At the end of the week, speculations about Sami Khedira spilled over the Alps to Germany. The 33-year-old is said to want to terminate his contract with Juventus Turin.
The conclusion was quickly reached that Khedira could return to VfB Stuttgart. Wishful thinking?
VfB sports director Sven Mislintat did not want to comment on the speculations about Khedira.
That’s what he speaks for in SPORT1– Interview open about the transfers, possible negotiations with his former club Borussia Dortmund and the ambitions of the promoted.
Mislintat: “Everyone needs income”
SPORT1: Mr. Mislintat, with goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, Pascal Stenzel and Waldemar Anton, VfB have committed three players and also loaned Konstantinos Mavropanos from Arsenal. Are you satisfied with the personal details?
Sven Mislintat: Very. We got our dream players for the defensive alliance: With Gregor Kobel and Pascal Stenzel and not to forget with Wataru Endo three of the originally loaned players of the promotion team, plus Waldemar Anton and Konstantinos Mavropanos two players and people who fully meet our requirement profile. And that on economically very reasonable framework data in times of the corona pandemic.
SPORT1: Are the plans finished?
Mislintat: If the transfer market closed now, we would have done a good job. Then we would not have to ward off possible attacks on the tax side. But of course we get the rumors about Nicolás González. We already see the possibility that someone will offer us so much money that we have to think about a sale. The decisive thing for us is that Nico has a contract with us for three years and no exit clause. That means nothing else than that it only goes with us and we decide in the end.
SPORT1: But couldn’t VfB need a little more money?
Mislintat: Everyone needs income in the Corona period. There is probably only one club that survives relatively unscathed – and that’s Bayern Munich. Then there are the clubs like Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim and Leipzig, which are economically more independent due to their structures. All other clubs become sales clubs when pain limits are reached. There is no fooling around. We don’t do that at Nico González either. If someone came today and offers us what would be irresponsible today, we sell and develop or add substitutes.
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SPORT1: It is said that Borussia Dortmund is also interested in Nicolás González. Then there could be negotiations with old friends …
Mislintat: We have not yet received a specific sign from Dortmund. If they register with the correct entry sum, we will sit down at a table. If an international top club like Borussia Dortmund comes, we are realistic enough to understand that VfB is currently not in a position to say that Nico has to stay. If there is a win-win situation in the end for a sale, the player and we as a club have done a good job.
SPORT1: But wouldn’t you be unhappy if González stayed in Stuttgart?
Mislintat: Of course not, on the contrary. As already mentioned, almost all clubs would do well with transfer income, but we don’t have to sell Nico for that.
Mislintat: “Must learn from the past”
SPORT1: What are the ambitions for the coming season?
Mislintat: This is very clear, as a newcomer and 16th in the TV money list, there is no other goal than relegation, 40 points, which are usually enough for that. We should have learned enough from our past and from the history of all promoters not to think about anything else.
SPORT1: All teams can expect an extremely demanding season due to the tight timing of the games. How will VfB deal with this?
Mislintat: By accepting it. We have a good squad in terms of quality and breadth. We now had a long break, which was good for many, and we are now starting a normal preparation. Of course, the season is intensified by the tight calendar, also by the shorter winter break, but we see ourselves well positioned.
SPORT1: And what about the upper climes? Who will be champions, Bayern again?
Mislintat: They are the much clearer favorite for me this year than in the past two years, where Dortmund and Leipzig could have beaten them.