Borussia Dortmund have confirmed the re-signing of Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich for £22m.
Dortmund announced on their official website that Gotze – who moved to Bayern in 2013 after they activated his £32m release clause – has agreed a contract until 2020 and will complete the transfer subject to passing a medical.
The 24-year-old midfielder still had a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, but struggled to live up to expectations at the Allianz Arena before being told he was not part of new coach Carlo Ancelotti’s plans at the start of the summer.
Speaking on Facebook about the return to his boyhood club, Gotze revealed that the three years he spent away helped him to mature as a person.
‘When I switched from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich in 2013, that was a conscious decision that I will not hide myself from today.
‘Three years later, at 24 years of age, I look with different eyes at my former decision.
‘I understand that back then many fans could not understand my decision.
‘When I return to my home, I want to try and convince everyone – especially those who do not receive me with open arms – with my performances.
‘My aim is to play again my best football. For all of us, the club and the BVB fans.’
Sportsmail reported on Monday that if Gotze was to return to Borussia Dortmund, he would have to win over a lot of fans.
In the weeks prior to his departure, the famous ‘Yellow Wall’ labelled him as a ‘Judas’ in addition to holding up signs saying ‘f*** you Gotze’ at their home ground, the Westfalenstadion.
After admitting that his move may have been a questionable one and that he is willing to win back those who are sceptical, the real challenge begins now as he looks to recapture his old form.
In an attack which may soon add Andre Schurrle to the likes of Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele, this will be far from easy for the World Cup winner.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has also spoken about the move, and how he always thought that the former prodigal son would always come home.
‘I am personally very pleased that Mario has decided to Borussia Dortmund. I have, since his departure in 2013, always hoped that he will one day return to us.
‘My thanks go to this point explicitly at Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
‘We have negotiated with Bayern in this transfer window three changes. All our conversations were marked by great professionalism and mutual trust.’
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also had his say on Gotze and the transfer.
‘The negotiations were very fair and serious. We’d like to thank Borussia Dortmund, Mario, his father as well as his agent for that.
‘I think the transfer is a good solution for all parties.
‘FC Bayern thanks Mario Gotze for three years wearing the Bayern shirt and wishes him all the best for the future.’