Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has hit back at Paris Saint-Germain counterpart Leonardo, who claimed that Bundesliga sides are raiding Ligue 1 clubs for talented young players.
The Parisians saw academy products Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) and Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen) leave Parc des Princes last summer for Germany’s top flight, while Bayern Munich tempted Tanguy Kouassi across the border after he failed to agree fresh terms with the Champions League quarter-finalists.
But PSG are not the only club who have suffered losses to the big German sides, with Leonardo hitting out in an interview with Le Parisien.
“German clubs, especially Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, are increasingly dredging young players from France. They are a danger to the youth academies in France and that is a big problem,” he complained.
“They call parents, friends, family members or the player themselves. At 15 or 16 years old, the young talents get their heads turned. Maybe the rules should be changed to protect the French clubs.”
Zorc, whose side counts 21-year-old Dan-Axel Zagadou, who left PSG’s reserve ranks to sign for BVB in 2017, among their ranks, says that the 1994 World Cup winner has it all wrong.
“It is usually the other way around than he depicts it. We are actively addressed by the families and agents from France because they often see a better chance of first-team football and a higher development potential of the talented young players,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, Markus Kroesche, the sporting director at RB Leipzig, offered a more circumspect view.
“France are the reigning world champions and, like Germany, is a big football nation. It would therefore be negligent not to keep an eye on the market,” he said.
Relations have been spikey between Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain since a Champions League meeting between the clubs in the spring.
After winning the first leg in Germany, Dortmund were perceived to have mocked the Ligue 1 club, who responded on the field by claiming a 2-0 success at Parc des Princes, sending them through to the quarter-finals of the competition.