As Borussia Dortmund tries to fight off RB Leipzig for the second spot in the Bundesliga, there are rumblings about movement in the organization. Or rather, OUT of the organization.
No, it doesn’t concern Erling Haaland, who has a contract that runs through 2024 and has stated that he isn’t going anywhere after this summer.
But it does involve a couple of other key figures.
Coach Lucien Favre (yes, that’s pronounced the same way as Brett Favre) was rumored to be in search of a new home, either by choice or not, although there anything solid indicating that. And then there is at least one possible prominent player move, although it is something BVB intends to profit handsomely on.
BetAnySports customers who follow the international soccer scene may be aware that Haaland is not the only 19-year-old wunderkind under contract. One of his cohorts, Jadon Sancho, who has often sung Haaland’s praises, is also one of the bright young stars in the galaxy.
And he has drawn the interest of two of the most prominent soccer franchises in the world.
One of those is Dortmund’s Bundesliga rival, Bayern Munich, which is seven points clear in the standings. And the other is Manchester United.
In the world of international soccer, virtually any player can be let go at any time, if the price is on target, and in this case Dortmund is rumored to be willing to part ways with Sancho for the considerable return of €120 million.
Thomas Delaney, Dortmund’s solid veteran midfielder, makes no bones about the fact that Sancho is “one of the biggest talents that I’ve played with,” and thinks he can become one of the five best players in the game. So you can imagine that he and Haaland are a dangerous combo, and as long as we’re talking about the youngsters, we might as well mention Gio Reyna, the midfielder who is the youngest American ever to appear in the Bundesliga, who’ll have to wait till November to celebrate his 18th birthday.
Now, as BVB comes down the stretch, just two points ahead of third-place RB Leipzig, they will try to shake off the sting of a 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich and bounce back in a big way against Paderborn, which is the last place side and ticketed for relegation.
It’s a Sunday (Noon ET) road game, and Dortmund will have to do it without Haaland, who suffered what may be best described as a minor knee injury against Bayern Munich.
Here are the numbers posted at BetAnySports, which the disclaimer that they are, obviously, subject to change:
Borussia Dortmund -291
Borussia Dortmund -1.5 (-106)
Paderborn +1.5 (-109)
Under 3.5 Goals -126
Over 3.5 Goals +111
* Note: alternative lines are available.
Without Haaland, who has come into the Bundesliga like a whirlwind, there will be additional pressure on Sancho. It was noted this week, in an interview Delaney did, that Sancho is also feeling the pressure from all these rumors about where he might wind up next. And when the suitors are clubs like Bayern and Man City, that’s a lot to think about.
But this kid is no rookie. The winger is actually in his third year with this squad, having debuted at the age of 17. And in 93 overall appearances, he’s scored 31 goals. This season he has stepped up his productivity a great deal, averaging more than a goal every couple of games (14 in 26) in league play.
Getting back to Favre for a moment, Hans-Joachim Watzke, the chief executive of Borussia Dortmund, gave him the proverbial “vote of confidence” after the Bayern loss, saying “At the moment there is no reason for a coach discussion.”
Regarding whether he may consider going hunting for another job, Favre told reporters that “I don’t think about giving up. What I had wanted to say is it is not the time now to take stock.”
We’re moving with Dortmund on the money line against this cellar-dweller on Sunday.
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