Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has urged the club’s supporters to give skipper Mats Hummels a “positive reception” in the final game of the Bundesliga campaign.
The 27-year-old will return to the club where he started his senior career, FC Bayern München, in the off-season following a hugely successful spell at Dortmund which stretches all the way back to the 2008/09 season, when he joined on a season-long loan from the Bavarian giants.
However, the news has not been met with a positive response from Dortmund’s supporters, and understandably so. However, Watzke remains hopeful that Hummels will not be on the receiving end of jeers and whistles during and after Saturday’s clash with 1. FC Köln.
“[A positive reception] is the hope and desire I have,” Watzke told Ruhr Nachrichten. “There were no more whistles in Frankfurt. There is no reason for bitterness, we respect his decision, even if it is very unfortunate.
“We will discuss with Mats [whether to have a farewell]. Normally this is common, but the season does not end on Saturday with the match against Cologne.
“We do not want to give the impression after the game it is all over.”
Watzke also revealed the club would be receiving a sizeable transfer fee from Bayern, although he admitted he was “very sorry” to see the centre-back go.
“Mats’ transfer is very unfortunate because he is our captain and a role model,” he added. “Disappointment is the wrong word, but I’m very sorry.
“I have built up a very good relationship with Mats over many years.
“Although we are losing our captain, there were eight and a half positive years on both sides.
“Mats has gained a lot at Dortmund, he has twice been a German champion and a world champion at BVB. Back then we got him pretty cheap and are now getting a large sum.”