Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze has played down reports linking him to a move to Arsenal, as he looks forward to renewing his contract with his boyhood club.
Since then, however, he has struggled to follow through on that potential, cutting short a three-year stay at Bayern Munich in 2016 in favour of returning to his old club after failing to establish himself at the Allianz Arena.
Last season also started poorly for the forward, who has had to fight injury and illness problems since coming back to Dortmund, but he found his feet towards the end of the campaign and was an important part of the team that took Bayern to the final day in the battle for the Bundesliga title.
And while Arsenal are one of the teams said to be interested in his services, Gotze is paying little heed to the rumours.
"I always hear these rumours, they come up every year," he explained to Goal and DAZN.
"Everyone has their value and the club has to decide who fits where".
With just one year left to run on his current deal, Dortmund are keen to discuss an extension with Gotze.
"Our objective is for Mario to stay with us. He has developed very positively in the last few weeks," BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild in May.
Sporting director Michael Zorc recently added to the same publication: "At the start of the season we will sit down together. We have good communication with Mario's father and representatives."
"I have a year on my contract and I am comfortable in the Bundesliga," Gotze explained when asked about a possible renewal.
"I am very relaxed, I wanted to play a reasonable season, contributing with my performances and focusing on myself was important for me."