sport

Heldt coy on Firmino rumours

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has refused to be drawn upon speculation linking his side with a move for Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino.

The highly-rated 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the likes of Zenit St Petersburg, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and PSG, but Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol has recently dismissed talk of an exit.

Firmino moved to Germany from Brazilian club Figueirense in 2011 and has been a key figure for Gisdol's side this season, finding the net on 12 occasions and helping them to 10th in the table.

Schalke, who are set to host Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, have been among the clubs reported to be interested in Firmino but, although Heldt admitted his admiration, he was keen to play down any talk of a move.

"I will not be going to make a statement," he told Deutsche Presseagentur.

"Roberto Firmino is definitely a very good player.

"I can imagine there are a lot of clubs looking at him for their future."