German international striker Mario Gomez has agreed terms with Italian Serie A club Fiorentina. The Bayern Munich star, once the Bundesliga's record signing, netted 75 goals despite a sometimes difficult stay in Bavaria.
Bayern Munich announced in a statement on the club website on Monday that Mario Gomez and Fiorentina were "agreed in principle" on terms for a summer transfer to the club in Florence.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Fiorentina president Andrea della Valle also reached a provisional deal on Monday, the club announced.
"It was Mario Gomez's wish to leave Bayern and head for Florence. We have now conformed to this desire," Rummenigge was quoted as saying. "I would like to thank him for the performances he delivered for FC Bayern. In the name of the entire club I wish him lots of luck and success in Florence!"
Mario Gomez spent four seasons with Bayern Munich, having arrived from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart in the summer of 2009 for an estimated 30 million euros ($38.5 million) - a record German transfer fee at the time. The details of his move to Fiorentina were not immediately made public on Monday, but prior speculation suggested that a sum of around 15 million euros would convince Bayern to let the striker leave. Gomez turns 28 years old this Wednesday.
The lanky, languid striker sometimes struggled in Munich, first fighting Miroslav Klose for the first-choice spot up front in his opening two seasons with the club. During the past campaign, Gomez missed the early months with injury - allowing new Bayern signing Mario Mandzukic to perform above expectations and stake his claim to the role of lone striker.
Prolific when picked
Despite the constant competition for a starting spot on Säbener Strasse, Gomez played 115 Bundesliga games for Bayern and scored 75 goals over four seasons. In his 57 non-Bundesliga games, Gomez notched another 38 - more impressive again considering that many of his appearances were as a second-half substitute. He netted 11 goals in the current Bundesliga campaign despite only playing 884 minutes - the equivalent of less than 10 full matches - all season.
Gomez started Bayern's last game of their treble-winning campaign, scoring a pair of typical tap-ins to help Bayern beat Stuttgart 3-2 in the German Cup final and complete their perfect season. Despite more frequent involvement late in the campaign, the German international striker had frequently complained about a lack of football and made it clear he was considering his options.
Bayern Munich have extended the contract of veteran striker Claudio Pizarro, have Mandzukic tied down and have signed star attacking midfielder Mario Götze from archrivals Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians are also incessantly linked with Dortmund's striker Robert Lewandowski, although the Bundesliga runners-up have said the Pole will not be moving to Munich this summer.
Gomez moves to Italy having won every major German club competition. He was part of Bayern's 2010 and 2013 Bundesliga title teams and also helped former club Stuttgart lift the league's salad bowl in 2007. The striker said his main priority in leaving Bayern was to find a club where he knew he'd be the first-choice option in attack. Fiorentina finished fourth in Italy's top Serie A division this season, qualifying for continental competition in the process.
msh/mkg (dpa, SID)