Borussia Dortmund's Goetze (Photo: Reuters)
Borussia Dortmund confirmed that Mario Goetze, one of the jewels of their youth academy, was set to join arch-rivals Bayern Munich in the summer, adding they were "disappointed" at the news of the midfielder's departure.
"Mario Goetze and his agent informed Borussia Dortmund a few days ago that the player would like to trigger his release clause and move to Bayern Munich on July 1," the club said on its website on Tuesday.
"We are naturally more than anything else all disappointed," Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added, stressing that Goetze had acted in line with his contract.
Recently crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern did not immediately comment and Borussia said that nobody from the Bavarian club had been in touch with them over the transfer.
The move means that the technically gifted attacking midfielder, who can also play on the wing, could face his future club in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25.
Bayern face Barcelona in their semi-final, with the first leg in Munich later on Tuesday, while Dortmund take on Real Madrid at home on Wednesday in the other tie of the round.
Goetze, 20, joined Dortmund's youth academy as an eight-year-old. He made his professional debut in 2009 and helped the club win successive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012.
He has played for Germany at various age levels, winning 22 caps and scoring five goals.
Dortmund, second in the Bundesliga, immediately appealed to their fans not to turn against Goetze as they chase Champions League glory.
"Together with coach Juergen Klopp, sporting director Michael Zorc asks all Borussia Dortmund fans to unconditionally support Mario Goetze in the last games of the season, especially in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, just as they would any other Dortmund professional," the statement said.
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