Thorgan Hazard

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Dortmund continue shopping spree, sign Julian Brandt

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That Christian Pulisic money is going far and wide for Borussia Dortmund.

Hot off the heels of signing Thorgan Hazard for $38 million on Wednesday and adding German defender Nico Schulz for $30 million, Dortmund have signed Julian Brandt for $30 million.

Not bad business after getting $73 million for Pulisic…

Brandt, 23, was linked with a move to the Premier League to Tottenham Hotspur and others in recent months but the Bayer Leverkusen winger will remain in the Bundesliga. His combination of speed out wide and cutting inside to finish off moves has seen him become a regular for the German national team.

After finishing second in the Bundesliga this season, Dortmund are wasting no time in stealing a march on Bayern Munich who fought back from a nine-point deficit to win the title on the final day of the season.

Bayern’s offseason plans have seen them add defender Lucas Hernandez for a club record $85 million, while his French national team teammate Benjamin Pavard, who can also play at center back and full back, will also arrive for $38 million.

That said, Dortmund’s early moves this offseason are impressive and may even install Lucien Favre’s men as the preseason favorites to win the German title.

Bundesliga: Thorgan Hazard goes off as Gladbach jumps to second

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While Eden Hazard has torn it up in the Premier League, his brother is quietly leading Borussia Monchengladbach to a stellar season.

Thorgan Hazard scored a goal and assisted two others as Gladbach clobbered Mainz 4-0, jumping to second in the Bundesliga table. Jonas Hofmann had the hat-trick, putting Gladbach in the lead 21 minutes in, but Hazard made things happen. He threaded the pass to Hofmann through the three-man defensive line for the game’s opener.

Hofmann put them 2-0 up on another Hazard assist minutes after halftime, and then he bagged his own on a pinpoint cross from Nico Elvedi that left Hazard all alone to roof it past a helpless¬†Florian M√ľller. Hofmann pulled in his hat-trick by the 63rd minute to seal the game.

Thorgan Hazard has now been directly involved in 11 goals in nine games for Gladbach this season, the same amount as his brother Eden has for Chelsea so far.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin and Freiburg drew 1-1 on a pair of first-half goals. Ondrej Duda scored for Hertha just seven minutes into the match thanks to an absolutely delicious feed from Per Skjelbred on a through ball from just past the halfway line. That was it for Hertha though, as they struggled to create more good chances. Freiburg knotted it up just past the half-hour mark, as Robin Koch delivered a howitzer into the top corner, a truly fantastic goal.

Hertha failed to truly take advantage of the crowded top of the table, but the point pushed them up to sixth in the table, level on 15 points with RB Leipzig. Freiburg, meanwhile, moved to nine points, just three above the relegation zone.

Report: Chelsea has until Dec. 31 to buy back in-form Thorgan Hazard

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There’s an interesting subplot to the next 14 weeks at Stamford Bridge and¬†Borussia-Park.

Belgian midfielder Thorgan Hazard, 23, joined Chelsea with his older brother Eden in 2012. He spent two years on loan to Zulte Waregem before going on loan for another season, to Borussia Monchengladbach.

The playmaker earned a permanent deal with ‘Gladbach, and signed this summer for a fee of $9 million. But the agreement included a $17 million buyback clause that Chelsea could exercise at the end of the year,¬†according to German outlet Bild.

[ MORE: Projecting the Ballon d’Or shortlist ]

Well, Hazard has six goals and three assists for ‘Gladbach this season, including a hat trick against Young Boys in Champions League qualification. That has many wondering if Chelsea may exercise that clause.

Bild says the deal is set to expire on Dec. 31. If Hazard plays anywhere near this production level, it would seem almost certain that Chelsea would activate the buyback.

Hazard says he’s not thinking of Chelsea at all, but surely the Blues are considering him.

Report: Fabian Johnson has a hamstring tear, will miss multiple weeks

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According to German publication Kicker, Borussia Monchengladbach and USMNT veteran Fabian Johnson has a hamstring injury and will miss significant time.

The report does not specify the extent of the injury, but other reports indicate that Johnson has torn the hamstring muscle in his right leg.

The 27-year-old was a fixture in the USMNT side throughout the Gold Cup this summer, and as a result he had little time to prepare for the Bundesliga season with the German club he’s only joined a year ago. Johnson played 90 minutes on the left wing in the 4-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Depending on the extent of the injury, it could potentially endanger Johnson’s availability for the Confederations Cup playoff against Mexico on October 10. He likely would also miss the friendlies in early September against Peru and Brazil.

Johnson plays a more attacking role with his club than he is tasked with on the U.S. National Team, and thus the article lists Patrick Herrmann and Thorgan Hazard as potential replacements for Borussia Monchengladbach on the left wing while Johnson is out.

Thorgan Hazard to spend the season at Gladbach, on loan from Chelsea

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Thorgan Hazard, younger brother of Chelsea star Eden, will spend the 2014-2015 on loan with Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The 21-year-old signed for Chelsea from French¬†side Lens in 2012, shortly after the Premier League club completed the signing of Eden from Lille. The younger Hazard has yet to play for the Blues, however. He’s spent the past two seasons on loan with¬†Belgian side Zulte Waregem, where he was voted player of the year in 2013.

Last season, Thorgan scored 14 goals in 39 league appearances with Zulte. He also put in two more in Europa League action.

He’ll have the chance to experience Europe again with his new side. While Gladbach made a decent run at finishing in Germany’s top four last year, a stuttering start to the second half of the Bundesliga season saw them finish 6th, putting them into Europa League. They’ll be hoping to improve on that run this year and are strengthening their side in anticipation of clinching Champions League play for 2015-2016.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl said, “Thorgan is a promising talent. He can play across several positions in attack and we’re happy that he’s decided to take the next step in his career at Borussia.”