When Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that the Bavarian club were in talks with BVB over Mats Hummels, we all knew what was coming. Today those fears have been realized as Hummels has officially asked for a transfer from Dortmund to Munich.
Now that Hummels is certainly on his way out, the news is still tough to digest. The Captain's transfer represents another player leaving Dortmund, in the prime of their career, for one of our biggest rivals. He follows in the footsteps of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski, but this transfer feels like more of a betrayal. How can a club captain just decide that he wants to move to their immediate rivals?
Hummels came through the Bayern youth academy, but only ever made one start for the senior team before moving to Dortmund in 2008. His father is an agent who represents a few Bayern players, so it's not a stretch to say he played some part in convincing Mats to push for a transfer. Hummels was also reportedly swayed by Munich's ability to give him a significant pay raise.
A post on the official Dortmund website had this to say:
"Defender Mats Hummels has communicated his desire to leave the club in the summer and wants to join the league rivals Bayern Munich next season. Borussia Dortmund's board has subsequently decided to make such a change, depending on whether Bayern Munich will pay an amount corresponding with the player's value. So far, Bayern Munich has not made an offer. It's worth pointing out that Mats Hummels, at present, as is the case with many Dortmund players, no exit clause exists and that the player is tied to Dortmund until June 30th, 2017."
To date the 27-year-old center-back has made 219 appearances for BVB in all competitions, scoring 19 goals. He also has 46 caps for the German senior team.
Bayern are getting one of the best ball-playing defenders in Europe on his day, but Hummels is not a perfect player. He's been prone to losing focus and committing costly defensive errors, as he did in the Europa League Quarterfinal second leg in Liverpool.
Thomas Tuchel will absolutely have to make a move in the transfer market to fill the hole that will be left by Hummels. Bayer Leverkusen's Turkish defender Omer Toprak is one name that has been linked as a possible replacement.
Another frustration from this news is that Dortmund have the German Cup Final with Bayern looming on the horizon. It's safe to say Hummels won't start in defense, on May 21st, against the team he is dying to join. He really couldn't wait for the season to be over to do this?
It's tough to greet news of a transfer like this with anything but unreserved anger. Mats Hummels was not just another Dortmund player, he was our captain. He spoke out against Gotze when he ran to Munich, but now he is doing the exact same thing.
This writer has now completely lost any sense of affection or respect for Hummels. How do you feel about him assuming he is about to trade the Westfalenstadion for the Allianz Arena?