Dortmund have been heavily linked with 16-year-old Birmingham midfielder Jude Bellingham and had been expected to go head to head with Manchester United for his coveted signature.
It was claimed in Germany earlier this month that Dortmund were ‘very far ahead’ in the race to sign Bellingham. One tabloid report in England alleged that United had offered Bellingham an insane contract worth £100,000 per week, while a source has confirmed to 90min that Liverpool are still in the hunt, having put a lot of focus on finding more young players like Harvey Elliott.
The latest from Dortmund’s perspective comes as Zorc spoke to German publication Kicker about the possible impact of coronavirus on the club’s recruitment plans in general.
Kicker reports that Zorc and Dortmund have ‘frozen’ all transfer related activities and are at a ‘standstill’. Zorc himself stated, “There is a lot of uncertainty in all clubs. We first have to manage this crisis situation. This summer will be unpleasant.”
Dortmund’s finances are expected to take a hit and Kicker has separately reported that club officials have already opted to partially waive their salaries to lower costs, while the playing squad is soon expected to decide how much of their wages they are willing to forgo to help.
Manchester United will be better able to cope, which led the Daily Mirror to describe Zorc’s comments as a ‘boost’ to the Premier League side in their own pursuit of Bellingham. The newspaper alleges that United may be able to ‘capitalise’ on Dortmund’s stance.
However, as Zorc stated, all clubs, not just Dortmund are facing uncertainty at this time, and it is not just limited to finances. The unique scheduling of a late finish to seasons across Europe could wreak havoc on the summer transfer window and potentially impact the start of next season. There are also the feelings of the players themselves to consider in uncertain times.
No clubs will be completely immune to the adverse overall effects of the pandemic.
So, while in one sense, United may be ‘boosted’ in the Bellingham race, in another, they’re in the same boat as everybody else and will be for the foreseeable future.