Borussia Dortmund target Ömer Toprak has expressed his desire to leave Bayer Leverkusen for the Black and Yellows.
“I’ve told the club [Leverkusen] about my intention. They’ve received an offer from Dortmund, but refused it. I’m here [at Bayer], that’s all I can say about it,” the 26-year-old centre-back told Kölner Stadtanzeiger on Wednesday.
BVB’s initial bid for Toprak was €22 million according to German tabloid Bild. Sporting director Michael Zorc told Sportbild back in June that a transfer of the touted Hummels-replacement would not materialise this summer due to different views about the transfer fee.
However, Bayer coach Roger Schmidt breathed new life into the transfer rumor on Tuesday, when he told Bild that he is not 100 per cent certain that Toprak would remain at the club.
“The club cannot let a top centre-back go for a small fee. Ömer also knows that,” the 49-year-old was quoted by the German tabloid.
A transfer of Thomas Tuchel’s deemed favourite to replace Mats Hummels is still on, if Borussia Dortmund are ready to up their offer to €25 million and Bayer Leverkusen can find a suitable replacement.
“We must be prepared for the worst case,” Schmidt said on Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragović, who Bayer Leverkusen might be lining up as possible successor for Toprak.
With Neven Subotic being imminent to leave the club, as club-boss Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed on a press conference on Wednesday, BVB will be on the outlook for another defender. Especially, if Sven Bender will represent Germany at the Olympic games in Rio.
Toprak would arrive in Dortmund with the experience of 167 Bundesliga, and 24 Champions League matches. The Turk would add solidity to the heart of BVB’s back line and could take on the responsibility of building Dortmund’s play from the back in Hummels’ void.