Dortmund - FC Bayern Munich have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign Mario Götze from Borussia Dortmund.
The 20-year-old Germany international midfielder will join the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions on 1 July, ahead of pre-season training for 2013/14. In a brief statement on the club website, FC Bayern said that prior to news of the move breaking, they had intended to wait until after Dortmund's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg meeting with Real Madrid CF on Wednesday (kick-off 20.45 CET) before confirming it with BVB.
"We're obviously extremely disappointed, but at the same time it has to be stressed that both Mario and his agent have behaved strictly in line with the terms of his contract," Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke commented.
Head coach Jürgen Klopp said that "he [Götze] knows he owes a lot to the club, but I know he gave a lot back as well" and stressed that the announcement of Götze's transfer would not distract his side from the Madrid-tie. “Nobody needs to worry about our focus - if anything, it is sharper than ever," the 45-year-old said, asking “the fans to put aside their disappointment and encourage us more than ever. This is a time to show that we are a special club."
Götze is widely regarded as one of the best young players in the world game. Matthias Sammer, former director of sport at the German Football League (DFB) and now operating in the same role at Bayern, previously described Götze as "one of the greatest talents we've ever had," while legend of the game Franz Beckenbauer has labelled him the "German Messi."
Ten goals, twelve assists in 2012/13
Götze broke into the Borussia Dortmund team at the age of 17 and has made 83 appearances in the Bundesliga, scoring 22 goals - ten of them this season, as well as twelve assists to date. He has also shone in Dortmund’s run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they will face Real Madrid C.F in the first leg at the Signal Iduna Park.