Manchester United are reportedly in the driving seat to sign Schalke star Leon Goretzka after Barcelona pulled out of the race for his services.
The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with the Red Devils, Bayern Munich and Barca.
But now the La Liga giants, who yesterday confirmed they are discussing potentially leaving the Spanish top-flight, have dropped out of the running according to the MEN.
Barca’s club scout Ariedo Braida admitted that they had been watching Goretzka, however, they not believe he is ready for the Nou Camp first-team.
He said: “He is certainly a great player, but for Barcelona it is too soon.
“I travel around the world in search of great talent, but our demands are extremely high.”
Goretzka was part of the Germany side that lifted the Confederations Cup last summer and is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the Bundesliga.
He has already scored four goals for Die Mannschaft this year.
Old Trafford skipper Michael Carrick is also in the final year of his contract at United.
And that means that Jose Mourinho is on the look-out for a replacement for the veteran.
The Portuguese boss is believed to have also made an enquiry for Anderlecht’s Leander Dendoncker.
The star made a big impression against the Premier League side in the Europa League last season.
The Belgian side would be looking for a fee of over £22million for the powerhouse.