Timing of Gotze deal suspicious, says Low

The Germany national coach is not surprised that the 20-year-old has decided to join the Bundesliga champions but he finds it strange that the news was leaked this week

Germany boss Joachim Low has admitted that he found the timing of the announcement of Mario Gotze’s imminent move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich “questionable”.

The summer switch, which will make Gotze the most expensive German player in history, was confirmed on the eve of the first leg of die Schwarzgelben‘s Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid, after details of the deal started appearing in the press on Monday night.

In the end, Dortmund were totally unaffected by the news, with Jurgen Klopp’s men romping to a 4-1 win over los Blancos on Tuesday but, in discussing the deal, Low confessed that he found the way in which the story broke suspicious.

“I was not surprised that a player is going to Bayern Munich,” the 53-year-old coach told Sky Sport Germany. “This is a top destination in the league, and I’m glad that Mario will remain in the Bundesliga.

“However, the timing of the announcement surprised me and I think that it was very questionable.”

Gotze also made light of the controversy to turn in yet another impressive performance against Madrid but Low expected nothing less from the 20-year-old.

“Mario was very good [on Wednesday],” he told ZDF. “But then, Mario is very cool on the pitch; he forgets about everything else.”

Gotze, who has been capped 22 times by die Mannschaft, is a product of Dortmund’s youth academy but is now bound for Bavaria after Bayern agreed to meet his €37 million buy-out clause.

Moratti: No Barcelona bid for Handanovic

The Blaugrana are rumoured to have offered €30 million for the Slovenia international, who they reportedly view as the ideal replacement for outgoing shot-stopper Victor Valdes

Inter president Massimo Moratti has dismissed reports that Barcelona have tabled a bid for goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

It has been reported that the Blaugrana have offered €30 million for the Slovenia international but the Nerazzurri supremo insists that it is the first he has heard about it.

“I don’t know anything,” Moratti is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But we are talking about one of the pillars of our team and we will look to hold on to him.”

There have also been rumours that Barca could look to lure Inter to the negotiating table by bringing Alexis Sanchez into the equation.

The Chile international has failed to settle at Camp Nou since arriving from Udinese two years ago, but he remains highly rated in Italy, as Moratti underlined.

“Sanchez is a great player but those players who can make a difference are difficult to obtain,” the oil tycoon added coyly.

Moratti explained that his current focus is on securing investment from overseas at the club in a bid to restore Inter to their place among Europe’s elite.

“It’s all true,” he admitted. “The interest of other groups is real. Certainly, though, developments of this type take time, so in this regard I’m not making any predictions.

“We must first find an agreement that matches the interest of all parties involved.”

Inter are currently fifth in Serie A, six points behind city rivals AC Milan in the battle for Italy’s third Champions League berth.

Barcelona will sign four or five players, says vice-president

The Camp Nou side are keen to add some fresh blood to their squad this summer and intend to hold on to current head coach Tito Vilanova

Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu has revealed that the Catalans intend to sign four or five new players in the summer transfer window.

The Primera Division leaders have been linked with players such as Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Santos forward Neymar in the past few months, but Bartomeu has stressed that they have not reached an agreement with the latter just yet.

“We’ll make four or five signings in the summer. We need to shake up the squad. We’ve also got players from the B team,” Barca’s vice-president told Catalunya Radio.

“We haven’t signed Neymar. He’s a player we are interested in, we’ve said that before, and we’ll see what happens when the season finishes.”

Bartomeu also had his say on the future of Tito Vilanova and insisted that the 44-year-old will continue to be Barcelona’s head coach.

“Tito will continue next year.”

Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola as Barca coach at the start of the 2012-13 campaign and guided them to their best-ever start in La Liga.

The Camp Nou side currently sit atop of the league table, holding a 13-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid.

Thiago Silva urges Ibrahimovic to stay at PSG

The Brazil international hopes the club’s talisman will remain in the French capital as rumours of a summer exit gather pace

Thiago Silva has urged Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stay at Paris Saint-Germain this summer amid interest from Juventus and Manchester City.

The Serie A champions are closely monitoring the Sweden international’s situation in the French capital in their search for a top striker, while City see the Sweden international as a good alternative in case they fail to land Napoli star Edinson Cavani.

However, his team-mate Thiago Silva has revealed his desperation for the club’s talisman to remain at Parc des Princes and see their adventure through to its conclusion after both joined from PSG last summer.

“I hope Zlatan will stay at PSG. He can help the team and the club grow. I really want him to stay put,” Thiago Silva told Le 10 Sport.

“I have not yet had the opportunity to talk to him about whether he has already made a decision on his future.

“He’s a normal guy who always wants to win. He gets angry when things don’t go well. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it isn’t. I see him as a positive guy, though, who gives strength to the team.”

The 31-year-old has a contract with the Ligue 1 leaders until June 2015.

Lewandowski agent stuns Dortmund with transfer revelation

The striker’s representative has brought the club down to earth with a bang after claiming the player will definitely be leaving in the summer

Robert Lewandowski’s agent Maik Barthel has stunned Borussia Dortmund by revealing the striker has agreed terms with another club – less than 24 hours after scoring four goals in BVB’s 4-1 win over Real Madrid.

The likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City are all believed to be keen on luring the Poland international away from Signal Iduna Park this summer.

BVB have so far stressed that they have no intention of selling their star attacker, though a transfer now seems inevitable following comments made by the player’s representative on the the back of one of the finest nights in the club’s history.

“We have reached an agreement with another club and intend to switch clubs this summer,” Barthel was quoted as saying by Sport Bild.

“All of Borussia Dortmund’s demands will be met.”

Lewandowski’s agent then went on to stress that BVB have promised the striker that he will be allowed to leave under the right conditions and expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to honour their promise.

“There is an interesting offer for Robert that meets Dortmund’s criteria and satisfies Robert’s demands. BVB have assured us that Robert will be allowed to leave under these circumstances. It’s now up to the clubs to sort it out.”

The 24-year-old has a contract until the summer of 2014, with his exit another potential hammer blow for Dortmund following the news Mario Gotze will join rivals Bayern Munich in the summer.