Lothar Matthaus has told Mario Gotze to snub a reunion with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Instead, the Germany legend wants to see the playmaker return to Borussia Dortmund.
Gotze is unsettled at current club Bayern Munich - teammate Thomas Muller confirmed this - Liverpool are reportedly heavily interested in signing the 23-year-old.
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But a move to Dortmund, where Gotze developed in the academy before departing in 2013, is also possible.
And Matthaus believes a return to BVB is the best option for the World Cup winner.
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“Gotze back to Dortmund would simply be a good fit,” Matthaus told Bild, per the Liverpool Echo.
“Our World Cup hero is a child of the Borussia Dortmund academy.
“He might have ruined it for some fans following his move to Bayern, but I feel he does not owe anyone an apology over his decision to go for a new challenge elsewhere.
“Things unfortunately didn't pan out as everybody expected. But both Gotze and Dortmund know from each other what they bring to the table. He will soon win the fans over again after his first few goals for BVB.”
Gotze developed at Dortmund's academy
Dortmund would likely welcome Gotze back with open arms for two reasons. For a start, he joined the club at the age of nine and went on to win the Champions League twice with the club.
Secondly, Gotze would be the perfect replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian maestro has been linked with a move to Arsenal or Juventus and if the 27-year-old leaves Thomas Tuchel’s side, Gotze would slot into the vacant space.
Gotze’s career has nosedived since he scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final for Germany. The midfielder can’t get into Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up, making just 12 appearances this season.
Matthaus defended Gotze's Bayern career
Yet, Matthaus isn’t willing to call Gotze’s three-year stint in Bavaria a failure just yet.
“Would a return to Dortmund mean he has failed at Bayern? I think that would be harsh to say,” he continued.
“He won two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund and he will win his fifth title in total if Bayern win it this season.
“These successes with Bayern, in which he had a hand, prove him right for joining them. But it's also a fact that he has been unable to become an undisputed starter like Thomas Muller.
“The reason behind all this is not just Gotze's quality or his mentality. The marriage between Gotze and Bayern was a misunderstanding right from the start.”
Guardiola will leave the Allianz Arena in the summer to take charge of Manchester City.
It’s unclear if his replacement, Carlo Ancelotti, will include Gotze as a part of his plans but the playmaker won’t be short of suitors if Ancelotti deems him a surplus to requirements.