• Premier League

Schalke: Huntelaar to Arsenal a 'fairytale'

ESPN staff
December 11, 2012
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's Shalke contract is set to expire this summer © Getty Images

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has played down speculation linking Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with a January move to Arsenal.

Netherlands star Huntelaar, 29, is in the final year of his contract and has recently been linked with several European clubs, with L'Equipe claiming the Gunners have already agreed terms for a winter move.

In Italy, the Gazzetta dello Sport has linked the Dutchman with a move to Inter Milan, but Schalke and Huntelaar have continued to stress that they will resume talks about a new contract in January.

"At this point, these stories are no more than fairytales to me," Heldt told waz.de. "I have not heard anything about it."

Huntelaar has argued that he wants to have clarity over the identity of the Schalke coach for next season before deciding whether to stay or go, with a lot resting on speculation over the future of Huub Stevens, who is also in the final year of his contract.

Meanwhile, Heldt remains open to the possibility of signing a replacement for injured Greece international Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos had to undergo knee surgery on Monday and is set to be absent for some time, with Heldt saying the club "can't rule anything out".

Though the club still has four centre-backs available, only Benedikt Howedes can be deemed reliable. Cameroon international Joel Matip, 21, has not found his form playing in defence, while former Real Madrid star Christoph Metzelder is injury-prone and it remains to be seen whether 19-year-old Sead Kolasniac can step up.

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