English league champions Manchester United are reportedly close to signing German Bundesliga club Schalke 04's Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The German club, however, is believed to be desperate to hold on to their prized possession.

Huntelaar, 28, has been linked to United's domestic rivals, Tottenham and Arsenal, in the recent past. However, in the absence of any concrete action, he went on to join Schalke, from Italian Serie A club AC Milan, in 2010.

Now, United appear to be favorites to sign him, should he chose to leave, when the transfer window opens next month. Earlier reports suggested the English club had sent scouts to monitor his development.

Huntelaar, who is contracted to the German club until 2013, has been in superb form since he joined Schalke and has managed to score 26 times in just 25 games thus far this season.

Meanwhile, United, who appear set to lose the services of Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, will be looking to land the player as soon as possible. No fee, as yet, has been mentioned, according to a Footylatest.com report.