Despite endless rumors that swirl for months ahead of January, the winter transfer window is notoriously slow. This season in the Bundesliga is proving to be different.
Borussia Dortmund have been particularly active, even beyond the Erling Haaland coup pulled off on December 29th. The squad parted ways with midfielder Julian Weigl, who was sold to Portuguese side Benfica for a reported €20 million.
The 24-year-old featured in 20 matches for the Black and Yellow across all competitions this season—well ahead of pace to better last season's 25 matches—but often at the centerback position rather than his preferred defensive midfield posting. The youngster excelled under Thomas Tuchel after arriving at Dortmund in 2015, but has failed to impress through three subsequent managerial stints.
Dortmund will lose another midfielder this summer, when Mario Götze will depart the club on a free after the two parties could not agree to terms of a contract extension, per Bild.
The 27-year-old—most famous for his match-winning 113th-minute goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup Final—has struggled for form due to a rash of injuries in recent years. After collecting 16 goals and 20 assists for Dortmund in the 2012-13 campaign, he made the move to Bayern Munich, but was unable to assert himself over three seasons. His return to Signal Iduna Park in 2016 was met with excitement from the Dortmund faithful, but his form hasn't lived up to the precedent he set as a 21-year-old.
Sitting just above Dortmund in the Bundesliga table are rivals Bayern Munich. Despite rumors of a Jerome Boateng exit, there has been no turnover in the Bavarian side. One player that will be joining the squad come summer is goalkeeper Alexander Nübel of Schalke. The 23-year-old will play understudy to the 33-year-old Manuel Neuer, having attracted attention with his performances in Gelsenkirchen the past two seasons, including a fourth-best 1.22 Goals Against per 90 minutes this campaign.
Beyond Dortmund and Bayern, Hertha Berlin and head coach Jürgen Klinsmann announced the signing of midfielder Santiago Ascacíbar from VfB Stuttgart for €10 million. TSG Hoffenheim acquired forward Munas Dabbur from Sevilla for around €12 million, and midfielder Exequiel Palacios joined Bayer Leverkusen from River Plate for a reported €22 million to round out the biggest transfers of the window thus far.