the Emirates Stadium, but that hasn’t stopped Arsene Wenger from confirming that scouts are keeping a close eye on the player.
"The emerging countries to produce players look to be Germany and Spain and they have many good young players. When you look at the results of France against Germany at U17 in the last few years, and U16 - 4-0, 4-1 to Germany - that shows the trend will be more in favour of the Germans,” said the Gunners chief, according to Sky Sports.
"We have looked at Holtby, and have played against him. Our scouts are kept on alert and the quality of the scouting is linked with that."
Despite the interest, Schalke general manager Horst Heidt insists that the Bundesliga outfit are yet to receive an approach for the player, and hope to keep him in Germany until the end of the season.
"We have not been receiving anything from any club regarding a winter transfer for Lewis Holtby. We have also not been given any information by his agent,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“I believe Lewis Holtby will be a full part of our squad until the end of the season."
Arsenal have a plethora of young talent in north London, and were Holtby to join the club, he’d play alongside compatriot Lukas Podolski.
Whilst Tottenham Hotspur don’t have any German players in their current first team squad, manager Andre Villas-Boas does have former 21-cap international – and Schalke defensive midfielder – Steffen Freund in his backroom staff.