The Journal says manager Steve Bruce looked carefully at the right-back in January 2010, but was unable to complete a deal.
Instead he signed Argentinian Marcos Angeleri last summer, a transfer which spectacularly failed to live up to expectations.
Hamburg have revealed Demel is for sale this summer, with a move to the Premier League expected to be rubber-stamped this week.
However, circumstances have changed to make him a less attractive option, even with the German club anxious to offload a player about to enter the final 12 months of his contract.
Bruce, who sent Ghanaians John Mensah and Sulley Muntari back to their parent clubs after under-whelming loans, has gone on record to say he is reluctant to add to his contingent of African-based players which currently numbers one - striker Asamoah Gyan.