In an interview to appear in the Monday print edition of footballing magazine Kicker, FC Augsburg managing director Stefan Reuter spoke on the personnel needs of his club heading into their 11th consecutive Bundesliga season.
|Stefan Reuter.||Photo: Fuguito/Creative Commons/CC-by-SA 3.0|
A scant few days before the start of training camp in the Swabian region of East Bavaria, FC Augsburg face a rather serious depth issue in central midfield. Rani Khedira has already departed for 1. FC Union Berlin on a free. Slovak international Laszlo Benes is due back at Gladbach in three days' time.
It's no secret that the Fuggerstädter need help at the position. Furthermore, it's now they have actively been seeking to acquire Germany U21 star Niklas Dorsch in order to fill the need. Rumor mills have other players linked with the FCA as they seek to bolster their roster in this respect. A possibility gaining traction has the club once again angling for Hertha BSC's Eduard Löwen; a player they have twice attempted to sign permanently.
Speaking to Germany's preeminent footballing publication, Reuter had no direct comment on the club's coming personnel moves. His words nevertheless seemed to suggest that the front-office team had no intention on settling on a cheeper solution to the issue.
"He must be a player who fits in with FC Augsburg," Reuter told his interviewer when asked about new purchases, "In the coming season, we will not be a team strictly defined by possession. We need compactness and tackling strength, but we want to be a squad strong in transition. We're looking for a player who is technically gifted while not shy about taking others on in one-on-one battles."
In this sense, Dorsch would certainly count as a better candidate than the already trialed Löwen. Given that the last reports have Belgian side KAA Dent outright rejecting a €6 million bid from the Bundesliga club, it might be the case that Augsburg will have to sell off some of its own players in order to raise revenue.
Reuter denied that the club found itself in such a situation while also answering a question about the team's most marketable asset directly. The Fuggerstädter could fetch upwards of €16-20 million for German defender Felix Udoukhai, who recently earned his first senior call-up to the national side in November. The FCA has reportedly set a minimum price tag of €15 million for the center-halve.
"If a player's development is much faster than Augsburg's and he can play for a stable Champions' League contender at some point, we will look into it as soon as something concrete is on the table," Reuter noted, adding, "We are not under pressure to sell players. COVID hit us hard, but we are in a position to bring in new players."
Kicker journalist David Bernreuther notes that the club's attempts to acquire Dorsch are far from over and interest in Uduokhai from several Bundesliga clubs persist. Reuter speaks on several other topics in the interview, available online Sunday night and scheduled to hit the newsstands on Monday morning. Among other things, the club's chief exec discusses the decision to begin a second era under former head-coach Marcus Weinzierl.