Leon Goretzka has agreed a move to Bayern Munich in the summer, with Christian Heidel, Schalke sporting director, announcing on Friday (19 January) that the 22-year-old Germany midfielder has signed a contract with the Bundesliga champions from 1 July.
Bayern have fended off interest from a host of clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United, with chairman Karl-Heinze Rummenigge earlier stating that they were hopeful that the midfielder will snub advances from some of the biggest clubs in Europe and choose to stay in Germany with the Bundesliga leaders.
Schalke had done everything in their power to convince the midfielder, including offering him a massive contract worth €12m a year (£10.6m, $14.4m) but, were unable to change his mind as the German Champions came calling.
Goretzka joined Schalke from Bochum in 2013 and has gone on to win 12 caps for the national team, including winning the Confederations Cup with Germany in 2017. He has scored 14 goals in 101 Bundesliga appearances for the club, and has since developed into one of the most high-rated young players in Europe. He is in the reckoning to make it to the Germany squad for the World Cup in Russia later this year.
"Leon Goretzka informed us earlier this week that he wishes to leave the club and join Bayern," Heidel said, as quoted on the Bundesliga official website. "We were very sorry to hear this. (Bayern Munich's chief executive) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told us yesterday that Leon has completed a medical. We are losing a very, very good player.
"We did everything we could to try and keep him. In the summer he and his agent reached an agreement, but he wanted time to develop. We can cope with this situation, it wasn't a complete surprise. We are prepared for this."
Rummenigge also got in to congratulating the youngster, stating that they were happy that the 22-year-old had decided to snub advances from clubs across Europe to sign a deal at the Allianz Arena.
"We are very happy that Leon, a German international with great potential, has decided, despite considerable competition from abroad, to join Bayern Munich," said Rummenigge.