Borussia Dortmund’s battle to avoid relegation will not be derailed by constant transfer talk regarding top players leaving the Bundesliga club, defender Mats Hummels said on Monday.
Last season’s runners-up Dortmund, who were also German champions in 2011 and 2012, are 17th in the league, level on points with last-placed Freiburg after a terrible first half to the season saw them lose 10 of their 17 games.
Centre back Hummels, winger Marco Reus and midfielder Ilkay Guendogan are among several of their players reportedly being targeted by leading European clubs with Dortmund’s possible failure to play in Europe next season fanning speculation.
“I cannot imagine that (distraction) happening,” Hummels told Bild newspaper. “It is not that things have never been written before about us. Even about me there are things being circulated but I am still here.”
Germany international Hummels, whose contract runs to 2017, has been repeatedly linked in recent seasons with a possible move to Manchester United and Barcelona among other clubs.
His Germany team mates Reus and Guendogan have also been linked moves to Spain’s La Liga or the English Premier League.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp last week played down fears of a mass exodus of players should the club miss out on Europe.
“I will do it as I have done in the past seven years (at Dortmund),” Hummels said. “I will let things come to me and I am now just looking forward to the Bayer Leverkusen game and the season restart. I block everything else out.”
The Bundesliga resumes on Jan. 30 after the winter break.
Dortmund, despite their poor domestic form, have reached the Champions League knockout stage and face Juventus in the last 16 next month.