Arsenal and Manchester City have missed on Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze after the club confirmed their star man agreed to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the most coveted talents in Europe but it is the Bavarian giants who have won the race after triggering the forward’s £32million (€37m) release clause. The deal makes him the most expensive German player ever.
A statement on Dortmund’s Facebook page contained reaction from club chief executive Hans-Joacim Watzke. He said: ‘We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but appreciate both Mario and his advisers have behaved in accordance with the contract.’
It added: ‘Mario Gotze’s agent Volker Struth told us a few days ago that the player wishes to make use of his release clause and on July 1, 2013 move to Bayern Munich.
‘From Bayern Munich there has been nothing official on this matter up to this date.’
The statement continued: ‘BVB will certainly not detract from the great dream which has developed for years, to create an exceptional team, a team who feature in tomorrow’s semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
‘Together with coach Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Zorc ask all fans of Borussia Dortmund to give their unconditional support to Mario Goetze in the last games of the season like they would any other player at the club, especially in the important UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.’
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but emphasise that both Mario and his advisers have behaved within the terms of the contract.
Gotze, who could face his new employees in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25, has scored 14 goals for his club this season and has won 22 caps for Germany.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had been prepared to finally splash the cash this summer and meet the Gotze’s clause but he will now have to look elsewhere.
The youngster had looked set to remain at the West falenstadion for another year having apparently set his sights on a move to Barcelona.
‘I am very happy at Dortmund and satisfied with the way we are progressing as a team,’ he said earlier this month. ‘Any thoughts about playing for another team are very much for the future, but Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United could be interesting.
‘But I’m not thinking of that at the moment.
‘I’m happy in Dortmund and very happy how things are going. Therefore, it is still a bit away’