Mario Gotze looks set to stay with Bayern Munich for the foreseeable future after recently telling reporters in Germany that he was keen to impress new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool have been strongly linked with the 23-year-old, who scored the winning goal for Germany against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, but their chances of signing him this summer now appear to be over.
Germany legend Lothar Matthaus believes Gotze is right to reject a move to Anfield and can’t understand why a player of his calibre would be prepared to leave Bayern Munich for a club not competing in the Champions League.
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“I don’t know whether there was indeed an offer from Liverpool,” Matthaus told TZ, per the Mirror. “But why would he join a club that do not even play in the Champions League?
“He would have taken the easy solution with a move to Liverpool. But the easy solution is not always the right solution.”
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Matthaus: Gotze is maturing
Gotze had been tipped to become Pep Guardiola’s version of Lionel Messi after arriving at the Allianz Arena from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2013, but the attacking midfielder has failed to live up to those lofty expectations.
Nevertheless, Matthaus is pleased - and encouraged - that Gotze is willing to fight for his future at Bayern Munich. He suggests this is a sign Gotze is beginning to mature as an individual.
“Mario has shown with his latest comments that he is ready to fight for his place. This whole situation will only make him stronger,” the 55-year-old, who will cover Euro 2016 as a pundit for ITV Sport this summer, added. “I applaud his decision to stay put. He is finally standing up for himself. He is taking his career in his own hands at last.
“He is not taking the easy way out, but is taking on the challenge. He wants to show Bayern what he can do. I have waited for this for quite some time. This is a sign that he is getting mature.
“I don’t think he is looking to leave on a free transfer in 2017 and earn a big signing fee. He has already made enough money. He did this because he wants to show Bayern he is a player of the highest level.”
Liverpool 'turn to' Brahimi
With Gotze set to stay put in Munich, Liverpool have already turned their attentions to FC Porto’s Yacine Brahimi.
Portuguese publication A Bola reported on Wednesday that the Reds could pay a club-record fee of £45 million to bring the talented Algeria international to Anfield this summer.
Is Mario Gotze making a mistake staying with Bayern Munich? Have your say by leaving a comment below.