Skip to main content

Goetze set to join Bayern Munich

April 23, 2013 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
German international Mario Goetze made his Borussia Dortmund debut in 2009.
German international Mario Goetze made his Borussia Dortmund debut in 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mario Goetze to leave Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich
  • German international will become the second most expensive signing by a German team
  • Goetze could face Bayern in the Champions League final at Wembley next month
  • The move comes as Uli Hoeness is being investigated for alleged tax evasion

(CNN) -- When it comes to getting their G-men, Bayern Munich are arguably giving their European rivals a masterclass in acquiring the very best.

First it was Pep Guardiola, the manager instrumental in Barcelona's success in Europe and domestically. And now Mario Goetze, described as a "once in a century player," is on his way to southern Germany.

Ahead of Bayern's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona, the news of Goetze's impending arrival turned the focus, if only temporarily, away from club president Uli Hoeness who is under scrutiny in a tax evasion investigation.

Goetze's agent Volker Struth told Borussia Dortmund that the 20-year-old German international wants to invoke a release clause triggered by Bayern, Dortmund said on its official Facebook page.

Although Dortmund didn't reveal the amount of the escape clause, German tabloid Bild reported it was a hefty €37 million ($48 million).

That would pad Dortmund's coffers and make Goetze the second most expensive signing in Bundesliga history -- Bayern spent €40 million ($52 million) on Athletic Bilbao and Spain midfielder Javi Martinez only a year ago.

Goetze is set to join Bayern on July 1, the same day Guardiola, a promoter of young talent at Barcelona, begins his reign.

CNN FC: Do Bayern Munich need Guardiola?
Are German teams the best in Europe?
Football tactics: Xavi vs. Schweinsteiger

"We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but emphasize that both Mario and his advisers have behaved within terms of the contract," said Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke.

An early start

Goetze made his Bundesliga debut at 17 and has already appeared 22 times for Germany, scoring five goals. He helped Dortmund win the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012.

Goetze's ability to dribble at pace, operate in various positions in midfield and great vision earned him the "once in a century" plaudits from none other than German legend Matthias Sammer.

He has formed an exciting partnership with another young German international at Borussia Dortmund, Marco Reus.

Landing Goetze marks the third time in three years the Bavarian club -- that Hoeness played an instrumental role in building on and off the pitch -- has lured a top transfer target from a fellow Bundesliga club.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer left Schalke in 2011 and striker Mario Mandzukic parted with Wolfsburg last year following his impressive performances for Croatia at Euro 2012.

There might be another arrival from Dortmund, too.

Goetze's teammate, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, is reportedly being chased by Bayern -- as well as Manchester United.

Dortmund supporters lost one of their favorites last year, midfielder Shinji Kagawa, to the Red Devils in a deal worth £14 million ($21 million).

Goetze, born in Bavaria, could face his soon-to-be teammates in the Champions League final at Wembley in May since Dortmund and Bayern are both in the semifinals.

While Bayern face Barca on Tuesday, Dortmund play Real Madrid -- the record nine-time winner in the competition -- on Wednesday.

Beckham: Tom Cruise is hotter than I am
Spain coach Del Bosque: I've been lucky
Soccer player: Bostonians care

On its website Dortmund billed the first leg of its semifinal Wednesday as the "most spectacular home game" in its history and claimed the match would be the "biggest television event" in Germany since the 2006 World Cup semifinal between Germany and Italy.

"Coach Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Zorc asks all fans of Borussia Dortmund to support Mario Goetze unconditionally as they would any other player in the final games of the season, but especially in the important Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid," Dortmund said.

Powerful Bayern

Bayern won this season's Bundesliga with a record six games to spare and was last week named by Forbes as the fifth most valuable soccer team in the world at $1.3 billion.

Bayern was the lone German representative in a top 10 dominated by England's Premier League, which has more lax ownership regulations and a lucrative television rights deal but also more teams in financial distress.

In the Bundesliga, all but two of the 18 teams adhere to the 50+1 rule -- fans own 50 percent plus one of the clubs.

Read: Real Madrid tops most valuable list

According to Swiss Ramble, a blog mostly dedicated to the business of soccer, Bayern's revenue rose from €223 million ($290 million) in 2007 to €368 million ($479 million) in 2012.

Aston Villa or Sharon Stone?
CNN Football Club: Who will be champions?

Dortmund's increase over the same period, €99 million ($129 million), put it second, with Goetze's sale sure to improve the numbers further.

Dortmund's pre-tax profits in 2011/2012 rose to 37 million euros, said SwissRamble, eight years after it nearly went bankrupt.

Hoeness, who won three of the biggest prizes in soccer as a player -- the World Cup, European Championships and European Cup -- told tax authorities in January about a private bank account he held in Switzerland.

"Through my tax adviser I turned myself in to tax authorities in January 2013. It was in relation to a Swiss bank account of mine," the Bayern president told Focus magazine.

The amount hasn't been disclosed, though Bild reported that Hoeness has already paid back €6 million ($7.8 million).

"Tax evasion is without any doubt a serious crime and there can be no justification at all for tax evasion," Chancellor Angela Merkel spokesman Seibert told a news conference on Monday.

"Uli Hoeness has disappointed many people in Germany, including the Chancellor."

Reporters were barred from asking questions about Hoeness' tax affairs at Bayern's press conference ahead of the Barcelona clash.

The 61-year-old Hoeness has been a key figure in helping to turn Bayern Munich into a global powerhouse that not only wins titles with established stars but nurtures young talent, similar to Barcelona.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT