Borussia Dortmund have rejected the chance to sign Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby, saying the €6m fee is too expensive.
Holtby, who made his name playing for Dortmund's fierce rivals Schalke, has been frozen out at White Hart Lane this season, and has been tipped to depart Spurs, with new manager Tim Sherwood suggesting that Holtby wants to feature more regularly, which he can't promise the German international – leading to the potential of his departure from the club this week.
“I like Lewis [Holtby]. He is a good lad and one of the best trainers we have got at the club, but having been a player myself, I understand all players want to play. If they are not getting a lot of opportunities, you have to be fair to the player. First and foremost, my job is to do what is right for this football club.” said Sherwood.
With the World Cup just months away, Holtby would need an exceptional end to the season to force his way into Joachim Loew's squad, even with Sami Khedira likely to miss the tournament with a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee. But to even get close to breaking into the squad, Holtby needs to be playing regularly, and the 23-year-old has recognised that by seeking a move away from North London.
A return to former club Schalke was mooted earlier this month, but it appeared that Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund had jumped to the front of the queue for the former Mainz midfielder's services. A €6m fee had been suggested, but the German club are unwilling to pay that much for Holtby, which seems absurd given how good the midfielder was before his move to Spurs just a year ago.
Holtby could be being lined up by last year's beaten Champions League finalists as a future replacement for Manchester United target Ilkay Gundogan, especially with Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin already at the club. If their plan is to sell Gundogan in the summer and replace him with Holtby, then they may be disappointed, particularly if Schalke use the money from any sale of Julian Draxler to bring Holtby back to Gelsenkirchen.
He may not be a regular at Spurs right now, but Holtby has flashed the ability that brought him to England last January, and it's unlikely that Dortmund would be able to find a better midfielder at the age of just 23 for just £5m – and this refusal to pay the asking price could be a huge mistake from Klopp and the Dortmund hierarchy.
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