Tuchel defends Dortmund transfer policy

Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel admits it's a shame to have lost several of their stars, but insists sometimes there is nothing they can do about it.

BVB have already seen the departures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester United, Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City and, arguably most painfully, Mats Hummels to rivals Bayern Munich, leading many fans and critics to question the club's transfer policy.

However, all three players were entering the final year of their contracts and the size of the offers made for each of the players made it difficult for Dortmund to ignore.

"A lot has happened. It feels a bit like a fresh start. Three extremely important players have left us," Tuchel told reporters.

"We have lost three key men with the departure of Hummels, Gundogan and Mkhitaryan. They are three players of the highest level.

"We did everything within our powers to hold on to them. The offers were pushing our boundaries. We have to acknowledge that there are clubs higher in the food chain.

"The three players who have left have had an enormous influence on the team. They were examples for the others.

"I am no more disappointed about losing Mkhitaryan than about losing Mats and Ilkay. Of course, I was disappointed to see him go. I am a huge fan of Mkhitaryan. But I am looking forward to working with our new signings."

Dortmund have a clear focus on youth for the upcoming season with Emre Mor (18), Ousmane Dembele (19) and Mikel Merino (20) representing their incoming business so far and Tuchel is eager to focus on what is to come.

"We have decided to go with talented youngsters. We are no longer thinking about what we had, but are focused on creating something new," he added.

"We have to be creative and find solutions. It might be a risky path, but risks can get rewarded. All our new players are fully committed to BVB. We want to develop a team the fans can identify with.

"We want to challenge the big teams in the Champions League, fight for the Bundesliga title and win the DFB-Pokal."