Schalke have insisted they have no desire to sell coveted midfielder Leon Goretzka in the January transfer window.
The Germany midfielder falls out of contract in June and is being heavily linked with a move across his country to Bayern Munich.
However, the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus have also all been linked with Goretzka, with the quartet all reportedly planning to make an approach now in order to beat Bayern to the punch and sign the highly-rated star in January.
However, Schalke insist Goretzka’s departure in January is simply not an option – with the club admitting they would prefer him to leave on a free transfer next summer.
Speaking to Bild, according to the club’s CEO Christian Heidel said: “For us, always, there were only two options – that Goretzka renews [his contract] or he stays until 2018.
“Selling him prematurely was never an option for us.”
Schalke are reported by Bild to have offered Goretzka a new three-year deal worth £150,000 a week – easily making him the highest-paid player in the Royal Blues’ history.