Football Football

Hands off warning issued over Goetze


DORTMUND, Germany, November 24 – Borussia Dortmund have issued a ‘hands off’ warning to the top European clubs interested in signing Germany’s teenage star Mario Goetze by insisting the 19-year-old is not for sale.

Goetze limped off with a knee injury early in the second-half of Dortmund’s 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium which puts the Gunners in the Champions League’s knock-out phase while Dortmund are now out.

Arsenal have consistently been linked to Goetze with both the German and English media reporting the Gunners’ are prepared to splash out in a multi-million transfer deal in January’s transfer window.

Bayern Munich’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger have both publicly stated they are interested in signing the German prodigy.

But after the latest batch of speculation, Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc repeated, in no uncertain terms, that their star is going nowhere with his contract set to expire in June 2014.

“It surprises me how much ignorance big parts of the media show in the way they handle this subject,” said Zorc after the defeat in London.

“All the relevant people on this topic – the player, his family, the player’s agent and not least us as a club have all said clearly: There will be no transfer for Mario Goetze.

“In football, things are never 100 percent, but I’ll say I am 99 percent, maybe more, sure that Mario Goetze will play next season at Borussia Dortmund.

“Now you can throw the topic in a heavy chest and let cobwebs grow on it.”

Meanwhile, Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender is expected to be out until at least next January following an emergency operation in London after breaking his jaw against Arsenal.

The 22-year-old had two plates inserted to stabilise his jaw in a London hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning, the club said on their website.

The Germany international remained in hospital while his team flew home.

Defending champions Dortmund are second in the German league behind Bayern Munich and host neighbours Schalke in the Ruhr Valley derby on Saturday.