Gotze vows to win over Dortmund fans

BERLIN • Borussia Dortmund have re-signed Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich on a four-year deal for €26 million (S$38.9 million), three seasons after the attacking midfielder left Signal Iduna Park.

The 24-year-old Germany international was one of Pep Guardiola's first signings in the summer of 2013, having agreed to join before the end of the season.

He leaves the Allianz Arena having won three Bundesliga titles and two German Cups, while also scoring the winner for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.

Bayern had suggested that Gotze's days at the club were numbered, with new manager Carlo Ancelotti refusing to guarantee the midfielder a place in the first team.

Gotze, a product of the Dortmund academy, said in a statement on Facebook that his decision to leave Dortmund in 2013 was one he regrets. "Today, three years later and at 24, I look at that decision in a different light," he wrote.

Likely to face a frosty reception from some Dortmund fans, he said he would do everything he possibly can to win over those who "do not welcome me with open arms" and referred to the club as "my home".

"I can understand many fans could not accept my decision," he said. "I wouldn't reach it today either."

With the defender Mats Hummels and the midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan having all left this summer, Dortmund are rebuilding their squad, having already brought in Ousmane Dembele, Sebastian Rode, Raphael Guerreiro, Marc Bartra, Emre Mor and Mikel Merino.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2016, with the headline 'Gotze vows to win over Dortmund fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe