Schalke’s Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka will join Bayern Munich in the summer.
Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel announced at a press conference on Friday that the 22-year-old, the club’s leading player, had signed a contract with the Bundesliga champions from July 1.
Goretzka, who had been a reported target for several Premier League sides, joined the Royal Blues from Bochum in 2013 and has gone on to win 12 caps for the national team.
“Leon Goretzka informed us earlier this week that he wishes to leave the club and join Bayern,” Heidel said.
“We were very sorry to hear this. (Bayern chief executive) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told us yesterday that Leon has completed a medical. We are losing a very, very good player.
“We did everything we could to try and keep him. In the summer he and his agent reached an agreement, but he wanted time to develop.
“We can cope with this situation, it wasn’t a complete surprise. We are prepared for this.”
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco said, according to the club’s Twitter page, that the team were “sad and disappointed to be losing Leon, both as a player and as a person”.
Schalke lie third in the Bundesliga table, 14 points behind leaders Bayern, ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Hannover.
The impending arrival of Goretzka at Bayern will increase speculation over the future of Arturo Vidal, who has been linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) January 19, 2018
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