It’s fair to say that Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of Mario Gotze.
They were together at Borussia Dortmund when Klopp built the supreme BVB team with the likelihood of success for many years to come. There was an ideal that nothing would change any time soon, but after one of the club’s best ever European nights against Malaga, the real world caught up with the manager in an unexpected way.
“I had one day of happiness,” he reflected. “And then somebody thought ‘enough, go back down on the floor.’”
The reason? Mario Gotze.
Klopp, still riding the emotions of the previous night’s triumph, had arrived at Dortmund’s Brackel training ground the following morning to be greeted by Michael Zorc, his sporting director.
“He looked like someone had died,” he recalled. “He said… I have to tell you something.” The news was a dagger blow. Gotze, Dortmund’s bright young thing and the homegrown beacon of an emerging force, was leaving. For Bayern Munich. The Bavarians had activated a €37m release clause in Gotze’s contract. He moved to Munich that summer, having been at Dortmund since the age of eight. It was, Klopp said “like a heart attack”.
With the last couple of years being Klopp’s surgery, he is ready once again to welcome him to the fold and in the red of Liverpool.
Things have changed at Dortmund though, with Mats Hummels seemingly now on his way to Bayern, so maybe Gotze will be enticed back to his boyhood club and a guarantee of Champions League football every season. Although, the Reds boss seems certain that Gotze will join him, are there others that Klopp should be looking at?
Well, here are FIVE options…
The 26 year old Argentine playmaker has had a indifferent season at PSG due to injuries and the arrival of Angel di Maria, but his talent is undeniable. The ex-Palermo sensation has great feet, can dribble, create and dictate his team’s attacks from a central playmaking role or either flank. A definite consideration.
The 26 year old Ukrainian is quick, technically gifted and is ideally suited to Klopp’s attacking line, but with a widely mooted valuation of of £20m+, he won’t be cheap. It was said that the player’s agent was in Liverpool recently, which has somewhat fuelled the transfer fires.
The Brazilian has been extensively inked with Manchester United, but Klopp could swoop in. Equally comfortable on the left and right flanks, Anderson has gone from strength to strength since his move to Lazio from Santos in 2013, and his flair and powerful attacking play would complement Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino perfectly.
The Polish midfielder has been showing promise in Serie A. Zielinski has primarily been used as a central midfielder during his four years in Italy, but more often he’s worked in an attacking role at Empoli. However, the technically accomplished 21 year old can play out wide on the wings.
Schalke made it clear that they would not sell Liverpool and Manchester City target Sane in the summer, but a move is being hinted at. Primarily stationed on the right wing, Sane can operate all across the forward line, including as a second striker, and has scored six goals and made five assists in 26 appearances this season. Blessed with blistering pace, Sane is a devastating option on the counter-attack, and his swiftly improving tactical intelligence draws comparison with that of Raheem Sterling.