The timing of this is really unusual, because both sides are playing in the Champions League semi-finals this week. But today, Bayern Munich confirmed that Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze will join them in July.
A statement on the Bayern web site confirmed the deal saying:
“Bayern Munich confirm that the club have reached an agreement with national team player Mario Gotze that he will play for Bayern Munich from 1 July 2013. Bayern are prepared to meet the release clause agreed between Borussia Dortmund and Mario Gotze.”
The release clause is reportedly set at €37 million (£31.5m), meaning he will become the most expensive German player of all time.
A statement on Dortmund’s Facebook page read:
“Mario Gotze’s agent Volker Struth told us a few days ago that the player wishes to make use of his release clause and on July 1, 2013 move to Bayern Munich.”
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said:
“We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but emphasise that both Mario and his advisers have behaved within the terms of the contract.”
I just don’t get the timing on the announcement. Why not wait until next week when the Champions League semi-finals are over?
How will the Dortmund fans react tomorrow against Real Madrid when Gotze takes the pitch now that he is leaving for their rival?
Plus what happens of both German clubs reach the Champions League Final? We will have the surreal situation of Gotze’s last appearance for Dortmund being against the side he has already agreed to play for next season. Can you say conflict of interest?
Once you get over the bizarre timing of the story, Gotze is a terrific signing for Bayern. He is one of the rising stars in European football, and at only 20-years-of-age, he is someone that Pep Guardiola can build his team around for the next decade.