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May, 29, 2013

Klopp: Dortmund will remain strong

Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims his team will struggle to replicate recent successes following the departure of key players.

Klopp guided Dortmund to this season's Champions League final, where they were defeated by an 89th-minute winner from Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben.

Mario Gotze will be joining the Bundesliga and European champions next term, while the future of striker Robert Lewandowski remains the subject of conjecture. This follows the exit of Shinji Kagawa last summer, but Klopp is confident the club can rebuild in order to compete at the highest level.

"I've read that we are facing the most difficult season," he told German newspaper Bild. "This thesis I find absurd. Because we have such a great quality and a strong base.

"There will of course be a few changes - one or the other will leave us. But upheaval is the wrong word, it's just a change, and we intend to use it to our advantage. I'm pretty positive.

"We want to qualify for the Champions League again. It will not be easy. Leverkusen and Schalke want to take the next step."

Dortmund have already added Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen to their ranks for the next campaign, and Klopp says more reinforcements will follow.

"I do not want to talk about the number, but we're working on it," he added. "I can promise that in the end everything will be fine. Either I'm with Michael Zorc (director of sport) directly together. Over the next few days and weeks it will happen."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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