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Few players in this current Bayern Munich side represent the fast-paced changes of the Bavarian club quite like Mario Gomez. From record-breaking goalscorer and national hero two seasons ago to languishing substitute, the powerful German striker has found his place at the club all but eradicated in light of the squad's new direction.
The new, exciting play that Bayern Munich used to conquer domestic football this season has no place for an old-fashioned striker like Gomez, and with the arrival of Pep Guardiola all but certain to accentuate that particular brand of play, the striker is likely to move on this summer.
The striker merry-go-round went into full swing this summer, with a number of clubs cited as possible alternatives for Gomez, with Napoli and Fiorentina supposedly rather devoted to signing the player.
Despite Stuttgarter Zeitung's insistence (German) that the striker wouldn't favour a move to Italy, and Metro recently suggesting the player could make a move to Premier League side Tottenham, Bild reported (German) that the striker was definitely leaving the Bavarian club, having confirmed earlier that Napoli and Fiorentina had met with Gomez's agent, Uli Ferber, to iron out a deal.
As the agent put it when speaking to Bild on June 3, "For a striker of Mario's goal tally, there is always greed."
However, on June 11, Ferber was asked if Fiorentina had won the race to sign the German striker, and the agent responded: "That's not true."
This all came around the same time Juventus' name was thrown into the mix, with Kicker (German) suggesting the Italian giants were the best alternative for Gomez, and his agent stating that the club called the player a "very attractive" option.
Bild were again ahead of the pack on June 16 when they released a story suggesting that "every day another half-truth comes out" yet went on to explain that the player was back from his holiday and was to speak to representatives from Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Manchester City, with the ultimate goal of agreeing a transfer this week, and making the move before training commenced in Munich on June 26.
On Friday June 22, Italian reporter Tancredi Palmeri confirmed that Sky Italia (Italian) were running with a new story that the German striker had agreed to terms with Fiorentina, but they were awaiting the inevitable sale of Stevan Jovetic.
Yet on June 24, a reporter asked Pep Guardiola directly about the striker moving to Italy, to which Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded; "Until today there is no official enquiry so Mario Gomez will start training on Wednesday and then we will see what happens,"
The latest club to show an interest in the striker seems to be Manchester City. With Carlos Tevez set for Juventus, stories such as this one from the Belfast Telegraph, on June 28, have been putting two and two together and suggesting that the Manchester club would seem like a suitable fit.
Yet for now the accomplished goalscorer remains a Bayern Munich player.