TalkSPORT is reporting that Milan, Chelsea, and Liverpool will all inquire about the services of Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Given how well Schalke have played this season- they currently sit 2nd in the Bundesliga behind the indomitable Bayern Munich, a move for their star striker likely wouldn’t materialize until the summer as Schalke would want to make a title run and Huntelaar would be instrumental in their potential success.
Liverpool have been decimated by injuries and currently only have one striker with sufficient Premier League experience- Luis Suarez. Suarez prefers to play in a slightly withdrawn role or pushed off to the left so he can dribble at defenders and launch shots beyond the 18, two characteristics you don’t necessarily want from your target man. Liverpool sent the man who could be their saving grace on loan to West Ham, however, Liverpool have made it known that they don’t intend on bringing target man Andy Carroll back to Anfield in January. Because of Liverpool’s current striking woes, a January transfer for a big-name striker is pertinent and it would likely take a huge offer to convince Schalke to sell their star in January.
Chelsea are also bereft of striking depth as they also only really have one striker in Fernando Torres as Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo does not rate Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge was a potential target for Liverpool and a move for the Englishman would be good for both parties as Liverpool will get a serviceable Premier League attacker and Chelsea would get some extra cash to spend on their next major signing. Torres is getting older and the question of whether or not he can sustain his performance through an entire Premier League and Champions League campaign remains to be seen. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will spend the necessary money to get his beloved Blues the best player possible and that player is not Huntelaar but rather Radamel Falcao. Falcao will probably cost triple what Huntelaar will cost but he is younger, better, and could be available for the right price in January. For this reason, Chelsea should set their sights on Falcao, not Huntelaar.
Now onto Huntelaar’s former club AC Milan who probably need his services more than anyone else. Milan have been utterly dreadful this season and never replaced star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, rather trying to replicate his output by platooning strikers such as Giampaolo Pazzini and Bojan who have both underperformed this season. Milan’s bright spots are youngsters Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio who have been revelations for the Rossoneri but neither can poach goals like Ibrahimovic once did. Enter Huntelaar, who despite having poor spells at Real Madrid and Milan, is still one of the world’s preeminent strikers. The stumbling block would be convincing Huntelaar to come back to the San Siro where he was essentially forced out and sold to whoever wanted him. Schalke paid Milan 12 million euros back in 2010 and has looked to be worth double since joining Schalke. While Milan desperately need a prolific goal scorer, Huntelaar will turn 30 by the start of next season and should opt for someone younger.
While I am extrapolating from past scenarios in saying that Huntelaar won’t move from title-contenders Schalke in January, should the price be right, Schalke could be willing to part with the Dutchman. They have Chinedu Obasi and Ciprian Marica, two strikers will significant Bundesliga experience, however both would be massive downgrades. If Schalke are serious about contending, they won’t entertain January offers, but if their form dips, look for Liverpool to be the favorites to seal his signature as Chelsea will aim for either Falcao or Edinson Cavani and Milan will try to sign someone younger.