Liverpool’s quest to lure Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich this summer has taken a turn for the worse, following news that Borussia Dortmund have opened the door for the German to return.
This is according to the Liverpool Echo, who claim that Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said he wouldn't turn down the chance to bring the Germany international back to the Westfalenstadion.
Such a revelation will come as a major blow to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, who have long been linked with a move for the 23-year-old.
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Whilst it remains unclear where Gotze’s future lies, the prospect of returning to a club where he enjoyed much success and happiness will likely be an intriguing prospect.
Asked about the possibility of re-signing Gotze at a press conference, Watzke said: "If he’s on the market, it’s clear if we discuss about him.
“The door is always open for every player who comes from Dortmund."
However, Watzke insisted the midfielder would have to explain to Dortmund fans why he left in the first place upon a potential return.
Gotze became the subject of hatred from the club’s supporters upon the announcement he would leave for Bayern in 2013, mere days before their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
“If he returns we have to talk with the fans,” Watzke continued. “He has to explain how he left for Bayern.
“But I don’t think that they won’t give him a second chance.”
This all comes after Liverpool appeared confident of signing Gotze because of the connection he shared with manager Klopp.
The pair worked together at the Westfalenstadion for four years, winning the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012.
As for Gotze himself, the German is reportedly unhappy at Bayern following a campaign of limited opportunities.
Twelve appearances in Bundesliga - nine of which starts - speaks volumes about how out-of-favour the 23-year-old is at the Allianz-Arena, with the likes of Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara and Douglas Costa all above him in the pecking order.
Gotze’s versatility clearly hasn’t worked in his favour in the German capital yet it could prove a dangerous weapon at Anfield alongside the talented likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.
The German can play anywhere across the attacking line having frequently been deployed as a striker in a false nine formation for the Germany national side.
Another issue which Liverpool could encounter is Bayern’s asking price. The Bundesliga champions want £30 million for their young star to recoup some of the €37 million spent to sign him in 2013.
The Reds, however, value Gotze at £15-£20 million given he will enter the final 12 months of his contract this summer, let alone the fact he wants a move away.