Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Pep Guardiola’s going to have quite the midfield next season at Bayern Munich.
Monday evening, German publication Bild reported that the German giants had activated the release clause in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze’s contract, paving the way for a move this summer to Munich. The 20-year-old star will join the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, and Xherdan Shaqiri in a packed attacking midfield.
On Tuesday morning, both clubs confirmed the deal, with reports putting the price paid by Bayern for the transfer at €37 million ($48 million). The timing of the deal has been controversial, coming just ahead of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final match against Real Madrid.
Götze has been a revelation in German soccer since exploding on to the scene in the 2009/2010 season, helping Dortmund win back-to-back Bundesliga titles. This season the German international has scored 19 goals for club and country in 47 matches.
Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:
FERGUSON LAUDS VAN PERSIE IMPACT
In the match that clinched the club’s 13th Premier League title, Robin Van Persie proved why he is the reason that Manchester United are on top this season, scoring a first-half hat-trick on the way to their 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Following the match, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson raved over the 29-year-old forward, rating him higher than notable Red Devils like Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, and even Wayne Rooney in the past over a single-season span.
“He has made a fantastic contribution,” Ferguson told BBC Sport. “In terms of impact he has had as big an impact as anyone I can imagine.”
Since moving to Manchester United from Arsenal last August, Van Persie has scored 28 goals in all competitions. It’s the first Premier League title for the Netherlands international.
BAYERN PRESIDENT UNDER INVESTIGATION
At the same time that news of Mario Götze’s transfer to Bayern Munich was spreading around the world, so too was the news that the club’s president was under investigation from Germany’s tax authorities.
According to reports from Germany, Uli Hoeness self-reported himself in January, alerting the German government to a private Swiss bank account that the former West Germany international owned. The story has become gone from just the sports forum to the political forum in Germany as well, as Hoeness is close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her political party.
In the past, Hoeness had been looked upon as a positive moral authority, once telling German publication Bild that he had paid all his taxes “in full.”
Luka Modric has been included in Real Madrid’s squad of 23 that traveled to Dortmund yesterday, despite suffering an injury during the team’s last match against Real Betis. (REPORT)
Chelsea are investigating their own fans after Yossi Benayoun tweeted about receiving abuse from the Chelsea support on Sunday in Anfield. (REPORT)
Arsenal have sent in an appeal to the Premier League over the 90th minute red card given to Olivier Giroud in Saturday’s match against Fulham. (REPORT)
Liverpool have announced that they will hold a testimonial match for Steven Gerrard on August 3 against Olympiacos at Anfield, with all proceeds going towards charity. (REPORT)
Alexandra Wrage, an anti-corruption expert, has quit her role with FIFA after frustration at inactivity and a lack of reform from Sepp Blatter and the organization. (REPORT)
What do you make of these reports? Do you see Götze starting for Bayern next season? What do you think of Ferguson’s comments on Van Persie? Do you see Hoeness resigning?
Share your thoughts below.