Speculation surrounding the future of German playmaker Mario Gotze has been nothing short of constant in recent months, with Borussia Dortmund keeping suitors at bay thus far.
But, with agent Dirk Hebel confirming that Manchester United have already made contact over a move, his future with the Bundesliga champions appears to be relatively short.
The Red Devils won't have a possible transfer race all their own way though, with Juventus confirmed as admirers and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger holding a long-term interest. GMF puts the transfer microscope on the German starlet...
At 19-years-old, Gotze appears to have the world at his feet. More importantly, the young German has well-over a decade at the highest-level ahead of him, adding value for money.
Despite his tender years, the attacking midfielder has appeared over 50 times for Die Borussen, and already has 12 full international caps to his name after breaking into Joachim Löw's side back in 2010.
With Champions League experience as well, Gotze has shown his abilities on the biggest stages possible at club level.
Naturally two-footed, he has the ability to beat defenders on either side with pace and/or skill, and his creativity means he's able to pick a decisive pass seemingly at will.
As with all great footballers, his mind appears to work quicker than everyone else, with vision one of Gotze's strongest attributes. He had 15 assists in 29 starts during their title winning season.
Not shy of shooting, the teenager has an eye for goal though, scoring six times last term. That's a record he was set to improve on this year, notching five goals in 14 games.
Preferred in a central role, Gotze has also played wide on occasion at the Westfalenstadion, and is capable on either flank because of his ability with either right or left foot.
Injuries have been a constant problem for the youngster this year, with a thigh problem followed by a hip injury in the winter months. Gotze hasn't played a game since December.
Far from the complete player yet, Gotze stands on the verge of big things, but will need some work on the training ground with regards to always playing the right pass.
At 5ft 9in, Gotze's physical attributes are definitely not a strong point, which could pose a problem given the nature of the English game. He's also not a presence either attacking or defending set-pieces, although he likes taking corners and free-kicks.
And, of course, the price-tag would be enough for any team to think twice. With Dortmund wanting €40 million, it's not a decision to be taken lightly.
The early signs suggest Gotze could take football by storm, with the starlet amongst a handful of youngsters (Christian Eriksen, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Lucas Moura) who appear to be the elite future of the game.
Whilst €40 million is a big price, it will only increase if he fulfils his potential at Euro 2012, if fit, and then shines again in the Bundesliga the following season.
With that in mind, the time to move will be this summer. And, the need is greater for Manchester United, with Paul Scholes knocking on the retirement door again and Sir Alex Ferguson building a team for the future.
It all makes sense, Mr Ferguson. English football would be better with Gotze at Old Trafford.
More importantly for the club, Manchester United would be better with Gotze at Old Trafford.News Now - Sport News