Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has confirmed that former club Real Madrid have made enquiries about taking him back to the Bernabeu, and insisted that any offer would have to be "seriously considered."
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Van Nistelrooy, who scored 59 goals in three-and-a-half years at Real before moving to the Bundesliga last summer, is being approached by his former club as they look to replace first-choice striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to find a January replacement for Higuain, who will probably miss the rest of the season through injury, and the Portuguese boss welcomed the reports of interest in Van Nistelrooy that surfaced on Saturday.
News of a possible return to Real has been an exciting turn of events for Van Nistelrooy, with the former Manchester United striker telling Liga Total television: "It is crazy what is happening. I mean for such a club to come calling at this stage of my career - that is something which has got to be considered seriously.
"It has been a strange week. I had to focus all of my efforts on today's game and that was not easy. I think we are going to clear this up in the next few days.''
However, despite Real's reported interest, Hamburg's director of sport Bastian Reinhardt said that no official approach had been made.
"We have spoken to Ruud and we know about Real's interest in signing him this winter,'' he said. "But they have not made an offer and, therefore, we don't even need to discuss it. Of course Ruud is staying with us.''
Hamburg coach Armin Veh hopes Reinhardt keeps his word after seeing the Dutchman grab the winner against Schalke yesterday.
"Ruud is fitter now than he has ever been,'' he told ZDF television. "To lose him would be a bitter blow. Therefore we will do all that we can to keep him here, even though I can understand him.''