Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has urged Mario Gotze to snub any advances from Liverpool and return to Borussia Dortmund in the summer. The 23-year-old, who left Signal Iduna Park and joined the Bundesliga champions in 2013 from Dortmund, will have one year left on his contract after the end of the 2015/16 season.
The World Cup winner with Germany has not featured regularly for Pep Guardiola's side this term with hamstring injury ruling him out from October to February. Since regaining full fitness, the midfielder has failed to become a regular at his club, as he started in only five league matches.
Lack of playing time at Bayern has seen him linked with a move to Liverpool. Gotze has played under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund and the Reds remain confident of securing his services after the end of this campaign. The Guardian claims the Bayern midfielder could be available for £15m-£20m ($21.3m-$28.4m) in the summer.
Bayern and Dortmund are league rivals and Gotze's switch to join the Bavarians had angered a lot of Dortmund fans. However, Matthaus believes his return to his former club will see the German international win the heart of the supporters at Signal Iduna Park.
"Gotze back to Dortmund would simply be a good fit. Our World Cup hero is a child of the Borussia Dortmund academy," Matthaus told Bild, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
"He might have ruined it for some fans following his move to Bayern but I feel he does not owe anyone an apology over his decision to go for a new challenge elsewhere.
"Things unfortunately didn't pan out as everybody expected. But both Gotze and Dortmund know from each other what they bring to the table. He will soon win the fans over again after his first few goals for BVB.
"Would a return to Dortmund mean he has failed at Bayern? I think that would be harsh to say. He won two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund and he will win his fifth title in total if Bayern win it this season.
"These successes with Bayern, in which he had a hand, prove him right for joining them. But it's also a fact that he has been unable to become a undisputed starter like Thomas Muller.
"The reason behind all this is not just Gotze's quality or his mentality. The marriage between Gotze and Bayern was a misunderstanding right from the start."