Leon Goretzka
Goretzka, 22, is out of contract at the end of the season. Getty

Barcelona's hopes of signing Schalke 04 star Leon Goretzka looked all but over earlier this week after Germany national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff was quoted suggesting that midfielder linked with Liverpool and Tottenham was set to move to the Premier League.

However, it has now emerged that Bierhoff was only talking about a hypothetical move with the 22-year-old midfielder yet to make a final decision on his future.

The Germany international has become into one of the most sought after players around Europe since being one of the revelations of the Confederations Cup, helping his country to win the title which included scoring two goals in the semi-final victory over Mexico.

His move away from Schalke has since been as a mere formality as his contract at the Bundesliga side is due expire at the end of the season.

Yet, there is still a big question mark on who will be the lucky side to acquire his services.

In the summer it was said that Bayern Munich were in the pole position but Barcelona, Juventus and a number of Premier League clubs are said to have joined the race since then.

Earlier this week Mundo Deportivo reported that Barcelona and Goretzka already "have an agreement" for the midfielder to move to the Nou Camp when his current contract at Schalke expires at the end of the campaign.

The Spanish publication said that Liverpool, Tottenham and Juventus were ready to sign him in January but that the player is instead determined to wait until the summer to complete a move to Ernesto Valverde's side.

Those reports were conflicted by suggestions from Bierhoff, who operates as part of manager Joachim Low's backroom team, that his compatriot was poised to move to England.

"We feel that England, because of the amount of money you have with TV rights, young talented players like Leroy Sané and [Schalke's] Leon Goretzka are moving to England and this is not good for our league but also for the quality of our game. We have to pay attention and invest again and again in the education of our coaches," the German chief said as quoted by The Guardian.

However, German football expert Raphael Honigstein has claims that Bierhoff has personally told him that he was only speaking about a hypothetical move.

The Guardian has now added a clarification, quoting Bierhoff as saying that that Goretzka is "moving to England [or to another country]".