Well that came out of nowhere - er, I mean not really? The news that Bayern Munich fans have been waiting for is finally here. Germany international Leon Goretzka is finally signing for the German champions! Despite being courted by the likes of Liverpool and Barcelona, Goretzka has chosen Munich as his destination after his contract with Schalke runs out in the summer.
The midfielder, who plays in a box-to-box role for Schalke and Germany, has signed a four year deal, which will run from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2022. Goretzka completed the obligatory medical in Munich on Thursday before putting pen to paper on his contract with FC Bayern.
Bayern CEO Karl Heinz Rumenigge was obviously very pleased by the young midfielder’s decision:
We’re very pleased Leon Goretzka, a Germany international with great potential, has decided in favour of FC Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga
Here’s the club twitter account confirming it:
UPDATE: Goretzka had reached a “final agreement” with Schalke last summer
At the press conference announcing the transfer, Schalke’s Christian Heidel revealed (Kicker) that Schalke was only a signature away from signing Goretzka to a long-term extension this past summer.
We had been in intensive negotiations since May 2017. We had not only come to an agreement orally - the lawyers had already gotten the contracts ready. There was a final agreement. We wanted to announce it at the beginning of the season.
But that announcement never came. Despite the fact that the contracts had been drawn “with the approval of Leon and his agent,” Goretzka suddenly announced that he wanted to wait before signing them. Goretzka said that he wanted to see how Schalke’s season went.
As Schalke’s season went increasingly well, Goretzka reiterated that he had not yet made a decision - until now. “You will have to ask Leon any questions about his change of heart. I cannot answer them,” Heidel concluded.
Goretzka's farewell message
Goretzka published a heartfelt farewell message to Schalke fans (full German text via Kicker) on Facebook. Goretzka made no apologies, but frankly acknowledged how hard his decision is on his fans: “I know that I've disappointed you all and that you'll have little understanding for my decision.”
Goretzka emphasized, however, that he remains a Schalke player until the summer. “I do not want to say farewell now, because I will be still playing throughout the Rückrunde.” He recounted how coach Domenico Tedesco spoke with him on Wednesday and stressed that he is counting on Goretzka “100%.”
With the success of the team in mind, Goretzka had only one request from the fans:
I’d like to ask you just one thing. You don’t have to agree with my decision, but don’t make things difficult for the team. We have goals that we want to reach. And I want to be a key part of that success!
When Bayern meet Schalke in the DFB Pokal and the Bundesliga, Goretzka will do his utmost to beat his future teammates.