Cape Town - Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has weighed in on speculation surrounding the future of midfielder Mario Gotze, praising the Germany international for deciding to stay and fight for a place next season.
Gotze is reportedly Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's top transfer target in the off-season, but recent reports have claimed the player will spurn the advances of the Premier League outfit in favour of staying at the Allianz Arena.
This after the midfielder revealed he was looking forward to the prospect of working under incoming boss Carlo Ancelotti in the club's first training session in pre-season.
"I don't know whether there was indeed an offer from Liverpool," Matthaus told TZ. "But why would he join a club that do not even play in the Champions League?
"He would have taken the easy solution with a move to Liverpool. But the easy solution is not always the right solution.
"Mario has shown with his latest comments that he is ready to fight for his place. This whole situation will only make him stronger. I applaud his decision to stay put.
"He is finally standing up for himself. He is taking his career in his own hands at last.
"He is not taking the easy way out, but is taking on the challenge. He wants to show Bayern what he can do. I have waited for this for quite some time. This is a sign that he is getting mature.
"I don't think he is looking to leave on a free transfer in 2017 and earn a big signing fee. He has already made enough money. He did this because he wants to show Bayern he is a player of the highest level."