Bayern wanted more Dortmund players, reveals Watzke

The Bavarians have signed Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from BVB in recent years and had their eyes on several of their other star names

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has claimed Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski are not the only BVB players Bayern Munich attempted to sign from their Bundesliga-winning class of 2012.

BVB beat Bayern to the Bundesliga title both in 2010-11 and 2011-12, while they also hammered the Bavarians 5-2 in the DFB Pokal final in the latter campaign.

However, they have since lost Gotze to their arch rivals in the summer of 2013, with Lewandowski following suit last summer after running down his contract at Signal Iduna Park and departing on a free transfer.

Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan have been linked with Bayern in recent years and though Watzke didn’t specify their names, he revealed their rivals would happily have acquired further members of BVB’s squad.

“Bayern tore out two vital parts of BVB with Gotze and Lewandowski and they were not the only two Dortmund players Bayern attempted to sign,” Watzke was quoted as saying by Kicker.

“Bayern wanted to disrupt the successful Dortmund of 2012.

“We have also become a major threat for Bayern because people have a lot of sympathy for us. We don’t divide opinion like Bayern.

“Who is the team that gets more attention and moves people more than any other team after Bayern, even if we are battling against relegation? That’s clearly Borussia Dortmund.

“We are the second major force in Germany behind Bayern. You do not necessarily have to be as huge as Bayern to become a benchmark.”

However, Dortmund’s fortunes have dipped somewhat of late. They had to settle for second spot in the Bundesliga table last term, finishing 19 points behind Pep Guardiola’s men and sit 14th in the table with 22 points from 21 games this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s men did enjoy success off the pitch in February, though, with Marco Reus committing his future to the club by signing a new contract with the club until June 2019.