Schalke keen on Inter Milan winger Xherdan Shaqiri

Schalke have confirmed that they are exploring the possibility of signing Inter Milan's Xherdan Shaqiri.

Switzerland international Shaqiri only joined Inter from Bayern Munich in January but he could be set for a swift return to the Bundesliga.

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt has confirmed that the German club are interested in the former Basel player, who has started just eight games for Inter in Serie A.

"This player is on the market," Heldt told Bild. "He has exceptional quality. A club like Schalke 04 has to then look into such a player and to explore whether this transfer can be realised.

"Xherdan could help us so we're obliged to check out the details."

Inter boss Roberto Mancini said at the weekend that the 23-year-old has rejected three offers, with Stoke -- who had agreed a £12 million fee for the player -- confirming that they have now exited the race for his services.

That could pave the way for Schalke to make a move but, having already spent a reported €24m on Johannes Geis, Matija Nastasic and Junior Caicara this summer, they may need to sell players to raise the necessary funds.

Schalke are looking to offload suspended duo Sidney Sam and Kevin-Prince Boateng but Heldt said that they had yet to receive any offers for the latter player.

Another option would be to sell star midfielder Julian Draxler, 21, whose progress has been hampered by injury and inconsistent form since signing a new contract two years ago.

That deal, which ties Draxler to Schalke until 2018, contained a €45.5m euro buyout clause, but that that expired on July 1 and Heldt said Schalke do not plan to sell the Germany international.

"I think he's an outstanding player of a quality that very few in Europe possess, and he's far from finished his development," he said. "We definitely won't be letting a player of this quality go by choice."

According to Ruhr Nachrichten, other players who could help fund the Shaqiri transfer are defender Joel Matip, 23, and Peruvian attacking midfielder Jefferson Farfan, 30.

Matip has been linked with Newcastle and Napoli, while the paper says Farfan could join Galatasaray.