Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby has hinted he will cut ties with the north London club this summer, claiming he will play in the second tier of German football with Hamburg SV next season if the club are relegated.
Holtby, 24, left White Hart Lane on a season-long loan last summer, joining Bundesliga outfit Hamburg having failed to convince Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino he was deserving of a regular first team squad role.
Hamburg have endured another woeful campaign in the German top flight, however, with the club currently at rock bottom of the league.
The club have five games left to rescue their season and avoid relegation from the Bundesliga for the first time in the league's history. But should the unthinkable happen, Holtby has indicated he will stay at the club to help them bounce back next season.
"I have been quite clear about this club. If that happens I will take responsibility and play for HSV in the second division," Holtby told Bild.
Hamburg takes on Augsburg, Mainz, Freiburg, second bottom Stuttgart and Schalke in their remaining games of the season.
Holtby meanwhile faces the prospect of suffering consecutive relegations, having been part of the Fulham squad that dropped down to the Championship in the 2013-14 season.
The former Germany Under-21 international featured regularly for Pochettino's Tottenham side in their preseason campaign last summer, but those opportunities would dry up once the season got underway. The former Schalke star came off the bench in the club's season-opening win over West Ham United and started in a Europa League qualifier against AEL Limassol, but would not feature for the club again.
Holtby arrived in the Premier League on a wave of optimism in January 2013 but has never truly established himself in the first team at White Hart Lane.
Upon his return to the Bundesliga last September, the German press strongly suggested Hamburg also had a deal in place to sign the player outright for €6.5m (£4.7m, $7m) at the end of the season.