Two years ago, Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool were able to take advantage of the contract negotiation impasse between Bundesliga side Schalke and defender Joel Matip to bring the player to Merseyside on a free transfer. Now, they look to once again raid Borussia Dortmund’s biggest rival—again, potentially for a free transfer—this time for the highly sought midfielder Leon Goretzka.
In an identical situation to Liverpool’s own Emre Can, Goretzka has entered his final season of his current contract and the club is finding it difficult to persuade the young player to stay.
“We go to the pain threshold,” Christian Heidel, Schalke’s sporting director said. “We have done everything to show Leon that he is extremely important to Schalke.
"For us, there were always two options: either his contract is extended or he remains here until 2018. It was never an issue for us. We believe that it is best for him to stay here. The ball is now with Leon.”
Today The Echo have confirmed Liverpool’s interest in the 22-year-old German midfielder, so it is fair to say that this is not mere speculation.
If Liverpool execs have made headway and are confident of signing the player on a free, it might explain why re-upping Emre Can’s contract is not more of a priority. Though, as a wise meme once asked, “Why not both?”
Like Can, Goretzka has featured prominently for club and country, scoring three goals for each so far this campaign, in 8 and 5 appearances for Schalke and Germany, respectively.
The player is expected to make his decision by the end of the year, AKA just as the January transfer window opens. Get in there Liverpool. Promise all the Klopp hugs.