Liverpool closing in on German midfielder - reports
Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, according to a report in German publication Bild.
The German international is out of contract with Schalke at the end of this season and will be allowed to finalise a pre-contract agreement with a new club from next Monday, with Liverpool now emerging as strong contenders to sign him.
Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich have all been linked with a move to sign Goretzka, but Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp may be hoping to jump to the top of that queue as he looks to add to his record breaking £75m capture of Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
Goretzka was described as "a once in a century talent" by his coach when he emerged through the ranks at VfL Bochum and he has proved his worth as a stellar talent for club and country during his four-year stint at Schalke, with his performance in the No.8 shirt drawing comparisons with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
Now the well-connected Bild are claiming Liverpool are strong contenders to sign Goretzka, who would fit the transfer model followed by Anfield chiefs as they have looked to snap up the game's best young talent.
While Goretzka would arrive at Liverpool on a free transfer, he would secure a huge signing on fee and could expect to be paid huge wages as part of the transfer that could add another piece to the jigsaw Klopp is piecing together in a bid to halt Manchester City's unstoppable winning machine.
Van Dijk will sign for Liverpool on January 1st, with Naby Keita already a confirmed arrival for next summer and now Goretzka could link up with his former Schalke team-mate Joel Matip next summer.