Premier League

Southampton close on Wanyama

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Wed, 10 Jul 2013 15:35:00

Schalke have completed the signing of promising midfielder Leon Goretzka from Bochum after a protracted chase.

The 18-year-old linked up with the Gelsenkirchen-based outfit last week, but was made to wait for a deal to be done.

A number of issues delayed the completion of a transfer, but the teenager has now penned a five-year contract.

Goretzka is convinced that he has made the right choice for his career in joining Schalke, with Borussia Dortmund having also expressed an interest in acquiring his services.

He told the club's official website: "I was determined to take the next step in my career and I want to continue developing on a high level.

"With this objective in mind, I see Schalke as the right address for me. The conditions are perfect here. The standard in training is higher than at Bochum.

"Schalke are a big club that are always in contention at the top and represented in Europe."

General manager Horst Heldt added: "We're absolutely delighted that in Leon Goretzka another colossal talent has made a conscious decision in favour of Schalke.

"Leon is one of the most talented players in Germany and has huge potential. He was on the wanted list of lots of clubs but he sees the biggest opportunity to develop as a player here with us."

The 33-year-old former Reading forward, who scored 12 times for Sheffield United last season, signed a two-year deal at the Kassam last month and admitted there was strong interest elsewhere.

"I had lots of interest from clubs in a wide range of divisions," he told the Oxford Mail.

"Two Championship teams made me offers, but I felt I wouldn't play much there and would be used more for helping bring on some youngsters.

"That's not me at this stage of my career, I want to be playing every week.

"Oxford really wanted me. They made a big play for me and I was flattered by their interest. Everything ticked the right boxes."

The Tigers were unsuccessful with a bid for the 25-year-old Englishman, reported to be in the region of £4.5million, last month.

Burnley forward Charlie Austin had looked set to sign for the promoted club but a failed medical has scuppered the deal.

However, Bruce will not renew his interest in the former Scunthorpe striker who reportedly cost the Scottish champions £2.4million in 2010, and who has also been linked with QPR and Norwich.

"We had a bid for him rejected and I can't see there being any change in that," Bruce told BBC Radio Humberside.

"We've got other irons in the fire and we hope that we can get one or two strikers in before the start of the season.

"It's obvious that we struggled to score goals last season so that has got to be the aim for us.

"We've still got six weeks before the season starts and we're actively looking."

Wanyama is believed to be ready to bring a long-running transfer saga to a close by agreeing a switch to the Saints.

It is understood that he will travel to the south coast on Wednesday evening, where the final details of a transfer will be thrashed out.

Southampton will want to get a deal over the line as quickly as possible as Wanyama has been interesting a number of their Premier League rivals.

Cardiff City were in the market for the Kenya international at one stage, but appear set to be left empty-handed.

Snapping up Wanyama will be some signal of intent by Southampton, with the 22-year-old having seen his profile rocket since arriving in Scotland back in July 2011.

While Celtic will be disappointed to see him leave Parkhead, they are set to make a considerable profit on a player signed from Belgian outfit Beerschot AC for just £900,000.

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