Everton could be the outsiders of note in race to sign Holtby
Schalke have conceded defeat in their battle to convince Lewis Holtby to sign a new contract beyond the end of the season and a move to the Premier League now beckons for the young German.
However, which Premier League club wins the race for his signature remains a big mystery, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool at the front of the queue.
Holtby would be allowed to leave for free in the summer, while Schalke may be willing to accept a cut-price bid in January to at least ensure that they are not left totally empty handed by his departure.
If money was the sole factor in a decision, Tottenham would seem his most likely next destination and they are 7/2 to be his next club.
Spurs have already trumped north London rivals Arsenal once this season when acquiring Jan Vertonghen and could do so again.
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas is known to want a new creative midfielder, with Joao Moutinho and Wesley Sneijder both linked as he still requires a player similar in style to Luka Modric.
Holtby fits this bill in terms of his technical ability and the money does seem available if necessary.
Arsenal and Liverpool head the market to be Holtby’s club on September 1st 2013 at 9/4 but he may have trouble breaking into the first team at the Gunners with Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta currently filling the midfield roles.
This would not be a problem at Liverpool where he may prove the long-term successor to Steven Gerrard.
But with his father born in Liverpool and being a big Everton supporter, playing for the fierce rivals may be a bridge too far.
If Everton could come somewhere close to matching the financial packages of others, they may be in the box seat to sign Holtby given the roots of his family.
It is 6/1 that the 22-year-old signs for Everton next, although the other obvious negative is that the Toffees are the least likely of the interested parties to be able to offer Champions League football.
With Marouane Fellaini being well scouted, Everton may soon have a hefty transfer kitty by their standards and Holtby may prove a worthy replacement should the Belgian depart.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date