Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz has claimed that Mario Gotze wanted to join his side, but the club turned down the chance to sign the former Germany international.

The 28-year-old was linked with several teams across Europe and in Germany, with Bundesliga sideHertha Berlin confirming their interest last month.

Bosz, who managed Gotze at Dortmund in 2017, has said that the midfielder wanted to link up with his side but they preferred to give more playing time to highly rated teenager Florian Wirtz instead.

“He wanted to move to Leverkusen,” Bosz toldDe Telegraafof Gotze.

“We already have Florian Wirtz for this position. The club has the firm intention to develop him further.”

Bosz also expressed his surprise that Gotze chose to move to his home country of the Netherlands, saying he expected the midfielder to opt for a bigger league.

“You’d expect someone like Mario Gotze on the big football stage at a big club. PSV is a big club, but in a smaller football country,” the 56-year-old said.

Gotze spent four seasons with Borussia Dortmund between 2016 and 2020, eventually falling out of favour under Lucien Favre last season.

The midfielder madejust 21 appearances in all competitions forFavre’s side in 2019-20, announcing near the end of the season that he would be leaving as a free agent at the conclusion of the campaign.

After several months without a club Gotze said upon arriving at PSV that he was looking forward to the challenge of playing outside of Germany for the first time in his career.

“I had a lot of offers this summer but I am a man of feeling and make my own decisions,” Gotze toldPSV’s official website.

“I feel I am ready for a very different challenge and I am confident that this should be a very comfortable transition for me.”

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