Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Dortmund ´100 per cent´ rule out Bellingham sale and target striker to cover for Haller

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 3 Aug 2022

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Borussia Dortmund will not be selling Jude Bellingham, but the Bundesliga giants are optimistic they will have a new striker on board by the end of next week.

England midfielder Bellingham has emerged as a target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, with Real Madrid reportedly among his admirers.

At just 19, he is entering his third Bundesliga campaign, having previously spent a year as a first-team regular with English second-tier side Birmingham City.

It appears Bellingham will still be a Dortmund player by the time the World Cup gets under way in November, with the German club eager to avoid a second star exit in this transfer window after Erling Haaland left for Manchester City.

Asked if he could rule out selling Bellingham, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “Yes, definitely, 100 per cent.”

Dortmund’s focus is on finding a striker to cover for the absence of Sebastien Haller, their Ivory Coast international whose testicular tumour has been confirmed as being malignant.

Haller, who joined from Ajax in the close season, will undergo chemotherapy treatment and is expected to be absent for several months.

Watzke acknowledged Haller faces a “relatively long” spell out of action and said it would be expecting too much to think that teenager Youssoufa Moukoko could step up week after week as a deputy.

Watzke told Sportschau.de: “To dump everything on Youssoufa Moukoko’s shoulders – he is 17 years old – that might be a bit much.

“So I think we’ll do something again in terms of personnel. A really good solution is also difficult because the range on the market is not exactly lavish.

“Ideally, something should happen in the next eight to 10 days.”

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