Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal have looked into the possibility of signing Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby.
Germany international Holtby, who has an English father, is out of contract at the end of the season and has made no secret of his desire to move to the Premier League, and has talked of his admiration for Arsenal on many occasions in the past.
However, it would appear that the Gunners’ North London rivals Tottenham are leading the race for the 22-year-old. Spurs assistant coach Steffen Freund recently confirmed to Sky his club had “great interest” in Holtby, and Bild reported on Friday that a “secret meeting” had taken place over a move to White Hart Lane.
Wenger, though, said Holtby is on Arsenal’s radar, with the midfielder having impressed during Schalke’s 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium in the Champions League group stage in October.
"The emerging countries to produce players look to be Germany and Spain and they have many good young players," he said. "When you look at the results of France against Germany at Under-17 in the last few years, and Under-16 - 4-0, 4-1 to Germany - that shows the trend will be more in favour of the Germans.
"We have looked at Holtby, and have played against him. Our scouts are kept on alert and the quality of the scouting is linked with that."
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has said Holtby will not leave Gelsenkirchen before the end of his contract.