Football Football

Only Dortmund can decide Hummels’ future


HUMMELS-CUPBERLIN, April 4- Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke insists it is down to the German club where Manchester United-target Mats Hummels plays his football next season.

Dortmund host run-away league leaders Bayern Munich in Saturday evening’s mouth-watering Bundesliga showdown with tenth-placed Borussia looking to hold on to one of their prized assets for next season.

Reports in the UK media suggest United are poised to table a 35 million euro (£25.7m, US$38.1m) bid for the 2014 World Cup winning centre-back, who has admitted the Red Devils would be his “only” choice if he moves abroad.

But with two more years to run on his current contract, Dortmund are eager to keep their 26-year-old captain having watched top talent Robert Lewandowski and Mario Goetze leave for rivals Bayern Munich in the last two seasons.

“We have had the situation in Dortmund recently that we have lost one of our top performers every year,” Watzke told German daily Bild.

“And we still haven’t stopped playing football.

“But to make it clear, Mats Hummels knows the contract situation.

“The decision as to where Mats plays next season is of course only down to Borussia Dortmund.”

Having won the 2011 and 2012 German league titles, then finished runners-up to Bayern for the last two seasons, Dortmund have struggled for domestic form this season and found themselves bottom of the league at the start of February before exiting the Champions League at the last 16 stage — they are presently 12 points off a Champions League berth for next term.

They are also waiting on Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan to extend his current contract, which expires in June 2016, “but no decision has yet been taken,” added Watzke.

“No one needs to worry: we will have a strong team next year,” added Watzke.

“If we don’t qualify for Europe next season, we will have to trim down, because our squad will be too big for a year without international competition.

“But the team budget will still be higher than in the years when we were German champions.”

One player reported to be poised to leave Dortmund at the end of the season is Italy striker Ciro Immobile, who has failed to make an impact since his 18.5 million euros move from Torino last year.