Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze has revealed that he is still in touch with former manager Jurgen Klopp as speculation grows that he could leave the German club a second time.
When he was leaving the Bavarian giants in 2016, he was linked with a move to Liverpool to be reunited with his old manager, before deciding to return to his former club instead.
The 26-year-old confirmed that he spoke to Klopp before making that move, and he could end up joining the Reds after all, with his current contract running out at the end of next summer.
“He [Klopp] knew that I wanted to leave Bayern,” Gotze told Bild. “Of course, we talked. He knows me very well and that I am always looking for new challenges.
“I often speak to Klopp. He brought me to the first team when I was 17 and he made it all possible. We never stopped talking.”
Gotze also weighed in on the Premier League title race, which pits Klopp’s Liverpool against another of the Germany international’s former managers as they look to take the crown of Pep Guardiola’s Man City side.
Guardiola was Gotze’s manager at Bayern for three seasons before leaving Germany for England.
“They are difficult to compare because they pursue different philosophies,” Gotze said. “The fact is that both are extremely successful.
“I am grateful to have worked with two such outstanding coaches. I watch the games of both teams as often as possible, the title fight in the Premier League is extremely exciting.”
Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre insists his side kept their cool before a late double from Paco Alcacer secured victory over Wolfsburg and a return to the top of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund, who were missing leading scorer Marco Reus, appeared set to have to settle for a draw as the game entered injury time still deadlocked at 0-0.
But Alcacer finally made the breakthrough when he scored direct from a free-kick in the first minute of stoppage time, and the Spain striker wrapped up the points when he tapped in a second three minutes later.
“We’ve stayed calm because we know anything is possible until the whistle,” Favre told dvb.de
“We really wanted to score in the last 15 minutes, so we also increased the risk a bit.”
The win sees Dortmund reclaim first place in the standings from Bayern Munich, who were held to a draw at Freiburg.
Favre added: “Both teams defended well and had good phases in the game.
👕 1st BVB appearance— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) 30 March 2019
⏰ 9 seconds played
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“We put on pressure, but Wolfsburg were also dangerous with long balls and counter-attacks, especially in the second half.”
Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze always felt his side could prise open Wolfsburg at some point, having failed to score only once in their last 33 league games at the Westfalenstadion.
Gotze said: “Of course we always believed that we could score a goal here at home.
“It was a very difficult game. It’s important to know that we can be dangerous to the last minute.”
Goalkeeper Roman Burki added: “I am very happy for Paco today. Today he scored two very important goals.
“That’s a nice feeling, the weekend could not go better.”
Domenico Tedesco has been sacked by Schalke in the wake of the 7-0 Champions League humbling by Manchester City.
The Italy-born coach guided Schalke to the Bundesliga’s runners-up spot behind Bayern Munich last season, but the Gelsenkirchen club are currently down in 14th place following three-straight losses.
The final straw appears to have been Tuesday night’s embarrassing display in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola’s City put seven unanswered goals past Schalke to complete a 10-2 aggregate last-16 victory.
Ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with RB Leipzig at Veltins-Arena, former Royal Blues boss Huub Stevens has taken interim control of the first team and will be assisted by Mike Buskens.
“This decision was anything but easy, as we really appreciate Domenico Tedesco at Schalke. He developed the side very well last season that ended with us finishing runners-up,” said the club’s recently-appointed director of sport, Jochen Schneider, on schalke04.de.
“However, we can’t fail to recognise that the development this season has been negative. When I took the job, I demanded a turnaround due to the current situation in the Bundesliga.
“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that this wouldn’t be possible with the current staff.
“Domenico Tedesco deserves our thanks for the work he did over the past two years. He has always conducted himself commendably and fully identified with the club and its values.”
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