We’ve written previously about the Viola having a look at Mario Götze, but according to Bild (which is generally pretty credible, especially for German rumors) and as reported by Fiorentina.it, there may be something a bit more concrete to the story than our initial pure speculation.
Götze—who is somehow still only 28—has looked an awkward fit at Borussia Dortmund all year, making just 7 appearances and a single start since die Schwarzgelben switched to a 3-4-3 system that simply doesn’t suit him; Lucien Favre admitted as much in a recent press conference and the player isn’t training with BVB anymore, so it’s glaringly obvious that he’s on his way out.
Italy seems a good destination, as Lothar Matthäus intimated, due to the slightly slower pace of Serie A. While AS Roma and AC Milan were rumored to have interest, it’s the Viola who’ve emerged as as the front-runners on the peninsula for his services. Sevilla and Monaco are also supposedly in the chase, so there’s no shortage of clubs looking to snap him up.
That’s not exactly a surprise, either. While he doesn’t have much pace left, he’s devastating with the ball at his feet and still has the technique and vision that made him one of the world’s best attackers in his prime. Much like his former teammate Franck Ribery, Götze is the sort of player who can produce a moment of magic to unlock a deep defense, and it’s no secret that Fiorentina (and any team in the world, really), need more players like that.
There are some obvious issues with his moving to Florence, though, including the language barrier. A bigger problem might be his wage, which was €7 million last year. He’ll have to slash that substantially to fit into the Viola wage structure even taking into account that most Bosman signings get higher wages than guys brought in via the transfer market.
The other big issue is where he’d play. While Fiorentina have been linked to a succession of strikers from Andrea Belotti to Mario Mandżukić, there are already a number of in-house options: Christian Kouamé, Patrick Cutrone, and Dušan Vlahović are all young, promising, and in need of time on the field to develop. If Giuseppe Iachini and his 3-5-2 stick around, Federico Chiesa, Ribery, and Riccardo Sottil will factor in as well.
If, however, DS Daniele Pradè and company part ways with Beppe at season’s end in favor of a manager who uses a 10, then Götze suddenly makes a lot more sense. It’s not very often that a 28-year-old with 63 caps for Germany comes available on a free transfer and Fiorentina would be crazy not to do their due diligence on him at the very least. Too, Götze is the sort of big-name player that Rocco Commisso has shown interest in delivering to Tuscany, so there may well be some smoke behind this fire.