Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says the German club will not be held to ransom over contract talks with Youssoufa Moukoko as the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle all circle.
The highly rated teenager is out of contract in the summer, meaning Premier League clubs are free to holds talks with him now over a pre-contract agreement.
Chelsea, United and Barcelona are among the many clubs said to be interested in Moukoko, while it was recently reported that big-spending Newcastle were prepared to offer the youngster a mammoth £150,000-a-week deal in order to gazump their rivals.
Dortmund would not be able to compete with that and Watzke has made it clear that the Bundesliga outfit are prepared to walk away from negotiations, also appearing to take a little swipe at the academy graduate’s lack of gratitude and loyalty.
‘I started 18 years ago with the proviso that there might be a little gratitude from time to time, but I’ve given up on that a long time ago,’ Watzke told Sky Sport Germany when asked about the Moukoko situation.
‘Gratitude is not a currency in professional football. Sadly, that really is the case. But I won’t hold that against anyone, because the business is simply the way it is.
‘I don’t think the whole process is very normal. The difference is that he’s 18 years old now and he was at the World Cup and that makes it even more public.
‘It’s totally legitimate that he is now trying to get a good position for himself. But it is also legitimate that we have our own ideas.
‘If they do not coincide then the cooperation will now be continued. That is the ultimate consequence – but of course, we hope that he will stay with us.’
Watzke also stated that ‘you have to be willing to say no sometimes’ in negotiations and rejected comparisons between Moukoko and the speculation that currently surrounds in-demand England midfielder Jude Bellingham.
‘You can’t compare that at all because Jude has a contract until 2025 and hasn’t said once that he would like to end his contract early,’ the Dortmund chief added.
‘It’s a completely different situation. Youssoufa’s contract is now up in the summer, whereas Jude has two years left. You can’t compare that at all.’
Despite Watzke’s comments, German publication Sport1 recently reported that Moukoko is happy to continue developing at Dortmund and talks with his agent, Patrick Williams, are taking place at the club’s training camp in Marbella and have been productive.
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