Schalke’s 22-year-old midfielder Leon Goretzka is a rising star in the Bundesliga and a player widely regarded as a key piece of the German national team’s future. He also has just one year left to go on his contract at his current club and has shown no interest in extending his stay.
Queue rumours of interest from Liverpool, with both Kicker and Bild claiming Jürgen Klopp is keeping a close eye on the versatile youngster who can do a job in any central or advanced midfield position bar the six. And now the player’s former coach is adding fuel to the fire.
“The boy is on his way to being world class,” Goretzka’s manager from his time with Bochum, told Sport Bild this week. “But it will be hard for Schalke to keep him because the boy has to play internationally on a regular basis in order to develop and keep getting chances for Germany.”
A few months ago, that combined with rumours of Liverpool interest would have had many penciling Goretzka into Liverpool’s midfield for next season. Given the current uncertainty about where Liverpool will finish the season, though, it could be what kills any potential deal.
Especially considering that Bayern Munich have begun to be tentatively linked with a move for Goretzka. Schalke might prefer not to sell him to Bayern if there were a reasonable alternative, but for the player, a Liverpool not in the Champions League wouldn’t be reasonable alternative.
For now, if Klopp and Liverpool’s interest is real and while Bayern’s remains less than solid, Goretzka could be a reasonable potential target, one that would improve Liverpool’s squad. But if they don’t start winning games soon, that will change in a hurry.