Mario Götze will likely be available on a free transfer at the end of the season after talks with Dortmund broke down. He's been linked with an array of clubs but at 27, the World Cup winner’s career is at a crossroads.
Mario Götze's career has had quite a few ups and downs: a teenage sensation at Jürgen Klopp's Dortmund, the disappointment of missing a Champions League final through injury, a big-money move to Bayern Munich, the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, his departure from Bayern Munich, and then a metabolic disorder which threatened his entire career.
Three and a half years on from his return to Dortmund, player and club have seemingly been unable to thrash out a contract extension, with reports that the BVB were only willing to offer the attacking midfielder a deal on significantly reduced terms.
Götze was one of Lucien Favre's key players last season when they made a tilt for the title, and at 27, there is reason to believe he still has a lot to offer. Here's a look at the clubs being linked with the German playmaker in January and in July 2020, when his contract expires and he'll be available on a free…
Escape route? Hertha Berlin, coached by Jürgen Klinsmann, have been looking at Götze as a possible signing.
Hertha Berlin would appear to offer Götze an ideal home: a club on the up with money to spend, a guaranteed starting place in team, a big-name coach, and a city that is appealing to live in. Götze could do a lot worse and would be joining a club who, thanks to the significant investment from the Windhorst Group, have ambitions to sign more players of Götze's ilk. If rumours are to be believed, Julian Draxler, Emre Can and Mahmoud Dahoud are also Hertha targets. A relocation to the Olympic Stadium would have the potential to kickstart Götze's career.
Chance of happening: 70%
Götze has been linked with a move to Liverpool, where his old friend Jürgen Klopp is working wonders.
Götze had the option to join Liverpool in 2016 but he opted for a return to Dortmund. You have to wonder whether that decision has kept him awake at night. There is talk that Klopp would still welcome his compatriot to Anfield, but a lot has changed in the intervening years, not least Liverpool becoming the most formidable club team in Europe, which begs several questions: do Liverpool really need him? Would Götze's fitness and injury concerns make him a bad fit for the physical intensity Klopp demands from his players? And can Götze offer enough to be more than just a substitute at Anfield? There are more questions than answers on this one.
Chance of happening: 40%
Many fading stars have found a home in Los Angeles, and the Galaxy have expressed an interest in Götze.
A move to Major League Soccer might really liberate the German international. On the pitch, an injury-plaged Götze could benefit from the slower pace and lower intensity of the game in the US, with LA Galaxy having proved a fine home for many European stars in the past decade or so. Off the field, Götze's profile would make him one of the biggest players in MLS and offer him and his wife, Anne-Kathrin Brömmel, an attractive place to live.
Chance of happening: 50%
Another Bundesliga option for Götze, should the move to Hertha fail to materialize, is a switch to Cologne. Provided they avoid relegation this season, the Billy Goats would be willing to offer Götze a two-year deal starting on July 1, and given his wife's willingness to move to nearby Cologne and rumors linking Lukas Podolski to an Effzeh swansong, it could be a go-er for Götze.
Chance of happening: 30%