Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be reunited with Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze this summer, according to a Bundesliga expert, while the Reds have also enquired about Hoffenheim's Niklas Sule.
It's been almost three years since Gotze left Borussia Dortmund, then led by German tactician Klopp, and Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft likened their relationship to a "father-son" bond before predicting a summer switch:
Guardiola changed his team on 4 positions today. Mario Götze still on the bench 90 mins for Bayern. Hello England! Be prepared— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 19, 2016
Klopp is Götze's "father"— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 19, 2016
- Hey son! I will make you great and happy again. Join me at Anfield.
Gotze made the move to Bayern Munich in 2013 after the German titans triggered his £37 million release clause, but his development has tailed off at the Allianz Arena.
The Sun's Dave Fraser agreed that Anfield would be the most likely destination for Gotze if he was to leave Bayern this summer, with manager Pep Guardiola set to be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.
The 23-year-old has scored 34 goals in 105 appearances for Der FCB, where he's been regularly shifted away from his preferred position in central midfield, instead fielded out wide for much of his stay.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher teased the idea of Gotze moving to Merseyside if the Reds were to cash in on incumbent talisman Philippe Coutinho at the end of this season:
@Tony_Scott11 50/60?? Get Gotze & Gundogan then😉— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) March 17, 2016
A hamstring injury has kept Gotze sidelined for much of this season, restricting him to just seven starts across all competitions, scoring four goals in the process.
Liverpool's hopes of a move for the player could be bound for failure, however, after Merseyside football writer Richard Buxton recently provided quotes from the player, who noted a reunion was way off:
Mario Gotze admits to still texting Jurgen Klopp but insists there's 'nothing special'.— Richard Buxton (@RichardBuxton_) March 14, 2016
Asked if he could make potential #LFC move: "No."
A more realistic pursuit for Liverpool would be Hoffenheim defender Sule, and the Reds are reported to have already approached the German outfit about his availability, said German daily Bild (h/t Metro's Tom Olver).
Klopp's knowledge of the talent pool in his native Germany makes him a natural front-runner to move in for a player like Sule, who has made 77 appearances for Hoffenheim since earning his debut at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
The 20-year-old is now a staple in the Hoffenheim starting XI and has played the full 90 minutes in all 28 of his appearances, averaging 6.3 clearances per game in the Bundesliga this season, per WhoScored.com.
Injuries to Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho have created concern at centre-back for Liverpool this season, and Sule could be eyed in addition to Schalke's Joel Matip, who is already set to arrive at Anfield this summer.