Dortmund making moves on transfer deadline day
BERLIN (AP) Borussia Dortmund is dominating the end of the transfer window in Germany with Spanish defender Marc Bartra and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving, and promising winger Sergio Gomez joining.
Dortmund said Wednesday it had made a ”big concession” on the transfer fee to allow Bartra to go to Real Betis after a tumultuous Bundesliga spell.
Bartra was injured after being hit with shrapnel in the bomb attack on Dortmund’s team bus before a Champions League game last April. The 27-year-old Spaniard said he had feared for his life.
Bartra played 49 competitive games for Dortmund after joining from Barcelona in 2016, but the club’s signing of Swiss defender Manuel Akanji from FC Basel increased the competition for a starting place.
Aubameyang left for Arsenal, completing his protracted move for 63.75 million euros ($80 million) – a record for the Premier League club – after a breakdown in relations with Dortmund, which dropped the player for two games for missing a team meeting.
It was the third time Dortmund had sanctioned the Gabon striker as a disciplinary measure in a little over a year.
”After the unpleasant events of the last weeks, we prefer to remember that the story of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a success over more than four years,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. ”He has done great things for Dortmund in this time, scored many important goals and is a part of the team that brought the German Cup to Dortmund in 2017.”
Aubameyang scored 98 goals in 144 Bundesliga games, 141 goals in 213 games altogether, for Dortmund since joining the side from French side St. Etienne in 2013. He was the Bundesliga’s top-scorer with 31 goals last season.
Defender Neven Subotic left Dortmund for French team Saint-Etienne last week, while Danish attacking midfielder Jacob Bruun Larsen joined Stuttgart on loan for the rest of the season.
Dortmund said Tuesday that the 17-year-old Gomez, an attacking midfielder, was joining from Barcelona. He will play for Dortmund’s under-19 team until the end of the season, then join the senior team in July. Gomez was voted the second best player at the Under-17 World Cup in India in October.
”Gomez is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world for his age group,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said.
Wolfsburg boosted its goal-threat by signing Swiss attacking midfielder Admir Mehmedi from Bayer Leverkusen.
”Mehmedi fits perfectly with our needs,” said Wolfsburg sporting director Olaf Rebbe, whose team has only four Bundesliga wins in 20 games.
Schalke reinforced its defense with the return of Abdul Rahman Baba on loan for 1+ seasons from Chelsea. The club had already secured the signing of Croatian forward Marko Pjaca from Juventus.
Bayern Munich also moved early in the transfer window, signing Sandro Wagner from Hoffenheim as a back-up to forward Robert Lewandowski. Wagner scored his first Bayern goal last weekend in a rout of his former club.
Japan midfielder Genki Haraguchi joined second-division club Fortuna Duesseldorf on loan from Hertha Berlin, while Mainz boosted its ranks by signing Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong from Galatasaray and Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah from Chinese club Liaoning Whowin.
The transfer window in Germany was open until 6 p.m. local time.