Liverpool have reportedly won the race to sign Schalke 04 midfielder Leon Goretzka, ahead of the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. For a number of months, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Bayern and Juventus have all been linked with a move for the German international.
However, according to Bild, Goretzka has decided to sign for Liverpool on a free transfer and will announce the transfer in the coming days.
Goretzka – who is out of contract with the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season, is said to also have attracted interest from Barcelona after impressing at last summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia where he scored his first goal for his country and played a key role in their success at the tournament.
From January 1, non-German clubs would able to hold formal negotiations with the 22-year-old, who has netted 18 goals in 127 appearances for the German side. The deal, however, would come into effect on July 1, 2018.
The report further suggests that Goretzka wants to work with compatriot Jurgen Klopp at Anfield and is set to follow the footsteps of former teammate Joel Matip, who left Schalke on a free transfer to join the Reds a couple of summers ago.
Schalke could decide to settle for a cash deal in January rather than allowing their playmaker to leave for nothing in the summer.
Meanwhile, speaking earlier this month, the Germany international, who has netted 6 times in 12 appearances for the national team admitted he was close to making a decision on his future.
“I have to find out for myself what the next step should be. I have to consider a million things,” the German was quoted in a report by Express.
“I am a person who is very meticulous in such decisions. I play through all the scenarios. So I need time. There doesn’t exist a deadline but I think we are in the final phase.
“The final decision will be made in January.”
Klopp looks more ready to spend the required funds after Liverpool agreed to make Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world, in what was a £75 million deal.
In addition, we have already secured a deal for RB Leipzig midfield enforcer Naby Keita next summer, and Goretzka could arrive as another Bundesliga import.