Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer insists the decision to announce the signing of Mario Gotze was not designed to distract rival Borussia Dortmund ahead of this week's Champions League semifinals.
News surfaced late on Monday that the talented playmaker had agreed to join the Bundesliga champion this summer, forcing Bayern to confirm the news prior to its clash with Barcelona on Tuesday. Although he admits the timing of the announcement was far from ideal, Sammer has refuted the notion that it was intended to unsettle the club's German rival prior to Wednesday's meeting with Real Madrid.
“If we would have wanted to announce the transfer (to affect Dortmund), we would have done it tomorrow, directly ahead of Dortmund's match,” Sammer told Sky Sports. “The timing, of course, is not perfect.
“Our aim was to play the first legs of the Champions League semifinals and then announce it in the middle or at the end of this week.”
Gotze had long been linked with a host of other European sides, and Sammer admitted the 20-year-old had been subject of a number of other bids prior to his decision to move to the Allianz Arena.
“Mario had incredible offers from other clubs," Sammer said. "I would say let’s be happy he stays in the Bundesliga.”
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Matthias Sammer