Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is planning his season with Sven Bender despite the midfielder being linked to Tottenham.
Reports had suggested Spurs were planning to swoop for the 26-year-old Germany international, who is contracted until mid-2017.
Speaking after his side’s 2-0 friendly win over Real Betis, Tuchel said Bender was very much a part of his plans.
“It’s hard to compare Sven Bender with Julian Weigl because they play differently,” he said.
“Sven Bender practised a lot, he is a leader. He is a constant in the squad, he is in the players’ council. It’s a pleasure to work with him, because he is a total team player.
“So we’re very happy with him and we’re planning with him.”
Adrian Ramos and Oliver Kirch were on the scoresheet for Dortmund in their friendly win over Betis in Wuppertal.
But Tuchel was unimpressed by his team’s performance despite their win.
“It wasn’t good enough from our side. The result is OK and we won. The players were able to gain more game time, especially those who didn’t get enough practice,” he said.
“But the way we played was very slow. So there isn’t much positive to say, we just know how not to do it.”
Bender said his team, who face Wolfsberger AC in their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round second leg on Thursday, struggled for energy.
“Of course it was quite hard for us,” he said.
“Many players were on the pitch for 90 minutes for the first time, so we hadn’t much energy. But it was a good training session, that’s the most important thing for us. And it’s just more fun than normal practice.”
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