Schalke 04 sporting executive Christian Heidel has hit back at Bayern Munich, after the Bavarian's publicly declared their interest in signing Germany international Leon Goretzka.

Goretzka has been heavily linked with a move away from Schalke 04, with the player's contract set to expire in June of this year. Speaking on Wednesday, ​Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic claimed that ​his club were interested in signing the Germany international, as reported by ​ESPN.

"He is a Schalke player and we obviously respect that, but he is a Germany international and we can say that we are interested in him," he said.

Following the comments, Heidel responded to the comments made by Salihamidzic and claimed that Bayern's intentions were purely to fuel speculation of a move.

He responded: "We do not want any unrest at ​SchalkeBayern insist Leon is a Schalke player but still talk about a Schalke player more than they do any of their own.

"This way speculation is fuelled. We should not have to listen to [Bayern] Munich telling us every day how good the player is."

It was ​reported recently that Goretzka was to decide his future in January, with clubs like ​Barcelona, ​Liverpool and Bayern Munich all interested in the midfielder.

Despite the likely departure of Goretzka, it is not all doom and gloom for the side from Gelsenkirchen, as they ​reportedly agreed a deal to sign ​Juventus forward Marko Pjaca on loan for the rest of the season.