Speculation has suggested Mario Gotze could emerge as a target for Milan this summer, but the sense behind a swoop for the Borussia Dortmund ace must surely be questioned.
Doubts remain across the board at Milan heading into the summer, as it’s unclear what changes, if any, will be made if we fail to qualify for the Champions League again.
Will Stefano Pioli stay? With Ralf Rangnick continuing to be linked with a switch to Milan, as per MilanNews, will Paolo Maldini follow Zvonimir Boban out the exit door?
As per Calciomercato, Milan are considering a move for Gotze on a free transfer this summer, based on the assumption that Rangnick could arrive at the club.
It’s added that his contract demands could prove to be problematic, as he currently earns €8m-a-year including bonuses, and so it’s unlikely that Milan could reach an agreement on personal terms unless he was willing to significantly lower his wages.
Nevertheless, it’s suggested that he could be a desired target for Rangnick and that Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis may well be considering a potential offer.
Caution over Gotze swoop
Still only 27, Gotze has had a great career already during spells with Dortmund and Bayern, winning five Bundesliga titles, a number of domestic cup trophies as well as the World Cup with Germany in 2014.
Across two spells with Dortmund, he’s scored 45 goals and provided 61 assists in 217 games, while his tallies at Bayern read 36 goals and 24 assists in 114 outings.
To his credit, after being diagnosed with health problems in 2017, which in turn led to him being limited to just 16 appearances in the 2016/17 campaign having featured just 21 times the previous season, he has bounced back strongly to play a key role for Dortmund since.
That said, Gotze has been through a lot, and having played a bit-part role for Dortmund since November, it has to be questioned as to whether he’s really the same player he was, and if he is capable of reaching those levels again moving forward or if those setbacks will gradually take their toll on him as edges towards turning 30.
Signing him as a free agent would make a touted swoop more understandable, but if the modus operandi for Elliott, Gazidis and Milan is to target talented young players with low costs and high potential, how does Gotze fit into that model? Further, unless he is willing to lower his reported salary significantly, how does that fit into the salary cap imposed by the club to better manage finances?
Milan would arguably be better off just focusing on agreeing new terms with Giacomo Bonaventura instead as he prepares to become a free agent.
Some may argue that there is value in adding the experience, quality and winning mentality that the German ace possesses, and if he’s deemed a good fit for Rangnick’s plans moving forward, even though we don’t even know if he’s actually arriving this summer, they may have a point that he could be a useful addition to the squad.
However, we’re talking about a player who has had 15 injury or illness-related issues since February 2017, causing him to miss 41 games. From his iconic World Cup final goal to establishing himself as once being one of the most talented players in the Bundesliga, Gotze deserves to be regarded as a top player and paid as such.
That said, there’s surely more sensible and suitable options out there for Milan to consider and so time will tell if that’s ultimately the case this summer or if Rangnick arrives and Gotze follows.