Reports: £62 million midfielder set to reject Bayern Munich for Barcelona in January
What's the story?
Barcelona have started the season like a house on fire - their many perceived issues; the transfer out of Neymar, the transfer in of Paulinho, the alarmingly rapid downhill slide of Luis Suarez, the lack of any substantial buying - apart from Ousmane Dembele - and the confusion surrounding Lionel Messi's contract had all been raked up as issues that could slow them but those have brushed aside with the ease of Messi swiping in one of those beautiful curlers into the bottom corner.
to add to this early season optimism, there's news coming out Germany - thanks to the good folk at the Bild - that is sure to warm the cockles of every Barcelona fan out there. Germany international and Schalke 04's driving inspiration in the middle of the field, Leon Goretzka is all set to reject Bayern Munich and join Barcelona this January. Valued at €70 million, or £62 million, by the Bundesliga club, Goretzka is a wonderful midfielder who would be a catch for either club.
In case you didn't know
Goretzka's contract runs out at the end of the season and although Schalke board member Christian Hedel had recently said "I'd like to think that by the winter break we will have clarity,", the German club are unlikely to wait for their star man to simply walk out on a free. This means that by January, they could be looking for potential suitors and although Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were all being mentioned, Goretzka had been linked most strongly with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The heart of the matter
The Bavarian giants - who raid their domestic competition with impunity every season - are understood to have had a deal all agreed with Goretzka for him to sign on at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. However, Barca's interest has shifted things and it is understood that the young German has chosen to join the Catalan giants as they seek to build on their President's promise of bringing back the traditional strength of Barcelona teams of yore - their midfield.
Since he's not cup-tied, Goretzka makes for a very attractive option in January and could help the Catalans handle a hectic schedule and run-in both in Europe and domestically
Here's what Goretzka can do:
The lad would certainly be a brilliant addition to the Barca squad
With age catching up with the peerless Andres Iniesta and Paulinho being more of a short-term solution than a long-term one, Goretzka would be a superb buy for Barcelona. Oodles of class combined with innate vision, ball playing skills and stamina to make those endless box-to-box runs make him a model of the perfect modern midfielder!
Schalke, too, would be better off selling him now than letting him walk away on a free next summer.