Reports out of Argentina suggest that Borussia Dortmund have submitted a bid for Leonardo Balerdi, a central defender at Boca Juniors.
Following Borussia Dortmund’s recent transfer success with young center-backs (Akanji, Diallo and Zagadou) there’s rumors that the club are looking to dip back into the transfer market for another one, this time out of Argentina.
Leonardo Balerdi is a relatively unknown quantity and it’s a bit odd, if true, why Dortmund would submit such a large bid so early in the process. There’s a bit of confusion surrounding the actual number, some reports suggesting the offer was as high as €18 million and some saying it’s $18 million USD. With only 5 senior squad appearances thus far in his career there isn’t a large sample size to base his value from. Not to say he isn’t worth that amount, it’s just difficult to justify that price tag for someone with so little senior experience. It’s worth noting Transfermarkt has his current value listed as €2.5 million.
These links could just be rumors with nothing to them, but it’s also possible Dortmund are looking for cover in the short term and long term. BILD Sport has reported that Manuel Akanji could miss the remainder of the season through injury. There are still further tests to be done but it’s rumored the muscle tear in his adductors will require surgery which could end his season. If that is the case it would be a massive blow to Dortmund, as Akanji has been one of their best players thus far in the season. Balerdi could be brought in to give Favre a fourth option in central defense with Akanji out.
It could also be long term planning by the club. Borussia Dortmund are no strangers to investing in youth for the future. It’s also possible that Ömer Toprak is unhappy with his role as the fourth choice center-back and is looking for a change in scenery. If that’s the case and Akanji is sidelined for the remainder of the season, Toprak likely wouldn’t be on the move until the summer.