BVB Agree Arsenal’s £12.5m Koch Offer

After yesterday’s news that Arsenal had entered the bidding for Monaco forward Marko Obradovic, the club has confirmed that they’ve had a second bid accepted for a new players this week with Dortmund agreeing to a £12.5m deal for defender Julian Koch.

The 27-year old, capped twice by Germany, made 29 Bundesliga appearances over two seasons under new Arsenal manager Gray Surman during his time at Dortmund before stepping-up under Antonio Conte to be the club’s first choice at right-back.

Koch has been offered a hefty £100k p/w four-year deal with associated bonuses for goals and making the Premier League team of the year. Should the 27-year old sign at the Emirates Stadium, it would be the first time that Surman has signed a former player.

First Press Conference for New Arsenal Boss

New Arsenal manager Gray Surman has been introduced to the media at the Emirate Stadium in club’s first press day with their new man in charge and the Canadian spoke assertively about his return to club football, and to the stadium he’d visited twice before with Wigan and Dortmund.

Surman’s first trip here was in November 2012 with his Wigan Athletic side winning 1-0 in the Premier League clash, and he visited again with Borussia Dortmund the following year in an entertaining 2-2 Champions League Group Stage draw in December 2013.

Surman has faced Arsenal on four other occasions: a 3-2 FA Cup win in Wigan in January 2013, followed by a 1-1 draw in the Premier League at the DW stadium. In the Champions League, Surman’s Dortmund side won 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park and – most recently – the clubs met in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup with Dortmund winning a five-goal thriller in Cardiff.

During the press conference, Surman revealed that midfielder Jos Verniers had signed a new four-year extension with the club on an increased wage of £50,000 p/w, and spoke about retaining the services of defender Laurent Koscielny and want-away midfidler Jack Wilshere who are both rumoured to be on their way out of Arsenal this summer.

Before Surman spoke, a representative of the Arsenal board announced that the club had sold 22,480 season tickets so far this summer and following Surman’s arrival they were anticipating selling a total of 41,000 before the season kicks-off on 18 August.

Rumours are that Arsenal are in talks with Dortmund over the services of right-back Julian Koch, and may have thrown their hat in the ring late on to scupper the deal taking Serbian striker Marko Obradovic® from Monaco to Manchester United.

FanTV reported afterwards that Koscielny, Vedran Corluka, and Santi Cazorla had all “liked” posts on the club’s social media that featured video clips of Surman’s Q&A.

journalist70Press Conference:
In attendance are Sky Sports News, London Evening Standard,
TEAMtalk, Guardian, Football365, Daily Mirror, and The Metro.

surman70Arsenal FC:
Introducing former-Wigan and Dortmund head coach Gray Surman
as the new First Team Manager here at the Emirates Stadium in London.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here, and be back at the business end of a top club. I’m looking forward to being involved from the seniors to the academy, encouraging attractive football in partnership with the key Arsenal philosophy of nurturing youth on their way into the first team.

“The achievements of the club in Europe over the last three seasons have been great, but my main focus will be on the Premier League and getting the club back in the top four and back in the Champions League. That’s not to diminish any cup competitions we find ourselves in, as a winning run always brings a great morale boost to any squad.

“The backroom staff here are part of a fantastic setup and I feel it would be foolish to meddle with that. They have the experience of the players here. As much as I am very fond of my staff from Dortmund, we haven’t worked with each other for three years and I don’t want to disrupt their various projects.

“I’m aware that Laurent has been linked with other clubs, but I feel he would be an integral part of any title-chasing defence and I’ll do my utmost to keep him here. Similarly, Jack had made his feelings known to the previous management of his desire to move on from Arsenal, but I will take time to sit down with him and see if we’re on the same page with regards to what we should be achieving this season.

“The facilities here are wonderful with a high quality of players and staff so it’s unlikely that I’ll be making sweeping changes at any level. Though with new management comes a new opportunity to inject new life into any squad. I’m keen to add two or three faces to add depth to the squad and provide some competition in key areas.

“We could be a little light at the back should any long-term injuries fall our way by the time the Europa League starts. A World Cup year is always one where some big names make moves, and I’ll be keeping tabs on who could be available for us. We have already made enquiries with a couple of clubs with regards to potential deals, and more details will follow should we enter deeper discussions.

“There’s money in the kitty, and the chairman has provided the facility to increase our current wage budget by about a third of current spending to accommodate additions to the squad, including any contract renewals this season. Jos is a player I’m looking forward to working with again, and I’m pleased to announce that he has agreed a new four-year deal after my arrival here.”

Angel Di María and the Day’s Free Transfers

Tottenham fans will be waking up this morning to the news that Angel Di María has joined on a free transfer after his contract expired at Real Madrid. The attacking midfielder only made six La Liga appearances for Real over the last two seasons, having made over 150 (scoring 42)  in the previous six seasons since his £22.5m arrival from Benfica.

Left out of Argentina’s 23-man squad for the World Cup, the 30-year old last played for this country in the 1-4 qualifying defeat in Chile which saw him pick-up two yellow cards within five second-half minutes.

Leaving Tottenham today is Olivier Giroud who joins Marseille on a free. The 31-year old striker joined in a part-exchange deal involving Magnus Wolff Eikrem from Bayern Munich in January 2016. He made 27 Premier League appearances for Spurs, scoring thirteen.

Other significant free transfers today see Dusan Tadic joining Manchester Untied from FC Twente, Nathan Aké joins Leicester from Chelsea having spent last season at Hearts, and David Luiz leaves Chelsea for Borussia Dortmund.

Some high-profile players find themselves without gainful employment this morning after not signing contract renewals at their clubs. The list includes: Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester United), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Samir Nasri (Manchester City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Carlos Tevez (Liverpool), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Mario Mandzukic (Tottenham), Bacary Sagna (PSG), Sven Bender (Dortmund), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern), Daniele Di Rossi (Roma), Nigel De Jong and Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan).

Loanees Return to Signal Iduna Park


The club has welcomed back sixteen players to Signal Iduna Park that spent the last season out on loan, though two of those – Mustafa Amini (with Australia at the Asian U22 Championship) and Marvin Ducksch – have been released after not being offered new contracts.

Kevin Großkreutz and Leonardo Bittencourt return from top-flight action overseas having been on loan at AC Milan and Ajax respectively, while Ogün Gümüstas was at Energie Cottbus who won promotion to 1.Bundesliga, and Marc Hornschuh spent the season at 3.Liga title-winners Sandhausen.

Mustafa AMINI     AMC  Sandhausen    3L   27   5   3   2   6.85
Leo BITTENCOURT   AMC  Ajax          INT  30   5   3   0   6.83
Marcel DEELEN     DL   Rostock       2BL   5   0   1   0   6.38
Nils DIETZ        DM   Aalen         3L   24   0   1   0   6.42
Marvin DUCKSCH    ST   Darmstadt     REG  32   8   3   0   6.72
Jeremy DUDZIAK    MC   Ingolstadt    2BL  13   0   2   0   6.56
Erik DURM         ST   Braunschweig  2BL  32  13   2   2   6.96
Paul EHMANN       DM   Oberhausen    REG  35   1   2   0   6.18
Kevin GROßKREUTZ  AML  AC Milan      INT   8   1   0   0   6.76
Ogün GÜMÜSTAS     ST   Cottbus       2BL   1   0   0   0   6.30
Koray GÜNTER      DC   St Pauli      2BL  29   3   0   3   7.03
Marc HORNSCHUH    DC   Sandhausen    3L   37   1   4   2   6.97
Florian HÜBNER    DC   Braunschweig  2BL  31   0   1   1   6.59
Kai KAUL          DC   Offenbach     U19   0   0   0   0   -
Hervé MATTHYS     DC   Darmstadt     REG  17   0   1   1   6.62
Thomas MEIßNER    DC   Aachen        2BL  30   1   0   0   6.54


Blackpool have announced that Millwall boss Derek Adams will be their new manager, after the 40 year-old Scot left his post at The Den yesterday. Adams guided Millwall to 16th in the Championship last season, but were knocked out of both domestic cups at the first hurdles.

Former Valladolid manager Miroslav Djukic has been appointed as the new man in charge of Racing Santander. The 49 year-old, capped 49 times by Serbia, had been out of top-flight management since being dismissed by Valladolid in November 2013.

Amini and Duksch Set For Release In Summer


Borussia Dortmund have announced that Mustafa Amini and Marvin Ducksch will be released by the club when their current contracts expire at the end of June. Australian U21 midfielder Amini has spent the season on-loan at third-tier SV Sandhausen, making 27 appearances and scoring 5 goals.

Ducksch is on loan at fourth-tier Darmstadt where the 21 year-old striker has found the back of the net 13 times in 41 appearances in all competitions but has been out for the last month after straining knee ligaments in training.

Conversely, two 19 year-olds have been given new two-year contract extensions by the club. Both Hendrik Brauer and Nils Lennard Dietz have signed to the summer of 2018. Brauer has played well for BVB’s U19 side this season at centre-back, while Dietz is on loan at 3.Liga side Aalen and has made 24 appearances.

Dortmund Diary: Bella Signs First Pro Contract


Dortmund Diary, Monday 04 May 2015:

benjamin-bella_(felix-passlack)_70Benjamin Bella has put pen to paper and signed his first professional contract, committing to Borussia Dortmund until the summer of 2018. The striker, who celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday by lifting the DFB Youth Cup, was signed from Aachen in a £800,000 deal in January 2014.

Bella has scored 11 goals for BVB U19s this season, and hit his first goal for Germany U21 in March on just his second appearance at that level. Bella has been recently selected by his nation for the UEFA U19 Qualifiers later this month.

Also receiving call-ups for the qualifiers are Emiliano Mancinelli (Italy), and recent youth recruit Ledian Jusufi (Albania). Matches are to be played on 11, 13, and 16 May.


AC Arles-Avignon have become the first club to be relegated from Ligue 1 this season after losing 0-1 at home to Saint-Etienne. Kevin Mayi scored the only goal of the game midway through the first-half, while the hosts were reduced to ten men when Svetoslav Dyakov was dismissed with twenty minutes to play.

Avignon are ten points behind 17th-place Nancy Lorraine, but there are only three matches left to play in the French top-flight. Paris St. Germain won the title last weekend.


OH Leuven have appointed Chris Van Puyvelde as their new manager. The club finished 13th in the Jupiler Pro League, and are finished four points off the pace in their Belgian European Playoff group. It’s Van Puyvelde’s first managerial role since leaving FC Brussels in 2011, but he did hold a DoF position at Beerschot during 2012.