Germany coach Joachim Loew says he plans to take Mario Goetze to this June’s European championships in France, despite Pep Guardiola keeping the World Cup winner on Bayern Munich’s bench.
On Wednesday, German daily Bild claimed Goezte’s ex-club Borussia Dortmund are planning to buy Goetze back from Bayern at the end of the season, having seen him leave for Munich for €37 million in 2013.
Goetze, whose goal sealed Germany’s win in the 2014 World Cup final, has failed to hold down a first-team place at Bayern in the last three years.
He has made just eight league appearance in an injury-ravaged campaign under Guardiola this season.
Even though his groin injury, which kept him out from October until February, has healed, Bayern boss Guardiola has left him out for key Bundesliga and Champions League games, fuelling speculation of Goetze’s return to Dortmund.
But Loew said Goetze remains very much part of his plans for Euro 2016, from June 10-July 10, as the Germany squad prepares for Saturday’s home friendlies against England in Berlin, and against Italy in Munich four days later.
“I can understand the situation at Bayern, to an extent, from afar,” said Loew on Wednesday.
“Mario has long been injured this season and there have been very, very important matches.
“I’ve noticed in training that, in regards to his fitness and form, Mario isn’t yet where he was before his injury.
“You can see he’s lacking match practice, but I will definitely count on him for the European championships.
“It’s always worth it to support Mario, because he can do things which other players can’t do.”
Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has refused to comment on Bild’s claim Borussia want their former play-maker back.
“From our perspective, there is nothing to say,” he told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
“I have absolutely no desire to be part of the speculation.”
Goetze has said his sole desire is to be playing again and hopes to speak to Bayern’s in-coming coach Carlo Ancelotti, who will replace Guardiola next season, about his future.