Borussia Dortmund’s CEO has told Lothar Matthaus to lay off long-term Liverpool target Mario Gotze.
Gotze, who was angling after a move to Liverpool in the summer, has not yet appeared for Dortmund this season under new boss Lucien Favre.
That has prompted former Germany skipper and now pundit Matthaus into some stinging criticism of Gotze, who scored the World Cup-winning goal in 2014.
Matthaus has claimed that playmaker Gotze, who was believed to be Jurgen Klopp target in 2016, is “missing quality” and will have to leave Dortmund to rediscover his form.
“His form, which he had before the 2014 World Cup and included his winning goal in the final, is behind him,” Matthaus told Sky Sports in Germany.
“For him, you would have to invent a system at Borussia Dortmund that does not exist right now.
“He has since been with two clubs and played under several coaches – so it is not on the coach.”
Hans-Joachim Watzke though says Matthaus should take a step back in his criticism of the 26-year-old.
“I know that Lothar Matthaus earns his money as a pundit and has to put forward provocative theories, but it would be nice, if one of the greatest players that Germany ever had, he could leave Mario alone and not trample on him,” said Watzke.
“Mario is doing the right things: he trains well, he does not let up, he gives to the team, he’s totally focused, he’s an important part of our squad and I’m sure he’ll play some great games for BVB this season.
“I know for sure that the coach has a very high opinion of him and will use him, as he clearly said after the match.”
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