Liverpool have been heavily linked with Mario Gotze in recent weeks and Kopites will be delighted to hear that Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the playmaker.
Klopp, of course, coached Gotze before the 23-year-old joined Bayern Munich and was full of praise after the midfielder’s performance in Germany’s 4-1 friendly win over Italy on Tuesday.
The Liverpool boss couldn’t avoid being asked about Gotze in his Wednesday press conference and, though he described him as a player with “extraordinary quality”, Klopp quickly defused the situation by refusing to admit whether Gotze is on his wish list.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Thomas Muller, Gotze’s teammate at Bayern and Germany, admitted the former Dortmund star isn’t “100 per cent satisfied” at the Allianz Arena, fuelling speculation that Gotze won’t be a Bayern player for much longer.
And considering his ties with Klopp, Liverpool has been earmarked as a likely destination. The Guardian reported on Monday that the Reds are confident of securing Gotze's signature due to the connection he has with the popular manager.
Article continues below
But the 48-year-old was tight-lipped when asked about his interest in the player.
“I was pleased to hear that Mario put in a great performance for Germany on Tuesday,” Klopp told reporters, per Goal.
“He is a player with extraordinary quality. He is trying to get fully fit again after a four-month spell on the sidelines due to injury.
“But that's all I can say about Gotze. I am happy to talk about [Joel] Matip or about other things, but not about whether Gotze is a target for Liverpool.”
Gotze is unsettled at Bayern
Gotze’s career reached a high in 2014 when he scored the winning goal in the World Cup but things have taken a nosedive since that thrilling night in Brazil.
He has made just 12 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s team this campaign, starting only five Bundesliga games.
Gotze scored Germany’s second in their 4-1 win over Italy and will likely play a key part for Joachim Low’s team at this summer’s European Championship.
Still, his teammates and coaches have noticed a change in attitude.
“I speak with Mario and think he is not 100 per cent satisfied with his situation at Bayern,” Muller said, per Sky Sports.
“But I am not Mario's agent, so I am not going to speak about his future.”
Talks with Low
Low watched Gotze score the winning goal in the Maracana nearly two years ago and the German coach admitted he has spoken with the player about his Bayern predicament.
“I can understand the situation at Bayern, to an extent, from afar," Low said, per Sky Sports. "Mario has long been injured this season and there have been very, very important matches.
“I’ve noticed in training that, in regards to his fitness and form, Mario isn't yet where he was before his injury. You can see he's lacking match practice, but I will definitely count on him for the European championships.
“It’s always worth it to support Mario, because he can do things which other players can't do.
“We had great talks about his situation and there will of course be a new coach in Bayern next season so the first thing he should do is talk to the new coach.”