Tag Archives: german

Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Lewis Hamilton 37 points clear of Jenson Button – Phil Duncan

The Chequered Flag: Hamilton streaks clear of Button as McLaren continue to struggle

with arguably the most complete package on the grid while a top-10 finish for Mercedes became as rare as a nun in a bikini. We mustn’t forget that in the final six races of last season, the Silver Arrows managed only one points-scoring finish when Michael Schumacher ended his F1 career with a seventh place at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

he’d gathered 43.

At the same stage this year, he is 10th in the championship with just 13 points. Unlucky for some. Unlucky for Button.

For his old sparring partner however, this season, in terms of points attained, ranks as a better start for Hamilton than both the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

Indeed with a total of 50 already on the championship table, the 2008 world champion has collated a bigger haul than the man who he replaced – that’s Michael Schumacher for those of you with a short-term memory – managed in 20 outings for the German manufacturer last season.

Off the pace: Button and McLaren have endured a slow start to the season

Promising start: Hamilton has already amassed more points than Schumacher did in his whole Mercedes career

More on Twitter…

You can follow Phil at: @PhilDuncanF1

I cannot recall a time when Hamilton was so happy to finish fifth, but the British star knows Bahrain is Mercedes’ achilles heel, and the fact that he leaves the Gulf Kingdom with a decent haul of points after a troubled weekend, will provide him and his team with a major boost as Formula One heads back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks time.

We should make no bones about it, Hamilton can fight for this year’s title. But whether he will be able to rival Vettel, whose performance yesterday illustrated exactly why he is a triple world champion, remains to be seen.

The same however, probably cannot be said of Button. The McLaren is already beginning to look like a better-tamed beast than the unruly animal which was unleashed in Melbourne over a month ago. But that said, the British star is already 64 points behind Vettel.

Barcelona will provide the Woking-based team with the acid test; a poor weekend in Spain usually translates to a poor season.

And Button, who has finished on the Spanish podium only twice in 12 previous attempts, will want his focus in Barcelona to be on the sharp end of the pack and not banging wheels with team-mate Sergio Perez while fighting for the menial places as in Bahrain.

Flashpoint: Perez and Button were locked in battle

Flashpoint: Perez and Button were locked in battle

Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix are already turning their attention to next season and the 10th anniversary of their hotly-disputed race.

‘We are looking at many options,’ Zayed Al Zayani, chairman of the event, told AUTOSPORT today.

‘A night race is one of them, but it is not the only one,’ he continued. ‘It is our tenth race and our tenth anniversary, so we want to do something different.’

It is also being suggested that the race could be moved to the opening weekend of the season. I for one hope this isn’t the case.

Australia should play host to every Formula One curtain raiser in my opinion, but I guess money will talk…

Five more years: Ecclestone is ready to sign a new deal with Bahrain

Five more years: Ecclestone is ready to sign a new deal with Bahrain

Driver of the Day

So close, yet so far. Paul Di Resta was on course to become the first Scottish driver on the podium in almost five years before he was overtaken by Romain Grosjean in the closing stages of yesterday’s race.

Nevertheless, it ranked as an impressive weekend for the 27-year-old who looks to have the bit between his teeth in his third season with Force India.

The Scot has made no secret of his desire to race for a bigger team, and after being snubbed by McLaren, what better way to bounce back than by doing your talking on the track.

Great Scot: Di Resta finished in fourth

Great Scot: Di Resta finished in fourth

Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from injury

Water way to rehab: Spurs keeper Gomes starts injury recovery in swimming pool

By
Jon Harvey

PUBLISHED:

14:46 GMT, 18 April 2013

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 18 April 2013

Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes has begun his recovery from the broken hand injury he picked up while on loan at German side Hoffenhiem.

The 32-year-old Brazilian underwent surgery to have four pins inserted into his broken left hand after a collision with Andreas Lambertz in Friday's win over Dusseldorf.

Gomes, who joined Spurs in 2008 from PSV, will be out for eight weeks and will remain at the Bundesliga side for his rehabilitation.

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Gomes had impressed for the German club on a six-month loan deal in January before the injury, conceding nine goals in nine games.

He found his opportunities limited at White Hart Lane after being relegated relegated to fourth
choice thanks to the arrivals of Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel over the
last two years.

Despite
the departure of Carlo Cudicini, Gomes is still unlikely to get any game
time at Spurs next season and he may leave the club in the summer.

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

His Spurs deal currently runs to 2014, but his former club PSV might ready to rescue him.

PSV director Marcel Brands said: 'Two years ago Tottenham wanted 8million. Maybe that’s changed.'

.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL DRAW: Bayern Munich v Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wembley Clasico on the cards after Barca draw Bayern and Real Madrid to take on Dortmund in Champions League semi-final

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:33 GMT, 12 April 2013

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 12 April 2013

There is the chance of a Clasico in the Wembley final of the Champions League as Real Madrid and Barcelona were kept apart in this morning's semi-final draw.

Jose Mourinho's Real were drawn against Borussia Dortmund whereas Barcelona are set to take on Bayern Munich, meaning if both teams dispatch their German opponents they will meet in the final at Wembley on May 25.

Dortmund are the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition, and will be pitted against Real for the second time in this season's tournament. The Bundesliga holders won a tough group which included Real, Manchester City and Ajax.

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern
Munich are in sensational form in the competition, having beaten
Juventus in the quarter-finals.

Dortmund scraped their way into the semi-finals, after two stoppage-time goals against Malaga at the Westfalenstadion.

Pep Guardiola's loyalties will be split when Barca take on Bayern with both sides hoping to win their fifth European Cup.

He led the Catalan giants to two Champions League trophies during his remarkably successful tenure in Barcelona.

But he will be hoping for future glories with Bayern Munich, who he will take charge of next season when Jupp Heynckes leaves his post.

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Like Guardiola, Mourinho has a taste
for success in the Champions League and could become the first ever
manager to win the competition with three different clubs.

Having won the tournament with Porto and Inter Milan, he is looking to guide Real to the trophy for the first time since 2002.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy drew the teams in Nyon, and was glad of the outcome.

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

On the Dortmund and Real Madrid tie,
the Dutchman told Sky Sports : 'I think over two games [with] the
quality of Real Madrid they should beat Borussia Dortmund. But this is
football and anything can happen… you can never trust these things.'

When asked to compare his former
team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he added: 'Messi, you
can't knock him but at this moment in time Cristiano has just got the
edge.'

The
first legs of the semi-finals will be played on April 23 and April 24,
with the second legs taking place on April 30 and May 1.

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

David Moyes linked with Schalke manager"s job

Schalke wait to pounce for Moyes at end of season if talks over new deal at Everton falter

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 4 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 4 April 2013

David Moyes is back at the top of Schalke’s wanted list as the German club prepare to appoint a new manager this summer — with Celtic’s Neil Lennon a strong candidate to replace the Scot if he leaves Everton.

It was thought Moyes had slipped behind Armin Veh in the Schalke running until the Eintracht Frankfurt coach signed a new deal last week.

Moyes, 49, has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and is keen to hear what Schalke have to offer.

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is also in the frame.

Lennon is on the verge of securing his second successive SPL title with Celtic.

But there is a growing sense that he could quit Parkhead for a new challenge this summer.

With Rangers not due to return to
Scotland’s top league until 2015 at the earliest, Lennon knows football
north of the border will not be seriously competitive for his side.

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

Having the chance to take the next step in his management career at Everton may be too good an opportunity to turn down.

Lennon’s stock has grown considerably this season, despite the lack of competition on the domestic front, thanks to Celtic’s run to the Champions League knock-out stages — which included that euphoric win over Barcelona.

Moyes' 11-year spell in charge at Goodison Park makes him the third longest-serving manager in the Premier League, but he has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and will wait to hear what Schalke have to offer.

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Hawk-Eye miss out on goal-line contract with FIFA after GoalControl seal deal

Germany 2 England 1 in goal-line technology saga as Hawk-Eye miss out on FIFA contract (but they could win Premier League deal)

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Net gains: John Terry makes a controversial clearance in England's 1-0 win over Ukraine at Euro 2012

How will it work
Each goal has seven high-speed cameras which track the position of the ball in three dimensions to millimetre precision every two milliseconds.

Within a second of the ball completely crossing the line, the referee is alerted by a vibration and a flashing light on his watch. All camera footage is stored and can be replayed at any time.

How much will it cost
It costs around 170,000 per stadium to install and 2,800 per match to operate

What does it mean for fans
Besides no more missed goals, an instant replay can project a 3D view of the ball’s movement on a virtual pitch to TV viewers at home or to supporters in the stand via the big screen.

PS…

But despite all that technology, referees still retain the authority to make the final decision.

It will cost around 170,000 per stadium to instal and a further 2,800 per match to operate.

GoalControl uses 14 high-speed
cameras to track the 3D position of the ball and promises to alert
referees within a second of the ball completely crossing the line via a
vibration or flashing light on a watch.

FIFA said the German company was
chosen owing to its ‘ability to adapt to local conditions’ in
Brazil. The bids were also ‘judged on cost and project management
factors such as staffing and time schedules for installation’.

The contract, however, is subject to
independent ‘installation tests’ at each of the six stadiums due to be
used for the Confederations Cup – three of which have still not been
completed.

Match officials will also carry out
their own tests before each game, just as they did during the FIFA Club
World Cup in Japan last year.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has urged using goal-line technology in Brazil after Frank Lampard had a clear goal disallowed against Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

Ball-tracking: FIFA hope this system will be a success

Ball-tracking: FIFA hope this system will be a success

Putting it on the line: Hawk-Eye goal-line technology is trialled at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium last year

Putting it on the line: Hawk-Eye goal-line technology is trialled at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium last year

Inconclusive: Chelsea were awarded a dubious goal in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final when the ball was adjudge to have crossed the line

Inconclusive: Chelsea were awarded a dubious goal in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final when the ball was adjudge to have crossed the line

HAWK-EYE REACTION

'Sport teaches us many lessons, including accepting defeat graciously and having confidence in your ability to bounce back strongly. Hawk-Eye wishes FIFA and the appointed GLT supplier every success at The FIFA Confederations Cup 2013.'

Statement released by Hawk-Eye

A FIFA statement said: 'While all
four companies had previously met the stringent technical requirements
of the FIFA quality programme, the final decision was based on criteria
relating more specifically to the tournaments in Brazil, including the
company's ability to adapt to local conditions and the compatibility of
each goal-line technology system in relation to FIFA match operations.

'The respective bids were also judged
on cost and project management factors such as staffing and time
schedules for installation.

'The use of GoalControl-4D in Brazil
is subject to a final installation test at each stadium where the system
will be installed.'

Goal-line: GoalControl-4D's magnetic field system

Goal-line: GoalControl-4D's magnetic field system

In black and white: Geoff Hurst scores England's controversial third goal in the 1966 World Cup final against Germany

In black and white: Geoff Hurst scores England's controversial third goal in the 1966 World Cup final

VIDEO GoalControl in action

Jack Rodwell: I was surprised Manchester City bid for me

I was surprised City signed me, admits Rodwell as he reveals injury hell

through injury, but the youngster’s concerns were not limited
to his hamstrings after City made their move last summer.

Familiar face: Rodwell contests with future team-mate David Silva last season

Familiar face: Rodwell contests with future team-mate David Silva last season

Manager Roberto Mancini warned that
he had to improve while England boss Roy Hodgson expressed a fear that
he would spend much of the season on the bench at his new club. It did
not help when Rodwell’s misplaced passes led to City conceding goals
against Southampton and Borussia Dortmund in his first few games.

Asked if he was surprised at the
transfer, he said: ‘I was a little bit, yes, because of the injuries –
it was a good surprise though.

‘I’d seen the German doctor
Muller-Wohlfahrt a couple of months before City came in so I felt I was
fit at the time but I obviously wasn’t. I probably didn’t do enough work
after getting treated by him which I know now.

‘I don’t really think about the price
tag or anything like that. When you’re on the pitch you can’t think
about what the fans are thinking. It’s natural when you’ve spent that
much money and you’ve won the league last year, you do expect a little
bit of something in return.

‘I feel as though the fans saw a little bit more of me (against Chelsea) but there’s still a lot more to come in my opinion.’

Galatasaray 1 Schalke 1: Match report

Galatasaray 1 Schalke 1: Drogba Euro debut ends all square after Jones levels for Germans

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 20 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 20 February 2013

Jermaine Jones' strike in the last minute of the first half gave Schalke a slight advantage as they drew 1-1 at Galatasaray in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.

Jones calmly slotted home after Jefferson Farfan had squared the ball to him to give the German side a vital draw at the Turk Telekom Arena, although Schalke's goalscorer will miss the second leg after picking up a booking.

Burak Yilmaz had earlier put Gala in front with a piece of individual brilliance but they could not extend their lead in a breathtaking first-half in which both teams failed to convert several glorious opportunities.

Going ahead: Burak Yilmaz puts Galatasaray head in the first half

Going ahead: Burak Yilmaz puts Galatasaray head in the first half

Match Facts

Galatasaray: Muslera, Sarioglu (Bulut 84), Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera, Altintop (Eboue 66), Felipe Melo, Inan, Sneijder (Amrabat 46),
Burak Yilmaz, Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Iscan, Balta, Kurtulus, Colak.

Booked: Muslera, Amrabat, Nounkeu, Inan.

Goals: Burak Yilmaz 12.

Schalke 04: Hildebrand, Hoger, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac, Draxler (Barnetta 84), Jones, Neustadter, Michel Bastos, Farfan,
Huntelaar (Pukki 75).

Subs Not Used: Fahrmann, Obasi Ogbuke, Metzelder, Fuchs, Meyer.

Booked: Jones,Kolasinac,Hoger.

Goals: Jones 45.

Att: 45,000

The second half was decidedly less open, although Yilmaz nearly gave the hosts a slender lead heading into the second leg but could only fire wide of the target.

Gala duo Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder both made their returns to the Champions League after completing recent moves from Shanghai Shenhua and Inter Milan respectively.

But it was Yilmaz who produced a moment of magic worthy of either of the pair when he broke the deadlock in sparkling fashion.

The forward collected the ball from Selcuk Inan on the edge of the area before flicking over Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes with his heel and wonderfully firing into the roof of the net in the 12th minute.

It was a sickening blow for the visitors, who had seen Gala keeper Fernando Muslera make fine saves from both Jones and Klaas Jan Huntelaar in the opening minute.

Nevertheless they nearly levelled almost immediately after Yilmaz's brilliance, but Huntelaar just failed to connect with Howedes' flick-on from Farfan's corner.

Pick that one out: Yilmaz scores past by Schalke's goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to put Galatasaray ahead

Pick that one out: Yilmaz scores past by Schalke's goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to put Galatasaray ahead

And in an increasingly open first half, they were nearly made to pay when Howedes fired against the bar with the goal gaping after Drogba had seen his left-footed strike fingertipped away by Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.

It was the German side who nearly scored next though, with Semih Kaya deflecting Farfan's cutback wide of his own post, while the influential Schalke striker struck over on the turn despite being given plenty of space in the area.

Back in action: Didier Drogba returned to the Champions League with Galatasaray

Back in action: Didier Drogba returned to the Champions League with Galatasaray

Both sides seemed to view attack as the best form of defence and Drogba, who was making a nuisance of himself in Schalke's backline, played in Yilmaz but he could not lift his effort over Hildebrand.

Yet Schalke drew level on the stroke of half-time courtesy of United States international Jones, who will miss the second leg after picking up a booking for dissent.

Falling down: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goes down under the challenge of Albert Riera

Falling down: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goes down under the challenge of Albert Riera

Farfan burst through on goal after Gala had given the ball away in midfield and squared for the free Jones and he calmly struck past Muslera.

It was a far more subdued affair after the interval although Schalke did have a decent penalty appeal turned down when Farfan's fierce strike looked to have cannoned off Sabri Sarioglu's hands, which were raised to his chest.

Back in the game: Jermaine Jones (not pictured) scores past Fernando Muslera to make it 1-1

Back in the game: Jermaine Jones (not pictured) scores past Fernando Muslera to make it 1-1

Take that: Jones celebrates after scoring the equalizer

Take that: Jones celebrates after scoring the equalizer

It was not until late on that the game sprang back into life, with Yilmaz shooting across the face of goal from Drogba's inch-perfect flick-on while Sarioglu's half-volley from the edge of the area was tipped over by Hildebrand.

And Gala's efforts to push for a winner nearly backfired completely when, at the other end, Julian Draxler dribbled to the edge of their box unchecked before shooting inches wide of Muslera's right-hand post.

Shielding the ball: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo is challenged by Schalke's Julian Draxler

Shielding the ball: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo is challenged by Schalke's Julian Draxler

Newcastle set to bid 9m for Ajax"s Siem de Jong

EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle plot bold 9m swoop for Ajax playmaker De Jong

: Scores 13 goals as Ajax win the title

2012: Named in provisional Holland squad for Euro 2012 but does not make final 23

2012: Takes over club captaincy as Jan Vertonghen joins Tottenham

2012: Scores three goals in two games to help knock Man City out of the Champions League

Ajax appearances: 196. Goals: 64.

He has two years remaining on his Ajax contract and while wages wont be a problem to Newcastle, sources in Holland say he is eager to run down his deal and move on a free.

Pardew and his team of scouts will have to overcome that and convince him now is the time to move to the Premier League.

Pardew is planning a push for the Champions League places next season and wants to pack his team with more quality. It is understood he is particularly keen to link De Jong with French midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

Pardew also wants to show Cabaye – missing for much of the season with injury – that Newcastle are prepared to buy big.

Money talks: Pardew hopes to make a statement with the signing of De Jong

Money talks: Pardew hopes to make a statement with the signing of De Jong

With QPR winning the race to sign of French forward Loic Remy from Marseille, the move for the much-wanted De Jong is Pardew’s next move.

De Jong is being pursued by German Bundesliga clubs and his brother, Luuk already plays for Borussia Monchengladbach.

VIDEO Siem de Jong's best moments at Ajax

Borussia Dortmund use artificial lights to repair pitch during Bundesliga winter break

Does this shed light on Dortmund's success 'Artificial sun' repair lamps pitch them above rivals in Bundesliga

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

13:25 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:58 GMT, 8 January 2013

Bathed in an eerie yellow glow in keeping with the club's colours, the pitch at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park receives some tender loving care ahead of the resumption of the Bundesliga season.

The strange light, made all the more pronounced by the darkened stands, is the result of a hi-tech 'artificial sun' lighting system used by the German champions to keep their pitch in pristine condition.

With the stadium capacity a massive 80,645 for league matches – including nearly 25,000 on the famous Sudtribune terrace – the tall stands block out natural sunlight, meaning the pitch can easily become dry and patchy.

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

Eerie: Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park is bathed in a yellow glow as artificial lighting keeps the pitch in pristine condition during the Bundesliga winter break

So for the past two years, Dortmund have hired Dutch company Stadium Grow Lighting (SGL) to construct a portable grid of powerful lamps above the turf in between matches to ensure the grass gets all the necessary nutrients.

It has created a pristine surface which perfectly suits Dortmund's free-flowing style of play and has helped deliver the last two Bundesliga titles.

With German football pausing for a winter break, and natural sunlight at a premium, the lights have been warming the pitch round the clock in recent weeks.

It's a similar situation at many of the 80-odd football clubs across Europe that use SGL's technology, with pitches today representing a vast improvement on a decade or two ago.

Yellow wall: The tall stands at the 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park mean natural sunlight is at a premium

Yellow wall: The tall stands at the 80,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park mean natural sunlight is at a premium

Success: The pristine pitch created by the lights has been a factor in Dortmund's recent success, including two consecutive Bundesliga titles

Success: The pristine pitch created by the lights has been a factor in Dortmund's recent success, including two consecutive Bundesliga titles

Dortmund resume their defence of the title with a trip to Werder Bremen on January 19, with the first game back at the Signal Iduna on January 25 against Nuremberg.

But they have plenty to do if they're to overhaul runaway leaders Bayern Munich, who have a nine point lead over Bayer Leverkusen and 12 over Dortmund.

Pitches have come a long way from the days of Harris, Hunter and Best…

Mudbath: Manchester United's George Best gets a shot away under challenge from Chelsea's Ron 'Chopper' Harris on a less-than-pristine playing surface in 1971

Mudbath: Manchester United's George Best gets a shot away under challenge from Chelsea's Ron 'Chopper' Harris on a less-than-pristine playing surface in 1971

Night of misery: A despondent Norman Hunter of England on a very cut up pitch in Chorzow after losing to Poland in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers

Night of misery: A despondent Norman Hunter of England on a very cut up pitch in Chorzow after losing to Poland in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers

Lewis Holtby to leave Schalke: Arsenal and Liverpool on alert

Holtby could return to England on a free as Arsenal and Liverpool tells Schalke he's off

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UPDATED:

12:55 GMT, 28 December 2012

Arsenal and Liverpool have been given the green light to move in for Lewis Holtby after the Germany midfielder scrapped contract talks with Schalke.

After months of negotiations with Schalke’s board, the 22-year old midfielder announced his intention to quit the Bundesliga club, in a development that will alert a host of admirers headed by the Barclays Premier League pair.

Both Arsene Wenger and his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers have expressed an interest in him and will be keener than ever, now he can be snapped up for a knockdown fee next month or for nothing at the end of the season.

London calling London are on red alert after Schalke revealed Lewis Holtby intends to quit the German club

London calling London are on red alert after Schalke revealed Lewis Holtby intends to quit the German club

Signed from Alemannia Aachen in 2009, Holtby has developed into one of Germany’s most prominent young midfielders and was considered integral to Schalke’s hopes of challenging the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

They were hoping he would follow another Arsenal target, Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, in committing his future to the club, but board member Horst Heldt was forced to concede defeat.

‘We had hoped Lewis saw his future at Schalke beyond the end of this season,’ said Heldt. ‘But he has made a personal decision that we respect.

Up for grabs: Holtby, who has an English father, has represented Germany three times at senior level

Up for grabs: Holtby, who has an English father, has represented Germany three times at senior level

We are sure he will give everything between now and the end of the season.’

Arsenal and Liverpool must now decide whether to battle it out over personal terms in the summer or part with a cut-price fee now to land him in the January window.

Holtby’s English father Chris is a lifelong Everton fan, and the Schalke playmaker recently admitted that he, too, has an allegiance to the Goodison Park club.

Though he chose to represent Germany at international level, rather than England, and has been capped three times since his debut against Azerbaijan 18 months ago, he has made no secret of his wish to play in the Premier League.

In demand: Holtby, who is also fancied by Liverpool, spent a successful loan spell at Mainz in 2010

In demand: Holtby, who is also fancied by Liverpool, spent a successful loan spell at Mainz in 2010