Watzke: Citizens can’t match our appeal

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has taken a veiled swipe at Manchester City following the sale of Ilkay Gundogan to the Premier League outfit.

Gundogan was one of the first signings made by new Citizens boss Pep Guardiola, and the transfer drew the ire of Watzke, who later saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join Manchester United.

The spate of recent high-profile departures has raised fresh questions over Dortmund's ability to keep hold of their star players, a situation that Watzke clearly does not relish.

Commenting on Dortmund's plans for the new season, Watzke told reporters: "Simply, there are five clubs in the world who offer more in terms of appeal and financial power.

"But when it comes to appeal, we certainly have more than Manchester City, you can state that clearly.

"We feel prepared for the next season with this squad. But we need patience and good nerves, if it does not work out in the beginning."

Watzke's comments come after the club took a sly dig at Manchester City following the transfer of Gundogan.

A statement published on the club's website read: "The midfielder … will leave the eight-time German champions to join Manchester City, who finished fourth in the Premier League last season."

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