Arsenal given hope in Huntelaar and Holtby chase after Schalke sack boss

Gunners given hope in hunt for duo. Arsenal have been boosted in their pursuit of Schalke duo Klass-Jan Huntelaar and...

Gunners given hope in hunt for duo.

Arsenal have been boosted in their pursuit of Schalke duo Klass-Jan Huntelaar and Lewis Holtby, after the German outfit sacked coach Hubb Stevens.

Arsenal tickets

The Gunners have been linked with January moves for 22-year-old midfielder Holtby and Dutch goal-machine Huntelaar but is was understood both were happy to remain at the Veltins Arena until at least next summer.

But Stevens’ sacking, following the club’s 3-1 defeat to Freiburg, has thrown the future of the pair into doubt and the North Londoners could look to capitalise with a double bid next month.

Schalke’s latest defeat left them with two points in their last six Bundesliga matches.

In a statement, the club said Stevens has been ‘sent on leave with immediate effect’.

Stevens was informed of the decision on Sunday morning and in the meantime, former under-17 coach Jens Keller will be in charge for Tuesday’s German Cup last 16 match at home to Mainz.

Schalke chairman Clemens Toennies has said Keller will remain in charge until at least the end of the season, in an interview with German broadcaster Sport1.

“No one likes to dismiss a coach just before Christmas,” said Toennies.

“But I am firmly convinced that we have made the right decision. Stevens could no longer connect with the players.”

The Royal Blues will discover their Champions League last 16 opponents when the draw is made on Thursday, but Schalke are in free fall in the Bundesliga, currently seventh, having been second at the end of November.

Their last Bundesliga win was back on November 10, since then they have earned just two draws and suffered four defeats with Schalke fans shouting “Stevens Out!” after Saturday’s home loss to Freiburg.

Huntelaar, who was sent-off in the defeat at Freiburg, is yet to agree with Schalke and is likely to be available at a cut-price in January.

Holtby, who has an English father but is a German international, has insisted he is happy at Schalke  but it is understood Arsenal are willing to offer £12m for the star.

Download the free fanatix app now for iPhone: Sport news, social features and more!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr:

Tumblr Twitter Facebook

Related Stories

Young Player of the Year award nominations announced… Who was unlucky to miss out? SEE ALSO: The top 10 best...

Five players who could have been nominated for YPOTY with Chelsea & Liverpool playmakers

How the north Londoners are expected to start against the relegation candidates. It’s a London derby in the early Premier...

Tottenham v Fulham – Spurs predicted lineup for London derby with Dembele returning against former club

These ten wonderkids could move to the Premier League this summer, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United amongst those...

Top 10 young players linked with Premier League transfers including Chelsea and Arsenal targets

Everton, Liverpool and Southampton starlets also in the running. The PFA Young Player of the Year nominations have thrown up some interesting...

PFA Young Player of the Year analysis – Sturridge and Arsenal and Chelsea stars among potential winners

Everton, Liverpool and Southampton also have candidates. The nominees for the PFA Young Player of the Year award have been...

PFA Young Player of the Year nominees revealed with Arsenal and Chelsea represented

The forwards that could be strutting their stuff in the English top tier next season. If football is about one...

Premier League transfer news – The world-class strikers coming to England including Arsenal and Chelsea targets

The Gunners boss believes the German has what it takes to succeed. Despite a slightly disappointing start to life at...

Arsenal manager Wenger says Mesut Ozil will be Player of the Year

Allegri looks to be the next man in charge at White Hart Lane. It seems as if Tottenham Hotspur have...

Breaking News – Former AC Milan coach ‘agrees deal’ to be next Tottenham manager

Frankfurt’s Jung looks set to make the switch to north London. It appears Arsenal have finally found their replacement for...

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners find Sagna replacement as agent confirms £7m deal is imminent

The finest young players likely to succeed at the sport’s biggest competition. As the domestic season in Europe’s biggest leagues...

The youngsters to impress at the 2014 World Cup including Arsenal and Liverpool starlets