Schalke close on Larsen
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Schalke say Soren Larsen is keen to move to the Bundesliga outfit.Schalke are closing in on the signing of Danish star Soren Larsen after declaring that the player is keen to move to the Arena AufSchalke.
The Djurgardens striker is one of Scandinavia's hottest properties and impressed the German outfit in Denmark's recent 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Albania.
Despite the Royal-Blues already recruiting hit-man Kevin Kuranyi from Stuttgart, boss Ralf Rangnick is keen to bolster his attacking options with Mike Hanke leaving to join Wolfsburg.
Djurgardens supremo Bo Lundquist had recently declared that the Swedish side would be looking for around é¼7 million for the 23-year-old, although Schalke believe that they have found a clause in Larsen's contract freeing him for just é¼1.2 million.
Schalke team manager Andreas Muller insisted that Larsen is keen to move to Die Bundesliga, and held out hope that the player would replace one of Ailton and Ebbe Sand in the first XI next year.
"Larsen would be an ideal signing with regard to 2006 when the contracts of Ailton and Sand will come to an end," said Muller.
"But now we have the chance to land him on favourable conditions.
"The player informed us that he is willing to join us."
Schalke remain confident that Larsen will put pen-to-paper on a three-year contract in the coming days.
Despite Schalke's apparent belief that they will secure Larsen's services, Djurgardens club director Bo Andersson has refuted such suggestions.
"Considering the offer and the purchases Schalke have made recently, it looks like they are looking for a backup,'' Andersson told the club's official website.
"But I don't think Soren is interested to go down there and sit on the bench.
"Though, before we get back to Schalke, we will of course talk to Soren and his agent."