Liverpool have joined Bayern Munich in the race to sign Leon Goretzka this summer after learning that the midfielder has not committed his future to the Bavarians. The 22-year-old is among the most prized prospects in the market and is being pursued by a lot of clubs across Europe.
The Mirror reports that the Reds have made contact with the player's representatives, and Anfield parties have been assured that all hope is not yet lost.The Schalke midfielder has entered the final six months of his contract and has refused to sign a new deal so far. He can begin talks with clubs outside Germany and even agree a pre-contract for a free transfer in the summer.
The midfielder is likely to come in as a replacement for Emre Can, whose contract with the Reds also expires in the summer. The German is reported to have already agreed a move to Juventus, snubbing any offers to stay on in Anfield.
Bayern are favourites to sign the midfielder and were reported to have already had an agreement in place for the German. However, the reports have been dismissed by his agent Jorg Neubauer, keeping the likes of Liverpool still in the race for the German.
Schalke have offered Goretzka a new deal worth €12m a year (£10.6m, $14.4m) as they look to keep him at the Veltins Arena, but the player looks to have made up his mind to move on in the summer.
Meanwhile, Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has revealed that they will not increase their offer and a decision will be made on the German well before the end of January. The midfielder, should he not sign a new deal, is unlikely to move in January as Schalke look to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the Champions League.
Heidel told Funke Mediengruppe, as quoted by ESPN: "It will not be long before a decision is announced, and it will not drag out until the end of January. Schalke cannot offer any more nor do any more than we already have.
"Leon wanted to wait and see how Schalke's sporting development went. It's been six months. We are in the best possible position in the league table behind Bayern and have reached the DFB Pokal quarterfinals."