At HITC we have been following the events regarding young German international Leon Goretzka this summer and with good reason considering the names he is being linked as emulating.
Originally dubbed the ‘next Michael Ballack’ the more recent comparison has been with Bayern Munich bound Mario Gotze. Either way being compared to either player is a clear indication of his talent.
What’s more he has also been linked with two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
First it was Manchester United linked with a potential move for the VfL Bochum midfielder; who at the age of 18 played in the majority of his boyhood clubs games last campaign and was awarded the Fritz Walter Medal in 2012.
Then Arsenal were said to be the main competitors in the market for the tall and powerful midfielder.
It was reported that Arsenal were in a head-to-head battle for his services with Borussia Monchengladbach; which in the end appeared untrue when it was confirmed that Goretzka had agreed a contract with Schalke 04 for next season.
And that is where the transfer saga for Goretzka should have ended; instead this deal has the makings of one of the ugliest in German football this summer; and with Gotze and Lewandowski for competition that is saying something.
It seems Schalke wanted to sign him under freedom of contract which, considering his age, was not an absurd notion at all.
What has got Bochum all perturbed is the apparent fee currently being quoted by the Gelsenkirchen outfit.
They apparently want far more than the €2.75 million being offered currently not enough to allow them to release the player for his five-year-deal at the Veltins Arena.
It appears to have reached full scale bitterness with Goretzka prepared to take the club where he has played since the age of six to court in order to complete a move; with Bochum manager Christian Hochstatter telling German publication Bild:
‘’We do not want to harm Leon in any way. But he has a valid contract with us.’’
However Schalke boss Horst Heldt has been equally strong willed on the protracted deal:
‘’From the 1st July Leon is our player!’’
Now all the parties involved will meet in court to decide the future of Goretzka; and for fans of United and Arsenal they better hope any Schalke deal for the Germany under-19 international falls apart.
As they can pick up the pieces happily.
image: © achimh