Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has given a fresh ultimatum to midfielder Leon Goretzka over signing a new contract at the Veltins-Arena.
The 22 year old’s current deal expires in the summer, and he will be able to talk to interested clubs in January about a free transfer. Chelsea are among a number of clubs interested in the German international, reports Sport Bild, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City also monitoring the player’s situation.
A sale in January will not happen according to Sport Bild with Goretzka himself, his agent Jorg Neubauer and previous club Bochum owed 40% from the midfielder’s next sale.
Heidel told the German publication that Schalke have done all they can to keep Goretzka but the ball is very much in the midfielder’s court over signing a new contract:
“We go to the pain threshold and have done everything to show Leon that he is extremely important to Schalke… For us, there were always two options: either it [the contract] is extended or he remains until 2018. It was never a topic for us to sell him. We believe that it is best for him to stay here. The ball is now with Leon. At the same time, however, the manager also knows: an extension does not mean that he plays here until 2027.”
Sport Bild say Schalke have offered the German €8million (£7.1m) a season, and have included a release clause in the deal. A decision is expected at the turn of the year.