Schalke may not make a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby this January after the German club's sporting director insisted they are not willing to break the bank for their former player.
Holtby is understood to have grown disillusioned at White Hart Lane this season having started just six Premier League games for the club and recently indicated through his agent that he is looking for a move.
The German midfielder only joined the north London club from Schalke last January, but would appear to be keen to be reunited with his former employers.
However, Schalke head coach Jens Keller recently questioned whether such a move was financially viable for the Bundesliga club, sentiments that have been echoed by sporting director Horst Heldt.
"We are looking at him, and other options," Heldt was quoted as saying by Bild. "But we will not break our financial framework."
Suggestions that Holtby will leave north London this month were further fuelled after Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood indicated he will be happy to allow some members of his squad to leave the club.
When asked whether he would be prepared to sell during the January transfer window Sherwood told reporters: "Yes, absolutely. As long as they're the players I don't want to take us forward, then I'm happy (to sell them.)
"But it's sometimes a case of supply and demand. We've got fantastic players here at the club and if we were to lose no one I wouldn't be shedding any tears, but you can only go with a certain amount of players and the pressure's on because it's a World Cup year for a lot of these players. It's important that they're playing.
"We can't guarantee that they're going to get maximum game time, but we certainly won't be leaving ourselves short."
Holtby could just one of a number of recent arrivals at Tottenham to part ways with the club this month. Belgian midfielder Nacer Chadli has also voiced his intention to leave White Hart Lane in recent weeks, while fellow summer signing Etienne Capoue remains closely linked with a move to Napoli just six months after his £9m arrival from Toulouse.