Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell would “love” to re-sign Kevin van Veen but accepts the financial reality would make that prospect very challenging.
The Dutch striker returned to the Netherlands in the summer in a £500,000 move to Groningen after hitting 29 goals for Motherwell last season but he is unsettled on and off the park.
The Dutch striker this week admitted it would be difficult to leave his baby and partner in Scotland to go back to Groningen when the child is born in the coming weeks.
He has also had a dispute with the Groningen manager and has not started the past five games, despite hitting five goals in the previous seven, with Groningen in 14th place in the second tier following their relegation last season.
The 32-year-old has declared himself open to a January loan move but there have been no talks on that front with Kettlewell.
The Motherwell manager said: “I have a terrific relationship with Kevin, I keep in touch with him, I speak to him. I didn’t just like Kevin as a player, I liked him as a guy.
“There has been contact between myself and Kevin, purely on a personal basis, because I understand he is going through a challenging time. We have seen there’s been a string of poor results and Kevin has probably been the marquee signing for Groningen, so undoubtedly at times he will bear the brunt of that.
“There certainly has been contact between myself and him but there has been for a period of time.
“Would I want a top-quality striker at the football club? Of course you would. Someone whose last act in the Scottish game was to score his 29th goal, you would love that person at your football club. I make no secrets about that.
“But in simple terms all this comes down to money. If there was an option there, there would be a lot to talk about in terms of what the financial package would look like and whether Motherwell could afford that because we know Kevin took up a massive opportunity to better his financial situation and hopefully for him it was to better his career.
“Whether that becomes an option to Motherwell or not, there would need to be an awful lot of water under the bridge.”
Van Veen, who is earning multiple times what Motherwell can afford to pay in wages, claimed there was interest from Rangers in the summer.
Kettlewell said: “I sound as if I plead poverty all the time but people need to understand the situation. It’s not just as simple as saying, it’s a guy who has great affinity with this football club, with myself, the staff, the players.
“On that basis, you would love to have him, you would love to take him back, I would love him to be phoning me up telling me he was desperate to come back and that we could get something done.
“Of course you would, but very simply, things like that all come down to money.
“There have been no conversations surrounding whether he is coming back to Motherwell, whether that’s an option, and I’m pretty certain there would be a lot of suitors for Kevin van Veen’s signature if he was made available from Groningen.
“And by the way, we need to show a fair amount of respect on that front because he is a signed player and I have not seen anything coming from their side of things to say he is moving on or will be moving on.”
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