English champions Manchester United are set to compete for and bag Borussia Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze next summer, with an audacious fee of £25 million.
United, who were previously linked with Dortmund's central Serbian defender Nevin Subotic, reportedly sent a scout to monitor Gotze this weekend, when his club played against league leaders Bayern Munich. Gotze must have impressed the scouts when he scored his team's winning goal.
His club, however, will want to hold on to their prized asset for as long as possible, amid interest from United's league rivals Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger tried to sign the 19-year-old German last summer. Arsenal's approach was cut short by Dortmund, who resisted, then, all attempts at negotiations.
However, that could change this season, owing to the fact that Dortmund's Champions League campaign is almost at an end. The bid may be given another lifeline if the teenage wunderkind insists on joining one of Europe's elite clubs.
Gotze is reportedly seen as the ideal replacement for retired United great Paul Scholes and a player who could easily fit into Sir Alex Ferguson's plan to stock his side with talented youngsters.
In addition to the Red Devils and their rivals Arsenal, it is believed that Spanish club Real Madrid is also interested in the player, according to a Caughtoffside report.
Gotze, who plays as an attacking midfielder and a right winger for Dortmund, is considered a potentially world-class player. His game is built around speed, technical skill and creativity on the ball. He is a product of Dortmund's youth academy and made his Bundesliga debut in November 2009 in a 0-0 draw against 1. FSV Mainz 05, when he came on as a substitute in the dying minutes of the game.
He has since made 63 appearances for Dortmund and has managed to find the back of the net 14 times.