Saturday 16 December 2017

Mario Götze to Liverpool: Bayern Munich chief dismisses omission rumours

Mario Gotze and Jurgen Klopp
Mario Gotze and Jurgen Klopp

Mark Critchley

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich’s chief executive, has dismissed reports that Mario Götze will be excluded from the club’s Champions League squad as “fiction”.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who is currently on international duty with Germany at the European Championship, has been consistently linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena in recent months.

A reunion with Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager and Götze’s former mentor at Borussia Dortmund, was thought to be on the cards until the player declared his intention to stay on at Bayern.

Götze’s decision is believed to have surprised officials at the Bavarian club and Suddeutsche Zeitung, the German newspaper, have since suggested that if the midfielder does not leave this summer, he will be omitted from next season’s Champions League squad.

Bayern have now firmly denied Suddeutsche Zeitung’s report and demanded that the media “cease and desist” from publishing “false claims”.

“This is complete fiction,” Rummenigge said in a statement on the club’s official website. “It remains the case that we will resolutely defend ourselves against all false or even malicious reporting using all legal means available to us.”

As it stands, Götze will be part of one of the most talented squads ever assembled when he returns to Bayern from international duty, with several gifted players competing for his position.

Carlo Ancelotti, who will succeed Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola as the club’s head coach this summer, has reportedly made it clear to Götze that his playing time will be limited next season.

After the 24-year-old declared his intention to stay, Rummenigge publicly questioned the decision.

“I had talks with him (Götze) and Ancelotti. Mario knows the thoughts of Bayern,” he told Kicker magazine last month. “Everything was clearly and seriously explained to Mario.

“He knows what the club thinks and what the new coach thinks. Mario has to evaluate for himself whether he wants to play constantly.”

(© Independent News Service)

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