With Liverpool reported to have bid £20 million for Mario Gotze, the Bayern Munich attacker has been encouraged to make the move to Merseyside.
Franz Beckenbauer, the legendary former Bayern and Germany defender, has remained a steadfast supporter of Gotze throughout his young career, from Borussia Dortmund to the Allianz Arena.
The 70-year-old once described Gotze as the “German Messi,” but with the attacker set to depart Bayern after struggling to break into the first team, he faces a fight to restore his reputation as one of Europe’s finest young talents.
Speaking to Sky Deutschland this week, Beckenbauer urged Gotze to “follow in the footsteps” of the Liverpool manager.
“I would, in his place, go to a place where I feel comfortable,” he said.
“I have the impression that Mario has not felt right in Munich and also has not been understood, so that he could show his full potential.
“I would in his place go where I am comfortable and follow in the footsteps of Jurgen Klopp.”
Gotze enjoyed a fruitful three-and-a-half years under Klopp at Dortmund, progressing into a formidable, versatile attacking midfielder, scoring 31 goals and registering 44 assists in 116 games.
He has continued to showcase his talents with Bayern, scoring 36 goals and laying on a further 24 in 114 appearances, but finds himself behind the likes of Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman in the pecking order in attack.
Restored to Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup for the final game of the Bundesliga campaign on Saturday, Gotze scored twice as Bayern strolled to a 3-1 victory at home to Hannover 96.
This saw Gotze claim another Bundesliga title, but with Guardiola departing and Carlo Ancelotti set to arrive this summer, he is believed to have been told he would remain a bit-part player under the Italian.
This leaves the 23-year-old with a difficult decision to make, but speaking after Saturday’s triumph, Gotze refused to comment on links with Liverpool.
“I can’t make any promises about next season,” he said.
“I have an ongoing contract and we will see what happens.”
As Beckenbauer has stressed, however, Gotze’s development would be best served in moving away from Bayern this summer, and a reunion with Klopp at Liverpool would be an ideal situation.
Gotze can reignite his career at Anfield, and after underlining his talents against Hannover on Saturday, it is clear he could bring a lot to Klopp’s attack on Merseyside.