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Transfer Rater: Woodburn to Barcelona

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Schalke hoping to sort Leon Goretzka future by January amid exit talk

Leon Goretzka has one year left on his Schalke contract.

Schalke are expecting "clarity" on Leon Goretzka's future by end of the year amid speculation he will join Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

Goretzka, who is in the final year of his Schalke contract, has been linked with Bayern in the past, while Barca have reportedly also made a move for the midfielder, who has been likened to Michael Ballack.

The Germany international has reportedly been offered a new five-year deal by Schalke, where he could earn an annual salary of €10 million, which would make him the highest-ever paid player at the club.

According to Sport Bild, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all joined Bayern and Barca in the race for Goretzka, though the report claims the Schalke man will only consider the latter two clubs.

"I'd like to think that by the winter break we will have clarity," Schalke sporting executive Christian Heidel told Sport Bild.

In May, Goretzka denied a report in Sport Bild which claimed that he had already agreed to join Bayern next year.

Speculation continued throughout the summer with a growing number of clubs reportedly keeping tabs on the midfielder after he helped inspire Germany to the Confederations Cup.

"It is really getting on my nerves," Goretzka said in July about the ongoing speculation.

Schalke have already lost players such as Joel Matip to Liverpool and Sead Kolasinac to Arsenal on a free transfer in recent years.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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