Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has insisted the club are in position to decide where Mats Hummels will play his football next season.
The Germany international, who is under contract at Signal Iduna Park until June 2017, has been increasingly linked with a summer move to Manchester United, with the Red Devils reportedly prepared to offer Dortmund €35 million for the World Cup winner.
“We have had the situation in Dortmund recently that we have lost one of our top performers every year,” Watzke told Bild.
“And we still haven’t stopped playing football. But to make it clear, Mats Hummels knows the contract situation.
“The decision as to where Mats plays next season is of course only down to Borussia Dortmund.”
Even if Dortmund manage to keep Hummels, the Bundesliga side will inevitably be forced to trim down their squad if they fail to qualify for European football next season.
However, Watzke has insisted the club will have sufficient transfer funds to field a ‘strong team’ next term.
“No-one needs to worry: we will have a strong team next year,” added Watzke.
“If we don’t qualify for Europe next season, we will have to trim down, because our squad will be too big for a year without international competition.
“But the team budget will still be higher than in the years when we were German champions.”
Carragher rips Sterling
Former Liverpool F.C. defender Jamie Carragher has criticised Raheem Sterling for the way he has publicised his contract talks with the club.
The England international, 20, recently admitted to rejecting a £100,000-a-week deal, and has put contract negotiations on hold until the end of the season.
“For a 20-year-old and his agent to be taking on Liverpool FC in the public domain is a disgrace,” Carragher said.
“I have no issue about players maximising their earning potential but the agenda that is being driven from Sterling’s camp is beyond a joke.
“The only way any good could have come from the BBC interview was if Sterling had said he was going to sign a new deal. Anything else, as he has discovered, was always going to create a massive problem.
“They cancelled talks with the club but not with the media. If you don’t want people talking about an issue, don’t talk about it yourself.”
Although Sterling remains under contract at Anfield until the summer of 2017, he has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid this season.