Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels has said he is hoping to drive Jurgen Klopp "mad" when the Liverpool boss faces his old side in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on April 7.
Further, the Germany international revealed he and his team-mates are "desperate" to win the tie, according to Charles Perrin of the Express:
The tie with Liverpool is one where we are simply desperate to beat Klopp. We have to beat him.
Of course, he will get a warm welcome and a warm farewell. But I hope to drive him mad in between.
There will be a lot of media attention. And it will be something special for the players to meet Klopp again.
It will be very interesting, also on an emotional level. But I try not to think about it too much yet.
I already said after we were paired with Liverpool that we will start thinking about it when the game is actually around the corner.
Klopp facing his former team adds an extra dimension to what was already the tie of the round in the Europa League. The draw prompted social media to explode, as both Squawka Football and Bleacher Report UK demonstrated:
BVB have been flying this season under head coach Thomas Tuchel and are the best team left in the Europa League. The Reds will have reason to be optimistic if they can progress, but both clubs will be hoping to end the campaign with silverware.
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez expects the Bundesliga side to go through:
BVB is at such level they could’ve been challenging any club for the UCL, Liverpool lacks a midfield and defense to challenge them.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) March 18, 2016
Who will progress?
Though much of the focus will be on Dortmund's free-scoring attacking talent, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan having outstanding campaigns, Hummels will be of similar importance at the other end of the field and as a leader.
The team will charge him with keeping the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino quiet, and if he can do so, his side should progress.
The 27-year-old Hummels also spoke about his future, which is up in the air, as his contract runs out at the end of next season, per German TV (via Colin Harvey of the Daily Star): "I have to find out for myself what I want to do. ... I think about it a lot."
According to Colin Mafham of the Express, the centre-back is a target for Premier League trio Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, so they—and likely many other clubs—will be ready to pounce if Dortmund decide to cash in on him this summer.
Liverpool's defence has been an area of weakness for a number of years, while the Blues will need a replacement for John Terry, and City's attempts to solidify their back line with Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have largely proved unsuccessful thus far.
Hummels is an outstanding candidate to improve any of the three teams, though it won't be a surprise if he remains at Dortmund, particularly with the team playing well under Tuchel.