Pep Guardiola's new Lionel Messi? Bayern Munich splash £31.5m on Mario Gotze as a welcome gift

The Borussia Dortmund playmaker will join at the end of the season

The future of Bayern Munich was brightened long before kick-off. It seems absurd that in this week of all weeks, German football should be dominated by an off-the-pitch story, but so it is, with the news that Mario Götze is leaving Borussia Dortmund for Bayern this summer.

The timing of the story, which was broken by the newspaper Bild, was questioned by Jürgen Klopp, the Dortmund coach, who must be alarmed that his big week – they play Real Madrid in the other Champions League semi-final – has been hijacked.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder, probably the most gifted player of his generation in Germany, is moving for the second-highest transfer fee in Bundesliga history. Bayern have activated his release clause of €37m (£31.5m).

It makes Bayern's future prospects even more daunting and reinforces their hegemony in the Bundesliga, where they have won this season's title already with a remarkable 81 points from a possible 90, and may well find retaining it even easier next season.

Bayern are taking their closest rivals' best player, who did so much to win the title for Dortmund in the last two seasons, and with him goes almost any chance of a Bundesliga title race next season. Robert Lewandowski, second-placed Dortmund's lanky Polish striker, could well follow him too.

Götze has played only three seasons at Dortmund since breaking into the first team in 2010 aged 18. But he has already won two titles and a German cup, taking on an increased creative role after the departures of Nuri Sahin in 2011 and Shinji Kagawa last summer.

This, though, is the financial dominance that Bayern enjoy. Based in the wealthy south, Bayern have a higher turnover than the next two largest clubs – Dortmund and Schalke 04 – combined. Götze's transfer is a record between Bundesliga clubs, though falls behind the €40m (£33m) Bayern paid Athletic Bilbao for defensive midfielder Javi Martinez last year.

According to Klopp, it was not Bayern's prestige or money that attracted Götze but their incoming manager. "Götze was the player [Pep] Guardiola wanted to sign," Klopp explained. "So if it's anyone's fault it's mine. I cannot make myself 15cm shorter and learn Spanish. Götze wants to work with that extraordinary coach that is Guardiola."

The Spaniard, who joins in the summer, clearly likes Götze because he has many of the attributes Guardiola admires, such as an understanding of space, technical brilliance and a burst of speed. Götze is also a natural pick to play as the "false No 9" in the striker-less system Guardiola developed at Barcelona. Neither Mario Gomez nor Mario Mandzukic are quite the forward players Guardiola tends to like.

Götze played that role for Germany recently, allowing Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller and Julian Draxler to operate behind him. He said it was "a lot of fun", and next season he will be combining not just with Müller but with Toni Kroos, Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben. And all under the management of the man who built the best club side of the modern era. It is quite a prospect.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test