The new Bundesliga season doesn’t start until the beginning of September, but the first shots have been fired off the pitch on the day that Borussia Dortmund return to training and Bayern prepare themselves for their assault on the Champions League. Wholly unsurprisingly, it is Bayern’s honorary president Uli Hoeneß who has fired the opening salvo in the battle of the mind games.
Giving an interview to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Hoeneß has hit out at Borussia Dortmund’s transfer policy, criticising their willingness to sell their better players for profit as soon as they rise to the top.
“What bothers me is when Dortmund buy a highly talented player, he plays well, and then you hear a few months later from the club itself or from outside, that he will eventually be up for sale” he explained. “I think that is unwise. How is a player supposed to soak up the DNA of the club 100% if he has the feeling that he is a sales object? We don’t do that. We sign players for Bayern Munich and never just make business out of them.”
Hoeneß went on to say that in the important games BVB lack the vital 10% that sometimes needs to be called upon- the ‘we are Bayern’ mentality.
“They have just signed the youngster Bellingham” he added. “You wait, if he plays well, how quickly interest comes from outside. I wouldn’t do it that way. I would publicly state and tell my own people, ‘That is our player, and if he plays well, he stays, even if they offer €100 million.’”
In recent seasons Dortmund have sold Ousmane Dembélé to Barcelona (€138 million), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal (€63.75 million) and Christian Pulisic to Chelsea (€64 million), although both Dembélé and Aubameyang forced the moves themselves. This summer Jadon Sancho is hotly tipped to join Manchester United with BVB demanding €120 million for their talented English attacker.
Responding to the statement s from Hoeneß, the Schwarzgelben’s sporting director Michael Zorc has hit back at what he sees as Bayern arrogance. “I find the statements quite arrogant, but some things are also factually de facto wrong. Basically: If you have €250 million more in your pocket every year, you can stink with your pants full.”
The opening shots have been fired and the Bayern/ Dortmund mind games have officially begun.