Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is eager to keep Leon Goretzka despite links to Manchester United, declaring him to be “one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe”.
Goretzka has just under a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, fuelling speculation over his future.
United are reported to have lined up Goretzka as another potential new recruit, having already agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund’s England winger Jadon Sancho.
Goretzka scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last season, while he also found the back of the net twice and laid on two Champions League goals in the 2020-21 campaign.
Speaking at his first Bayern press conference on Wednesday, Nagelsmann said: “Leon is a very important player. I would also be very happy to work with him for many years.
“He is one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. So, of course, we want to keep him.”
Nagelsmann also gave his backing to winger Leroy Sane, who failed to hit the heights expected of him in his first season with the club following a big-money move from Manchester City.
“We would do well to leave Leroy alone a little in the media,” said the former RB Leipzig boss. “He has outstanding qualities, has a lot of speed, is one of the best one-on-one players.
“We need that. I am I’m sure we’ll see an improved Leroy. But of course the player has to take that step himself.”
Nagelsmann was given a five-year contract to replace Hansi Flick and the 33-year-old, who had a win percentage of 56.84 from 95 games with RB Leipzig, knows he will be under pressure to deliver.
“It’s a show of praise in advance of my work, which I want to justify,” he said of his long-term deal.
“It gives someone a very good feeling to get this level of trust. It also shows, however, that you have to deliver. I know this and I want to do just that.”
New Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn believes Nagelsmann will show why the club has put so much faith in him.
“Continuity in the coaching position is very important for success. We think that we can shape an era with Julian,” said the ex-Germany goalkeeper.
“He identifies with the club. That is why we are convinced of the decision.”