Borussia Dortmund chief Zorc: No 'concrete' Aubameyang offers
BERLIN -- Borussia Dortmund left star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of their squad for the second Bundesliga match in a row on Friday, with sporting director Michael Zorc revealing the club are still waiting for a "concrete" transfer offer for the Gabon striker.
Aubameyang, who was dropped from the squad for Dortmund's 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg last Sunday, was again omitted from the side that drew 1-1 at Hertha Berlin.
"It's not a suspension but a sporting decision," Zorc told Eurosport.
Dortmund missed the pace of Aubameyang -- who has been linked with a winter transfer to Premier League side Arsenal -- to create goalscoring opportunities against Hertha's well-organised defense. And Zorc admitted the club are still operating as if the attacker is still part of the team.
"We're still planning with Aubameyang," Zorc said. "There is a way back into the team. Professionalism is part of that and also saying in one or two situations that a mistake was made.
"There is nothing really concrete on the table. There's a lot of rubbish."
Aubameyang was originally dropped for missing a club appointment, with manager Peter Stoger saying he felt the player was "not so focused at the moment."
Zorc said he didn't know what the striker was thinking. It was the third time in just over a year that Dortmund have omitted the player for disciplinary reasons.
Aubameyang was dropped in November for inviting a film crew to the club and then turning up late for training.
Former coach Thomas Tuchel also banned him 12 months earlier for taking an unsanctioned trip to Milan.
Teammate Andre Schurrle had harsh words for Aubameyang after the match. When asked whether it is possible to ignore all the distractions surrounding the club [due to Aubameyang], he said no.
"It's a big topic within the team, obviously. It creates unrest and it creates a lot of head-shaking in the dressing room," Schurrle told ESPN FC.
"It's not so easy to always put this aside and to just focus on football when there is this ever-present off-the-pitch topic. It's not easy. The transfer window will remain open for about two weeks still. Hopefully, we will have a more quiet time then."
The winger also revealed that talking to Aubameyang squarely does not solve the issue either.
"We often tried to reason with him," Schurrle added. "We had a lot of meetings. When you talk directly, he is a good guy. It all seems to be OK but nobody really knows what is going on in his mind."
Aubameyang, meanwhile, was spotted on Friday playing a five-a-side match in a Dortmund football hall wearing Ousmane Dembele's jersey.
Hertha broke the deadlock just after half-time when Davie Selke slotted Valentino Lazaro's cross.
Dortmund eventually bounced back, though. Seventeen-year-old Englishman Jadon Sancho picked up his first professional assist in the 71st minute, directing a lop on to Shinji Kagawa's head, who pushed it over the line.
"It was extremely hard for us today," Schurrle said of the match. "Berlin closed down the spaces very well in the first 60 minutes. They had to run like hell and so we wanted to take advantage of Berlin getting tired in the last half hour of the game."
The Black and Yellows were the dominating force in the final 20 minutes of the match but could not capitalise on the chances they created. Substitute Andrey Yarmolenko had a stonewall penalty waved away in the final minute of stoppage time after Fabian Lustenberge pulled down the Ukrainian with both arms around his shoulders in the area.
Schurrle added: "We were the better team than and could have -- arguably should have -- won, which is vexing because we wanted to win here. We needed 55 minutes to wake up but at the end, we played well."
Speaking of Sancho, the 2014 World Cup winner said: "Yes, he's doing his job well. He's very calm on the ball. Obviously, there are still a few things lacking in his game. His backtracking for example. But he did very well.
"His cross to set up the equaliser was also great. I mean, you cannot take it for granted that a 17-year-old is playing like that."
ESPN FC's Stefan Buczko and The Associated Press contributed to this report.