According to Fredi Bobic, it was a quiet weekend. It remains to be seen whether that is good news for the sports director of Hertha BSC. The transfer period officially started in German professional football on Friday. That used to mean: now the work really starts. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, however, this has changed fundamentally. The planning of the new squad, but above all the implementation of this plan, is currently not making any real progress at Hertha.
The Berliners are stuck in a transfer jam. On June 14th they signed Jonjoe Kenny, the second and last signing of the summer for the time being; nothing has happened since then. And this state of affairs may well continue for some time. Because Bobic can only make further commitments for Hertha if he has previously given up players.
In concrete terms, that means: In the next few days, it will be pretty crowded on the training ground. On Monday, the first national players (Peter Pekarik, Fredrik Björkan, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and Marton Dardai) started their preparations. Dedryck Boyata and Krzysztof Piatek will follow on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday – after the performance tests and medical examinations – they will take part in team training for the first time.
Only Omar Alderete is missing. He has been given another week off before he is expected back in Berlin. However, it is at least doubtful whether the central defender from Paraguay will ever appear again at Schenckendorffplatz. Alderete was loaned to FC Valencia last season. The club could not afford a permanent commitment; but there is definitely a market for him in the Primera division.
Hertha’s managing director already knows the tricky situation from last summer. Even then, he was only able to become active on the transfer market very late and also had to sell players first. The media is currently haunting that Bobic has to achieve a transfer surplus of 15 to 20 million euros.
It’s not a fixed requirement. However, Hertha will have to relieve the budget significantly this summer. This can be done through transfer proceeds. But also about salary savings. Should Bobic get rid of a big earner like Piatek, this would already significantly expand his scope.
The Pole came to Berlin in January 2020 – shortly before Corona and in a phase in which money did not seem to play a role at Hertha BSC after investor Lars Windhorst got on board. Piatek not only cost 23 million euros, he also receives almost five million euros a year. And that until 2025. Hertha has also been quite generous in the past with some of his colleagues (Vladimir Darida, 2.5 million euros annual salary, Javairo Dilrosun, 2.2 million).
For Fredi Bobic, this means that his room for maneuver is considerably limited and he must first continue to be patient. The preparatory work has long been done. Hertha looked around in Russia in particular – months ago. Because of the war of aggression against Ukraine and the exclusion of Russian clubs from international competitions, foreign players can now go abroad on loan without a fee and for a year.
In addition to Nigerian winger Chidera Ejuke (24, CSKA Moscow) and Czech Alex Kral (24, defensive midfield, Spartak Moscow), Sebastian Szymanski is still under discussion at Hertha. Hertha’s new coach Sandro Schwarz knows the 23-year-old Pole, who can play eights and tens, from their time together at Dynamo Moscow. “A very good player,” says Fredi Bobic. It’s definitely not due to a lack of interest.