SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said he has had a long and honest discussion with Leon Goretzka about the player’s career as the Schalke 04 midfielder’s performances continue to attract attention.
Arsenal and Bayern Munich are among those who have reportedly shown interest in the 22-year-old whose stock has risen further after this week’s Confederations Cup matches against Australia and Chile.
“I spoke to him before the Confederations Cup and we had a long conversation where we talked about different possible scenarios because I wanted to know what he was thinking, what opportunities he envisaged,” Loew told reporters.
”I certainly spoke my mind but please forgive me if I don’t go into any details here.
“It seems to be clear he is carefully planning his next steps and we are trying to ignore the whole issue surrounding his club career. He is intelligent enough to come up with the right decision for his career.”
Loew agreed that Goretzka had performed impressively in the tournament.
“He has delivered in both matches and, given his youth, he is already quite a personality in this team,” he said.
Germany face Cameroon in their final group match on Sunday, needing a point to reach the semi-finals.
After playing Chile on Thursday, they have flown 2,000 kilometres from Kazan to Sochi.
“We’ve only had one training session between the matches,” said Loew. “The travel time is something that needs to be considered, we travelled late at night from Kazan and travelling is always taxing and demanding,” he said.
Loew said he believed that Brazil have recovered from the 7-1 drubbing that his side handed them at the last World Cup and will be among the favourites in Russia next year.
Loew avoided referring directly to the result or the match when the subject was brought up by a Brazilian reporter.
“Brazil have recovered from that experience and that result in the semi-final, they have changed a bit as well and the results after the World Cup in 2014 have been predominantly very positive,” he said.
“They have excellent players and a lot of talent there... Brazil are always favourites in the World Cup.”
Brazil were the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, guaranteeing their place with four matches to spare after a run of eight wins in a row in the qualifying competition.
Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar