The Finnish forward has attracted the interest of the Scottish champions, but his current employers have rebuffed the Hoops' opening offerEXCLUSIVE
By Hassan Talib Haji
Schalke have rejected a bid from Celtic for Teemu Pukki, but the player's agent has revealed he still expects his client to leave the club before the end of the transfer window.
The Finland international has struggled for first team football at the Bundesliga side, with Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar being preferred in attack.
However, after Huntelaar tore knee ligaments in the 4-0 defeat to Wolfsburg last Saturday, doubts had been raised as to whether S04 would party company with the 23-year-old, but his representative believes he will still move on.
"The offer has been rejected by Schalke," Gerrit Hartung revealed to Goal. "However, there is still up to the end of the transfer window, it is not an issue.
"There are concrete pre-arranged conditions that have to occur, then to my knowledge Pukki should leave Schalke.
"There have been [other] enquiries made, but none in the form that can be considered actual bids. They are not of a magnitude that would influence the parties involved."
But with Adam Szalai the only other striking alternative available to Schalke, coach Jens Keller may opt to hold on to Pukki, particularly with their ambitions of reaching the group stages of the Champions League hanging in the balance after a 1-1 first leg play-off draw with PAOK last week.
Pukki made his name at native HJK Helsiniki, but has featured sparingly ever since moving to the Veltins Arena in 2011.