Arsenal are lining up a sensational £27million move for Bayern Munich outcast Mario Gotze according to reports in Germany.
The Gunners have been forced to move on from transfer target Henrikh Mkhitaryan after it emerged that the Dortmund playmaker has his heart set on a move to Manchester United.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is desperate to be reunited with former Dortmund man Gotze at Anfield, but it appears the Gunners have now stolen a march on them.
Boss Arsene Wenger has cash to splash and has been urged by the club’s board to open his transfer war chest and finally turn his squad into title challengers.
And Gotze has reportedly been identified as a key part in Wenger’s jigsaw, with the player under threat of being axed from Bayern’s Champions League squad for the upcoming season.
The playmaker suffered an injury-ravaged season last year and was restricted to the substitutes’ bench during the run-in, with former boss Pep Guardiola clearly not fancying the 24-year-old.
He has been linked with a move back to Dortmund – where he won two Bundesliga titles under Klopp – as Bayern look to smooth relations with their rivals after Mats Hummels’ acrimonious move in the other direction.
Liverpool have been tracking the 24-year-old for months but Gotze appeared to deal them a blow when he admitted that he was looking forward to a fresh start under incoming boss Carlo Ancelotti.
But reports in Germany insist that the Bavarian club are keen to get him off their wage bill as they cannot justify his £110,000-a-week contract.
On top of that, they do not feel that he possesses full set of ingredients to play as either a striker or a midfielder.
The 53-cap international was deployed as a ‘false nine’ by Germany boss Joachim Low in their opening Euro 2016 victory over Ukraine.
While Bayern and Germany seem unsure of what his best position is, Wenger would welcome the chance to work with such a talent and pair him with compatriot Mesut Ozil in the Gunners’ attack.