Newcastle United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Lewis Holby after it was reported by German publication Bild that Hamburger SV would not be looking to extend his contract at the Volksparkstadion.
The former Tottenham midfielder is out of contract in the summer and will be free to talk to other clubs as soon as January.
After missing out on signing Holtby in the summer, Newcastle will now be able to approach the 27-year-old in the new year and the Magpies could even try to persuade Hamburg into an early sale.
Holtby returned to Germany in 2014 after spending just 20 months in England. The playmaker moved to White Hart Lane for just £1.5m in January 2013, ending an impressive four-year spell with Schalke 04.
However, after just 12 months in north London, Holtby was shipped out to Fulham on loan for the remainder of the 2013/14 season.
The German international managed just 53 appearances during his time in England and was soon loaned back to the Bundesliga, with Hamburg making the transfer permanent at the end of the 2014/15 season.
During this campaign, Holtby has been on the fringes of the Hamburg squad, managing just seven Bundesliga appearances.
Although a recent thigh injury hasn't helped Holtby in trying to fight for a place in the Red Shorts' first-team, the former Tottenham midfielder looks set to return to the Premier League and Newcastle are eager to finally get a deal for the German midfielder over the line.