Martin Meissner/Associated Press
Liverpool target Leon Goretzka has reportedly been offered a new and improved deal at Schalke, while the Reds are said to “have a chance” of signing Adrien Rabiot from Paris Saint-Germain.
According to Bild (h/t Jake Polden at the Mirror) Liverpool have “been dealt a blow in their pursuit of the Germany international,” although it is not all bad news for the Reds.
While Schalke are keen to see their star man commit his future to the club, with a new deal worth €8 million per year, they are willing to insert a clause that would allow Goretzka to leave.
However, the midfielder would only be allowed to depart, “should a top Champions League club come in for him.”
Goretzka has emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s most exciting midfielders at Schalke, and is out of contract next summer, making him a hugely attractive proposition.
The midfielder has also become a key figure at international level, as highlighted by Squawka:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Leon Goretzka has now been directly involved in 7 goals for Germany in 12 games.
5 goals ⚽️
2 assists 🅰️
An absurd backheel. 😳 https://t.co/0ltk5pXX12
As well as his goals and the attacking impetus he brings, Goretzka also possesses a strong defensive edge to his game, as noted by WhoScored.com:
Leon Goretzka: Has won possession in the midfield 3rd more times (226) than any other Bundesliga player since August 2015 https://t.co/CfM3zTWrYe
Schalke will obviously be keen for him to extend his deal, to avoid losing him for free next year, but if he doesn’t, Liverpool may face fierce competition for his signature.
Another midfielder who could be interested in a move to Liverpool is Rabiot, who has previously said he was a big fan of the Reds when he was a child, per L’Equipe (h/t Sport Witness).
Rabiot’s contract renewal talks with the Ligue 1 club are also not progressing well, and he wants assurances that he will not have to keep playing a Thiago Motta role at the club.
The 22-year-old has been an ever-present for PSG this season, starting all nine league games and both Champions League matches, per WhoScored.com.
Rabiot has the ability to take control of matches, able to press opponents and protect his defence, while he is also excellent in possession, becoming a foundation on which PSG can build their attacks.
WhoScored.com highlighted exactly how good his distribution has been this season:
Adrien Rabiot: Has made more accurate passes (651) than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season https://t.co/JAnvrpI8lx
Still just 22, PSG will surely be desperate to hold onto Rabiot and see him commit his future to the club by signing a new long-term deal.
If not, there will surely be no shortage of admirers, but his open admission that he followed Liverpool may well give the Reds hope they could bring him to Anfield.