You probably thought the Mario Götze to Liverpool transfer saga was over. And to be fair, it did seem a fairly safe bet it was what with the player talking about wanting to prove himself at Bayern Munich and his national team coach telling reporters that, yes, the 23-year-old star wasn’t going to be changing clubs.
Well, think again. Today, Bayern’s CEO has hinted that Götze has a choice to make this summer when it comes to his playing time in the coming season. In short, he can stay at Bayern Munich and probably spend much of the 2016-17 season stuck on the bench, or he can move on in search of a fresh start and revitalized career.
"Mario knows the thoughts of Bayern," CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Kicker when asked whether Götze had a future at Beyern. "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 consistently."
As for why it is that it’s Bayern’s CEO who sounds the least certain whether Götze should—or perhaps if he even will—remain at Bayern, it comes down to his contract situaiton. Namely that Götze has just one season left on his deal with the club and Rummenigge has spent the past season trying to get him to sign a new one.
Götze may be making public proclamations about wanting to fight for his place at Germany’s biggest club, but Rummenigge has to protect himself against what happens if the transfer window closes without Götze having signed a new deal, he doesn’t get enough minutes to make him happy, and he leaves on a free next summer.
After paying €37M to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in 2013, this would be a catastrophic development—especially if he ended up back at Dortmund on a free transfer, which has been a widely speculated possibility. With that in mind, it might just be that a deal for Mario Götze might not quite be complete non-starter.
Or at least it won’t be if the Euros end and there hasn’t been any movement towards getting a new deal done with Bayern Munich. If that’s the case, while Götze might be willing to stay and fight for his place, it could be the club pushing him out the door.