Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel is adamant he does not hold a grudge against Mats Hummels, admitting he has taken a “step up” in joining Bayern Munich.
Hummels makes his first return to Signal Iduna Park on Sunday in the DFL-Supercup with a hostile reception likely following his decision to quit Westphalia for Bavaria.
Tuchel, however, can understand Hummels’ reasons for leaving although he admitted it was a blow to his plans for this season.
“Mats has made the decision to join one of the best clubs in the world,” Tuchel said at a news conference.
“He has gone to a club that are actually a step up from Dortmund. But it is obviously very bitter that he has strengthened a direct rival by doing so. There is no doubt about that.
“It will be very hard to end Bayern’s dominance. They have not lost any key players and have strengthened even further with Mats.
“But we are in no way offended by his decision and are not holding it against him.”
Mario Gotze moved in the opposite direction, returning to Dortmund after a three-year spell with Bayern and Tuchel has urged the BVB fans to give the attacking midfielder a warm welcome.
“Mario is a Borussia Dortmund player and should be supported by our fans,” Tuchel added.
“I expect this to be the case on Sunday against Bayern as well.”