BORUSSIA DORTMUND sporting director Michael Zorc has revealed that Mario Gotze will be leaving the club at the end of his contract this summer.
The German returned to Signal Iduna Park from Bayern Munich in 2016 – bit fitness and health problems have prevented him from making the same kind of impact second time around.
And at 27, the once prodigiously gifted wonderkid will be at a crossroads in his career.
Zorc said in today's pre-match press conference: "We will part ways with Mario Gotze this summer. It was a mutual and respectful decision. Mario is a great man."
Gotze has made only five Bundesliga starts this season, struggling to fit into Lucien Favre's all-action style of football.
But that doesn't mean he's likely to be short of suitors.
The coronavirus pandemic has crippled many clubs' finances, leaving them with little wriggle room in the transfer market.
So the prospect of signing a player of Gotze's calibre on a free transfer should appeal to many teams.
Bild last month claimed, however, that it would only be "category b" clubs interested in him – with his days of being linked to the great and good of Europe's top table over.
Two Premier League clubs mentioned were West Ham United and Everton.
Gotze played arguably the best football of his career under Jurgen Klopp at BVB – but a reunion with his former boss at Liverpool feels unlikely – as he is simply not on their level anymore.
It is thought that the former Bayern attacker will have options in China, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – but would rather stay in one of Europe's top leagues.
AC Milan are also interested in capturing his signature.
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