Connect to share and comment
Champions League semi-finalists Borussia Dortmund confirmed on Tuesday that Germany star Mario Goetze will join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich next season, in a deal reported to be worth 37 million euros ($48.2 million, £32 million).
The talented 20-year-old attacking midfielder was under contract at Dortmund until 2016 but a release clause allows him to leave for 37 million euros, according to German daily Bild.
Dortmund confirmed that Goetze's agent, Volker Struth, had recently informed them that Goetze would be using the clause and will move to Bayern on July 1 -- the first day ex-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola takes charge as Munich coach.
Goetze is the first addition to Bayern's squad for next season, while Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal had all reportedly been interested in the young German.
"We are of course exceedingly disappointed but must stress that both Mario and his advisers have behaved with absolutely conformity within the contract," said Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
The timing of the deal does little to help Dortmund, who host Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, first leg on Wednesday, but will boost Bayern, who are home to Barcelona on Tuesday in the other last-four clash.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp and director of sport Michael Zorc have asked Borussia fans to support Goetze in his last four league games for the club he joined as an eight-year-old in 2001 and especially in the Champions League tie.
Goetze is one of the rising stars of the Germany team, having made his debut as an 18-year-old in October 2010 and scored his first goal in an outstanding display on his first start in the 3-2 friendly win over Brazil in August 2011.
While his addition to the star-studded Bayern squad is sure to boost the Bavarian giants, Dortmund fans have already vented their anger and frustration on Goetze's Facebook page with "traitor" being one of the kinder comments.
Dortmund also revealed they had no contact from Bayern in the matter.
Having won the German league title for the last two seasons, Dortmund have missed out to Bayern this season. Munich won the Bundesliga a fortnight ago with six games to spare and a 20-point lead.
Born in Allgaeu, Bavaria, only 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Munich, Goetze joined Dortmund in 2001 as an eight-year-old and made his Bundesliga debut in 2009, aged 17.
He has since made 22 appearances for Joachim Loew's Germany, scoring five goals, and is set to be one of the stars of next year's World Cup in Brazil.