10 Things to Watch out for on Transfer Deadline Day in the Bundesliga
With the summer transfer window reaching its peak just before the final days of trading, the German Bundesliga looks to be no exception to the European rule that all drama must be kept until the concluding hours of the market.
With the new season already upon us, it would seem as though clubs up and down Germany may have finally given in and either decided to fork out on that extra bit of cover or cash in on that squad player who just wasn't cutting it.
Here are the top 10 things to watch out for on the Bundesliga's transfer deadline day.
1. Late Bids for Marco Reus
As reported by the Daily Mail on August 25, Jurgen Klopp stated that the club "have a really good feeling about Marco Reus," as well as saying "he will be with us for some years," while talking to German television channel ZDF.
Yet such bravado will undoubtedly offer little solace to fans who fear late moves by some of Europe's biggest clubs for the Dortmund midfielder. In fact, many may now wonder why the coach would have to make such a public statement at all.
In a brief mention in the Daily Mirror on August 24, John Cross stated:
Gunners boss Wenger also had a spy at Bayer Leverkusen’s win at Borussia Dortmund where Marco Reus played.
There's often very rarely fire without smoke, and if Klopp feels the need to warn clubs off his cherished forward then there may well be teams in hot pursuit of the player come the end of the transfer window.
2. Van der Vaart Will Stay Put in Hamburg
Despite a relatively average season last year, which saw his club avoid the grasps of relegation by a cat's whisker, Rafael van der Vaart now looks set to stay on at Bundesliga side Hamburg for this coming campaign.
As reported by BT Sport on August 13, Premier League side Queens Park Rangers were interested in his services, but Hamburg have since stated that he will not be leaving in this transfer window.
"I'm glad we have him," stated club director Dietmar Beiersdorfer to Bild, but later reported by BT Sport, "Rafa is an exceptional player.
"I'm counting on Rafa. He's making a good impression."
3. Bayern Munich Call It Quits After Benatia Deal
Having agreed terms with Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia from AS Roma, via official confirmation on the Bayern Munich website, the Bavarian club now look set for the season ahead.
Benatia was actually no more than a reactionary purchase, following the long-term injury to central defender Javi Martinez, but it will undoubtedly prove to be the final move Pep Guardiola's side make in the transfer market before it shuts.
At least in terms of bringing players in to the club.
4. Leverkusen Cash in on Back-Up Defender
The Bundesliga's current giant-killers may have started their new campaign with a bang, but if rumours are to be believed, they could well find themselves a defender short before the end of the transfer window.
As reported by the Daily Mail on August 25, central defender Philipp Wollscheid could well be on his way to England to play for West Ham following the German club's willingness to listen to any offers.
The 25-year-old German has long been considered surplus to demand for the Factory Squad and now seems likely to head for pastures new very soon.
5. Hamburg Move for Lewis Holtby
Hamburg's aforementioned director, Dietmar Beiersdorfer, confirmed his interest in Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby today, August 27, stating: “I’d be lying if I said we have nothing to do with Holtby.”
Quoted by Hamburger Abendblatt, later translated and reported by Sky Sports on the very same day, Beiersdorfer confirmed that the Bundesliga club had high hopes of picking up the out-of-favour midfielder and taking him back to the German top division.
Expect this one to rumble on throughout the rest of the transfer window.
6. Dortmund Make a Late Swoop for Shinji Kagawa
As reported by ESPN on August 25, Manchester United attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa was called out by coach Louis Van Gaal for not openly converting to the Dutchman's style of football.
In the latest chronicle of news items hinting at a move away from the Premier League club this summer, many have begun wondering whether the Japanese international would be well suited to a return to the Bundesliga and specifically at Dortmund.
The Independent suggested as much on July 29, and with no cover for attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Klopp could do wore than bring back a player who performed so well under him just a few years ago.
7. Shaqiri Finally Gives Up on Bayern
Despite an impressive World Cup for the Swiss national side, Xherdan Shaqiri has once again found himself as the topic of numerous rumours this summer, linking him with a move out of the Munich club.
Liverpool seem to be in pole position for the young attacking midfielder, as Anthony Chapman of the Daily Express on August 26, writes:
Rodgers was not planning on making another move for the 22-year-old with the market set to shut on Monday night, but the former Swansea boss is now ready to pounce after reports claimed that Atletico [Madrid] have asked Bayern to name their price.
The report also claims that Italian side Juventus are also monitoring the player's situation. Making Shaqiri a very likely target for three big European clubs before the end of the transfer window.
8. Arsenal Continue Their Pursuit of Luiz Gustavo
Although Bundesliga side Wolfsburg look quite comfortable following another productive transfer window, recent reports have suggested that they may well have to say goodbye to Brazilian international Luiz Gustavo.
The Daily Mirror's John Cross reported on August 24 that Premier League side Arsenal were interested in the player and could well make an offer in this window. He writes:
Arsenal nearly signed 27-year-old Gustavo last summer but the midfielder wanted assurances about playing regularly which Wenger was not prepared to give.
Now it seems they are interested again as they step up a search for a holding midfielder with Mikel Arteta injured and Mathieu Flamini has struggled to make himself a regular.
Yet, according to Gustavo's agent, Klaus Allofs, the player won't be going anywhere this summer.
Speaking to local newspaper WAZ on August 26, which was later translated by sports website HITC, he says:
"I do not know how these rumors come up. Some just have too much imagination."
9. Schalke Go Shopping for New Full-Back
As one of the more far-fetched possibilities in this current transfer window, Schalke boss Jens Keller may be forced to go out and sign another left-sided defender following the long-term injury to full-back Sead Kolasinac in Saturday's defeat to Hannover 96.
The 21-year-old now looks to be out of action for up to six months, with a reported torn cruciate ligament injury, meaning the Royal Blues are now a man short in their starting back line.
Although the club haven't been linked with anyone as of yet, we wouldn't be surprised if one of the Bundesliga's biggest clubs didn't pick up a short-term loan or quick deal before the window shuts.
10. Lukas Podolski's Return to the Bundesliga
Despite winning the World Cup with Germany just a few months ago, Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has been heavily linked with a move from the London club, following a list of European suitors showing an interest in his services.
On August 25, the Daily Mail pointed out that the German international may well be on his way to Italian side Juventus, following talks between the two clubs.
Yet all hope of a return to Germany wasn't lost when national newspaper Die Welt ran a feature(German) on August 25 stating that the forward could end up in the Bundesliga at Wolfsburg.
As translated by HITC, it states:
It would certainly make sense. The Wolves currently have only one really suitable striker Bas Dost behind the proven class of Ivica Olic.