Leon Goretzka Injury Setback Stalls Manchester United's Transfer Plans

Manchester United's January transfer plans have taken a setback after Leon Goretzka suffered an injury that is set to sideline him into the new year.

The Schalke midfielder was one of Jose Mourinho's top targets, with United joined by Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Juventus in considering making a bid for him this winter.

But the injury, a recurrence of a previous problem, is now likely to delay any potential move as Goretzka would struggle to pass the necessary medical requirement.

The news of the injury blow was released via Schalke's Twitter account. "Leon Goretzka has suffered a recurrence of the injury to his lower leg," a statement said. "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 try and play once again. Get well soon, Leon."

This news is unlikely to end Manchester United's interest in the German, but rather delay it. For Goretzka's deal at the Bundesliga club expires in the summer which means he will be able to move on a free transfer.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, December 5. Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Goretzka has provided six goals for his clubs and country in 14 appearances so far this season and Shalke is expected to make the 22-year-old an offer to keep him in Gelsenkirchen.

Axel Schuster, Schalke's sporting director, said: "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.

Mourinho, meanwhile, will have to turn his attentions elsewhere when the transfer window reopens on January 1. United is expected to bid for Danny Rose as Mourinho is keen to bring in a new left-back.

Rose, the Tottenham defender, has experienced a turbulent relationship with his manager Mauricio Pochettino this season after a reveal-all newspaper interview in which he suggested he could leave.

On Wednesday, Pochettino and Rose appeared to be involved in a heated argument on the touchline during Tottenham's 3-0 win over Apoel Nicosia but the Englishman denied there was an issue.

"This is getting silly now," Rose said, as quoted by the Guardian. "The manager said it was best I came off and I didn't want to come off. That was it. I've seen already that people are saying we exchanged words. There is no issue between me and the manager. There has never been an issue. And people trying to put stuff in the media is not welcomed.

"For the last three and a half years, four years, the manager has been my biggest fan. He's given me nothing but love and respect. There is no issue. There never will be an issue. People need to stop this because it's not welcomed."