Manchester United are interested in signing Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, Sky Sports News understands.
Goretzka is out of contract in the summer and would be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1.
Schalke want him to stay and have offered him a new deal which would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history.
The Bundesliga club find themselves in the same position as last season with one of their star players, having lost Sead Kolasinac to Arsenal on a free transfer over the summer.
Goretzka joined the Gelsenkirchen-based club in 2013 from Bochum and has flourished since, becoming one of the brightest talents in German football and able to fill in a number of midfield roles, both central and wide.
He has also become more of an attacking threat over the last 18 months, scoring a career-high five goals last season, but he is well on the way to beating that as he has added another four already this season.
Goretzka has also represented Germany through the age ranks, and has scored six goals in his first 12 appearances for Joachim Low’s senior side.
That has led him to be linked with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona and Juventus, as well as United’s Premier League rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.