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Messi was said to have told Barcelona bosses that Goretzka is his choice to bring in this winter.

Goretzka is out of contract in the summer and is therefore seen as a cheap transfer target.

His presence could plaster over the cracks in Barca’s attack, which is currently reliant on Messi and an out-of-form Luis Suarez.

There are claims Messi is aware that Goretzka will be targeted instead of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho or Arsenal star Mesut Ozil.

But reports in Germany today claim Barca’s transfer plan won’t be straightforward.

According to Bild, Schalke are determined to keep Goretzka away from Barcelona and are willing to offer him a MASSIVE new contract to do just that.

Goretzka, 22, could be handed a £10.8m (€12m) annual contract.

That boils down to just over £200,000 a week.

The deal would smash Schalke’s wage structure but the Bundesliga club believe the cost of keeping Goretzka will be worth it.

There would, however, be a release clause in the contract that could provide some hope for Barca to sign the player.

Bild claim the clause would be in the ‘mid-double digit million range’ – or between £40m and £60m.



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