Cape Town - Speculation is mounting that Mario Gotze's Bayern Munich career is nearing an end, with Tottenham Hotspur, seemingly from nowhere, leading the race for his signature.
German newspaper Bild caused a flurry of transfer rumours on Saturday when they published a story declaring that Gotze would not remain on the Bavarians books beyond the end of the current transfer window.
This isn't the first time it has been suggested the forward was on the move after he struggled to secure a regular starting berth at the club since he joined in 2013, playing a part in just 73 Bundesliga fixtures.
It was first mentioned prior to the Euros but, at the time, Gotze said he was keen to stay and fight for his place in the squad, but Bayern seemingly embarrassed the player by responding that he was welcome to stay as long as he was happy to play a role from the bench.
"Everything was clearly and seriously explained to Mario. He knows what the club thinks and what the new coach thinks. Mario has to evaluate for himself whether he wants to play constantly," club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Kicker back in May.
Now, it appears, according to Bild, the World Cup winner has given up on forcing his way into the Bayern team and will seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Liverpool seemed a natural fit as he would be able to reunite with former boss Jurgen Klopp, under whom he saw much success at Borussia Dortmund, but they are seemingly not even on the radar at this stage, with BVB and Spurs being touted as his most likely destinations.
Quite where he would fit in at White Hart Lane is another question altogether, with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen already on the books, and Vincent Janssen seemingly days away from joining.