Arsenal have been hit with a blow in their reported chase of German youngster Leon Goretzka, with Schalke 04 offering the 22-year-old a huge bumper new deal in attempt to fend off interest from Europe’s bigger clubs.
Arsenal are among the clubs hoping to get the starlet signature on the cheap in January or on a free in the summer, with his current contract at the Veltins-Arena running out at the end of the season.
However, German outlet Bild report that the Bundesliga side have offer him an a deal up to €8m a year in a potential new deal, plus an exit clause in the instance of a top Champions League side coming along with the willingness to pay for his services.
Schalke boss Christian Heidel said: “We go to the pain threshold and have done everything to show Leon that he is extremely important to Schalke.”
A January sale remains unlikely even if no deal is agreed before the winter the January window opens, with various clauses in contracts and deal meaning that around half of any would be shared out to various parties including VfL Bochum (20%) and Goretzka and his agent Jörg Neubauer (20%).
Heidel added: “For us, there were always two options: either it is extended or remains until 2018. It was never a topic for us to issue it. We believe that it is best for him to stay here. The ball is now with Leon.”
However, he did admit that a new deal would only draw out any potential transfer saga in order to earn Die Königsblauen some value back in the transfer market, adding: “An extension does not mean that he plays here until 2027.”