Leon Goretzka, Schalke’s 22-year-old midfield genius, is on the verge of a big-money move to one of Europe’s elite clubs. However, it won’t be Barcelona after the Catalans abruptly pulled out of the running to sign the German international, writes the Manchester Evening News.
It’s left Manchester United in a straight fight with Bayern Munich for Goretska’s services. The German champions were in pole position until the brutal sacking of Carlo Ancelotti but that move created a state of flux at the Allianz Arena, allowing United back into the race.
Barcelona, while impressed by Goretska’s talent, aren’t convinced a move to a big club is the right move at this moment in the player’s career. Or certainly not to the Camp Nou.
Braida, the Blaugrana’s international scout, declared, “He is certainly a great player, but for Barcelona it is too soon.”
The Italian scout, formerly CEO with AC Milan, added, “I travel around the world in search of great talent, but our demands are extremely high.”
A future bid for Goretska was very carefully not ruled out. It’s unusual for a club of Barcelona’s stature to comment directly on a transfer of a player whose fee is expected to top £75m if he moves to England.
However, the care with which the door was left open for a later date underlines the esteem in which the player is held.