Despite being in a transition season, Borussia Dortmund reached the knockout stages of the Champions League and were in contention for the Bundesliga title until the last day of the season under new head coach Lucien Favre.
The Swiss manager was tasked with making Dortmund competitive again after a disappointing season under Peter Bosz and Peter Stoger, and Favre did that and a whole lot more besides. His second season in Dortmund should allow him to build on an impressive first campaign, and the BVB board are already giving him the tools to work with to end Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominances.
While league champions Bayern and third-placed RB Leipzig were preparing for the cup final, Dortmund were busy in the transfer market planning for next season. They converted the money received for the sale of Christian Pulisic (£1.85) and an extra €10m on top of that into three players who should all be guaranteed starters next season.
Full-back Nico Schulz (£0.63) arrived from Hoffenheim, with Thorgan Hazard’s long-mooted move from Borussia Monchengladbach finally materialising, while Julian Brandt (£1.64) traded Bayer Leverkusen for Borussia Dortmund. Favre will have his hands full trying to fit in Brandt and Hazard into a crowded attack, so may have to cut some dead weight from the squad.
💰 Dortmund sold Christian Pulisic to Chelsea for €64m.
📆 This week:
💰 Dortmund sign Nico Schulz, Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt for a combined €77m
That's how you run a football club. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/IWy2kZbYVb
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) May 22, 2019
Forward Max Philipp (£0.40) is a versatile option, but perhaps does not have the elite quality needed to be a title winner, and thus has been linked with Wolfsburg, Leipzig, and Gladbach. Stuttgart had previously been rumoured, but their relegation from the top flight puts them out of the running.
Mario Gotze (£0.57) was mentioned as a possible replacement for Aaron Ramsey (£0.91) at Arsenal by some English media sources, but with the Gunners limited in budget this summer, strengthening their defence may be the priority. Gotze is looking for a better deal than is currently on offer at Dortmund, but would like to stay with the club after admitting that his decision to leave for Bayern Munich in 2013 was the biggest regret of his career.
Michael Zorc wants to keep Marcel Schmelzer (£0.21) at the club thanks to his importance as a leader, but may be forced to sell the 31-year-old who is looking for more first-team action and has fallen further down the pecking order with the arrival of Schulz.
Dortmund also might have a difficult time keeping both Julian Weigl (£0.58) and Raphael Guerreiro (£0.73). The midfield duo are both wanted by former BVB boss Thomas Tuchel at PSG, with Weigl ready to replace Adrien Rabiot (£1.44) in Paris. Guerreiro can play at both left-back and left midfield and is entering the final year of his contract in Dortmund. Zorc admitted his future was unclear, so he is unlikely to remain at the club beyond the summer.
As well as the players who might leave, there is interest in signing a new striker and a centre-back. Bundesliga veterans Max Kruse (£0.44) and Jerome Boateng (£0.51) are among the names in the mix, but would be costly when it comes to wages. Even though Borussia Dortmund got their transfer business done early, they’re not finished just yet. Watch this space.