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.

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments