In these uncertain times Hertha Berlin have been boosted with another cash injection from their financial backer Lars Windhorst, whose holding company Tennor will pay €150 million in return for raising their stake in the club to 66.6%.
After enjoying a much happier time on the pitch following Bruno Labbadia’s appointment, the club now have the financial might to spend some money in the summer. Reports say that the Old Lady will have an initial €50 million to spend on improving the squad this summer with a further tranche to come in the Autumn. This comes after Hertha spent €75 million in the last transfer window on Santiago Ascacibar, Krzysztof Piatek, Lucas Tousart and Matheus Cunha.
Bild have reported that the club have identified four positions they will be seeking to strengthen, so who is on Hertha’s summer shopping list?
At 35-years old Rune Jarstein isn’t getting any younger and the veteran did drop a few clangers this season, meaning the time may have come to bring in a new number one. The main target is reported to be 22-year-old Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, who has just helped VfB Stuttgart to Bundesliga promotion while on loan from Hoffenheim.
It is believed a fee of €5 million would be sufficient to sign him, although there is also some interest from Premier League clubs. Other options that Hertha could consider are Alexander Schwolow from Freiburg (although Schalke seem to be in pole position), Bayern’s reserve Sven Ulreich or even ex-Liverpool keeper Loris Karius. Whose loan to Turkish side Besiktas is coming to an end.
Left-field candidates include Jonas Omlin from FC Basel and Belgian Hendrik Van Crombrugge of Anderlecht.
With Lukas Klunter set to leave the club, Hertha have reportedly agreed personal terms already with 22-year-old Dutch fullback Deyovaisio Zeefuik, who currently plays for Groningen. The Ajax Academy graduate, who is also a former U-21 international, would cost around €2.7 million, but as yet there is no agreement between the two clubs.
Clinton Mata from Club Brugge would be another option however would be slightly pricier at €6.5 million. With a small Belgian contingent already at the club in Dedryck Boyata und Dodi Lukebakio, Mata would fit right in, even though the 27-year-old plays internationally for Angola.
Salomon Kalou has left the club and despite the goals still flowing at 35-years-old, Vedad Ibisevic cannot be expected to go on indefinitely. A striker in the Wout Weghorst mould has been touted as the ideal purchase but securing the services of the actual Wout Weghorst might be out of Hertha’s grasp.
Hertha are believed to have been tracking Club Brugge left winger Krépin Diatta for some time and are ready to get serious in their pursuit of the 21-year-old. He’d come at a cost- €20 million, but then that’s what the Windhorst windfall is for. They will have to move fast though as the player’s agent has confirmed there is also interest from both Milan and Watford for the winger’s services.
Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai is another potential for the wide role. The 19-year-old is being tracked by a host of clubs and would demand a hefty €30 million fee, but if Hertha could beat off interest from Napoli, Arsenal and Milan, it would be a real coup.
Many people believe that Milot Rashica to RB Leipzig is a done deal, but could Hertha get in on the action and persuade the Kosovan to move to the capital rather than Saxony?
The fantasy draft
Let’s throw in two names into the mix just to see what happens. How do you fancy seeing Mario Götze or Julian Draxler running out at the Olympiastadion for Hertha? Stranger things have happened and would be a real indication that the club/ Lars Windhorst are serious about transforming the capital club into a major force.
Götze is leaving Borussia Dortmund and looking for a fresh start to kick start his career. A move abroad looks the more obvious option, but don’t rule out the non-obvious.
Paris St. Germain midfielder Draxler again at first glance looks an impossible dream but could Hertha lure him back to the Bundesliga.