The first big transfer rumour of the year has arrived, with Liverpool linked with an audacious move for Bayern Munich forward Mario Gotze.
According the reports from German publication Bild, Jurgen Klopp wants to bring Gotze to Anfield more than any other Bundesliga player.
The 48-year-old enjoyed great success and a strong relationship with his German compatriot during their Borussia Dortmund days, winning two Bundesliga titles and reaching the 2013 Champions League Final together.
And here is Bild saying Klopp wants Götze as @DHardayal tweeted earlier pic.twitter.com/1EpiXFJo4m
— Sponge Sports (@monkey_sponge) January 7, 2016
The report claims Gotze would cost Liverpool €50million at least, which is arguably a little bloated considering the Germany World Cup winner’s recent woes, and the fact he only has 18 months left on his current deal.
He has struggled to kick on since joining Bayern Munich in 2013, often having to settle for a squad role behind the likes of Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Douglas Costa.
Götze is certainly injured enough for LFC. Unlikely to come back before February. But seriously: could well happen in the summer
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) January 8, 2016
The 23-year-old has made just 11 appearances all season – just one start in the league – and appears to have lost some of the hunger and zest that made him a superstar at Dortmund.
Should he make the move to Merseyside, which German football journalist Raphael Honigstein claims ‘could well happen in the summer’, it could be a real game-changer for the Reds.
It feels like Gotze needs a fresh challenge at this stage in his career, and he has the ability to be the star man at Liverpool. He would thrive as the centre of attention.
Gotze has been linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea in the past, reportedly wanting a move to a London based club, but Klopp’s pulling power could persuade him to move north.
Were Brendan Rodgers still manager it would seem almost impossible to see Gotze in a Reds jersey, but his relationship with Klopp does increase the likelihood quite drastically.
UPDATE: This is now reported by the reliable Paul Joyce – who says Klopp has a “firm interest in developments” and is “monitoring the situation of Gotze with one of Carlo Ancelotti’s first big decisions when he takes over at Bayern Munich set to be whether to keep the World Cup winner.”
Joyce says Bayern’s price would be around £37 million.