Tuesday 20 March 2018

Jurgen Klopp looks set to lose main summer target to his beloved former club

Mario Gotze and Jurgen Klopp during their time at Borussia Dortmund
Mario Gotze and Jurgen Klopp during their time at Borussia Dortmund

Tom Rooney

Heavily linked with a move to Liverpool and a reunion with Jurgen Klopp, it would seem as though Mario Gotze will, after a difficult three years at Bayern Munich, return to Borussia Dortmund.

Of course, the 2014 German World Cup winner has, throughout the summer, been thought to be one of Klopp’s main targets as he seeks to rebuild the Liverpool squad in his own image.

However, the Bayern Munich chief executive, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has revealed that negotiations have begun between his club and Dortmund for Gotze’s services.

Rummenigge was speaking to Sport 1, to who he also opined that the 24 year-old’s stint at the Bundesliga champions had been an unsuccessful one.

“I can confirm that talks with Borussia Dortmund have taken place. There have also been talks with his agent, but the deal is not done just yet. Both clubs will have to reach an agreement over a transfer fee first.

“Götze has been at Bayern for three years and it did not work out for him. I am not surprised that Götze wants to leave. He is 24 years old and needs to play regularly,” he said.

Rummenigge’s Dortmund counterpart, Hans-Joachim Watzke, reaffirmed his statements, but claimed that there were still bridges to be crossed in order to push the deal through.

"We have not reached an agreement with anyone, including the player. It has to be financially feasible for us," he said to TZ.

It is said that Dortmund are willing to shell out €25m for Gotze, but Munich are hoping to recoup more of the €37m they paid for him which, at the time, was a German transfer record.

It is, perhaps, an unexpected development given the nature of Gotze’s departure from the Westfalenstadion a little over three years ago.

His decision to leave for Munich - Dortmund’s arch-rivals - became public knowledge just days before they were due to play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.

At the time, Jurgen Klopp expressed his dismay, and cited Gotze’s admiration of then incoming Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola as the principal reason for leaving the club he joined as a nine year old.

Subsequently, Dortmund finished runners up to Munich in the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.

Ironically, Gotze failed to adapt to Guardiola’s methods, and was used increasingly sparingly by the Catalan coach.

Last season, he made a total of 21 appearances and scored six goals but, after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to Manchester United, he would most likely feature much more under Thomas Tuchel.   

Online Editors

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