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BVB: World Champion, Mbappé and Ronaldinho



BVB: World Champion, Mbappé and Ronaldinho

Every club has them, the so-called near transfers. We look at players who once almost switched to Borussia Dortmund – and then caused a sensation elsewhere.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

According to information from SPOX and GOAL, the then blues coach Thomas Tuchel put a stop to a loan to BVB in the summer of 2021. The Englishman is too important an option for him in terms of the squad width.

Hudson-Odoi could have filled the gap at Dortmund left by Jadon Sancho’s departure to Manchester United. However, he didn’t really get off to a good start at Chelsea afterwards and mostly just sat on the bench.

Kylian Mbappe

Today’s world star would have been available for free in 2016, as ex-BVB scout Sven Mislintat once revealed in the “kicker Meets DAZN” podcast. And BVB was one of the interested teams.

However, there wasn’t much to be done: “It was a total shame that Kylian didn’t find access.” “But we didn’t have a chance to win that.”

Mislintat added: “If you could have stolen him (Mbappé; ed.) from Monaco for free at the time, it would of course have been a mega deal.”

Niklas Sule

Furthermore, Mislintat revealed in the KMD podcast that he had the opportunity to bring Süle to BVB. This was “a real missed transfer,” said today’s Ajax sporting director.

Süle “played with Marian Sarr in the U17 national team at the time. We finally decided on Sarr and against Süle”. Sarr is playing in Luxembourg today.

And what doesn’t work the first time doesn’t have to fail the second time either: Niklas Süle switched from FC Bayern to BVB on July 1, 2022 on a free transfer.

Karim Bellarabi

In the summer of 2016, BVB was looking for a replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was willing to emigrate. Coach Thomas Tuchel wanted to sign Leverkusen, Dortmund is said to have offered over 25 million euros.

“There was another official request from Dortmund a few days ago, but we immediately canceled it,” confirmed sporting director Rudi Völler. “Leaving Karim is not an issue for us at all.”

Bellarabi still plays in Leverkusen today, but is rarely used due to the high level of competition and many injuries.

Lautaro Martinez

In March 2018, the President of the Racing Club, Victor Blanco, confirmed an offer from BVB. But: “Dortmund has submitted an official request, but we have already reached an agreement with Inter.”

Dortmund are said to have offered up to 40 million euros for the 20-year-old Argentine. It would have been the highest transfer fee that Borussia has ever invested. Martínez ultimately went to Inter Milan.

Anthony Modest

When the Frenchman moved from 1. FC Köln to Tianjin in China, Dortmund had the striker on their list. But West Ham United and Olympique Marseille were also close to Modeste.

“All these clubs were interested, but my club quickly spoke to Tianjin. I turned it down twice. The third offer was good,” said Modeste.

Here, too, it worked later with a transfer. Because Sébastien Haller was suffering from testicular cancer, Modeste came on as a substitute for the 2022/23 season.

Filipe Luis

In 2019, BVB brought Nico Schulz, but before that they were interested in the Brazilian. “It was a very good offer, but it didn’t touch my heart. I didn’t have the passion to say: ‘I want to go to Borussia’,” said Luis.

After 14 years in Europe, Atlético Madrid finally returned home. BVB managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “If you hear that a Filipe Luis is coming onto the market free of charge, then at least think about it.”

David Neres

Peter Bosz wanted to bring the then 21-year-old attacker from Ajax Amsterdam to Dortmund. Dutch media reported an offer between 28 and 30 million euros. Ajax probably wanted 50 million.

“They offered a sum, but Ajax asked for a much higher one,” Neres said of the Dortmund offer. The winger now plays for Benfica Lisbon.

Arne Friedrich

In an interview with SPOX and GOAL, the current Hertha sports director revealed that he not only turned down three offers from FC Bayern, but also showed BVB interest in the then national player.

Sadio Mane

In the summer of 2013, after Mané’s first season in Salzburg, a collaboration with Jürgen Klopp failed. His current coach in Liverpool has even met the Senegalese.

But Klopp was put off by Mané’s outfit, which featured fancy clothes and a cap. ”He looked like a rapper. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t have time for that”’ Klopp later said.

Kloppo later regretted the decision. “I’ve made a few mistakes in my life and one of the biggest of them was not bringing Sadio to Dortmund. I was [von ihm] not convinced and that was my fault,” he told the Liverpool Echo. Meanwhile, Mané kicks at BVB rivals from Munich.

Mohammed Salah

That would have been a storm duo in Dortmund… In the same year, BVB also caught Salah’s eye. In a friendly against FC Basel in July 2013, Salah Klopp immediately caught the eye.

“We didn’t know him before the game against Basel. Then we saw him and thought: ‘What the fuck!'” Klopp recalled. However: “When I said let’s get him, he was already at Chelsea.”

Patrick Schick

When today’s Leverkusen player switched from Sampdoria Genoa to AS Roma in 2017, Borussia were also seriously interested. “Yes, one of the offers came from Dortmund,” explained the striker.

Also in 2019, Schick was on the verge of a change to storm alongside Paco Alcacer. Italian media wrote that there were only final details to be clarified. In the end it went to Leipzig on loan.

Oliver Giroud

The Frenchman was set to succeed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Dortmund in January 2018. “BVB wanted to loan me out for six months, but I didn’t want that,” said the striker sky.

Giroud wanted certainty as his Arsenal contract expired in the summer. In the end Giroud left the Gunners and went to Chelsea, BVB borrowed Belgian Michy Batshuayi from the Blues in the “triangle deal”.

Mark Hamsik

The Slovak, who currently plays for Trabzonspor, was under contract in Naples for twelve years. In 2016 he almost ended up at Borussia. Hamsik once gave that in the sports picture to.

The talks were not easy because Dortmund first wanted to sell players. ”That dragged on into August. At that point I had already started the preparations with Naples and didn’t want to leave,” said Hamsik.

Oliver Torres

“We all decided to get this player. All the work was done, Óliver fought for his move. But then our coach didn’t want him anymore,” said Sven Mislintat about Tuchel.

The Spaniard was due to join Dortmund in the winter of 2016/17. There was a rift between the chief scout and the coach. “It was the point of no return for me,” Mislintat told Die Zeit. Torres was then playing for Atlético Madrid.

Edwin van der Sar

After two years at Juventus, the goalkeeper was looking for a new club in 2001. At that time, Jens Lehmann was in goal at BVB. “I had two options and could have gone to Liverpool or Dortmund,” said the Dutchman.

But neither in England nor in Germany were people particularly willing to make decisions about this person. Van der Sar: ”Both clubs hesitated a bit, so in the end I chose Fulham.”


Peter Bosz wanted the Brazilian in Dortmund in 2017. “BVB is actually the only club I could imagine playing for, otherwise there was only Gladbach for me in Germany,” said Raffael later.

The reason why the move to BVB didn’t materialize was that both parties couldn’t agree on a contract term. “I then extended my contract at Borussia, which also made me very happy,” said Raffael.


“Bebeto had signed in Dortmund and then went to La Coruna because the president had worked on him again on site in Brazil,” said former manager Michael Meier SPOXInterview 2013.

Instead, the Brazilian moved to Spain in 1992. Meier: “We got FIFA involved and we got compensation, but we didn’t get the player.” Bebeto’s ex-club Vasco da Gama gave around 400,000 DM.


The Westphalians actually wanted to guide Ronaldinho to Dortmund in 2001. At that time, Tomas Rosicky, Jan Koller and Marcio Amoroso also came for more than 50 million euros – the Brazilian would have been cheaper.

Because Ronaldinho finally switched to Paris Saint-Germain for five million – because he canceled BVB himself: “The jump to Dortmund would have been a bit too big for me,” explained Ronaldinho.

Edin Dzeko

BVB has always been said to be interested in the Bosnian striker. Especially in 2016: Dzeko, then traveling in Rome, confirmed this: “There were contacts, that’s true.” Bayern are also said to have shown interest.

But it was never “the right time,” said Dzeko. Also in 2013, when Dzeko played for ManCity, there were concrete rumors towards BVB. “It’s complete, sheer nonsense and slowly not funny anymore,” said Watzke at the time.

Mario Mandzukic

Like Dzeko, the Croatian has always been the subject of rumors surrounding Borussia. In the summer of 2014, Mandzukic was to succeed Robert Lewandowski. After all, he went from Bayern to Atlético.

Mandzukic was also on Dortmund’s list in 2019. Lucien Favre praised the Juventus player as a “very good player”, but emphasized: “Now he’s 33 years old, you can’t forget that with the rating and the sums that are in play today.”

Yunus Malli

In the winter of 2015/16, Tuchel wanted to guide his former protégé from Mainz to BVB. “Economically, there was already agreement, but the club could not agree to a transfer from a sporting point of view,” said Malli im SPOXInterview 2016.

Mainz allegedly suggested a transfer fee in the double-digit million range. “I would have liked to change,” said Malli. And knew that Dortmund would not ask again: “I knew that Dortmund was only interested in winter.”

Kevin De Bruyne

Borussia wanted him in 2013. “When I returned to Chelsea in the summer, some German clubs wanted to sign me. Jürgen Klopp wanted me to join Borussia Dortmund,” admitted the Belgian.

But Chelsea didn’t let him go. “I didn’t get an explanation. For some reason I was through,” said De Bruyne. He then moved to VfL Wolfsburg.

Christian Ericsen

BVB also wanted the Danes in the summer of 2013 after Mario Götze went to Bayern. At the time, Eriksen played for Ajax Amsterdam and eventually went to Tottenham Hotspur for around 14 million euros.

“We were interested in him. But we had to choose between him, Mkhitaryan and De Bruyne. We watched all three closely but knew we could only get one,” said Klopp. It became Mkhitaryan.