Liverpool are reportedly set to hand Jurgen Klopp "substantial funds" to rebuild his squad this summer and Bayern Munich star Mario Gotze is reportedly the biggest name on the German's shortlist.
That's according to the Guardian's Andy Hunter, who reported the Reds enjoyed a record revenue in 2014-15 after a stint in the UEFA Champions League and two strong cup runs, and their net external debt is almost £200 million lower than it was when Fenway Sports Group acquired the club in 2010.
Per Hunter, Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said:
There has never been a situation where we haven’t backed the manager and there will be no difference with Jurgen as we move forward towards the summer. Those discussions will go on and we will do what we need to do on his guidance and contribution. Everyone can expect what they have always seen to date with the club which is to give the manager the support he needs.
We are very fortunate in that everything we generate goes back into the team and you cannot spend any more than you generate and then some.
The acquisition of Gotze—who scored the winning goal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final for Germany—would be a real show of ambition from the Reds as they seek to return to their status as perennial Champions League and title challengers, not to mention a sign they can still compete with Europe's elite in the transfer market.
Gotze has missed the majority of the current campaign through injury, bagging four goals and two assists in just 615 minutes of play in all competitions.
Sports journalist Stefan Bienkowski believes the 23-year-old has failed to maintain his development at Bayern under Pep Guardiola:
Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski
It says a lot about Mario Gotze's time at Bayern that he's openly contemplating a move. He hasn't moved forward at all under Guardiola.1/8/2016, 3:15:28 PM
Though he has not always been able to replicate the form he showed at Borussia Dortmund, Gotze has still managed 34 goals and 22 assists in 104 outings for the Bavarians.
A reunion with mentor Klopp could reignite the playmaker's career, and with youth still on his side, it's clear there's much more to come from Gotze. If Liverpool can prise him away from Bayern, he could become a real star at Anfield.
Everybody has a childhood dream, and for me it is England.
That doesn't mean that I have to or would like to go there—I'm extremely happy here and everything suits me down to the ground—but you do have to take a look around and talk with the club.
Gladbach have given me everything I wanted and this has become a second home for me.
Per BT Sport's Archie Rhind-Tutt, the 23-year-old has made no secret of his love for the Premier League in the past:
Archie Rhind-Tutt @archiert1
Xhaka likely to end up in the Premier League. Question is this summer or next summer. Recently said it was his childhood dream to play there1/28/2016, 10:27:50 AM
Xhaka reiterated he is not actively pursuing a move, though, and added:
I don't know if it will become an issue.
My task is to focus on my football. For as long as I am here, I want to give 100 per cent, the rest will be done by my club and my agent.
It really isn't the case that I desperately want to leave. Everything would really have to come together [for that to happen].
Bleacher Report's Clark Whitney believes the hard-working midfielder would fit in well under Klopp:
Clark Whitney @Mr_Bundesliga
SportBild: Liverpool have 1st meeting with Xhaka, who'd be a brilliant signing for any of EPL's top sides but esp good fit in Klopp's system1/27/2016, 7:07:20 AM
Here are some of the midfielder's highlights for the season thus far:
According to Squawka, Xhaka has completed 17 out of 20 take-ons this season, and in just 17 Bundesliga appearances, he has won 32 tackles, 53 headed duels and made 51 interceptions, not to mention scoring three times.
The Switzerland international would be an excellent addition to Liverpool's midfield. Xhaka is only set to improve in the coming years, and if the Reds can beat the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City—who are also interested, according to TalkSport—to his signature, they'll reap the rewards on the field.
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