Lewis Holtby
Schalke players are keen to see Holtby back at the club.Reuters

Schalke duo Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Benedikt Howedes have encouraged Lewis Holtby to leave Tottenham Hotspur and return to Schalke before the January transfer window closes.

23-year-old Holtby only left the Bundesliga club for White Hart Lane this time last year but has grown frustrated with his lack of first team opportunities, indicating through his agent earlier this that he wants to leave the club.

The midfielder's agent also indicated a return to Schalke would be an ideal scenario, although comments from manager Jens Keller and general manager Horst Heldt suggest such a move would threaten to break the club's financial structure.

But Holtby's former teammates would welcome his return to bolster their push for a Champions League spot.

"Holtby would help us," Holland international Huntelaar told Bild. "Lewis has quality and Schalke can use him very well. He can play in midfield at almost all positions – in the offensive and the defensive.

Schalke captain would also welcome his return, adding: "He is a good player, if it fits for both clubs, it would help us in any case."

Since Tim Sherwood took over from Andre Villas-Boas in December Holtby has seen his already limited opportunities in the first team dwindle further. The former Germany under-21 captain has been handed just one start since then in Tottenham's 1-1 draw with West Brom on Boxing Day and has been an unused substitute in three further occasions.

Recent reports suggest Tottenham have placed a £6.5m price tag on Holtby after paying Schalke a fee of just £1.5m as he neared the end of his contract last January. Comments made by Heldt suggest Schalke may baulk at such a demand and the wage package that will come with it.

"We are looking at him, and other options," Heldt told Bild. "But we will not break our financial framework."

Holtby has not been alone in his determination to leave White Hart Lane this month. Summer signing Nacer Chadli has taken a similar approach and is eager to secure a move with his place in Belgium's World Cup squad in doubt should he continue the season sat on the bench.

Etienne Capoue could also leave White Hart Lane before next Friday's transfer deadline, with Napoli hoping to secure a €10.5m deal for the Frenchman.