Liverpool target Mario Gotze has seemingly poured cold water on the Reds’ hopes of a deal, saying he wants to stay at Bayern Munich.
The 23-year-old was widely reported to be Jurgen Klopp‘s priority this summer, with the Liverpool manager looking to secure a £20 million deal ahead of 2016/17.
The Reds are believed to have done all they can to reach an agreement with Bayern, and convince Gotze that his future lies on Merseyside.
But speaking to German publication Bild this week, Gotze said he was looking forward to working under new manager Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern.
This comes after Gotze parted ways with his agent, Volker Struth, who also represents Loris Karius, the Mainz goalkeeper set to complete a move to Liverpool this week.
“I look forward to the new season in Munich and will do everything possible to compete in top shape during my first training under Carlo Ancelotti,” Gotze said.
This is, of course, far from a conclusive statement on the attacker’s future, and could represent another move in a power play between player and club.
Ancelotti is previously reported to have told Gotze he would play a marginal role at the Allianz Arena next season, and with just one year left on his current contract a move this summer would make sense.
While Bayern have moved to secure the futures of Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, as well as signing Renato Sanches from Benfica, Gotze has remained in the dark.
Either way, this does little to suggest Gotze is looking for a move to Liverpool this summer, and it is likely that the Reds’ failure to qualify for the Champions League next season has played a part in his decision.
Liverpool may be forced to move on to other targets, though Klopp will be undeterred in his push to be reunited with a player he nurtured to prominence over three-and-a-half years at Borussia Dortmund.
Losing out on Gotze would be a bitter blow to Liverpool’s plans for the summer transfer window.
The dim hope remains that this is simply an attempt to force through a move at the Reds’ asking price.