During the summer transfer window, Lewis Holtby was one of a number of former Premier League players linked with a summer move to Newcastle United.

With Hamburg already unhappy with the player’s big contract, and not feeling his output was worth the financial input, a transfer looked a reasonable solution. English newspaper The Daily Mirror reported Newcastle could sign Holtby for around £5m, and even that seemed a generous amount for HSV.

The German media quickly jumped on the potential transfer, and explained Hamburg could be happy to see Holtby leave the club during that last window. Since then things have got worse and Holtby repeatedly finds himself not just on the bench, but also in the stands.

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German newspaper Bild report on Sunday that HSV have ‘excluded’ the possibility of renewing Holtby’s contract. That makes it increasingly clear Holtby can sign for Newcastle United on a free, should Rafael Benitez be as interested as it was claimed.

Newcastle could start talks with the former Tottenham player at the beginning of January, just a few weeks away, and there may even be the chance HSV cut their losses and although a free transfer earlier than the summer.

The same goes for other clubs, 27 year old Lewis Holtby is very much available.