Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier is not surprised to see Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt linked with moves away after fine Bundesliga campaigns, while speaking to Heidelberg24 about the reported Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool targets.
Yet a side led masterfully by the ever-affable Christian Streich narrowly missed out on Europa League qualification, it was still another superb campaign for Freiburg.
Once again, the boys from Baden started the season as relegation candidates and ended it serving up a hearty slice of humble pie to all of their doubters.
But Saier knows, in his heart of hearts, that an eighth-place finish may not be enough to stop a pair of highly-rated Germany internationals from having their heads turned by offers from elsewhere.
“Everything is open. The fact that interest has been aroused (in our players) shows that we had a good season and that we have quality in the squad,” the sporting director says.
“Of course, we will strive to keep the group together. But we also know how the market works. There will certainly be one or two changes, but it shouldn’t be too much. We want to keep the foundation (of the squad).”
Saier adds that Freiburg, despite the financial pressures placed on German clubs in an uncertain market, are ‘under no pressure to sell players’.
But the likes of Tottenham or Liverpool certainly have pockets deep enough to convince the Breisgau Brazilians to cash in on a star player or two.
Fussballeck reported in May that Waldschmidt, a technically gifted and versatile forward who shot to fame while winning the Golden Boot at the U21 European Championships last summer, is a target for Liverpool.
And the Sun (26 June, page 54) reported that classy centre-half Koch is flattered to have caught the eye of Jose Mourinho, who sees him as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen at Spurs.