Last term’s German champions and this season’s Champions League finalists have suffered a blow after the German starlet’s release clause, reportedly £32 million, was triggered by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich last month, allowing Gotze to sign a deal worth £6 million a year with Bayern.
Gotze’s agent Volker Struth outlined his client’s intension of utilizing the release clause in his current contract with Dortmund which would have run until 2016 and the club have stated their disappointment at losing their best player to a direct rival.
The two Bundesliga giants will go head to head in the Champions League final later this month but there is no doubt Dortmund will feel aggrieved that the 20-year-old attacking midfielder hailed as the most promising German talent of his generation has decided to leave after spending 12 years with Dortmund, learning and developing through their youth system since the age of 9.
Whilst the club have stated their ‘disappointment’, the fans stated emphatically their anger at what they consider a callous betrayal.
Dortmund fans displayed a large banner reading: “Striving for money shows how big your heart really is. P*** off Gotze.”
Gotze wouldn’t be the first young talent to abandon the club that made him for a rival but, nonetheless, the fans are right to express their discontent.
Whether he is leaving for more money is still open to debate – although there can be little doubt that Bayern Munich’s far superior spending power and subsequently lucrative contract offer would have been a temptation for the young man, to say the least.
It is also important to address the fact that Dortmund are not underachievers by any means – this saga is otherwise comparable to Robin van Persie’s switch last summer from Arsenal to Manchester United, except that Dortmund were champions last season.
They win trophies, they challenge Bayern Munich’s traditional stronghold over German football in a very convincing manner – one can only conclude that it was the potential paycheck that ultimately swayed the youngster.
With that taken into account, Borussia Dortmund fans are well within their rights, completely entitled, to feel betrayed by their young star who, having made his bed, must now lay in it – the fans will never let him forget.
image: © wuestenigel