Mario Gotze: 6 Most Likely Summer Transfer Destinations for Dortmund Star
Mario Gotze is one of the brightest young talents in Europe. The teenage Borussia Dortmund midfielder was highly influential in his team's Bundesliga success last season, and he's continued to turn heads in this campaign.
Gotze is still just 19, but he's already broken into the German national team and will likely make a contribution in their quest to win Euro 2012 this summer.
If you're not familiar with his work, check out this montage.
Gotze is out with a groin injury at the moment, but that hasn't stopped the flow of speculation linking him to a big-money summer move.
Here are six clubs who might be interested.
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I think in Europe all the top clubs are interested in Mario. ... I can confirm that I have had contact with Juventus and Manchester United, but not only them.
I don't know if he'll go away after this season - you should ask Borussia - but I think that they will not let him leave for less than €40 million. He still is very happy at Dortmund, though now he is injured.
Talksport says Juve are willing to offer Milos Krasic to Dortmund in part-exchange for Gotze and has the Italians in pole position to claim his signature this summer.
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Arsenal are not exactly in rude health right now, and there's a suggestion that Arsene Wenger will be offloading a host of his misfiring Gunners this summer. If that happens, perhaps he'll go ahead and actually spend some money.
Arsenal have reportedly shown "strong interest" in Gotze, and it would represent a big statement of intent if they managed to beat the competition to his signature.
To have any hope, Wenger surely needs to secure Champions League football for next season and make some major additions to his squad.
We've already touched upon the comments of Gotze's agent. He says Juve and United have both been in contact.
Goal.com have United leading the race to sign the German international, and he's certainly the kind of player who might be seen as a natural successor to Paul Scholes.
Scholes has had a big impact after coming out of retirement in January, but at 37, he won't be around forever.
Could Gotze ultimately be the man to replace him?
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You're not anybody until you're linked to Real Madrid, and it comes as no surprise that the Spanish giants are among the clubs said to be keen on Gotze.
These quotes from Gotze certainly appear to suggest he will end up on one side of the El Clasico rivalry:
I'd prefer to play in Spain than in the Premier League. ... Spanish football is better suited to my qualities.
Every footballer's dream is to play in Spain. There are many great teams there like Real Madrid or Barcelona.
The presence of his good friend and former Dortmund teammate Nuri Sahin at Madrid has also been noted as possible motivation for a move to the Bernabeu.
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According to "a source close to the player," Gotze is only considering two teams as possible destinations when he leaves Dortmund.
"He likes the way Arsenal play the game and for him there are only two clubs where he’d like to play once he moves from Dortmund—Arsenal or Barcelona," said the source.
Both clubs are certainly known for their passing games and emphasis on attractive football, but while Gotze could walk into the Arsenal team, do Barca really need another creative midfielder?
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Recent reports in France suggest PSG could be interested in signing Gotze.
The Ligue 1 club have plenty of money to splash around, and their Qatari owners might see Gotze as further investment in their future.
There was talk of a bid of 40 million euros in January, but it never materialized.