Goetze set to join Bayern Munich

German international Mario Goetze made his Borussia Dortmund debut in 2009.

Story highlights

  • Mario Goetze to leave Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich
  • German international will become the second most expensive signing by a German team
  • Goetze could face Bayern in the Champions League final at Wembley next month
  • The move comes as Uli Hoeness is being investigated for alleged tax evasion

When it comes to getting their G-men, Bayern Munich are arguably giving their European rivals a masterclass in acquiring the very best.

First it was Pep Guardiola, the manager instrumental in Barcelona's success in Europe and domestically. And now Mario Goetze, described as a "once in a century player," is on his way to southern Germany.

Ahead of Bayern's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona, the news of Goetze's impending arrival turned the focus, if only temporarily, away from club president Uli Hoeness who is under scrutiny in a tax evasion investigation.

Goetze's agent Volker Struth told Borussia Dortmund that the 20-year-old German international wants to invoke a release clause triggered by Bayern, Dortmund said on its official Facebook page.

Although Dortmund didn't reveal the amount of the escape clause, German tabloid Bild reported it was a hefty €37 million ($48 million).

That would pad Dortmund's coffers and make Goetze the second most expensive signing in Bundesliga history -- Bayern spent €40 million ($52 million) on Athletic Bilbao and Spain midfielder Javi Martinez only a year ago.

Goetze is set to join Bayern on July 1, the same day Guardiola, a promoter of young talent at Barcelona, begins his reign.

    "We are obviously disappointed beyond measure, but emphasize that both Mario and his advisers have behaved within terms of the contract," said Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke.

      Just Watched

      CNN FC: Do Bayern Munich need Guardiola?

    CNN FC: Do Bayern Munich need Guardiola? 22:46

      Just Watched

      Are German teams the best in Europe?

    Are German teams the best in Europe? 03:56

      Just Watched

      Football tactics: Xavi vs. Schweinsteiger

    Football tactics: Xavi vs. Schweinsteiger 01:45

    An early start

    Goetze made his Bundesliga debut at 17 and has already appeared 22 times for Germany, scoring five goals. He helped Dortmund win the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012.

    Goetze's ability to dribble at pace, operate in various positions in midfield and great vision earned him the "once in a century" plaudits from none other than German legend Matthias Sammer.

    He has formed an exciting partnership with another young German international at Borussia Dortmund, Marco Reus.

    Landing Goetze marks the third time in three years the Bavarian club -- that Hoeness played an instrumental role in building on and off the pitch -- has lured a top transfer target from a fellow Bundesliga club.

    Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer left Schalke in 2011 and striker Mario Mandzukic parted with Wolfsburg last year following his impressive performances for Croatia at Euro 2012.

    There might be another arrival from Dortmund, too.

    Goetze's teammate, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, is reportedly being chased by Bayern -- as well as Manchester United.

    Dortmund supporters lost one of their favorites last year, midfielder Shinji Kagawa, to the Red Devils in a deal worth £14 million ($21 million).

    Goetze, born in Bavaria, could face his soon-to-be teammates in the Champions League final at Wembley in May since Dortmund and Bayern are both in the semifinals.

    While Bayern face Barca on Tuesday, Dortmund play Real Madrid -- the record nine-time winner in the competition -- on Wednesday.

    On its website Dortmund billed the first leg of its semifinal Wednesday as the "most spectacular home game" in its history and claimed the match would be the "biggest television event" in Germany since the 2006 World Cup semifinal between Germany and Italy.

      Just Watched

      Beckham: Tom Cruise is hotter than I am

    Beckham: Tom Cruise is hotter than I am 02:31

      Just Watched

      Spain coach Del Bosque: I've been lucky

    Spain coach Del Bosque: I've been lucky 02:33

      Just Watched

      Soccer player: Bostonians care

    Soccer player: Bostonians care 01:49

    "Coach Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Zorc asks all fans of Borussia Dortmund to support Mario Goetze unconditionally as they would any other player in the final games of the season, but especially in the important Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid," Dortmund said.

    Powerful Bayern

    Bayern won this season's Bundesliga with a record six games to spare and was last week named by Forbes as the fifth most valuable soccer team in the world at $1.3 billion.

    Bayern was the lone German representative in a top 10 dominated by England's Premier League, which has more lax ownership regulations and a lucrative television rights deal but also more teams in financial distress.

    In the Bundesliga, all but two of the 18 teams adhere to the 50+1 rule -- fans own 50 percent plus one of the clubs.

    Read: Real Madrid tops most valuable list

    According to Swiss Ramble, a blog mostly dedicated to the business of soccer, Bayern's revenue rose from €223 million ($290 million) in 2007 to €368 million ($479 million) in 2012.

    Dortmund's increase over the same period, €99 million ($129 million), put it second, with Goetze's sale sure to improve the numbers further.

      Just Watched

      Aston Villa or Sharon Stone?

    Aston Villa or Sharon Stone? 02:38

      Just Watched

      CNN Football Club: Who will be champions?

    CNN Football Club: Who will be champions? 22:27

    Dortmund's pre-tax profits in 2011/2012 rose to 37 million euros, said SwissRamble, eight years after it nearly went bankrupt.

    Hoeness, who won three of the biggest prizes in soccer as a player -- the World Cup, European Championships and European Cup -- told tax authorities in January about a private bank account he held in Switzerland.

    "Through my tax adviser I turned myself in to tax authorities in January 2013. It was in relation to a Swiss bank account of mine," the Bayern president told Focus magazine.

    The amount hasn't been disclosed, though Bild reported that Hoeness has already paid back €6 million ($7.8 million).

    "Tax evasion is without any doubt a serious crime and there can be no justification at all for tax evasion," Chancellor Angela Merkel spokesman Seibert told a news conference on Monday.

    "Uli Hoeness has disappointed many people in Germany, including the Chancellor."

    Reporters were barred from asking questions about Hoeness' tax affairs at Bayern's press conference ahead of the Barcelona clash.

    The 61-year-old Hoeness has been a key figure in helping to turn Bayern Munich into a global powerhouse that not only wins titles with established stars but nurtures young talent, similar to Barcelona.

        Football Focus

      • After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
      • He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
      • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

        Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
      • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

        Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
      • One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
      • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

        Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
      • Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.