Liverpool have reportedly won the race in signing Schalke star Leon Goretzka with the midfielder expected to make a switch to Anfield on a free transfer next summer.

According to German publication Bild, the Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted the Merseyside club to bring the 22-year-old to Anfield. His contract at Schalke runs down after the end of the season.

The Bundesliga outfit have offered him a new deal worth €12m-a-year (£10.6m, $14.4m). However, Goretzka is expected to reject the lucrative contract offered by Schalke as a chance of him signing a new deal remains unlikely.

A move to Liverpool will see him earn much less than what Schalke is ready to offer. However, a switch to Merseyside will see him reunite with his former teammate Joel Matip at Liverpool. The defender also joined the Reds on a free transfer from Schalke.

Klopp helped Liverpool sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for a fee of around £75m ($101.4m). The Reds beat the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona in securing the Dutch international's services, who became the most expensive defender.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager now wants to strengthen his midfield position and has set his sights on Goretzka. Liverpool have already agreed a deal with RB Leipzig in bringing Naby Keita, with the Guinean international to arrive at Anfield next summer.

Goretzka will be allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside Germany from 1 January. It is believed that Liverpool are expected to reach an agreement with the midfielder, which will see him join the English club after the end of the 2017/18 season.

Schalke CEO Christian Heidel had earlier admitted the club's star player will make a decision over his future in the mid-season transfer window.

"Although we have set no time, I believe that Leon will decide in the winter. It seems to be so that other clubs are interested and they will not wait until June 29 [when Goretzka's contract expires]," Heidel explained.

"The positive development the team is currently undergoing will certainly not worsen our situation."

Liverpool's Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester City have also maintained their interest in signing Goretzka. Bild also states Manchester United, along with European giants Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus are also in the race for the midfielder's signature.

It is believed that Liverpool are now the frontrunners in signing the German international. Should the Reds secure his services on a free transfer, their midfield will be bolstered for the next season, which will include the likes of Keita and Goretzka.

Leon Goretzka
Leon Goretzka is a transfer target for Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Muncih, Juventus and Manchester United Getty