Klass-Jan Huntelaar is a man in demand, with recent reports suggesting Arsenal have stolen a march on Liverpool in the race for his signature.
Schalke’s £6m-rated striker is out-of-contract in the summer and is set to instigate a fight for his services in the January transfer window.
It was thought that Liverpool were the favourites to sign Huntelaar – who struck up a prolific partnership with Reds star Luis Suárez at Ajax – but it now appears Arsenal are set to land the hitman.
Former Liverpool forward Erik Meijer dealt a blow to his former club when he intimated that it was the Gunners who were the frontrunners to snatch Huntelaar.
Meijer’s agent during his playing career was Arnold Oosterveer, who now represents his younger countryman.
“According to the information I have, Huntelaar will be gone in the winter. Arsenal are the favourites to land him,” said the Sky pundit.
The player was more candid when questioned over the Arsenal link however, telling reporters: “He obviously knows more than I know. I don’t know anything about it.”
29-year-old Huntelaar – nicknamed ‘The Hunter’ – has struck 10 times in 20 appearances already this season for Schalke and Holland, including both home and away games against Arsenal in the Champions League.
Die Königsblauen forward has netted four times in Europe, sitting just one goal behind the competition’s top scorers, and is a healthy 20/1 shot to win the golden boot.
Last year the Dutchman equalled his international strike partner Robin Van Persie’s 44-goal haul for club and country, but is yet to truly step out of RVP’s shadow for the Netherlands.
Suggestions of a rift between Van Persie and Huntelaar, who compete with one another for the centre forward role in Holland’s traditional 4-3-3 system, put the latter off a transfer to Arsenal in the past.
But with Van Persie controversially switching to rivals Manchester United in the summer, Huntelaar is now reportedly considering a move to North London.
Beyond Olivier Giroud, the Gunners have Marouane Chamakh in reserve for their lone striker position, but manager Arsene Wenger no longer seems to trust the Moroccan outside the Capital One Cup.
The Bundesliga’s top scorer last season with 29 goals, Huntelaar is unlikely to be short of suitors if he does decide to continue his career away from the Veltins-Arena.
But with Schalke likely to accept bids in the region of £6m-£10m for the Dutch goal-machine in January, Arsenal should place themselves firmly at the front of the queue to snap up Huntelaar.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.