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Manchester United’s hopes of signing Leon Goretzka in January have been handed a significant blow after the 22-year-old suffered an injury. The German midfielder is set for another spell on the sidelines, after suffering the recurrence of an ongoing leg problem.

Schalke broke the news of the £20.7m rated Goretzka’s injury setback through Twitter on Wednesday night.

“Leon Goretzka has suffered a recurrence of the injury in his lower leg,’ the club’s official account tweeted.

“In order to put these continuous and worsening pains to bed, Leon will undergo examinations over the coming days. Until then, it is unclear as to when Leon will be fit to train and play once again. Get well soon, Leon.”

Schalke sporting director Axel Schuster added on Thursday morning (Daily Mail):

“Leon Goretzka had problems after the game against Cologne. We’re taking our time with him to make sure we get it right and to ensure we pinpoint the exact issue.”

Goretzka’s future has been the subject of plenty of speculation, with Manchester United facing competition from Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus as well as Premier League rivals Tottenham and Arsenal. The midfielder’s fantastic form this season for club and country, where has scored 6 goals in 14 appearances, has seen him attract a number of top European clubs.

The Red Devils are one of the top clubs who are very much interested in signing the industrious midfielder from Schalke. Reports last week suggested the midfielder is keen to move away from Germany after running down his contract at Schalke.

Goretzka is out of contract in the summer and would be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1.

However, Schalke wants him to stay and have offered him a new deal which would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history. But the player, who joined them from Bochum in 2013, is not willing to put pen to paper on an improved new deal.

With Goretzka not expected to extend his deal, Schalke could be tempted to cash in on him in January instead. But given his latest setback, it’s expected he would be unable to pass a medical. The German international will be determined to become fit ahead of the World Cup, after starring in the Confederations Cup triumph this year.

The injury to Gortezka comes as a major blow for us, particularly after believing that Mourinho is interested and that he wants to bring him to Old Trafford as a replacement for Marouane Fellaini, who rejected a new contract in September.