Getty Images

Dortmund admits interest in signing Batshuayi permanently

Leave a comment

Michy Batshuayi might be out for the season with a serious ankle injury, but he may have already done enough to earn a permanent move to Borussia Dortmund.

The Chelsea striker moved on loan to the Bundesliga side in January and made an immediate impact, scoring two goals on his debut, and ultimately wound up with seven goals in 10 Bundesliga games before his ankle injury brought his season to a close. Now, the Dortmund front office is speaking very highly of the Belgian goalscorer, not so subtly hinting that they will take an aggressive approach this summer.

The interest to sign him is there,” said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. “But first we have to wait and see who will be Chelsea’s coach next season. Then we’ll start looking.”

Chelsea has Antonio Conte currently at the helm, but there are strong rumors that the Italian will depart at the end of the season as the Blues sit comfortably outside the Champions League places. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is known for his quick trigger, and despite Conte winning the Premier League just last season, this year’s disappointment will likely not be tolerated.

That yet-to-be-determined future has a significant impact on Batshuayi’s future, as Watzke mentions. The new Chelsea boss could take a liking to Batshuayi, which could complicate his permanent move. In addition, it’s possible that current players on the Blues roster could depart, like Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud, or Willian, making Batshuayi’s place at Chelsea more tenable.

There’s plenty to be sorted out in the coming months, but with Batshuayi’s 10-game performance at Westfalenstadion at the forefront of Watzke’s mind, it’s clear there will be potential here as the summer draws near.

Dortmund CEO Watzke hints Peter Stoeger may stay as coach

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has suggested the club may keep Peter Stoeger as coach beyond the end of the season.

Watzke tells Sky Sport TV, “He hasn’t lost a game yet. If he still doesn’t lose any, we’d be stupid if we didn’t keep it going.”

[ MORE: Newcastle stuns Man United with second-half strike ]

Stoeger was appointed Dec. 10 after the firing of Peter Bosz. The Austrian coach has since overseen four wins and three draws in the league, after eight games without a win under Bosz.

Watzke says, “We’re satisfied with him. He’s an extraordinarily good coach.”

Stoeger was himself fired the week before his appointment at Dortmund when Cologne failed to win any of its opening 14 games. Stoeger had secured promotion in 2013 for Cologne and oversaw steady progress before this season’s bad start.

Dortmund gave Stoeger a contract to the end of the season, leading to speculation that it was looking to Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann for next season, but Watzke says, “We haven’t arranged anything with anyone.”

Dortmund is third in the Bundesliga after two straight wins. It next faces Atalanta at home in the Europa League on Thursday.

Dembele could cost Barcelona over $100 million

Getty Images
1 Comment

Barcelona continues its hunt to replace Neymar, and a popular suggestion has been Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele. The 20-year-old impressed mightily in Bundesliga last season with his superior dribbling skills and creativity.

However, with clubs totally aware of the $240 million burning away in Barcelona’s pocket and big shoes to fill, those on the other side will look to extract as much money as possible from the Catalan giants.

[ MORE: Sunday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

Speaking to Eurosport during the festivities around the German Supercup, Dortmund president Hans-Joachim Watzke said that even if a club banks a record amount of cash for a single player, it doesn’t always make them better.

“I remember Kevin De Bruyne, he was the Bundesliga’s record transfer,” Watzke said. “When you see the years after, it was not the best transfer though as the team lost lots of quality.” Wolfsburg sold De Bruyne to Manchester City for $71 million two seasons ago, and they promptly dumped down the Bundesliga table, narrowly avoiding relegation last season.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores for Dortmund in Supercup ]

When asked what he would do if a club offered over $100 million, Watzke said, “I think this is not enough, whether it is Auba (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang), or Ousmane Dembélé.”

“I think we’ve made clear that he will stay with us,” Watzke added. “When we said that, the media wrote that he’ll leave in January. No, he will definitely stay.”

Monaco offers Dortmund a gift as a show of solidarity

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONACO (AP) In a show of solidarity before they face each other in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Monaco has offered Borussia Dortmund a gift following last week’s bus attack in Germany.

Last Tuesday in Germany, three explosions went off as the team headed to the stadium for the home leg against Monaco, leaving defender Marc Bartra needing hospital treatment following injuries to his wrist and arm after a window was shattered.

[ UCL: Ancelotti right, referees all wrong ]

The match was hurriedly rescheduled for the next day and Monaco won 3-2 to put itself in a strong position to reach the semifinals. Dortmund’s fans rallied to help their stranded Monaco counterparts by offering them a place to stay for free on Tuesday night, while Monaco’s fans chanted for Dortmund for long spells during the rescheduled game.

It was this mutual respect that prompted Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev to give Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke a plaque with several photos showing the communion between the two sets of fans last week.

Monaco leads 3-2 from the first leg heading into Wednesday evening’s match at Stade Louis II.

Monaco last reached the semifinals in 2004, losing the final to Porto.

BVB boss Tuchel not worried about Real Madrid links

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Less than five months have passed since Real Madrid won the Champions League final, yet in Florentino Perez’s mind that’s a lifetime. ()

Real’s president is anything but patient with managers, the latest example being Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian was fired a year after winning the club’s long-desired Decima and losing a whopping 19 of 119 matches in charge.

[ MORE: Manchester Derby “a final” ]

So even though Real Madrid leads La Liga under Zinedine Zidane and won the UCL last season, people are always imagining the future.

Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel’s style of play has captured the imaginations of so many supporters. And with BVB president Hans-Joachim Watzke claiming that Real is tracking the German, the questions are heading for Tuchel.

From Goal.com:

“It’s dangerous if you are flattered as a coach.You lose focus on the important things. I read it as a rumour before our game in Ingolstadt and so I already said back then that it’s dangerous to admit it and to think about it because it takes on too much importance.”

There’s no reason for Tuchel to have to ask those questions. Perez has called Zidane’s appointment one of his proudest moments, and that was just three days ago. Even in Perez’s world, that’s only a solid month, maybe two. %tags%