Chelsea have officially agreed the signing of Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic after the German club announced that a €64m (£58m) deal is in place for the United States international to move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
The 20-year-old American, who was due to be out of contract at Dortmund, immediately becomes Chelsea's player but will remain at Westfalenstadion until summer. There is no 'loan fee' payable by Dortmund to keep him for the next six months.
"It was always Christian's dream to play in the Premier League," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told BVB.de as the arranged transfer was confirmed.
"That certainly has to do with his American background, and as a result we were unable to extend his contract. In this context, we have decided to accept an extremely lucrative bid by Chelsea, given the low contract maturity," he added.
Zorc also remains in little doubt that Pulisic will continue to give his all for Dortmund in the remaining six months of his time with the club as they fight for the Bundesliga title.
"Christian Pulisic is a perfect character. I am sure that in the coming months he will do everything in his power to bring his high quality to the team and to achieve his sporting goals with his team-mates Borussia Dortmund," he said.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1998, Pulisic has previously briefly lived in England for a year as a young child before returning to his native USA. After developing under the eye of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system, he joined Dortmund as a 16-year-old in February 2015 and made his first team debut just under 12 months later.
He later went on to become a regular in the side, playing 85 games across 2016/17 and 2017/18, also establishing himself as a generational star of the United States national team.
Injury worries and competition from emerging England starlet Jadon Sancho had seen Pulisic struggle to match his previous Dortmund impact during the first half of this season.
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Paco Alcacer from Barcelona on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund signed Alcacer on loan from the Spanish champions during the summer, with an option to make the move permanent for a fixed fee.
After Alcacer scored eight goals in six Bundesliga appearances, it was an easy decision to activate that option, with the 25-year-old signing a contract until 2023.
"Paco is wholeheartedly with us, he has quickly integrated and has become an integral part of our squad," Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told the club's official website.
"He is a real goalscorer of high footballing quality, and has already played a decisive part in some important games for us. We look forward to many more goals and assists from Paco in the coming years."
Alcacer expressed his delight at having made the next step in his career.
"I am very happy in Dortmund, at BVB and in this wonderful team," he said. "Borussia Dortmund was and is exactly the right decision for me. I will do everything I can to say thank you for your trust."
Alcacer's eight Bundesliga goals have come in just 235 minutes of action, meaning that he has scored at an average of one goal every 29 minutes.
His form has also earned him a recall to the Spain squad for his first international action since 2016. His excellent form continued with two goals in a friendly against Wales and one against England in the Nations League.
Barcelona to Give Dortmund Huge Payout if They Sell Dembele
La Liga giants Barcelona will be forced to pay Borussia Dortmund an additional £26m if they decide to cash in on their out-of-favour winger Ousmane Dembélé.
The France international swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Camp Nou last year in a £96m transfer, with a further £35m in potential add-ons.
Barcelona have already paid £9m of the add-ons for Dembélé, but German outlet Die Welt (via the Mirror) claim that they will be made to pay the remaining £26m if the 21-year-old is sold in the near future.
Dembélé has a contract in Catalonia until 2022, so any sale would see Barcelona increase their already high asking price to accommodate whatever they still have left to pay Borussia Dortmund.
Barça's reasoning behind considering letting one of their most expensive ever signings - second only to Philippe Coutinho - leave is largely down to the player's attitude, something which often landed himself in hot water with Dortmund's hierarchy too.
We are all products of our own environments. Our environments shape our character, our personality, our habits, our identity.
The environment that Ousmane Dembélé grew up in and the environment that FC Barcelona seeks to engulf its youngsters with could not be more different.
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) November 14, 2018
There have also been claims that, as well as problems with punctuality and even rumours of a possible video game addiction, Dembélé still hasn't integrated himself into the squad and has so far failed to fall into any specific friendship group at the club, despite Barcelona's high number of French players.
If Barcelona do decide to sell then they will not be short of suitors, although many clubs across Europe will be put off by Dembélé's expected asking price which will likely break the £100m barrier once again.
There are many young talented players out there who show the right attitude even when they make all the headlines (Pulisic and Sancho prime examples). I have zero sympathy for Dembele because he‘s shown a bad attitude wherever he played and lacks professionalism and respect.
— Sandra Goldschmidt (@SanBorussia) November 18, 2018
Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for the World Cup-winning forward, but Jürgen Klopp's side could have the inside track due to his personal relationship with Dembélé.
The youngster was renting a property from Klopp during his time at Borussia Dortmund, although things didn't end on good terms when Dembélé moved to Barcelona as he left the property trashed while he was forcing through the transfer.
Arsenal do, however, have a fighting chance when it comes to convincing Dembélé of a move thanks to their contingent of his former teammates, most notably including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Borussia Dortmund Set to Offer Star Man New Contract as CEO Admits Squad Will Undergo 'Adjustments'
Bourussia Dortmund are looking to tie down their superstar skipper Marco Reus with a new contract this February; as his current deal expires in 2019.
The 28-year-old is set to return from a lengthy absence, having sustained a familiar ACL injury in the DFB Pokal final back in May.
Reus is concerned that reoccurring physical problems may hinder his chances of playing in the World Cup this summer - which would be his first major tournament since 2012 - and is targeting a lasting run in the side upon his return.
Now, with just under 18 months left on his contract, the Bundesliga giants are looking to tie down the Dortmund-born forward to a new deal; having already lost Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this year:
"Our stance has not changed," sporting director Michael Zorc told Bild. "Our goal remains that Marco Reus stays here in the long-term."
The Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke claims his side are facing another summer of rebuilding after losing key players and are looking to make Reus the focal point of the new project.
The club may be hard pressed to tie the German down though, with Reus' final decision hinging on whether his current side make the necessary moves to challenge for top honours in the summer.
Bayern Munich are currently 19 points clear of Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga, with Watzke admitting (via FAZ): "We need a squad adjustment in the summer. Things will be clearer after the second half of the season. Michael Zorc has the lead on this. He knows my opinion and expectation."
Barcelona and Man City Set to Compete for Signature of Coveted Borussia Dortmund Star
Barcelona and Manchester City have been tipped to go head to head in pursuit of talented Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl, which may come as no surprise given that he is a player media reports have dubbed the 'new Sergio Busquets'.
According to AS, Barcelona intend to strengthen the base of their midfield and see 22-year-old Weigl as the perfect fit to ensure that Busquets can be rested and the team not suffer. In that sense, he would offer better relief than Andre Gomes or Sergi Roberto.
Barça are said to have been following the German international since last season and that there is excitement at Camp Nou because few others around Europe are seen to have his degree of fluency on the field.
But the Catalan giants are expected to face stiff competition from a former son in Pep Guardiola, who has apparently urged Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain, another former Barça hero, to bid for Weigl at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola, AS declares, is 'in love' with Weigl as a player and wants him in Manchester.
It is also noted that while Barça can rival any club in the world when it comes to offering an attractive place to play football, they cannot compete with City on a financial level.
Were a move to City to materialise, Weigl would strengthen the existing central midfield unit of Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan. It would given Kevin de Bruyne a freer role, and would likely coincide with the departure of veteran star Yaya Toure, who will turn 35 years of age in May.
Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz has admitted he does not know where midfielder Ousmane Dembele has gone.
The French international attended Dortmund’s official team photo last week but missed the team’s training session on Thursday morning and Bosz has revealed that calls to the youngster have bounced back.
The 20-year-old has been strongly linked with a summer move to Barcelona, who have made a serious play since the departure of Brazilian Neymar to Paris Saint Germain last week.
Dembele is said to want to move to the Camp Nou, and Bosz believes his absence has something to do with the growing speculation.
“Dembele wasn’t at training today. I have no idea why he wasn’t there. We tried to reach him but couldn’t,” Bosz said.
“First I have to talk to Dembele, then he has to explain to me why he wasn’t here today. I hope nothing serious happened.”
Whilst various reports surface in media, it is understood that the youngster has landed in Paris and is waiting confirmation from Dortmund officials to fly to Barcelona and complete a summer move.
Dotmund have previously told media that Dembele is not for sale, although various sources have claimed he would not be allowed to leave for less than £135m.
Dembele scored ten goals in 49 appearances last season after arriving at the Bundesliga club from Rennes.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and the history of Klassiker Supercups
On Saturday evening (20:30CEST/18:30GMT), defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and DFB Cup winners Borussia Dortmund will get the new German season underway when they face off in the DFL Supercup.
1989: Bayern Munich 3-4 Borussia Dortmund
The first Supercup clash between the two German giants was arguably the most pulsating of the lot, as Jupp Heynckes' Bayern – league champions for the fourth time in five seasons – clashed with a Dortmund side who had just ended a 24-year wait for silverware by winning the DFB Cup.
Bayern led twice through Scottish striker Alan McInally and defender Roland Grahammer, but a brace from Günter Breitzke had Dortmund level before the hour mark. Jürgen Wegmann then gave BVB the lead against his former side, only for Radmilo Mihajlovic to equalise within the space of two minutes.
With the clock ticking down, the game was crying out for a hero, and it turned out to be 21-year-old Andreas Möller. The future FIFA World Cup 1990 winner grabbed a dramatic late winner for Dortmund, as it finished 4-3 and the Black-and-Yellows lifted their very first Supercup.
2012: Dortmund 1-2 Bayern
With no official Supercup between 1996 (Dortmund beating Kaiserslautern) and 2010 (Bayern beating Schalke), it wasn't until 2012 that the two German giants faced off again in what has now become the season's traditional curtain-raiser.
The game was held at the Allianz Arena, where Bayern had missed the opportunity to lift the UEFA Champions League in front of their home fans a few months earlier, losing on penalties to Chelsea in the final.
Early goals from Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Müller helped the Bavarians to start laying some of those ghosts to rest, and ensured a measure of revenge for a chastening 5-2 defeat to league champions BVB in the previous campaign's DFB Cup final.
2013: Bayern 2-4 Dortmund
Bayern turned the tables on Dortmund spectacularly in 2012/13, completing a memorable treble in Heynckes' final season in charge – including a 2-1 victory over BVB in the Champions League final at Wembley.
The Bavarians made a statement of intent by hiring Barcelona legend Pep Guardiola as head coach over the summer, but the Spaniard was in for a rude awakening in his first game in charge, as Dortmund ran riot in the Supercup at the Signal Iduna Park.
Marco Reus opened the scoring early on, and though Bayern equalised through Arjen Robben, BVB raced into a 3-1 lead thanks to a spectacular Daniel Van Buyten own-goal and a classy effort from Ilkay Gündogan. Robben soon replied, but Reus also got his second of the game late on to make it first blood to Dortmund in the 2013/2014 season.
2014: Bayern 0-2 Dortmund
While Guardiola's Bayern romped to the Bundesliga title in 2013/14 – recording 29 wins and just two defeats, and finishing 19 points clear of Dortmund – Supercup success continued to elude them, and they were comfortably beaten for the second year running at the Signal Iduna Park.
Robert Lewandowski – who left Dortmund for Bayern during the summer – cut an isolated figure as his former side went ahead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan on 23 minutes. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got a deserved second midway through the second half, and the Gabonese international celebrated in trademark style, throwing on a Spiderman mask that he had been hiding in his sock.
2016: Bayern 2-0 Dortmund
Following three successive defeats, Bayern finally got their hands back on the Supercup in 2016 under new boss Carlo Ancelotti.
This time it was Mats Hummels returning to Dortmund as a Bayern player, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner helped the Bundesliga champions keep a clean sheet in the competition for the first time since 2010. At the other end of the pitch, Arturo Vidal and Müller provided the goals for Bayern, who ran out 2-0 winners and thus equalled Dortmund's record of five Supercup victories.
History will be made at the Supercup 2017 encounter between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday with Video Assist being used for the first time in a competitive game in Germany (kick-off 20:30CEST/18:30GMT).
Video Assist is being brought in to serve as further support to the referee on the pitch. They will be used in just four match situations, which are laid out below.
Dortmund Can 'Close the Distance' on Bayern Claims Goalkeeper Roman Burki
Swiss keeper Roman Burki believes Borussia Dortmund can challenge Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title this season, providing they adapt to new coach Peter Bosz's methods.
Last season Dortmund were 18 points adrift of Bayern and three points behind RB Leipzig. However in this current transfer window Dortmund have managed to keep their team together (unlike previous seasons where they have lost the likes of Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan) and added the talents of Maximilian Philipp, Omer Toprak and Mahmoud Dahoud.
As well as a host of new signings Dortmund also have a new manager. According to FourFourTwo, Burki believes the appointment of Bosz, who has replaced Thomas Tuchel as head coach, means Dortmund are well placed to rival Bayern for the Bundesliga title.
"Simply playing in a new system makes it important that we've all stayed together," said the keeper. "The new players have gelled with us straight away.
"This hasn't been a problem at all. When a team has been together for some time it means you can freely exchange opinions too. This is very important. I hope we can close the distance on [Bayern]. We'll have a good idea on August 5 when we play them in the Supercup. We want to be challenging them.
"We're working hard to be more consistent. If we can avoid injury and every single player knows their role, then we'll surely have more consistency in our game."
The German football season starts on the 18th of August. Dortmund's first game is away to Wolfsburg on the 19th.