Borussia Dortmund

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Man City to launch Aubameyang bid, according to report

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Manchester City has been linked with Borussia Dortmund target striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for some time, though the last we’d heard it was Liverpool readying a club record bid for the Gabon striker.

Sky Sports says that Reds report was inaccurate, and that Man City has leapt into the fray following a reported problem with Paris Saint-Germain’s $76 million bid for the BVB star.

[ MORE: Mexico’s Lozano to PSV ]

The move makes sense for Man City, who would be able to sell Sergio Aguero to help offset the cost of a move. Aguero, of course, is a phenomenal striker but not the prototypical big man for Guardiola’s system (See: Robert Lewandowski).

The 6-foot-2 28-year-old’s style would seem fit for an easy transition not just to Guardiola’s system, but to the Premier League. He’s been fantastic in Europe, and bagged four goals against Spurs and Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds two seasons ago.

If BVB is willing to sell — and it’s incredible young depth in attack make it a realistic option — this could be the move that sends Man City’s title aspirations over the top. Imagine Aubameyang reaping the rewards from, and holding up the play for, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan, and David Silva. Wow.

Deulofeu, Dembele buys could keep Messi in Barca midfield

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Lionel Messi stay in the Barcelona midfield under new manager Ernesto Valverde, and an Everton player may be the key to a move.

Goal.com says that Barca would move Messi to the right midfield of a 4-3-3 and that it’s ready to exercise a $13.4 buyback clause to get Gerard Deulofeu home from Everton.

[ MORE: Leicester nabs Hull’s Maguire ]

Deulofeu, 23, left Goodison Park for a loan to AC Milan in January, and scored four times with three assists in 17 Serie A appearances.

From Goal.com:

Valverde has taken over from Luis Enrique and the former Athletic Club coach could decide to split up the club’s much-praised MSN trident. The interest in Deulofeu – and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele as an alternative – is a clear sign that Messi’s future lies deeper, setting up chances as a midfield playmaker.

Acknowledging that Deulofeu is one of their own, it’s odd that Dembele is listed as an alternative. Dembele is three years younger and helped propel Borussia Dortmund’s attack with six goals and 12 assists.

In any event, Messi in a deeper role isn’t counterproductive. He scored seven goals with three assists in four starts at center attacking mid last year, a bit better than his 47 goals in 48 matches at right wing.

Either way, the world’s best player will probably be fine.

Borussia Dortmund hires Ajax boss Peter Bosz as new manager

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Christian Pulisic has his new coach.

After the departure of Thomas Tuchel due to disagreements with upper management, Borussia Dortmund has hired Ajax boss Peter Bosz to take over the Bundesliga club.

Bosz, a 53-year-old Dutchman, becomes the first non-German to manage the club since fellow Dutchman Bert van Marwijk departed in 2006 after a two-and-a-half-year stint. He comes to Dortmund after just one season with Ajax where he led the Dutch giants to the Europa League final, along with a second-place finish in the Eredivisie, ending up just a point behind Feyenoord in the final standings.

[ MORE: Pulisic talks to PST about USMNT experience and club situation ]

“We had a very, very good feeling about Bosz from the outset, the feeling that something can really grow together here,” said Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Reports in the Netherlands suggest that Bosz was on his way out at Ajax due to similar issues Tuchel had with Dortmund executives.

Bosz’s Ajax contract ran through 2019, forcing Dortmund to pay a compensation package to the Dutch club. Prior to Ajax, Bosz spent three seasons with fellow Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem and a brief five-month stay at Maccabi Tel Aviv where he lost just one match, a cup final.

The good news behind Bosz’s hire for American youngster Pulisic is that the Dutchman is not afraid to play his kids. The Ajax side that took on Manchester United featured a starting lineup that averaged 23 years old, including highly rated 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt. He now joins a new team brimming with young talent.

Christian Pulisic on BVB, USMNT, Premier League future

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Christian Pulisic is only 18 years old. The fact we need to constantly remind ourselves of that fact says it all.

[ MORE: Latest USMNT news ]

The Pennsylvania native has burst onto the scene in the past 12 months, becoming a star for the U.S. national team and Borussia Dortmund and is hailed as the next great star of American soccer after his first full season as a pro in the Bundesliga.

Rightly so. The kid is legit.

[ STREAM: Watch 2018 World Cup qualifiers live ]

Speaking exclusively to ProSoccerTalk just two days after scoring his fifth goal for the USMNT in a 1-1 draw with Venezuela in a friendly, Pulisic was looking forward to the challenge of the U.S. facing Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico this week as qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has reached a crucial stage for Bruce Arena’s men.

Below is our chat in full as Pulisic announced his new partnership with Panini America.


You just won the German Cup, your first major trophy. You came off the bench and won the penalty kick which ultimately won Dortmund the game. What was that experience like?

It was incredible. After such a tough, tough season with so many ups and downs in my first full professional season, just being able to end it with a trophy was really special. I am just really happy to see all the excitement on the guys’ faces.

What are your thoughts on Thomas Tuchel’s sudden departure from Dortmund? 

I was very thankful for everything he did for me, giving me the chance at such a young age and getting a start to my professional soccer career. It is something I will always remember him for and I am very thankful for that. It is tough when it happens in professional sports but now he is gone I think the team will be just fine with whoever we end up getting.

You featured in the UEFA Champions League for the first time this season, how do you rate Dortmund’s campaign?

It was always a dream for me to play in the Champions League. Getting that experience and that exposure against the biggest names and teams in the world, it was really amazing for me. I just learned so much so I am just going to take that and continue to bring it in my game and take it into next season when we are in the Champions League again. I am very excited.

As for future with Dortmund, you just signed a new deal and seem very happy. There was a lot of talk about you moving to Liverpool over the past two transfer windows, so is the Premier League somewhere you’d want to play in the future?

It was the biggest league I followed as a kid and watched. The league has a lot of players, and teams, I liked in the Premier League. Right now, it is not something I am looking to get into immediately or anything like that. I am happy at Dortmund and I am excited for the rest of my career.

Focusing on the U.S. national team, you scored your fifth goal at the weekend and you role is really developing on the team. How have the veterans — the likes of Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Tim Howard — helped you settle since you made your debut?

Those guys have been great to me. Obviously they mess with me a lot and stuff like that. It is pretty normal though, since I’m a young kid. I’ve learned so much with them giving me their feedback and what they see and helping me to improve not just our team game but me individually as well and what I can do to help the team. It’s been great learning from those guys and being able to play alongside them when I was just watching them a few years ago on TV!

With two huge World Cup qualifiers coming up, what would be a good points tally from the two games? And how much are you looking forward to the atmosphere at the Azteca on Sunday against Mexico?

I am really excited. My teammates can only tell me how crazy those games are but I got the experience of playing against Mexico once and it is all about going in there with the confidence and belief we can win and get three points there. If we go in with that mentality then we won’t have a problem. We are going to have to fight for 90 minutes and I feel confident we can do that.

In the past at ProSoccerTalk we spoke to one of your youth coaches about you. They said you’re big NBA fan and you love LeBron James. Is he your ultimate sporting idol?

Absolutely. He has been one of my biggest role models, even though it is not the same sport. It is amazing what he does in his sport and that he can dominate for so long and keep himself healthy and really under so much pressure, how he carries himself. That is what impresses me the most and so many people can look up to that.

With your partnership with Panini America, did you collect their trading cards during previous World Cups? Any players in particularly you had to collect and were idols?

It’s hard to say specifically which players I collected but I loved it, I still have a book at home of the cards I collected. Now, being able to see my face on a card is pretty special.

What are your targets for the next 12 months? Russia is on the horizon, so is your aim to be playing a leading role for the U.S. at the 2018 World Cup?

Absolutely. I like to set more short term goals and right now it is just to qualify for the World Cup and if we put all of our focus on that then people should definitely see us come 2018 in the World Cup.

Finally, what drives you each day to improve and do you let the hype get to you? Every day you must hear people comparing you to Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey and hailing you as the “savior of US Soccer” 

For me, it [the pressure] is really not difficult to handle. I put more pressure on myself than anyone else does, so I don’t need to look or listen to that stuff. It really doesn’t impact me. I just try to push on every day and with the support system I have in my family, I am just really happy to do what I love and to get the chance to do it every day is really special.

Thomas Tuchel leaves Borussia Dortmund; Arsenal next?

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Thomas Tuchel has left his position as manager of Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Huddersfield seal PL promotion

Tuchel, 43, is considered as one of the brightest young managers in the German game but with Dortmund scrambling to a third-place finish this season and not showing real signs of progress from 2015-16, especially defensively, the club and Tuchel have agreed to mutually part ways.

In a statement Dortmund did not reveal the reason for Tuchel moving on, simply stating that they “went their separate ways” after two years together.

Dortmund did win the German cup, the DFB Pokal, at the weekend, beating Eintracht Frankfurt in the final, and over the past two seasons Tuchel has led BVB to second-place and third-place finishes in the Bundesliga, as well as appearing in the German cup final in both seasons.

He led Dortmund to the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal in 2015-16, where he lost to former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, and Dortmund then lost to AS Monaco in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League this season following an attack on their team bus before the first leg which understandably shook his team.

Now that Tuchel has gone, many are suggesting that he could arrive in England at Arsenal with the Gunners previously linked to the German coach.

In the past Tuchel hasn’t exactly brushed off speculation about him heading to manage in England one day, playing it cool when asked in February about reports linking him to Arsenal: “You know more than I do,” was his response.

With Arsene Wenger’s future set to be announced publicly on Wednesday, following a board meeting on Tuesday, it appears that Wenger and Stan Kroenke have already made a decision about what the Frenchman does next.

It would appear a long-shot that Tuchel, a manager who was given plenty of resources at Dortmund but finished third this season, would get the job, especially after Wenger won the FA Cup and finished the season strongly with Arsenal despite failing to secure a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

That said, Tuchel created a fast, young, attack-minded team at Dortmund which is something the Arsenal board may be impressed by.

Given the success of German managers in England over the past few years — Klopp at Liverpool and now Wagner at Huddersfield to name two men with previous connections to Dortmund — perhaps Arsenal now see this as the perfect time to go for Tuchel.

Wenger is still the favorite to be in charge of Arsenal on Aug. 12 when the 2017-18 kicks off, but maybe there’s a chance the Gunners take a chance on the highly-regarded Tuchel.