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The Daily Bee (August 29th, 2019): BVB tried to sign de Ligt, Hummels role possibly irritated Akanji and Champions League playoffs

Did Dortmund have a chance to sign Matthijs de Ligt?

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Has the arrival of Mats Hummels caused the first irritation in the BVB locker? At least when you believe a Bild-report that seems to be true. The outlet claims Lucien Favre has named Hummels the third captain, which we saw during the match against Augsburg, both Reus and Piszczek were not on the pitch anymore so Hummels received the captains armband.

This has apparently led to some dismay within the squad, especially with Manuel Akanji who was the third captain until now. The Swiss international has thereafter refused to accept a spot on the team council which now only includes four players, Reus, Piszczek, Hummels and Witsel.

Bayern’s players and officials continue to exercise their favorite pastime which seems to be talking about Borussia Dortmund. In an interview with Sport Bild, Robert Lewandowski has talked about Bayern’s squad and their new signings but also had a comment about BVB, although something that has never really been a point of contention for most people:

“Dortmund has done a lot, they have a big squad. But it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. And that’s for sure: we have the players with the higher quality.“

In an interview with Spox, Peter Bosz’s assistant coach Hendrie Krüzen has talked about their current situation with Bayer Leverkusen but also about their relatively short stint in Dortmund and why it did not work out.

It’s a very interesting interview that details all the problems that Dortmund had at the time. One of the most interesting quotes is the hint that BVB could have signed Matthijs de Ligt

“We wanted to get to know the current squad and give every player a chance with our style of play instead of making great changes right from the start. The great beginning has just justified this approach. Unfortunately, when we had the weak phase, it’s often the case in professional football, we did not have the time to straighten that out and get new players in the winter. We were already in talks with some of them. And those were players who would have been high caliber even for a club like BVB. Whether you could have done it, I do not know. But one of them switched from Ajax to Juventus Turin for a lot of money this summer.”

That player is obviously Matthijs de Ligt. The star center back was actually linked to BVB for a short period and while it seems a bit outlandish now, at the time the club could have had a realistic opportunity to sign him, especially with Peter Bosz as the coach. However, Bosz got sacked shortly before the winter transfer market opened.

  • Champions League playoffs

Dinamo Zagreb, Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos have secured their spot in the Champions League group stage. Today there are three more games, Ajax take on APOEL, Slavia Prag host Cluj and Club Brugge play LASK to determine who the last three teams in the group stage.