Dortmund's Watzke reveals positive relationship with Hoeness

Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed that he and Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness have a good relationship with one another.

The Bundesliga giants have had a number of well-publicised rows over the last year as Jurgen Klopp’s side snatched the national title from under their Bavarian counterparts’ noses.

The two clubs are currently gearing up for Sunday’s DFL-Supercup clash, and Watzke has now admitted that the on-pitch rivalry has not affected his friendship with the former West Germany international.

“We recently talked a lot in Hamburg,” he revealed to Bild. “I have a lot of respect for Uli. I think it is the same on his part. We have a very strong relationship.”

Hoeness recently attracted widespread censure after he claimed that Mario Gomez was not a “great player”, and although Watzke accepts that he would have approached the situation differently, he believes the 60-year-old is entitled to his own opinion.

“I would certainly have done it differently. But everyone must decide for themselves.”

Die Roten have long been credited with an interest in Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, but Watzke denied allegations that he has received a formal bid for the Pole.

“I have not been contacted by Bayern concerning Robert. He plays for us anyway. Until 2014 at least – preferably even longer.”

Last season saw Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke make surprise Bundesliga challenges, and the 53-year-old is expecting stern competition as his side look to win a third consecutive title.

“I am convinced that in addition to Bayern, Schalke and Leverkusen will also play a role. Gladbach have also improved enormously. We set realistic goals. Thinking about elsewhere is not relevant for us.”

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