Bayern Munich have publicly confirmed their interest in signing Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.
The 22-year-old Germany international, who has scored six times across his 12 caps, helped Schalke reach the winter break in second place behind Bayern in the Bundesliga and he has been strongly linked with a move to the Allianz Arena.
“Leon Goretzka is a great player, that’s clear,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said via the club’s official Twitter account.
“He is a Schalke player and we obviously respect that. But he is a Germany international and we can say that we are interested in him.”
Goretzka has reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, while Lionel Messi has also reportedly instructed Barcelona to move for the player.
Bayern, meanwhile, have also suffered an injury scare after goalkeeper Sven Ulreich was forced to leave training early to undergo a scan on a finger.
Ulreich is Bayern’s first-choice keeper in the absence of Manuel Neuer, who is still recovering following an operation on his left foot in September.
But he looks set be to fit for Bayern’s first game back against Bayer Leverkusen on January 12, with Salihamidzic saying: “‘Ulle’ is having scans at the moment. I understand that he will still be OK for the first game back after the break.”