It has become an unfortunate truth for Dortmund fans in recent years that their star players are inclined to move on to 'bigger' clubs such as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as soon as they make a name for themselves.
Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze's ambitions took them away from the yellow and black of the Signal Iduna Par and more recently Robert Lewandowski announced he would be leaving for Bayern Munich when his contract ends after the current season.
This is a massive blow for Jurgen Klopp, who will be hoping that he can adequately replace someone who scored 39 goals for club and country last season. What makes this situation so different from the aforementioned Kagawa and Gotze transfers is that the Polish striker is leaving on a Bosman ruling, meaning Klopp will not get money from the move which he could reinvest in his squad.
If Lewandowski had left a year earlier, Klopp could have added between around €30m to his transfer kitty.
In my mind there are three strikers that would fit into the current Dortmund side seamlessly. One is a Swedish superstar, one a Champions League winning striker and one an up-and-coming German forward from Hoffenheim.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never been much of a one-club-man and after experiencing success in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, he may want to broaden his horizons once more before he retires.
If that is the case, then Dortmund may be his next stop. In a recent interview with Jurgen Klopp and Ibrahimovic it became obvious that they were acquainted with each other as they exchanged familiar pleasantries. Zlatan then joked that Klopp should buy him before the BVB manager stated he would have to sell the whole squad to afford the Swede's services.
Ibrahimovic simply replied that he would come for free. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the forward would make a foray into the Bundesliga and he would surely make Dortmund very formidable. If Dortmund agreed to pay his enormous wages, they could complete a fantastic bit of business which would revamp the squad and add some prestige after so many big departures.
With Lewandowski heading to Bayern, Dortmund could also look into signing the man Lewandowski is sure to replace in Bavaria - Mario Mandzukic. Mandzukic would not be content with a place on Bayern's bench and can be quite vocal about his unhappiness, as he was earlier this season against Pep Guardiola.
Mandzukic is strong in the air, is two footed and so shares many qualities with the man he would replace. Mandzukic is used to the Bundesliga and has proven he has the mettle for the Champions League as well. It would provide Klopp with a like-for-like alternative to Lewandowski which would mean that integrating him should not prove too difficult.
The issue is that Mandzukic' value has sky rocketed since his move from Wolfsburg two years ago. He is estimated to cost just over €20million meaning Dortmund would have to cater for a big price-tag as well as massive wages which he will not want to see cut. Mandzukic has advertised his qualities to the whole of Europe with Bayern's recent success and Dortmund will have to do a lot of convincing to make sure he stays in the Bundesliga ahead of moves to Arsenal, Inter or even Chelsea - all of whom could financially outmuscle the German team.
The final alternative for the departing Lewandowski is another prospect from within the Bundesliga. Young German forward Kevin Volland plays his football for TSG Hoffenheim. He has progressed with every passing year since his move from 1860 Munich. He is versatile and at only 21-years-of-age, is considered one of Germany's upcoming stars. He has really established himself this season, scoring seven goals and creating five more in just 18 games.
Whilst he would provide a different kind of target man than Lewandowski did or Mandzukic and Ibrahimovic would, the move would enable Klopp to mould him into a superstar like he did with Gotze and Hummels, to name just a couple. Volland has already seen his stock rise in recent years with his transfer value now sitting at around €12million which is over twice as much as he was worth in January 2013 - almost exactly a year ago.
Klopp has shown he is able to transform players and work the transfer market to ensure that the Dortmund squad is always filled with talent and potential. Replacing Lewandowski could be his best bit of magic yet.
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