Manchester City has reportedly already spoken to Gotze’s agents about a possible summer transfer, and it is willing pay Borussia Dortmund his £34 million ($52.4 million) buyout fee in order to sign him ahead of next season, according to the Mirror.
Meanwhile, Arsenal has a longstanding interest in the German playmaker. The Gunners could be ready to meet that fee as part of an expected summer spending spree.
“Goetze’s performances against City in the group stages of the [UEFA] Champions League have attracted the attention of sporting director Txiki Begiristain who is understood to have met with the player’s representatives,” the report says.
“[Arsenal manager] Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of player in his search to replace Cesc Fabregas as the creative force in his team.”
Goetze, 20, has cemented his reputation in Germany as a top player who is only going to improve. The attacking midfielder has won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup since breaking into Dortmund’s first team in 2010. He has also played 21 times for Germany’s national team, scoring four goals.
Dortmund hopes to keep him for the duration of his career, but that might not be possible. City, Arsenal and even Manchester United lead the contingent of English clubs that are thought to be interested in signing him. Leading clubs in Spain and Italy and France are likely monitoring his situation as well. Gotze even told FIFA.com that he wants to test himself in another country at some point in the future.
“I’m keeping my options open,” he said. “Clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are attractive, and playing in another top league would shape me and help me develop as a player. But I’m not thinking that far ahead at the moment. I’m happy in Germany and am delighted with the way things are going. Anything else is still a long way off. “
Gotze’s contract runs until 2016, so there’s little chance any interested club can buy him at a discount before 2014 at the earliest. Gotze himself would have to push for a transfer in order to convince Dortmund to sell him for anything less than his full buyout fee, and he has previously pledged to stay until at least 2014.
An expert sales pitch from Begiristain or Wenger could accelerate that timetable, but it’s more likely that Dortmund’s progress will do more to determine Gotze’s near-term future than anything. This season saw Bayern Munich reign supreme domestically, but Dortmund could win the Champions League. A Champions League winner’s medal just might convince Gotze that now is the time to leave his boyhood club.
Photo via Facebook/Mario Gotze