Schalke have made Leon Goretzka a huge offer to keep midfielder at the Bundesliga club, according to their sporting director.
Goretzka’s future has been the subject of much speculation with Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus all interested in the powerful 22-year-old central midfielder.
The 12-cap Germany international enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Bundesliga last term, making 41 appearances and scoring eight times. He has backed that form up this season with four goals in 10 appearances and Schalke are desperate to extend his contract, which will expire next summer.
And Schalke’s sporting director Christian Heidel is hopeful the club can keep hold of the former Bochum man, who has scored six goals for the national team.
“We are convinced that we have to have him stay here without putting pressure,” Heidel told Sky Deutschland. “We are trying to convince him, even in the economic aspect. We’ve made the most of possible efforts, we cannot do more.”
SportBild claimed in September that Barca were at the front of the queue for Goretzka, who was reported to have agreed personal terms with Bayern over a free-transfer move next summer.
The Catalan giants are understood to view Goretzka as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, while Heidel recently said he hopes to have the player’s future sorted by the time the transfer window opens again in January.
“I’d like to think that by the winter break we will have clarity,” he said in September.
Goretzka looks like having the pick of the top clubs in Europe and is very much aware of the interest, and that has almost certainly made him hesitate signing a new contract.
The player did cool the interest in him in June, and denounced all the speculations.
“I’m not going to give state-of-play updates, but if there are facts, I will announce them,” Goretzka said four months ago.
“I’m not the type to be impressed by newspaper reports, I know what my qualities are, but I will not build myself up.
“I won’t talk on possible switches to a different club,” Goretzka added. “As soon as there are facts I will be providing them and publicising them on what my decision is. But now there is no news in that respect.”