Sebastian Kehl’s tenure as Borussia Dortmund captain has come to an end. The 34-year-old will now spend his last season as an active footballer as a mentor to the clubs new skipper. Also, Ivan Perišić has broken his shoulder and is out of action for the Bundesliga start, and Antonio Rüdiger has now confirmed he is staying at Stuttgart. Moreover, Dortmund are seeking new investors to make the club more complete, and Eintracht Frankfurt has signed 30-year-old striker Nelson Valdez.
Kehl steps down as BVB captain
Sebastian Kehl has stepped down as Borussia Dortmund captain. The 34-year-old midfielder got the armband from Christian Worns in 2008 after joining the Signal Iduna Park team from Freiburg six years earlier. Kehl says his decision is based on the fact that the upcoming season will be his last one, and his idea is now to spend it as a mentor to the clubs new skipper.
“This important role has filled me with enjoyment and pride,” Kehl is cited by Sky Sports as saying. “It makes sense now to pass the baton on.”
Sebastian Kehl has appeared in 253 Bundesliga matches for Dortmund, scoring 20 times in the process. Since joining from the Breisgau, he has only been shown the red card once.
Ivan Perišić out with a shoulder injury
Wolfsburg will have to make do without forward Ivan Perišić during the beginning of the Bundesliga and Europa League campaign. The Croatia international broke his shoulder during the Telekom Cup match against Bayern München, and will now have to undergo surgery. Perišić is the third man to be added to Wolfsburg list over long time injuries, joining knee injured Patrick Ochs and also shoulder injured Christian Traesch.
“These injuries are very unfortunate for us. But we have a wide squad with which we have to compensate for these losses now,” Wolfsburg managing director Klaus Allofs is cited as saying by ESPN.
“The important thing is that the healing process with each individual runs optimally and players can return to the team as quickly as possible.”
Rüdiger is not thinking about moving
Stuttgart centre-back Antonio Rüdiger is not thinking about changing clubs. The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Premier League-side West Ham this summer, but the Bundesliga-club’s manager Armin Veh earlier confirmed that Rüdiger is not up for sale. The player himself has now also confirmed that he is not seeking to leave the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
“It’s fine to find out other clubs are interested in me. But my full focus is on Stuttgart,” the defender is cited as saying by Sky Sports
“I am under contract until June 2017 with the club and I do not force a move at this point in time. Of course, you never know in football. Still I am just focused on my job and the new season.
“I have the best conditions to work at VfB Stuttgart, this will help me progress further. One day I want to come out for a big club in the Champions League. Anyway, this is still a long way off!”
Dortmund seeking new investors
Dortmund are seeking to sell a stake of at least five percent of the club to two strategic partners by the end of September, the Signal Iduna Park outfit’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has announced. The news follows the sale of a nine percent holding in June to Evonik Industries AG. Watzke says the new partners don’t have to be based in Germany, and that he hopes to close the gap on Bayern with the sale, which is, according to the 55-year-old, important for the Bundesliga.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a German company or one of our present sponsors,” Watzke told Bloomberg.
“Every league that booms needs one, two or three beacons that excel at the national level and which have international appeal.”
According to Bloomberg, new sponsorship deals similar to the one with Evonik could help to increase Dortmund’s wage pool to as much as 120 million euros, from 80 million euros today. The increase in income can be spent on higher salaries, thus making the club more competitive.
“We’ll always need creativity to close the gap to clubs like Paris St. Germain, Manchester City or Manchester United,” Watze said.
Valdez is Coming…to Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt have completed the signing of 30-year-old striker Nelson Valdez, the club have announced. The former Dortmund and Werder Bremen player has signed a two-year deal after spending last season at Olympiacos, where he was on loan from United Arab Emirates-outfit Al-Jazira. The striker will now be reunited with former Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf, under whom Valdez won the German league and Pokal back in 2004.
“With Nelson Valdez, we have a player for Eintracht Frankfurt who can win and who brings a lot of experience,” Eintracht’s sporting director Bruno Hubner told the clubs official site.
“He has already successfully worked with Thomas Schaaf. We look forward to working together.”
Last season Nelson Valdez scored six times in 10 games for Olympiacos. The forward says he now looks forward to be able to start working with Thomas Schaaf once again, and to use his foreign experience in the German league.
“Thomas Schaaf is one of few people whom I really owe something. He has made me a professional. For me, it was clear to come to Frankfurt when the request arrived,” the Paraguay-native says.
“I’ve traveled the last few years in the world and have got to know different styles and systems. I hope this is now an advantage for me, with which I can help the team. I want to bring my experience, my positive attitude and my fighting spirit to the team.”
Since leaving the Bundesliga in 2010, Valdez has also played in Spain for Hercules and Valencia and in Russia foRubin Kazan. He also has earned 67 caps for Paraguay, netting 12 times, including a goal against Brazil in the 2011 Copa America, in which Paraguay ended up in the finals.
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