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Taking a Look at the Winter Transfer Window

Dortmund may spend some money, or they may not.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Ah, the winter transfer window is upon us. It seems in this edition that silly season has not dawned as it has in the past, where rumors of Christian Pulisic departing for Chelsea and Erling Haaland arriving from Salzburg have plagued the days leading up to the New Year. Still, Dortmund could do with some reinforcements, and there are a few names floating around that are worth consideration.

Let’s take a look at some players that are being talked about, some players that are not, and maybe even have a little bit of fun with it.

As is already known, Dortmund will need some departures to fund any high-profile arrivals. Players with hefty salaries and waning influence are sitting pretty on the wage bill, and Michael Zorc will be working to wipe those lines out of his ledger before he departs.

For reference, here are the *alleged* current salaries of the players on the chopping block. Please note, I do not have any insider info and sometimes these can be hard to find, so I am just going to provide what I can find Googling around:

Axel Witsel: ~ €9 million/yr

Roman Burki: ~ €7 million/yr

Nico Schulz: ~ €7 million/yr

It is unlikely that these players would fetch any significant transfer fee, but having their contracts off the books would be a huge relief to the boardroom. There is a pending interest in another winger and a midfielder in this window, with a few targets being considered.

Hakim Ziyech

We have all seen this one. Ziyech has long been admired by Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc, and it seems the chance to snag his services has once again popped up. Out of favor at Chelsea, Ziyech has been touted for a cut-rate loan move to the Bundesliga with a possible option to buy.

This deal has seemed ambitious from its start, and if you dig around on Twitter you will see that many Chelsea fans hate the idea of seeing a player leave to Borussia Dortmund. This is because they feel slighted Erling Haaland was not “allowed” to join their team, despite such a generous offer. Careful Blues, your plastic is showing.

For Dortmund and Ziyech, this would be a great chance for an experienced player to recover his form and have an impact on a team that could really benefit from his creativity. Conversely, it seems like a crowded addition to an attacking outfit with the likes of Hazard, Brandt, Reyna, and Reus all looking at the same positions.

Yusuf Demir

A promising young wide player for Barcelona, Yusuf Demir looks likely to enter the market when his loan expires this month. Demir was not able to convince the Barcelona brass of his quality, and will now look to recover his development in the Bundesliga. Demir has been touted for a move to Borussia Dortmund, but it remains to be seen if this would be a transfer for now or the future. It is worth remembering that Dortmund has made these kinds of moves before, with young players joining up only to experience a six-month waiting period to really settle into the team. Demir remains highly rated, and if he can impress Marco Rose there is no reason he cannot be a low-cost, high-impact transfer.

Denis Zakaria

It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for, the MAIN EVENT. Dortmund might sign Denis Zakaria, and that is being hailed as the answer to all of our prayers at this time. I like Zakaria, his name is a lot like mine and he brings a lot of grit and quality to the base of a midfield. I also like Monchengladbach and feel a bit uneasy about continuing to pillage our league for its best stars, but then again if he does not wish to resign, who are BVB to stand in his way?

This season, Axel Witsel has proven himself slow and Emre Can has proven himself error-prone. While the second of those issues, I believe, can be rectified, the first cannot. Dortmund needs a player like Zakaria to help allow their center backs to do their job and to give players like Brandt and Reus the freedom to create chances. It is rumored that a fee of around €10 million could give BVB the right to snag Zakaria now, instead of in the summer. While being eager in this sport can come to bite you (See: Barcelona, ala Dembele), this transfer sure does feel like it has some momentum to it.

So that’s who we are linked to; what about who we’re not? Yes yes, I ignored Nico Schlotterbeck, but it seems really unlikely to me that he could arrive in the winter so I am putting a pin in it. What about some weird move, the surprise jumps? Let’s postulate.

Jeremiah St. Juste

Yes, we have all been down this road. Dortmund’s links to the pacey center back have gone ice-cold, and it is nearly impossible that he could arrive this January. Still, Dortmund could use some quality reinforcement at the back, and St. Juste’s contract is another five months cheaper now.

Christian Pulisic

After a blockbuster summer where Captain America lifted several pieces of silverware, the prodigal son has failed to impress Thomas Tuchel. Rumor has it that Pulisic is now finding himself out in the cold at Chelsea, and could seek a change of scenery to help get himself back on track. Is he likely to head back to his proving grounds? Certainly not, and Chelsea would like to want most of what they paid back, or something a little more Norwegian.

Max Kilman

A promising young center back out of the Molineaux in England, Kilman is a part of a Wolverhampton defense that has conceded only four goals in their last eight appearances. Kilman’s stock is on the rise, with Wolverhampton back fighting for European places like they once were. Maybe some guaranteed European game time could pry him away? Probably not, he just extended his contract to 2026.

Jonathan Burkardt

The young Mainz striker has been one of the brightest stars of the Bundesliga midtable, with his quickness and quality on the ball helping him to notch seven goals and two assists this season. Burkardt’s play has also helped haul Mainz up to ninth place in the table, after flirting with relegation last season. I do not know why BVB would need him, with Malen finding form and Karim Adeyemi on the horizon, but why not.

So there you have it, a January window where so much could happen, or also nothing at all. Dortmund can usually be counted on to surprise the fans, and Michael Zorc may have one last ace up his sleeve in what will be his final transfer window at the helm. Make it a good one!