Barnetta set to sign new deal

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta is set to sign a new contract with the Bundesliga club, according to reports in Germany.

The 24-year-old has made more than 120 league appearances - scoring 19 times - since arriving from St Gallen in 2005.

And the versatile playmaker's form has led to speculation linking him with a string of Premier League clubs in the past, with Arsenal tipped to land the Swiss international, who has 41 caps for his country, during the close-season.

However, a move to England failed to materialise.

And, according to Kicker, Barnetta - who was shortlisted for the Best Young Player award at the 2006 World Cup - is on the verge of agreeing a new deal with the Werkself, with Leverkusen desperate to avoid seeing their prize asset leave for free next summer when his current contract expires.

Leverkusen have made a strong start to the 2009/10 campaign, sitting top on goal difference ahead of Hamburg, with Barnetta bagging two of the club's 18 goals from their first eight encounters.