Transfer Talk: Dortmund rumour roundup
Borussia Dortmund’s instrumental 2022 summer transfer window ultimately propelled the club to being one win away from a first Bundesliga title in 11 years.
Although there’s no denying the chokehold Bayern Munich have had on the rest of the league over the past decade, the champions are still somewhat in disarray at the top, having overseen a significant amount of reckless change at the top over the past 12 months.
Still, Thomas Tuchel’s side have strengthened; Serie A’s best defender Kim Min-Jae and BVB’s top assister from last season Raphael Guerreiro have already moved to the Allianz Arena, while English duo Harry Kane and Kyle Walker are under pursuit.
Dortmund, however, appear lacking after an inactive start to the window.
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Felix Nmecha from VfL Wolfsburg on a deal until 2028 🤝 pic.twitter.com/23Qtj4D8i3
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) July 3, 2023
Having come so close in May, Edin Terzic will be targeting another window like last year’s, in order to take the club to the next level.
But with player of the year Jude Bellingham now at Real Madrid and friction between the manager and the board regarding incomings, the Yellow Wall are unsure what to expect from the remainder of the window.
Here is a roundup of what has been done so far and what could be on the cards before deadline day comes around.
(All fees via transfermarkt.com)
Felix Nmecha – Wolfsburg (€30m)
Ramy Bensebaini – Borussia Mönchengladbach (Free)
Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid (€103m)
Ansgar Knauff – Eintracht Frankfurt (€5m)
Raphael Guerreiro – Bayern Munich (Free)
Mahmoud Dahoud – Brighton & Hove Albion (Free)
Felix Passlack – Bochum (Free)
Tom Rothe – Holstein Kiel (Loan)
Nico Schulz – Released
Anthony Modeste – Released
Göktan Gürpuz – Trabzonspor (Free)
Jayden Braaf – Hellas Verona (€1m)
So far this summer there has been more outgoings from Signal Iduna Park than those coming the other way.
This leaves the Black and Yellows looking a little bare ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Several younger players and fringe players have left the club, but the departures of Bellingham, Guerreiro and Dahoud could prove damaging, if the club fail to secure adequate replacements.
The former pair were not only two of Dortmund’s best performers last season but two of the best in the Bundesliga, while the latter was a very good backup option at this level.
Ramy Bensebaini was a consistent performer for both Rennes in France and ‘Gladbach, where he got to know German football, showing quality at both ends of the pitch.
His experience and quality in his prime years make him a great asset for ‘die Borussen’, with Julian Ryerson providing cover on both defensive flanks.
Felix Nmecha stands so far as the club’s only arrival for a transfer fee – 30 million euros was the sum Wolfsburg required to part with the former Manchester City man.
That comes after a strong breakthrough season, in which the attacking midfielder became a Germany international.
Eight direct goal involvements for a struggling Wolfsburg side isn’t a bad tally and despite the off-field issues in bringing him to the club, at 22 Nmecha will only improve, especially given the club’s philosophy of developing talents.
While reports of incomings dominate the football world at this time of year, ‘die Schwarzgelben’ are rumoured to be securing the futures of some of the team’s foundations.
The club are apparently working on contract extensions for both Emre Can and Gregor Kobel, with goalkeeper Alexander Meyer having already committed his future to the club earlier in the summer.
Can was a key figure for Terzic last season and is one of the squad’s more experienced players. According to Bild, a contract extension until 2026 is in the pipeline.
Meanwhile Ruhr Nachrichten (RN) have reported that Gregor Kobel is in talks over a new deal that would see the 25-year-old become one of the highest earners in the squad.
The Swiss international has already publicly declared his affection for Borussia Dortmund and has spoken of his dream to succeed Roman Weidenfeller as a long-serving number one.
There’s already been several exits from North Rhine-Westphalia this summer but there may be more to come.
Young defender Soumaila Coulibaly had agreed a move to Burnley and passed medical checks, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute due to issues surrounding a buyback clause.
RN report that the player has since submitted a formal transfer request.
Burnley's loan move for Borussia Dortmund defender Soumaila Coulibaly (19) hangs in the balance – there has been a last-minute disagreement over the obligation to buy fee – the situation. (Kicker)https://t.co/p7ZzjIIj5a
— Get German Football News (@GGFN_) July 13, 2023
Thomas Meunier spent almost the entire second half of last season in the physio room; he was targeted by Club Brugge of his native Belgium. However, that move also fell through.
Fellow Belgian Thorgan Hazard’s six months on loan at PSV didn’t go to plan – he is reportedly targeting a permanent move elsewhere to secure more game time ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
Fenerbahce and Borussia Mönchengladbach are names that have been linked with Giovanni Reyna, who struggled for a regular starting role last term.
Those rumours have gone quiet, however, with the player’s future still up in the air.
When the 2023 summer transfer window first opened, it was clear that Dortmund’s primary targets were Ajax’s Edson Alvarez and Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda.
Reliable transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Alvarez had agreed personal terms with the club, only for the deal to collapse. Edin Terzic had reportedly vetoed the move.
Understand Borussia Dortmund have now pulled out of the race to sign Edson Álvarez despite agreeing personal terms with Mexican midfielder last week. 🚨🟡⚫️ #BVB
BVB intentioned to proceed with Emre Can as DM — and go for different players in the midfield now. pic.twitter.com/VFSPnfOu8a
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 29, 2023
BVB have ‘strong interest’ in Fresneda, who has a €20m release clause. But the Spanish starlet is now under pursuit by AFC Bournemouth under the new management of Andoni Iraola.
Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke stated after the final day draw with Mainz that the club will ‘reinvest 60-65% of transfer fees they receive this summer’.
But despite Jude Bellingham earning the club major profit, why are things moving so slow?
Today’s market is controlled by the Premier League so many players and agents appear to be holding out for offers from England.
Meanwhile there also seems to be a lack of cohesion between the board and Edin Terzic, who recently stressed the importance of ‘good transfers’ rather than ‘quick transfers’, imploring fans to be patient.
With Nmecha through the door but Alvarez firmly on the other side, reports suggest that the club are happy to have Can as the main defensive midfielder but are in the market for a Bellingham replacement.
Weston McKennie and Xavi Simons were touted as potential options.
MCKENNIE IN TALKS WITH DORTMUND 🇺🇸🇩🇪 According to ESPN, 24-year-old midfielder in discussions with BVB about potential summer move to Bundesliga club from Juventus, where he’d join USMNT teammate Gio Reyna. GFOPs, what you think of a return to Germany for McKennie? pic.twitter.com/5Qi63R3Dam
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) July 5, 2023
McKennie, a former Schalke player, is valued at around €30m by Juventus, which is likely to be deemed too high a fee for a player who struggled in England with relegated Leeds last season.
Simons, meanwhile, who was one of the Eredivisie’s stars last term, joined PSG before signing for RB Leipzig on loan.
The Pokal champions may have lost Christopher Nkunku and could lose Josko Gvardiol too, but Marco Rose’s side are acting quickly in the market.
There appears to be nothing concrete at the moment in terms of Dortmund’s transfer targets.
Young stars such as Manchester City’s Cole Palmer and PSG’s Warren Zaire-Emery have been linked, but it is anyone’s guess as to who will arrive at Signal Iduna Park before the end of the window.
Fan favourite Jadon Sancho struggled last season at Manchester United – a return to Germany was suggested in the media but that is a move that appears very unlikely to come to fruition.
Finally, reports on Thursday saw a surprise target emerge.
Marcel Sabitzer of Bayern Munich is apparently on the radar of the BVB bosses.
➡️ Talks took place
➡️ But nothing advanced!
➡️ Dortmund is not in the Pole Position at this stage. #Sabitzer, he has top options in 🏴 & 🇮🇹!
Bayern wants around €15m + add-ons.… pic.twitter.com/mF0X945FCQ
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) July 20, 2023
A Bundesliga star with RB Leipzig, the Austrian moved to Munich two years ago but managed just 27 starts across all competitions, registering just four direct goal contributions.
After a relatively successful loan in January to Man United, Bayern are reportedly willing to let the midfielder go for a very cheap €15m, which may be very suitable for the Black and Yellows.
A dynamic midfielder who has a vast skillset and plenty of Bundesliga experience for such a low fee – that sounds like a very shrewd deal if Dortmund can pull it off.
Not an ideal window so far for Borussia Dortmund, but there’s still a long way to go.
The transfer window slams shut at 5pm (BST) on Friday, 1 September.
Top deals this window
- Declan Rice – West Ham to Arsenal (€116.6m)
- Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid (€103m)
- Kai Havertz – Chelsea to Arsenal (€75m)
- Dominik Szoboszlai – RB Leipzig to Liverpool (€70m)
- Mason Mount – Chelsea to Manchester United (€64.2m)