Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl has confirmed it will be his last season with the Bundesliga giants.
The 34-year-old holding midfielder will give up his role as the side’s leader at the end of this coming season, which leaves BVB boss with a huge decision to make over who to make his next permanent captain.
Roman Weidenfeller is his current vice-captain but at 33-years-old, Klopp may decide to give the full captaincy to another player.
A potential option is Manchester United transfer target Mats Hummels, who Kehl has been impressed with so far at the World Cup in Brazil.
“Yes, he’s been very strong when he’s played – He can finally show that the criticism of him in the national team is absolutely unfounded,” Kehl told Bild when quizzed about Hummels’ performances in Brazil.
Hummels fits the bill to become BVB captain in many different ways and it would also help Klopp to fend off various offers from sides looking to come in and buy him during the transfer window.
He’s still a very young man at only 25-years-old so he’s got longevity on his side.
Klopp could opt for an older and more experienced player to become his next skipper but Hummels could arguably be playing in the heart of Dortmund’s defence for another ten years.
He also forms part of the spine, which runs through the current BVB team.
He’s a leader at the back, keeping the back four organised and he’s able to see the play moving forward, which allows him to dictate to the midfield and attack because he can see how the play is unfolding.
His contract expires at the end of the 2016/2017 and it’s won’t be a surprise if BVB try and get Hummels to extend that deal at the end of next season.
Dangling the captaincy in front of him along with improving his personal terms only sweetens the deal and makes it more difficult for the German to consider moving away from the club.
Kehl’s exit is a blow because he’s one of Dortmund’s most experienced players but Klopp has a chance to make a sensible decision making Hummels his next captain and if that reduces the chance of Manchester United, or any other side, buying him, he’ll consider it a bonus.