Selecting a Complete Summer Transfer Wishlist for Borussia Dortmund
In a recent interview with Sport-Bild (h/t Sky Sports), CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke intimated that the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga winners would invest significantly in new transfers to make their club more competitive in the upcoming season.
Since then, BVB have signed young attacking midfielder Milos Jojic from Partizan Belgrade and confirmed the summer capture of Ji Dong-Won. But those two are likely only the beginning of Dortmund's transfer plans; the club will need much more depth and quality ahead of next season.
Click "Begin Slideshow" for a look at what an ideal summer transfer window would entail for Dortmund.
Nuri Sahin (€6 Million)
Local boy and Dortmund academy graduate Nuri Sahin by now is almost married to BVB. Following his year-and-a-half stints at Real Madrid and Liverpool, the Turkey international returned to Dortmund a somewhat broken player.
Sahin began to find his form late last season and has been invaluable to BVB in 2013-14 as Ilkay Gundogan has spent nearly the entire campaign sidelined with a back injury. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed, via Enis Koylu of Goal.com, that the club have an option to make Sahin's move permanent; Raimund Hinko of Sport-Bild reported that it would cost just €6 million to release the 25-year-old from his contract at Real—a steal in today's market.
Kevin Volland (€15 Million)
Especially if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is made the long-term successor for Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund will need another option in attack. That option could be the extremely versatile Kevin Volland, who can play on either wing, behind or alongside a striker or as the lone center-forward.
Volland has had a breakthrough season with Hoffenheim, scoring seven goals and assisting five more in the Bundesliga. He’s a complete attacking player and just the type who would fit into Jurgen Klopp’s system. He runs tirelessly, has great pace, is eager to take on opponents on the dribble and has creativity. And he’s a reliable source of goals even from midfield.
According to Bild, Volland has a buy-out clause in the amount of €15 million. Although he has no international experience as of yet, the 21-year-old has plenty of room to grow and would be quite a bargain.
Matthias Ginter (€7-10 Million)
Last April, Freiburg all-rounder Matthias Ginter admitted to Reinhard Sogl of Frankfurter Rundschau that he would like to play for his favorite club, Dortmund, but that he was still some distance away from making a move.
A year later, he may be ready for the jump to playing with BVB.
Ginter, who recently celebrated his 20th birthday, has a contract at SCF that runs until 2017. But as Freiburg flirt with possible relegation, the crown jewel of their academy could be set for a transfer this summer. And should he join BVB, he would be an inspired signing.
Although it’s difficult to see exactly where Ginter would fit into the BVB squad in the long term, he could expect to start somewhere in Jurgen Klopp’s lineup in most games. Although he's played center-back for most of his career, Ginter was trained in defensive midfield during his youth and has even played behind a striker and as a center-forward in Christian Streich’s Freiburg team. His versatility is rivaled by very few.
Even in his youth, Ginter already has two full years of Bundesliga experience and is developing with each passing week. He could, in the coming years, become a huge star of the Bundesliga.
Given the propensity of Dortmund’s central defenders and midfielders to be injured, Ginter does not even have to be considered a “starter” (when all his teammates are fit) in order to start most games. He’d have his opportunities at BVB and in all likelihood would be available for a modest price. Transfermarkt rates his current value at €7 million—a steal if he fulfills half of the tremendous potential he has.
Adrian Ramos (€8-10 Million)
According to a recent report by Bild's Jorg Weiler, Roberto Lamprecht, Heiko Niedderer and Markus Balczuweit, Adrian Ramos has already told Hertha BSC he will leave the club in the summer. The Berlin club are allegedly willing to accept an offer in the region of €8-10 million to release the striker, whose contract expires in 2015.
Whether or not he's the "dream striker" Dortmund need to replace Lewandowski, it appears that Ramos may be on his way to the Ruhr club. The 28-year-old has had a phenomenal season thus far, scoring a Bundesliga-leading 14 goals. Although his current form has been an anomaly in an up-and-down career, if Ramos can produce for Dortmund as he has at Hertha in 2013-14, he will be a great signing.
The question is: Will he be Lewandowski's successor, or will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or another newcomer take on that role?
The Question Marks
Dortmund’s chiefs have been rather mum about the specifics of their transfer plans, which may in fact be because the club’s directors are not entirely sure of even the positions they are keen to reinforce.
It is, for example, crystal clear that Dortmund need to find a replacement for Robert Lewandowski. To this end, Edin Dzeko is probably the most realistic option. Although it would be a dream to sign Diego Costa or Jackson Martinez, competition and the sheer cost of wages and transfer fees would likely price BVB out of a move for either.
Dzeko, however, is, according to Sport-Bild’s Heiko Ostendorp unhappy at Manchester City and willing to accept a wage that depends on his performance. The Sport-Bild report claims he would cost just over €20 million—a realistic fee for BVB.
It may be that Dortmund do not sign a big-name striker, however.
If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finishes the season as the Bundesliga’s top scorer, it may be that Lewandowski’s successor will instead be the Gabon native, who, despite playing on the right wing, has all the athleticism and finishing instincts of a center-forward. In this case, BVB would be in the market for another attacking midfielder, most likely a right-winger.
Volland would be a great option for the right wing, but if BVB are looking for added depth, there are other options. Leonardo Bittencourt recently netted a brace for Hannover and has a buy-back clause, per Goal.com. If he fulfills his potential this spring and becomes a star of the Bundesliga, BVB might be wise to re-sign the 20-year-old.
Perhaps the best option is Shinji Kagawa, who has barely played in over one-and-a-half seasons at Manchester United and in all likelihood will be seeking a move in the summer.
If United make him available on favorable terms (see: Real Madrid's 18-month loan of Sahin with the option to buy on the cheap), Kagawa would be a masterful signing. However, that's only if the price is right—especially considering the recent signing of Milos Jojic, who will have six months to prove to BVB that there is no need for Kagawa before the transfer window reopens.
There are other players Dortmund could sign, particularly in midfield, but BVB are more likely to spend on extending the stays of Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus if possible.
It's always easier and less expensive to extend with current players than to sign new stars, and with Sahin, Volland, Ginter and Ramos costing in the region of €45 million, they should have money available for increasing wages. Should they secure Gundogan and Reus without buy-out clauses on long-term deals, Dortmund will make a big step toward removing their "selling club" label.