In-demand Bundesliga midfielder wants Barcelona move

According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Schalke 04 midfielder Leon Goretzka has decided that he wants to join La Liga giants Barcelona.

Bavarian interest

Goretzka, a 22-year-old all-action German midfielder, has been with Schalke since a move from Bochum in 2013, but his contract with Die Knappen is set to expire next summer.

As a result, speculation was rife earlier this summer that the 12-time capped international had agreed to join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich on a free transfer in 12 months time.

However, Goretzka himself his since refuted these rumours, insisting that he has not agreed a deal with any other club.

Suitors

The goalscoring midfielder, who has already netted 6 times in 12 appearances for Germany, has been earmarked by many of Europe’s top clubs as a potential free agent target next summer.

Along with Bayern, all of Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus and Barcelona have been linked with moves for Goretzka, with the Blaugrana now seemingly heavy favourites to snag the gifted starlet.

As per the aforementioned report from Mundo Deportivo this morning, the player himself has informed agent Jörg Neubauer that a switch to Catalonia is his firt-choice, with the Schalke standout reportedly eager to play alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

It remains to be seen whether the move will be made in January or the summer, however, with Schalke Technical Director Christian Heidel having reportedly requested that Goretzka stay put until June, as his side attempt to secure a Champions League spot for next season.

Knock-on effect

It is also claimed that Goretzka’s arrival would have an impact on Barca’s move for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, with the board at the Camp Nou desperate to keep their sky-high wage-bill under control.