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Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund CEO on Haaland to Man City transfer: We have to compete with oligarchs and Arabian states

22:31 GMT 10/05/2022
HANS-JOACHIM WATZKE BORUSSIA DORTMUND
The German side don't have the financial resources of some of their top European peers

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke explained the club's difficult transfer realities just before the £51 million ($63m) sale of striker Erling Haaland to Manchester City was announced, with the executive noting that they must compete with financial powerhouses in Europe.

Watzke specifically alluded to the power of "oligarchs and Arabian states" in football; Manchester City is majority owned by Sheikh Mansour of the United Arab Emirates.

Haaland is the latest in a long line of Borussia Dortmund stars to leave as they approach the prime years of their careers, following in the footsteps of players such as Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele.

What did Dortmund's CEO say?

"That's the only way for us because when a player performs very well, we have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back," Watzke told CNN.

"Sometimes, it's a good deal; sometimes, it's not so good. When we sold Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona after a short period, it was a very good deal. When Robert Lewandowski left us without a transfer fee, it was not a good deal, but that's football.

"But we [Dortmund] have played football for 113 years, and for 111 years, we played without Erling Haaland. We had Robert Lewandowski and then he left us in 2014, but we played football in '15, '16, '17 until now… Then next came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Erling Haaland.

"And you can be sure if Erling takes a decision to leave us, we will find the next [player] 100% percent."

Who is the next Haaland?

While it may be near-impossible for Borussia Dortmund to replace Haaland's goalscoring production, they have been quick to bolster their attack ahead of his exit.

After signing 23-year-old Donyell Malen last summer, they will add Karim Adeyemi from RB Salzburg once this term ends.

Adeyemi, 20, is considered one of football's brightest young attacking talents and has already broken through with the German national team.

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