Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has confirmed that Bayer Leverkusen’s Ömer Toprak, a centre-back targeted to replace Mats Hummels, won’t join the Black and Yellows this summer.
Talking to German weekly SportBild, the 53-year-old said: “We were in talks with Leverkusen, but we had different points of view. Therefore there will be no transfer of Ömer Toprak [to Dortmund] in this transfer window.”
The former Turkey international reportedly has a release clause that will allow him to leave for €12 million after next season, and it seems as though Leverkusen played hard ball knowing they’re more likely to reach their goals with the co-captain than without him.
Ever since the first rumours started flying around that Hummels could be off to Bayern Munich, Toprak was rumoured to be head coach Thomas Tuchel’s first-choice replacement for the team captain.
Dortmund, of course, have captured talented 25-year-old Marc Bartra from Barcelona this week and return a centre-back depth chart consisting of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sven Bender, Matthias Ginter and Neven Subotic, but it stands to reason the club will continue to look for an experienced central defender in the wake of Hummels’ leaving.
The Black and Yellows were previously linked with Aleksandar Dragovic of Dynamo Kiev and Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia. Spox.com reported during the week that there was contact between Dortmund and Germany international Mustafi, but that no concrete negotiations have taken place so far.
The 24-year-old defender has a hefty release clause set at a reported €50 million, but local reports from Spain suggest he could be available for much less as Valencia needs funds after missing out on European football, having concluded the season in a disappointing 12th place.
Whereas a deal for Toprak seems out of reach for this year and the search for a centre-back will likely continue, it looks as if the club have won the race to sign another target.
Lorient left-back Raphael Guerreiro looks set to join Dortmund. SportBild report that the Black and Yellows have upped their offer for the Portuguese international to €12 million, stating that the deal is imminent.
Guerreiro, who can also play in a more attacking role, has been the centre of rumours for a number of weeks now, and it would be considered quite the clue to sign him before Euro 2016, where he could start for Portugal.
A good technician with impeccable free-kick technique, the 22-year-old would be the first truly notable competition for Marcel Schmelzer in years, while it’s also possible that he could end up playing ahead of the
future captain 28-year-old, seeing as Marco Reus is likely to miss the start of the season due to his injury that cost him a participation at the Euros.
Raphaël Guerreiro scored this beauty of a free kick for Portugal last night pic.twitter.com/DKyRzzaOGX
— From The Stands (@FromTStands) May 30, 2016
Guerreiro would be Dortund’s fourth signing for next season, after Bartra, Ousmane Dembele and Mikel Merino have already signed up with the Black and Yellows. With Bayern Munich’s Sebastian Rode also close to joining Dortmund, per numerous reports in Germany, it’s already shaping up to be quite an active summer.
That doesn’t include potential departures from players such as Subotic, Moritz Leitner or Adrian Ramos.