Watzke: Nobody else leaving Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke has insisted that the club does not plan to lose any key players besides Robert Lewandowski during the summer.
• Buczko: Dortmund draw a blank
The 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga champions had to congratulate Bayern Munich on winning their second consecutive title on Tuesday, with seven league games still to be played this season.
The Bavarians have opened up a 25-point gap on Dortmund, who remain in second place following the goalless draw against Schalke.
Despite the club’s inability to challenge Pep Guardiola’s side this season, they are determined not to lose any key players -- apart from the Bayern-bound Lewandowski -- as has become the norm in recent years.
In 2011, Nuri Sahin left for Real Madrid, only to later return, while in 2012, Shinji Kagawa joined Manchester United, although he has somewhat faded into obscurity at Old Trafford.
In 2013, Mario Goetze’s transfer to Bayern caused much pain at Dortmund, as has the Lewandowski deal, which is due to go through in the summer.
According to Watzke, though, nobody else will be leaving Die Schwarzgelben.
“We absolutely do not see the need to sell players who have an existing contract,” Watzke told Sport Bild.
Ilkay Gundogan has been one of the Dortmund players linked with a move away from the club this season.
Under contract until 2015, the midfielder had appeared likely to move on to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
However, following a campaign which has seen his playing time limited to just 57 minutes in the Bundesliga and 82 minutes in the DFB-Pokal due to injury and illness, the interest from abroad appears to have cooled down.
The Germany international has been sidelined with a back injury since August. During the winter there had been signs of progress, but that was stunted after he contracted bronchitis.
Gundogan has now found his feet again, though, and Dortmund are eager to tie the player down to a new contract.
“We would like to prolong with Ilkay. He has an offer on the table,” Watzke said. “The decision will certainly not wait until the summer.”