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Got, got, need: The transfers of the Bundesliga's top 4

August 9, 2018

With three weeks remaining to do business, the Bundesliga clubs in the Champions League still have time to improve their squads. But how has it gone so far and who still needs to bring players in? DW takes a look.

Leon Goretzka
Image: picture-alliance/SvenSimon/F. Hoermann

Bayern Munich

Ins: Alphonso Davies, Vancouver Whitecaps (€10 million plus add ons), Leon Goretzka, Schalke (free),

Outs: Douglas Costa, Juventus (Loan made permanent €40m), Arturo Vidal, Barcelona (€18m)

More to come? New coach Niko Kovac has yet to make a significant splash in the transfer market, with Goretzka (top) having agreed terms long before his arrival and Davies considered one for the future. The Croatian's most critical bit of business to date has been persuading Robert Lewandowski to stay.With Bayern's board seemingly reluctant to spend too much, Kovac will need to work with returning loanees Serge Gnabry and Renato Sanches, to bolster a first team that's older than he may like in a few positions.

Manchester United's pacy young forward Anthony Martial was linked with Bayern for much of the window, but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge quashed those rumors, just as Kovac did with suggestions that Ante Rebic would join his old boss. Should Jerome Boateng depart, most plausibly to Paris Saint-Germain, it's likely Bayern would step up their efforts to sign Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart, after the defender impressed at the World Cup with France.


1. Bundesliga 13. Spieltag | Hannover 96 - VfB Stuttgart
Salif Sane (left) will add significant aerial presence to SchalkeImage: Imago/Eibner

Ins: Suat Serdar, Mainz (€11 m), Omar Mascarell, Real Madrid (€10m), Salif Sane, Hannover (€7m), Steven Skrzybski, Union Berlin (€3.5m), Mark Uth, Hoffenheim (free) 

Outs: Benedikt Höwedes, Lokomotiv Moscow (€5m) Coke, Levante (€1.5m), Max Meyer, Crystal Palace (free), Leon Goretzka, Bayern Munich (free)

More to come? Last year's runners up strengthened early on at both ends of the pitch, with proven Bundesliga performers Sane and Uth arriving in their prime years at low cost with plenty of time to settle. Serdar and Mascarell look to be the replacements for two of Schalke's brighter performers last term, with Meyer and Goretzka both moving for free.

The Royal Blues will require greater numbers for their European campaign, with full backs and a creative midfielder as obvious areas where improvement is required. England and Spurs left back Danny Rose has been strongly linked in recent days and would offer pace and a natural width that Schalke lacked at times last term. 


Vincenzo Grifo, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Vincenzo Grifo endured a tough time at Gladbach but will hope to improve at HoffenheimImage: picture-alliance/nordphoto/Straubmeier

Ins: Kasim Adams, Bern (€8m), Leonardo Bittencourt, Cologne (€6m), Ishak Belfodil, Standard Liege (€5.5m), Vincenzo Grifo, Borussia Mönchengladbach (€5.5m), Joshua Brenet, PSV (€3.5m)

Outs: Mark Uth, Schalke (free), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich, end of loan)

More to come? While Julian Nagelsmann has added plenty of creativity and a little stability ahead of his final season with the club, the goals of Uth will be difficult to replace. While Andrej Kramaric looks to be staying put, a large late bid for the Croatian would put a lot of weight on the shoulders of Belfodil, whose ratio of a goal every 3.7 games while on loan at Werder Bremen last year didn't suggest he's up to the task.

With Champions League football adding to their schedule, another goalscorer seems a must. Could a season in Europe tempt Michael Gregoritsch or Alfred Finnbogason from Augsburg? Or Nils Petersen from Freiburg? 

Borussia Dortmund

Axel Witsel belgischer Fußballspieler
Image: Imago/Imaginechina/Zhong Zhenbin

Ins: Abdou Diallo, Mainz (€28m), Thomas Delaney, Werder Bremen (€20m), Axel Witsel, Tianjin Quanjian (€20m), Marius Wolf, Frankfurt (€5m), Marwin Hitz, Augsburg (free)

Outs: Andriy Yarmolenko, West Ham (€20m), Sokratis, Arsenal (€16m), Mikel Merino, Newcastle (€7m), Gonzalo Castro, Stutgart (€5m), Andre Schurrle, Fulham (loan)

More to come? It's already been a busy summer at Signal Idund Park, as the latest new Dortmund era swings in to action under Lucien Favre. There's been a clear lowering of the squad's average age but Sokratis' departure may have an effect on defensive organization, though Diallo is an exceptional prospect.

Witsel and Delaney add craft, energy and steel to a midfield that was bypassed all too easily last season, while Favre will expect more from Julian Weigl, reportedly a target for former boss Thomas Tuchel at PSG. Despite a general air of positivity over BVB's dealings, there remains an elephant in the room. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has yet to be permanently replaced and Dortmund have no natural striker.

Michy Batshuayi may still be available after a successful loan spell last term but won't come cheap, while Valencia are also tracking the Belgian. Former Cologne frontman Anthony Modeste and Brazilian youngster Pedro have also been mentioned, though some suspect Favre will opt for Max Philipp up top.