Bayern Munich have activated the release clause in Mario Götze’s contract.
The attacking midfielder is regarded as one of the best talents in Europe, and already has 22 international caps for Germany despite being just 20-years-old. He has helped Borussia Dortmund win two Bundesliga titles, scoring 22 goals in 83 appearances, and this season, he has played a key role in them reaching the last four of the UEFA Champions League.
Reports emerged earlier this week that Bayern had activated a release fee to sign Götze in the summer, believed to be £31.5million, and this has now been confirmed. Dortmund are likely to be disappointed at the timing of the news being leaked, as they prepare to take on Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion on Wednesday night.
Götze had in the past been linked with a string of clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester City, and Dortmund would have preferred to sell him overseas after seeing Bayern romp to the Bundesliga this term. With four games remaining, Jupp Heynckes’ side are 20 points ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s team, who were gunning for a third successive title.
And with Pep Guardiola being installed as head coach in the summer, chances are Bayern will become even stronger. The all-conquering former Barcelona boss is expected to be given more cash to spend when the window reopens, as he looks to further improve a team who, like Dortmund, have their sights set on the Champions League this season.
Dortmund, meanwhile, have urged their fans to swallow their inevitable disappointment and continue to show their support for Götze for the remainder of his stay.
An official club statement read: “Coach Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Zorc asks all fans of Borussia Dortmund to support Mario Götze unconditionally as they would any other player in the final games of the season, but especially in the important UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.”