The fronts in contract poker between Borussia Dortmund and youngster Youssoufa Moukoko have hardened. For years, the teenager was considered the Westphalian’s great storm hope, but the signs are increasingly pointing to farewell. The return of striker Sebastien Haller reshuffles the cards.

Media reports about horrendous demands in the millions, fluctuating performance and the imminent return of the overpowering competitor: Youssoufa Moukoko is playing poker for a new super contract at Borussia Dortmund – but could have overstrained BVB’s patience. For years, the teenager was considered the Westphalian’s great storm hope, but the signs are increasingly pointing to farewell.

“I’m finally back,” said Sebastien Haller on Tuesday in charming English into the BVB camera, which presented the return of its cancer-stricken striker of millions on social networks. Haller should be in top form and travel to the training camp in Marbella on Friday, the media report. An appearance in the first Bundesliga game of the year against FC Augsburg (January 22) does not seem out of the question – which is why Haller could become a decisive factor in Moukoko’s contract poker game.

Because the 18-year-old had only played himself into the limelight due to Haller’s absence, convinced again and again in the first half of the season and jumped on the World Cup train of the DFB selection. That drove up the price for the young national player, some top clubs from Europe are said to be interested in Moukoko. In the summer he is free of charge, since Sunday he has also been allowed to negotiate with other clubs – and wants to negotiate a mega salary together with his advisor Patrick Williams, who did not want to comment on a sports information service request, according to information from Sky and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. .

Ten million euros a year are in the room, with which Moukoko would rise to one of the top earners at BVB. However, the runner-up is not prepared to pay Moukoko like a top star. The performance of the former child prodigy, who has been playing for BVB since he was 13, fluctuates too much. With the return of Haller, who brings more experience and physique, the cards are being reshuffled.

“My full focus is on the second half of the season, and it’s about Borussia Dortmund. No player is bigger than the club,” Moukoko recently wrote full of pathos in a post on Instagram. He described a report by “Bild” that six million euros an annual salary was not enough for him as a “lie”. The club – and this is quite remarkable – took no position on the rumours.

Even more: sports director Sebastian Kehl is pushing for a “timely decision” at Moukoko. “It is important for everyone involved to have clarity,” Kehl told the Funke newspapers. A decision against BVB in Dortmund would inevitably involve thinking about an early transfer this winter in order to still collect money.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, January 04, 2023.)