Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that Mario Gotze has asked to leave the club to join Bayern Munich.
Dortmund released a statement on the club's official website on Tuesday morning:
Germany international Mario Götze and his agent Volker Struth informed Borussia Dortmund a few days ago that Götze wishes to trigger his release clause and move to FC Bayern Munich on 1 July 2013. "We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but emphasise that both Mario and his agent have behaved within the terms of the contract," said Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund's chairman of the board.
The Bavarians also commented on the deal on their own website:
Bayern Munich confirm that the club have reached an agreement with national team player Mario Götze that he will play for Bayern Munich from 1 July 2013. Bayern are prepared to meet the release clause agreed between Borussia Dortmund and Mario Götze.
The release clause is thought to be in the region of £31.5 million and would make Gotze the most expensive German player of all time.
Gotze, 20, joined Dortmund's youth academy as an eight-year-old and made his professional debut for Die Schwarzgelben in 2009. He has also played for Germany at various age levels, winning 22 caps for the senior side and scoring five goals.
The attacking midfielder has risen to prominence as one of the most gifted young players on the continent and played a pivotal role in back-to-back title successes for Jurgen Klopp's side in 2011 and 2012.
But since then Bayern have reclaimed the title in record-breaking fashion, and Gotze will join Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena during the summer as Bayern seek to make themselves the best side on the continent.
Gotze had been coveted by a host of top European clubs, but Bayern have acted first and in clinical fashion in tying up the move, which will further strengthen their grip on German football.
The timing of the announcement is quite curious, with both Bayern and Dortmund preparing for Champions League semifinals on Tuesday and Wednesday against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
That means the technically gifted attacking midfielder, who can also play on the wing, could face his future club in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25.
Dortmund's official statement went on to add:
Together with coach Jürgen Klopp, sporting director Michael Zorc asks all Borussia Dortmund fans to support Mario Götze unconditionally as they would any other player in the final games of the season, but especially in the important Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
The switch will come as a bitter blow to Dortmund, who have lost their star man to their closest on- and off-field rivals, and the destruction of their squad will continue if Robert Lewandowski also feels his future lies away from Signal Iduna Park.
As far as Bayern are concerned, Gotze's signature represents the first brick of the Guardiola rebuilding process, one which will surely be followed by signings of a similar calibre.
Who else do you think Bayern will move for this summer? Will Gotze's signing turn the Bundesliga into a precession, and can Guardiola improve on what Jupp Heynckes has done this season?
Please leave your comments below.
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