Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Florian Wirtz is having a fantastic season following an injury-hit 2022/23 campaign, with interest from Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City reflecting his potential.
Xabi Alonso’s side lead the way in the Bundesliga ahead of November’s international break after collecting 31 out of 33 available points.
Everyone is talking about Leverkusen’s new talisman, Victor Boniface, but Wirtz’s rise to prominence has been a secret ingredient behind the team’s sensational league start.
Since breaking onto the big stage as a teenager in 2020, the German starlet has been considered among Europe’s finest talents, with numerous top clubs noticing his potential.
A nasty anterior cruciate ligament injury in May 2022 hindered the playmaker’s development before Alonso reinvigorated him this season.
Wirtz has shown his gratitude with six goals and ten assists in 17 competitive appearances, becoming the beating heart of this Leverkusen side.
Speaking to Kicker last week, the club’s managing director, Simon Rolfes, ruled out the possibility of the £80m-rated wonderkid’s sale in January.
But it will take something special to keep hold of one of Europe’s most sought-after prospects next summer as we look at his three potential landing spots.
#1 Bayern Munich
One way or another, the headline Bundesliga performers often end up at the Allianz Arena, except for Marco Reus, whose loyalty to Borussia Dortmund knows no boundaries.
The Bavarians have made a habit of robbing Dortmund of their best players down the years, and it stands to reason they’ll try to do the same with Leverkusen.
Questions have been raised over Leroy Sane’s long-term future at Bayern, with the same going for Serge Gnabry. Thomas Muller is 34 already, so there’s room for Wirtz.
For years, the club’s policy had been strict – avoid overpaying in the inflated market and go for value instead. But the landscape has changed, forcing them to adjust the course.
Harry Kane’s arrival proves they’ve accepted a new world order.
#2 Manchester City
Pep Guardiola has refused to let Wirtz’s sterling form fly under his radar. According to several news outlets in England, the Spaniard has placed a watchful eye on the young gun.
As the saying runs – what Guardiola wants, Guardiola gets. Every young player reportedly wants to play under Manchester City’s tactical genius.
He can get maximum out of everyone’s potential, as has often been the case throughout his illustrious managerial career.
If there’s a coach capable of turning Wirtz into the best version of himself, it’s Guardiola. Plus, no matter how ridiculous Leverkusen’s asking price could be, Man City can match it.
Guardiola’s number-one enemy in the Premier League is also in the mix.
Jurgen Klopp has always paid careful attention to developments in his homeland. But more importantly, he has proved well-versed in taking the local folk to Anfield.
Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, Joel Matip, Ryan Gravenberch, Ibrahima Konate and Thiago Alcantara are the players the German has plucked out of the Bundesliga talent pool during his Liverpool tenure.
Klopp’s preying eyes remain fixated on the brightest prospects in Germany’s top flight, and Wirtz is among the very best out there.
If the 20-year-old decides to call time on his Bundesliga career, Liverpool could be his next stop.
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