Liverpool remain confident they can lure Mario Gotze to Anfield this summer after Bayern Munich made it known the midfielder will be leaving the Bundesliga champions.
Jurgen Klopp has been courting his former protégé since it became apparent the 23-year-old would be seeking a fresh challenge ahead of the start of next season.
German media last night reported that incoming Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti has informed Gotze he can go. His contract expires at the end of next season, 2017, which means his valuation is currently around £20 million.
Gotze has indicated he will make his decision after the European Championships, with his former club Borussia Dortmund and Juventus also trailing him.
Dortmund fans have not taken so kindly to the prospect of the player’s return, with their rivalry with Munich intensifying now Mats Hummels has become the latest to leave them for the champions.
The personal relationship between Klopp and Gotze could prove crucial for a deal that would be seen as a bargain given the calibre of the man who scored the winning goal in the last World Cup.
Gotze has been a priority signing for Klopp since he became aware of his availability.
Speaking last month, the Liverpool manager would not be drawn on the pursuit of the player he managed at Borussia Dortmund beyond acknowledging the pain he felt when he sold him to his Bundesliga rivals in 2013.
He refrained from elaborating on whether Gotze is in talks to move to Merseyside, but said: “It is easy to know I like Mario Gotze. It was not the best day in my life when I heard he was going to Bayern Munich.
“I have known him since he was 16. That is a long trip but he is still a young player. I know him better than other players, that is right. That is the only difference to all the other players around.
“I would never say anything about a transfer, whether we are interested or not. It is not important. I speak to you about transfers when they are done and not before. It is all rumours, speculation and I have nothing to say about things like this. We can talk two hours about Mario Gotze but it would not change a per cent whether he comes here or goes wherever.”
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.