Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has said there will be no discounted sales from his club this summer.
Currently fifth in the Bundesliga with six games to go, there is no guarantee that Dortmund will qualify for the best European competition next season.
But if rival clubs believe it will help them sign Dortmund star men Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho, Watzke says they are wrong.
Watzke told BBC Sport: “When Covid-19 hit we had no debt. Not a euro. Because of that, it’s a comfortable situation. We don’t have to sell a player. It is important.
“The rich clubs of the world, they have to know when they want a Borussia Dortmund player, there are two possibilities. The first is that I tell them they don’t stand a chance. Other times, I will tell them “this is the price”. Then they have to know that it is the price, it is not another price.
“We are very clear. We are very honest. “
This is exactly the position Dortmund caught up with Sancho last summer. Manchester United have been told they could sign Sancho for more than € 100million. United felt it was overkill but the price didn’t come down and the England man stayed where he was.
This year, similar rumors are circulating around striker Haaland.
“I’ve had enough,” Watzke said. “Last summer, everyone in England, everyone in Europe, every journalist told the public ‘Jadon Sancho will play for Manchester United or elsewhere’. But he still plays for Borussia Dortmund. Now everyone writes “Erling Haaland will play next season for Real. Madrid or for Barcelona, or for this or that ”.
“The only way is to take care of September 1 where he’s playing. I think I know where he will play but that’s all I have to say. “
Mino Raiola’s highly publicized trip to Spain Talking about a potential transfer from Haaland to Barcelona or Real Madrid has fueled discussions around the 20-year-old, who, along with Kylian Mbappe, is considered one of the best young players in the game.
However, Watzke appears to have a good relationship with the charismatic and controversial agent.
“Mino is a special guy,” Watzke said.
“He wants to get the best deal for his player. This is his job. I know Mino very well. Mino knows me very well. We have no problem. Everyone knows what the other wants to do. “
‘Look how much you spent, Pep’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola last week said Dortmund were “paying agents a lot of money” to attract exciting young players who form the basis of Edin Terzic’s squad.
The basis for Guardiola’s statement was a comparison of the latest figures which show the German club spent £ 10million more than City on agent fees and significantly more in percentage terms to the club’s overall revenue (12% against 6%) and wages (21% against 8%).
Watzke believes Guardiola should think about how much he has spent on City transfers since taking over from Manuel Pellegrini in 2016 – around £ 770million (€ 886.5million) – before starting to talk about rival clubs.
“In the last five years, they’ve spent almost a billion euros on new players,” he said. ” In five years. Who can do this? He doesn’t have to criticize other clubs. “
Although happy with Dortmund’s strategy, Watzke admits there are issues with its implementation.
“It works wonderfully but it’s difficult to develop a team with it because after two or three years, these young players, if they play very, very well, like Erling Haaland or Jadon Sancho, then the biggest clubs in Europe want to buy But this is the only way for Borussia Dortmund. ”
Watzke, 61, played a central role in pulling Dortmund out of the financial abyss in 2005.
He just extended his deal to stay with the club until 2025 and has a clear vision for the future.
“Dortmund are not a club where you have to have big visions because you don’t have a lot of money,” he said. “If I had money like other clubs, who can spend 1 billion euros in five or 10 years in the team, then you can have visions. What I want to have for the years to come is that we achieve the status of one of the best. 10 or 12 clubs in Europe and normally to win a few titles in Germany. ”
The immediate task is to try and qualify for the Champions League – and given the domestic situation, beating City is an obvious way to get closer to that goal.
“Before the first match in Manchester, my opinion was that we have a 10% chance,” added Watzke. “Now we have a much better percent.
“I don’t know how many but it looks great because we know they failed the last three times in the last eight. If we score the first goal and maybe it will come to their minds.
“I know Pep Guardiola very well. He is one of the best managers in the world. But it’s clear, if you’re the coach of Manchester City and they’ve spent so much money on the team, in Abu Dhabi they want to win. the Champions League. ”