Borussia Dortmund would have tried to sign Cristiano Ronaldo if they had possessed "the financial strength" to land both the Portuguese superstar's transfer fee and salary costs, according to club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
However, the 59-year-old stressed that while the club could have perhaps been able to pay for the former, they would have likely been unable to meet the latter - and that maintaining an overall synergy between fees and wages is a priority for any new signings, admitting that their record annual turnover does not mean they have the financial clout to compete with other European giants.
The Bundesliga outfit reportedly posted a €536m (£483m/$611m) profit, significantly boosting the club’s coffers going forward and will now look to potentially compete for the top-tier of potential players in the January window.
Dortmund’s previous record purchase was Andre Schurrle from Wolfsburg in 2014, who they bought for €30m (£27m/$34m), a fee that just keeps them inside the current top ten of the division’s largest transfers.
Watzke has stated however that any prospective record fee would have to factor in the additional total costs, such as salary payments, that would be accumulated per season going forward following the acquisition of a new player.
He noted that such additional monetary burdens were not within the club’s reach, stating via Transfermarkt : “If we had the financial strength to get and pay Cristiano Ronaldo, we would have done that. But we do not have [that power]."
He added however that, with players who would help further develop the club, they would be willing to spend relatively large.
“[You] can spend sometimes €100m (£90m/$114m) to €120m (£108m/$137m) in total for a player,” Watzke stated.
Dortmund recruited several new faces for the 2018-19 campaign, including Barcelona’s Paco Alcacer, who they initially recruited on loan in late August, before exercising a permanent option last month following his impressive run of form.
They also brought onboard Axel Witsel from Tianjin Quanjian following the Belgian’s impressive World Cup and Thomas Delaney from Werder Bremen.
They have enjoyed an exemplary season so far under Lucien Favre and currently look poised to break Bayern Munich’s long-standing monopoly on the Bundesliga title, with the club perched at the summit of the table.
They also qualified for the last 16 in the Champions League, finishing top of their group , and will next face Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur in the new year.