Bayern confirm interest in Schalke star Goretzka

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The 22-year-old is coming to the end of his contract in Gelsenkirchen and the Bundesliga champions revealed their interest in him for the first time

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has confirmed the club are keen to sign Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

The Germany international is out of contract at the end of the season and has attracted significant interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs in recent weeks.

Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern are said to be the front-runners, with the Bundesliga champions firmly throwing their hat into the ring with Salihamidzic's latest comments.

Speaking to reporters at Bayern's training camp in Doha, Salihamidzic said: "Leon Goretzka is a great player, that's clear. 

"But he is a Schalke player and we obviously respect that. But he is a Germany international and we can say that we are interested in him."

Salihamidzic's revelations come a day after Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes praised the 22-year-old, but suggested Barcelona are still interested.

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"If I read it correctly, his manager [Jorg] Neubauer said that they have not yet decided. The Spaniards are still there in the race," Heynckes said.

"He is a bright, intelligent boy. He knows exactly what is best for himself."

Goretzka joined Schalke from Bochum in 2013 and has made 130 appearances for the Gelsenkirchen side, scoring 19 goals.