Mario Götze is a very talented footballer who used to play for Jürgen Klopp. Can you guess what's coming next? German tabloid BILD reported that Liverpool's manager wants to secure the services of the injured Bayern Munich attacking midfielder in the summer.
Götze was the first substitute to score a World Cup winning goal and the youngest—aged just 22—to score in a World Cup final. His exploits with Borussia Dortmund as a teenager secured a controversial move to rivals Bayern Munich at the age of 21. This is a player who combines speed of thought with technique, finishing, acceleration, and creativity. At 23, Götze has won league titles, played in international finals at senior and youth level, and been involved in games with considerable pressure on his young shoulders.
Liverpool might have quite a few attacking midfielders and a limited number of wide players, but are any of them better than Götze? There's also the question of whether a move would even be realistic. The player's contract expires in 2017 with not much in the way of talks to agree an extension. If Götze were to move on this summer with just a year left on his contract, €50 million (approximately £37.48 million) would be quite a generous figure. He moved for €37 million in 2013's summer transfer window, which was £31.5 million two-and-a-half years ago. The euro has strengthened since then, but a year left on a player's contract usually makes any potential deal easier and cheaper for any prospective buyer.
The arrival of Douglas Costa this season undoubtedly complicates matters as the Brazilian has been wonderful in his debut Bundesliga season. Kingsley Coman—on loan from Juventus—has been a fine addition to Bayern's squad too. Throw in Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben, and Franck Ribery for limited opportunities for a player Pep Guardiola seems to trust less these days. Robben and Ribery may be injury-prone stars in their thirties but are contracted to Bayern for as long as Götze is. The 23-year-old might wait to see how the season pans out under Guardiola before linking up with Carlo Ancelotti. History has shown that Ancelotti values players like Götze, which could make this rumour a bit undercooked.
"I haven't decided what will happen after the season," Gotze said on his future. "Everything depends on the plans of the new coach. I have not thought about my future much due to my recent injuries but as I said: nothing has been decided yet. I want to play. Everything else, we’ll see in the summer."
Saying nice things about a former manager has been taken as an indication that a move is possible, but Bayern's sporting director Matthias Sammer dismissed the rumour as "new nonsense" to disappoint fans eager for a quick, credible transfer hit. If the player won't renew his contract by the summer, it's likely he'll be sold. Perhaps this should be another transfer rumour to monitor; it's not inconceivable that Liverpool could make a move if the opportunity arises.