Liverpool could be set to face competition in their efforts to sign Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze this summer, with Borussia Dortmund confirming their interest.
Gotze spent three-and-a-half years in the Dortmund first team before joining Bayern in a deal worth £32 million in 2013.
But finding himself in a bit-part role at the Allianz Arena, and with just one year left on his contract with no extension forthcoming, Gotze is set to leave the club this summer.
Liverpool have been heavily linked with a big-money move for the 23-year-old, with Jurgen Klopp said to be keen on a reunion with his former protege.
The Reds were believed to be preparing a bid of up to £20 million this summer, and with positive signs from Gotze, the Germany international seemed a dead cert to make the move to Merseyside.
But as Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed this week, the Bundesliga giants will “discuss” the possibility of re-signing Gotze.
“If Mario Gotze comes on the market we would discuss it, that’s quite clear,” he told reporters on Monday.
“He has been through all the youth teams with us. He is held in the greatest esteem.”
Gotze scored 31 goals and registered 44 assists in 116 appearances for Dortmund, with due to his acrimonious exit back in 2013, the German is far from popular at the Westfalenstadion.
Dortmund supporters unveiled a banner at the beginning of April responding to reports of Thomas Tuchel’s interest in Gotze.
“Milan or Madrid—the main thing is not Dortmund! P*** off Gotze,” it read, making the thoughts of the Dortmund support clear.
But despite this, Watzke is confident Gotze could earn a “second chance” with the Yellow Wall.
“The door is always open for every player who comes from Dortmund,” he continued.
“If he returns we have to talk with the fans and he has to explain how he left for Bayern.
“But I don’t think that they won’t give him a second chance.”
This would be a bitter blow to Liverpool, but Klopp will be hoping his relationship with Gotze could convince him to become the Reds’ marquee signing ahead of 2016/17.