Gelsenkirchen’s side try to bring the Netherlands international back after initially moving to Vedad Ibisevic
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was Schalkesecond choice objective to strengthen their attack on the January transfer market.
Gelsenkirchen’s side are second at the bottom of the table with seven points from 15 matches, having claimed their first victory last Saturday by beating four assists Hoffenheim at home. Only Arminia Bielefeld, 15th, scored fewer goals than Schalke.
Huntelaar was the second-most prolific goalscorer in German team history, having scored 126 goals in his seven-year stint there before returning to Ajax in the summer of 2017.
the Netherlands international announced he would retire from professional football at the end of the season, but when asked by Fox Sports if he could reverse the decision he said: “Never say never”.
Schalke is hoping he can be convinced to return to the Bundesliga before canceling his career and it has been reported that sporting director Jochen Schneider has already visited Amsterdam to discuss a possible deal. It was also claimed that Huntelaar was once again ready to cross the border.
But Goal and SPOX understand that they have made another option their main priority, with Vedad Ibisevic, 36, their favorite candidate, even though they just released him a few weeks ago.
Ibisevic has joined Schalke since Hertha Berlin last September on a one-year contract, but announced the termination of his contract three months later. He’s only made four top-tier appearances for Schalke this season, starting one.
“Vedad and we had different expectations about his involvement with Schalke 04. From our point of view, it is now better to end the cooperation and go their separate ways on good terms,” Schneider said at the time, insisting on the fact that an argument with the coach Manuel Baum, himself dismissed in mid-December.
Nevertheless, the director contacted the Bosnia-Herzegovina international once again, only to be refused.
Schneider turned to another former Schalke star in their desperate search for an experienced striker.
Huntelaar still has strong ties to the club, recounting Schalke television this summer, he kept in touch with many staff, even meeting with kit managers and physiotherapists over coffee and cake.
He had an immediate and decisive impact for Erik ten Hag’s side on Thursday when he came off the bench in the 89th minute against Twente.
The two teams were tied 1-1, but Huntelaar scored two goals in the final stages to seal the three points as Ajax advanced three points Feyenoord at the top of the table.