Mats Hummels hands in transfer request to join Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has handed in a transfer request to the club and has made it clear that he intends to sign for Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window.
Bayern Munich hasn’t yet made a formal offer for the centre-back, and it is believed that an “extraordinary” sum of money from the Bavarian giants can only convince Dortmund to sell their star player. Hummels’ contract at Signal Iduna Park is set to expire in summer 2017.
A statement published on the BVB website reads: “Mats Hummels has informed us of his wish to leave the club in the summer, and he wants to join league rivals Bayern Munich.
“The club would like to point out that Mats Hummels, as is the case with the rest of the Borussia Dortmund team, has no agreed release clause,” Dortmund explain.
“The player is technically tied to Borussia Dortmund until June 30, 2017.”
Last week the 27-year-old told Germany’s Sky television that the transfer speculation is affecting his sleep. He said: “It’s a very difficult decision, and when I finally make it people will understand how hard it is for me. It’s been taking me at least half an hour extra to fall asleep for several weeks now because this is such a big issue for me.”
Herman Hummels, Mats’s father and also his agent, revealed that the Germany international will only leave Dortmund for the top five or six clubs in Europe.
“Mats is facing an enormously important decision in his career, in his life,” said Hermann Hummels. “Dortmund are back among Europe’s best clubs and that is making the decision even harder for him. If he were to leave Dortmund, then he could only go to five or six top clubs, and of course, Bayern are one of them.”
Dortmund fans have already begun to vent their fury online, referring to Hummels as ‘Judas’.
After losing both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski in recent years, the Dortmund faithful will make no secret of their anger with Hummels when their team welcomes Wolfsburg on Saturday.
The sense of betrayal is made all the more intense given how Hummels himself reacted to Gotze’s departure three years ago.
Thomas Helmer (1992)
The first player to make the jump from Dortmund to Bayern, Germany defender Thomas Helmer caused a major media storm back in 1992.
Helmer’s contract had a buyout clause which only allowed him to leave Dortmund for a foreign club. Bayern’s then director of sport came up with the devious plan of getting Auxerre to buy Helmer and immediately sell him on to Bayern for a profit.
When Dortmund got wind of the plan, they went public with it, sparking a wave of negative press for Bayern. Helmer was determined to get his dream move, however, and Dortmund eventually caved, selling the defender for a then record sum of 7.5m Deutschmarks (around £3m).
Another Germany international who moved from Dortmund to Bayern, Frings’ transfer was probably the most cordial. After only two years at Dortmund, Bayern snapped up the midfielder for £7.2m in 2004.
Frings’ time in Munich was forgettable. Though a favorite of then Bayern boss Felix Magath, he failed to impress the supporters, and eventually returned to former club Werder Bremen after just one year.
After several years playing second fiddle to Dortmund, Bayern flexed their financial muscles in 2013 and carried off their biggest transfer coup for a long time, prising Dortmund’s brilliant young star Mario Gotze away from their rivals.
Bayern announced the signing of Gotze just weeks before the two teams would play each other in the Champions League Final. Outraged at both Bayern and Gotze himself, the Dortmund fans set about vilifying Gotze. One keyboard warrior even asked Gotze for his bank details, so he could send him a Euro. ‘You obviously can never have enough money,’ he wrote.
So ferocious was the atmosphere when Gotze returned to Dortmund with Bayern in November 2013, that Pep Guardiola sent the youngster to warm up in the tunnel, rather than risk provoking the Dortmund fans. Gotze came on as a substitute, scored the winning goal, and declined to celebrate.
That didn’t placate the Dortmund fans, though, who still take a perverse pleasure in the fact that Gotze’s career has stuttered in Munich. Rarely in the first team under Pep Guardiola, Gotze has made just 68 appearances for Bayern in the last three years.
Bayern had also tried to sign Robert Lewandowski in the summer of 2013. Determined not to lose their two best players to Bayern in one transfer window, Dortmund turned down all offers, even though they knew that would mean losing Lewandowski on a free transfer.
So it transpired, as Lewandowski was smuggled into Munich in January 2014 to sign a deal which would see him join Bayern that summer. The fans were equally as upset with the Polish striker as they had been with Gotze.
One fan even accused Lewandowski of hitting him after he had insulted him in a square in Dortmund. ‘I gave him the finger, and he ran at me like a bull’, said the fan. The club chose to believe Lewandowski’s version, in which he had reacted to sustained verbal abuse by laying a hand on the boy’s shoulder and asking him to stop.
Unlike Gotze, Lewandowski has been a roaring success at Bayern, scoring 44 goals in his two years at the club.
‘There is no footballing reason to leave Dortmund,’ Hummels said of Gotze’s move in 2013, ‘I don’t feel I have to play at the biggest club in the world in order to win titles.’
The defender has obviously changed his tune since then. Hummels, though, will not be the first Dortmund player to risk the wrath of the fans and make the move to Bayern…
The rivalry between Bayern and Dortmund has reached new heights in recent years, fuelled not only by several title races, but also by Bayern’s tendency to snap up Dortmund’s star players.
Borussia Dortmund skipper played for Bayern Munich’s reserve team between 2005 and 2008 before joining Dortmund.