Barcelona pull out of race for in-demand midfield ace, €18m bit-part Barca star wanted

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Barcelona scout Ariedo Braida has all-but confirmed that the club are withdrawing their interest in Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

The 22-year-old has attracted plenty of interest from around Europe with his form in the Bundesliga, and the fact that his contract expires at the end of the season has made him an attractive proposition for many.

However, it doesn’t look as though Barcelona are going to entertain a transfer battle over his signature, as Sport note that Braida has essentially suggested that he’s not of the level required to make the cut at the Catalan giants just yet.

It’s claimed in the report that the Barcelona official was at Schalke’s encounter with Bayer Leverkusen this past weekend to run the rule over Goretzka and Jonathan Tah, but he effectively ruled out a move for the latter with this comment.

“Without doubt he is a great player. But it’s too soon for Barcelona,” as noted by Sport.

In turn, it doesn’t look as though the German international will be moving to the Nou Camp any time soon, and the report goes on to suggest that Bayern Munich are now likely to be favourites to snap him up in the summer on a free transfer.

Meanwhile, Don Balon report that Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is a target for Juventus, as they continue to plan for life without Gianluigi Buffon.

Having signed Wojciech Szczesny this past summer, they appeared to address the issue already with the Italian icon likely to hang his gloves up after the World Cup next year.

However, they continue to be linked with other targets and it’s claimed that Barca could demand between €15m and €18m for the Dutch shot-stopper, which would represent a profit on the €10m fee that they paid to sign him from Ajax.

Currently a back-up option behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen, it’s unlikely that the La Liga giants will be desperate to keep hold of him.

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