The Westfalenstadion chief says their main focus is securing a top-four finish so that they remain in Europe’s top competition next season
Michael Zorc says Borussia Dortmund are prioritising the Bundesliga over the Champions League, as they aim to stave off bids for Erling Haaland and their other stars.
Haaland has proved to be one of the bargain signings of the last decade since joining Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg for €20 million (£17m/$24m) in January last year.
The 20-year-old has delivered a constant supply of goals on both domestic and European fronts for the German giants, and Zorc says a top-four finish will be crucial to the club’s chances of retaining his services beyond the end of the season.
What’s been said?
“I have never seen someone like him. We can search Europe-wide,” the Dortmund sporting director told Welt am Sonntag. “If he ever left us somewhere, there would only be a handful of clubs, but we’ll try to keep him as long as possible for sporting reasons.”
Dortmund have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals with Haaland leading the line, but Zorc says the Bundesliga is more important than trying to win that competition.
“We don’t want to play in the Europa League on Thursdays. We want to give our calling card in the Champions League,” he added with Dortmund currently sitting fifth in the table.
Haaland’s record for Dortmund this term
Haaland hit a brace in the second leg of Dortmund’s Champions League round of 16 tie against Sevilla last week, which sent them through to the last eight, 5-4 on aggregate.
The Norwegian now has ten goals to his name from six outings in the competition, four ahead of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Defences across Germany have also been unable to keep out Haaland, who has hit 21 goals in 24 domestic outings including 19 in the Bundesliga.
Who has been linked with Haaland?
Haaland’s prolific strike rate has seen him attract attention from elite clubs across Europe’s top five leagues, including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
A potential move to the Premier League has also been mooted for Haaland, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all being credited with an interest in his services.
Bayern Munich is another likely next destination for the Dortmund star due to their recent history of poaching the best players away from Westfalenstadion.