Manchester United have suffered a huge blow in their pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka.
The Red Devils were heavily linked with a move for the highly-rated 26-year-old over the summer as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempted to strengthen his engine room options.
Goretzka had entered the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena, and a host of potential suitors began to circle for the box-to-box dynamo ahead of a possible imminent exit.
However, Goretzka has now decided to commit his future to Bayern, signing a new contract with the Bundesliga giants until 2026, ending any speculation over a possible transfer.
A statement on the club’s official website announced the news, with board member Hasan Salihamidzic saying: “We’re very happy Leon Goretzka has extended his contract until 2026. Leon has become a key player at FC Bayern and a face of this team. I’m very happy we’ll be working together for the next five years.”
The Germany international expressed his delight after agreeing terms on a new deal, revealing he’s looking forward to winning more major silverware during his time with the club.
“We’ve won everything there is to win over the past three years. But what would be even better than winning titles is confirming and repeating these successes. We want to build on this in the coming years,” Goretzka said.
His powerful and energetic performances have caught the eye of several onlookers since his arrival in Bavaria three years ago, including his new boss Julian Nagelsmann, who said: “Leon is one of the best box-to-box players in Europe. He has incredible goal threat and knows when to bomb forward.”
And while Goretzka’s decision to put pen to paper is great news for Bayern, it may come as a bitter blow for United, leaving Solskjaer feeling gutted.
Goretzka would have been a perfect, ready-made replacement for the potentially departing Pogba or he could have added more stability and strength in depth to United’s engine room if the France international decides to stay.
That possibility looks like it will be off the cards for the foreseeable future, though, meaning Solskjaer will have to move on to alternative midfield targets.