Bayern Munich has agreed to sell Germany striker Mario Gomez to Italian club Fiorentina.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reached a deal with Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle on Monday, with contracts to be finalised and signed in the coming days, the Bundesliga club announced on its website.
“It was Mario Gomez’s wish to leave Bayern in the direction of Florence. We’ve now granted his wish,” Rummenigge said.
Gomez said he had mixed feelings over the move.
“This is a fundamental step for my career,” he said. “It’s upsetting to leave so many friends and a squad like this but I love football and I love to play. Fiorentina is a squad that plays very attacking football.”
Gomez joined Bayern from Stuttgart for a then-Bundesliga record fee of up to €35 million (US$45 million) in 2009.
Bild and Kicker both reported Fiorentina will pay Bayern €20 million (US$26 million) for the 27-year-old forward. Bild says the Italian side will pay €16 million (US$20.6 million) up front, with the rest to follow later.
Hours after Bayern’s announcement, Fiorentina released a statement saying that talks over Gomez’s transfer “are at an advanced stage,” adding that “Fiorentina directors will meet with their counterparts at Bayern to finalise the remaining details” on Tuesday.
Gomez scored 112 goals in 172 games for Bayern.
“With that he made a major contribution to two German titles and two German Cup wins. The highlight, of course, was the Champions League win and the treble last season,” Rummenigge said. “I want to thank him for his performances for Bayern. On behalf of the club I wish him lots of luck and success in Florence.”
Injury ruled Gomez out of Bayern’s opening games to last season, and he was unable to reclaim a regular starting place due to Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic’s good performances and coach Jupp Heynckes’ policy of rotation.
Bayern has made no secret of its wish to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund and Gomez reportedly felt a move away from the club was his only way of ensuring regular action ahead of the World Cup next year.
Gomez scored 25 goals in 58 appearances for Germany.
“It’s tough to leave one of the greatest clubs in the world,” Gomez said. “When it became clear that I couldn’t stay at Bayern I thought about going to play in Spain or Italy. Fiorentina came forward, they were looking for a striker, and everything happened very quickly.”
Gomez joins a side that impressed last season under first-year coach Vincenzo Montella, finishing fourth in Serie A, two points behind AC Milan.
The Viola were praised for their fluid, Spanish style passing game but they lacked a strong finisher — a position Gomez will be expected to occupy.
Fiorentina is also hoping that Giuseppe Rossi can contribute in attack, having only played the final match of last season after a long injury layoff.
Prized Fiorentina playmaker Stevan Jovetic is expected to move to another club.