With the Nabil Fekir deal seemingly dead in the water, there’s been no shortage of speculation as to where Liverpool will look next as they continue preparing for the 2018-19 campaign. Ousmane Dembélé, Thomas Lemar, and other usual suspects have been named, but no credible links have yet emerged beyond the previously discussed interest in Xherdan Shaqiri - though the interest in the Stoke City winger was likely independent of whatever happened in the Fekir transaction.
And then there’s Mario Götze. With his powers somewhat diminished since returning to Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich (thanks in part due to a metabolic condition that was revealed in early 2017), nobody is seriously suggesting that Liverpool might take a look at the former German international. But in speaking to sports outlet DAZN (Wikipedia tells me this is pronounced “Da Zone” if you wanted to die a little inside today), Götze seemed to indicate that he would be interested in a reunion with his former boss.
“I decided to leave Bayern and Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool,” said Götze about the summer following the 2015-16 season. “And I was also interested in working with him again.”
“It’s still existing,” Götze added. “He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option. I decided to join Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Klopp. But on the contrary.”
None of the other names currently being bandied about in the wake of the Lyon deal’s collapse, while potentially stellar talents, really offer a similar toolset to the one Fekir brings to the table. In his prime, Götze might have been a viable alternative to the French international, but that’s not the case today. Instead, Liverpool will likely have to hope that their string of luck with second-choice targets (Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah) continues.