EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal to bid £30m for Gotze
Published 22:32 30/11/11 By John Cross
Arsene Wenger is lining up a stunning £30million January move for German wunderkind Mario Gotze.
The Borussia Dortmund forward, 19, has long been the Gunners' number one transfer target - so it is the size of the deal that is the major surprise.
Arsenal are desperate to make a move for Gotze in January, and steal a march on the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Dortmund have insisted that their young star is not for sale and do not want to do a deal in January, but that will not stop the Gunners trying to broker an agreement.
The move is designed as a statement of intent aimed at the likes of Robin van Persie, who currently only has 18 months left on his contract.
Arsenal want to prove they are determined to try to compete at the highest level and are ready to spend big money.
Gotze would be a top quality signing who could push them on towards finishing in the Champions League qualification places.
Arsenal made an enquiry about him in the summer, but it is believed they left it too late to get a deal done in time.
This time, they are keen to get a package together and believe Gotze is interested, despite strong competition from other major clubs.
Wenger has yet to even break the £20m barrier in his 15 years at Arsenal, but the club are now ready to make a splash.
The Gunners have also been scouting Cologne and Germany striker Lukas Podolski, who would cost around £20m.
They also tracked Lille forward Eden Hazard - and would have paid more than £20m for the Belgian - and French midfielder Yann M’Vila in the summer, but could not seal either deal.
The pursuit of Gotze could spell the end for Andrey Arshavin, who has 18 months left on his contract and has been relegated recently to being just a bit-part player.
It also shows that Wenger has the support of the board to go and buy big names and build for the future, which is a positive sign about his long-term position.