Schalke confirm negotiations for Inter Milan's Xherdan Shaqiri

Inter Milan's attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is in discussions with Schalke about a return to the Bundesliga, the German club have confirmed.

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said last week that his club were interested in Shaqiri, 24, who left Bayern Munich for Italy in January.

A transfer now appears to be edging closer, however, as Heldt said on Thursday that Schalke are actively investigating the Swiss international's intentions.

"We're in contact with Xherdan Shaqiri's people, but there is nothing concrete," Heldt told reporters.

With Juventus weighing up a bid for Julian Draxler, Schalke's move for Shaqiri now seems both more urgent and more feasible given that Jefferson Farfan, 30, is close to an exit.

Heldt confirmed that Farfan had already completed a medical ahead of his move to Al-Jazira in the United Arab Emirates. There are now only small details to be ironed out before the Peruvian attacker signs a bumper three-year-deal worth €10 million per year to the player.

"We have complied with the wishes of Jefferson Farfan," Heldt said. "He absolutely wants to go and you can't blame him. They've offered him a monstrous contract."

The reported €7m raised from the sale of Farfan will increase Schalke's chances of signing Shaqiri, although the Inter player has already turned down several offers this summer, including a potential £12m move to Stoke.

Schalke also confirmed the signing of former Fulham right-back Sascha Riether, 32, on Thursday, while former Bayer Leverkusen attacker Sidney Sam took part in his first training session since having his suspension lifted by the club.