Manchester United and Liverpool’s hopes of landing Leon Goretzka from Schalke have received a significant boost after a Barcelona scout ruled them out of the running.
The Schalke star have been linked with a number of Premier League clubs in recent weeks, with Manchester City and Arsenal also credited with an interest in the midfielder.
And with Goretzka falling out of contract next summer, Bayern Munich have also been earmarked as serious contenders to sign the highly-rated 22-year-old.
However, it was Barcelona who were said to be leading the charge for Goretzka’s signature, but their international scout Ariedo Braida appears to have ruled the La Liga giants out of the running.
“He is certainly a great player, but for Barcelona it is too soon,” Braida said. “I travel around the world in search of great talent, but our demands are extremely high.”
Goretzka has established himself as one of the Bundesliga’s top midfielders over the past couple of seasons and Schalke are also desperate to keep him, having offered to make him their top earner on a £150,000 a week should he stay at the Royal Blues.