Schalke confirm interest in Bayern Munich's Holger Badstuber
Schalke have confirmed their interest in Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber, but Carlo Ancelotti has said he will only be allowed to leave the Bundesliga leaders on loan.
Sources told ESPN FC that Manchester City were interested in a loan deal Badstuber, 27, and Pep Guardiola appeared to confirm his interest in recent days when he said: "I know Holger, he's a fantastic player, a fantastic guy, but he's a Bayern Munich player, and we should first of all speak with them and with him."
Swansea City boss Paul Clement, who worked as Ancelotti's assistant at Bayern prior to his appointment this month, also expressed an interest but said: "You can think he could do a good job here but then you see him linked with Manchester City so then you have to ask if it's a realistic target."
However, Schalke have confirmed that they have made contact with Badstuber, who is seeking further first-team opportunities after making just three appearances for Bayern in all competitions this season.
Schalke sporting executive Christian Heidel told Sky: "We don't deny that there's been contact with Holger Badstuber, but further talks must be held.
"We have to try to put together a deal that satisfies all the parties involved."
Badstuber has struggled with injuries over recent seasons and, while his Bayern contract is due to expire in the summer, Ancelotti has confirmed he has no desire to sell the Bavaria-born player.
"Like we've said, if he wants to leave to win playing minutes, we can talk about everything, but he won't be sold," Ancelotti told reporters in Qatar on Tuesday. "The club wants to prolong his contract. If he leaves, it will be on a loan."
Badstuber has endured five serious injuries since 2012 and had two cruciate ligament operations.
He returned to action in October, having not played since breaking an ankle in February and then suffered a muscle tear during the club's preseason tour of the United States.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.