CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has made it abundantly clear that Borussia Dortmund will not tolerate another Ousmane Dembele or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer saga.
Despite having only spent a season at Signal Iduna Park, Dembele sought an exit in the summer of 2017 after learning of Barcelona’s interest in signing him.
Understandly Dortmund were reluctant to part with the young star, who then began taking extreme measures to force through a move to Barcelona by going on strike.
Eventually, Dortmund caved and sold Dembele to the Catalan giants for a €105m deal plus a reported €40m worth of add-ons.
However, just six months later in January 2018, BVB suffered a similar crisis all over again in star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabonese forward had been at Dortmund since 2013 and quickly established himself as a key part of the squad with 141 goals and 36 assists in 213 appearances across all competitions.
But upon learning of Arsenal’s interest in him, Aubameyang resorted to similar measures to that of Dembele by skipping team meetings and refusing to attend training sessions.
Former coach Peter Stoger recently admitted the 29-year-old’s actions left him with no other choice but to sanction the £56m transfer to Arsenal.
However, Watzke warns that BVB will not tolerate a repeat of this ever again and that they will make an example of anyone who dares to test their resolve.
“We’ve made a clear announcement. The next player, who makes trouble or goes on strike, will be left to stew,” Watzke told Ruhr Nachrichten.
“This is populist because of course we also have an economic responsibility. We couldn’t keep Dembele and give up more than €140 million. And it wasn’t possible with Aubameyang either.
“But through these cases, a situation has arisen that demands a regulatory policy. And that’s why I say that the next player, who tries something like that, is in trouble. And the players know that too. We’ll then make an example of the person concerned.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) February 9, 2019