Uli Hoeness had a lot to say about Borussia Dortmund’s handling of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembélé at a two-day Ständehaus meeting in Dusseldorf. A club like Bayern, Hoeness affirmed, would not have tolerated such conduct (Kicker):
We would ask the player, “Can you read until when you are under contract?” And that would be the end of the discussion. Have you ever read about a player walking all over Bayern Munich? I would not have let Ousmane Dembélé go.
Dembélé essentially went on strike during Dortmund’s preseason to force his move to Barcelona for a fee of around €105m plus add-ons. Regarding the theatrics surrounding Aubameyang's reported desire to leave Dortmund, Hoeness had little sympathy for the striker: “That’s not good for football.”
Hoeness argued that Bayern would reject even big-money offers for players by virtue of the club’s financial basis: “We’re not listed on the stock market, so we can reject even €100 million.“
Still, however, Hoeness believes that Dortmund will once again challenge Bayern Munich once they get everything sorted:
This turmoil, when crazy agents push you to and from, will not happen every year. When things calm down again there, Borussia Dortmund will quickly be a serious challenger again.
Advice for Leipzig’s ‘youth team’
Hoeness also pegged Leipzig as a legitimate contender, just as they were for the majority of last season, but he suggested that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz would have to increase his investment in the team if he wanted to challenge Bayern:
Bayern won’t always be on top for ever. There are always opportunities to catch up. It wasn’t so long ago that RB Leipzig was breathing down our neck and Dortmund was five points ahead of us . . . I told Dietrich Mateschitz that he would have invest a few million from Formula 1 in Leipzig; then they could challenge us. But they want to stick to only signing players aged 23 and younger. So I said: you won’t catch us with a youth team.