The long-lasting duel between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund is not only fought on the pitch. BVB and FCB are also dueling on the transfer market. SPOX shows which players BVB and FC Bayern have been interested in in the past – and how it turned out.
In the past eleven years, the top duo in the Bundesliga has been Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich seven times. BVB last won the title in 2012, since then FC Bayern has always been in front. Dortmund finished third twice. Only in two cases (2014/15 and 2017/18) Dortmund was further away than these two places.
As German top clubs, both are of course fishing in the same pond when it comes to the transfer of the most talented players. With which stars was there a transfer duel between Bayern and Dortmund, who won it and what happened afterwards?
Nico Schlotterbeck (SC Freiburg)
The 22-year-old central defender was one of the main guarantors for SC Freiburg’s strong season, he even matured into a national team player under coach Christian Streich.
According to information from picture FC Bayern also courted his services, allegedly enticing him with an annual salary of 6.5 million euros.
However, Schlotterbeck switched to BVB for 20 million euros. There he formed the new central defense with ex-Bayern Niklas Süle, among others. “He didn’t choose the best offer from an economic point of view,” taunted the new BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl.
Sebastian Kehl (SC Freiburg)
Speaking of throat! His move from SC Freiburg to BVB in January 2002 made waves. The defensive midfielder had already given FC Bayern in the summer of 2001 the promise of a change by 2003 at the latest.
But it turned out quite differently! Kehl changed his mind and switched to BVB. The then Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß called the process a “scandal”.
In an arbitration talk, the clubs finally agreed to settle the transfer dispute. Kehl played for Borussia Dortmund until 2015, during which time he won the championship three times with BVB.
You can read the whole story about Kehl’s move to BVB here!
Tomáš Rosický (Sparta Prague)
The Czech was one of the most sought-after talents in Europe at the beginning of this millennium. FC Bayern also vied for the jewel of Sparta Prague – ultimately unsuccessfully.
Rosicky switched to BVB during the winter break of the 2000/01 season for the then record transfer fee of 14.5 million euros.
With the justification that he no longer participates in “this madness” of constant overbidding, Uli Hoeneß declared Bayern out of the wooing for the noble technician. He had even sat in his office during negotiations.
You can read the whole story about Rosicky’s move to BVB here!
Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
In the summer of 2012, FC Bayern Munich courted the then 23-year-old youngster from Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, he opted for BVB – much to the displeasure of the then Bayern President Hoeneß.
In his biography “Meine Spielzüge”, Reus consultant Volker Struth gave an insight into how the Bayern bosses were seething after the failed transfer.
Hoeneß is said to have said to him: “The way you fooled Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is an absolute cheek! I don’t have much to say to you, except: You are persona non grata here!”
Moritz Leitner (TSV 1860 Munich)
The native of Munich drew attention to himself at a young age – at TSV 1860 Munich, practically on FC Bayern’s doorstep.
FC Bayern considered helping the lions, who were in financial difficulties at the time, and signing Leitner with a special deal. However, Leitner left his hometown for the Ruhr area.
BVB won the race for the talent at the time. But Leitner was not happy there. By 2016 he had only played 51 competitive games and was often loaned out. Most recently, Leitner played for FC Zurich. He has been without a club since the summer of 2022.
Ousmane Dembele (Stade Rennes)
The Frenchman was voted Ligue 1’s best young player of the 2015/16 season. So it’s no wonder that BVB and FC Bayern wanted to sign Dembélé – Dortmund won the race.
“We have to concede to Dortmund that they used to have the right people,” said Uli Hoeneß in one sports image-Interview.
But Dembélé only wanted to switch to BVB because he didn’t feel ready to move to FC Bayern, where Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were still spinning at the time, or to FC Barcelona, who were also interested.
His departure after just one season was ugly. He practically went on strike at Barça, but still brought the Dortmunders a three-digit million sum as a fee.
Mark van Bommel (PSV Eindhoven)
Before the start of the 2004/05 season, BVB wanted to sign the Dutchman from PSV Eindhoven. At that time, Borussia coach was Bert van Marwijk – at that time van Bommel’s father-in-law.
“The transfer fee requested by Eindhoven cannot be reconciled with BVB’s consistent austerity measures,” said then-President Gerd Niebaum.
The following year, van Bommel was available on a free transfer. BVB and FC Bayern wanted to sign him, but van Bommel switched to FC Barcelona. After only one year, he went to Munich, where he played successfully until 2011.