Compared to other top leagues, the Bundesliga clubs have not spent much money on transfers during this summer. Even the champions Bayern were quite thrifty this time, as they did not spent a penny - and possibly they had a reason.
Bayern are sparing money, while Borussia Dortmund are splurging - the leaders of the German football have relied on different strategies in the transfer market this summer. While Dortmund, who are currently undergoing reconstruction, has already invested 73 million euros in new players over the past few weeks, record champions Bayern have been reluctant to do so. Believing in the strength of their current squad, the champions of the past six years have not spent a penny so far. "We are saving up a bit of money right now, in case we need to buy more next year," the club's president Uli Hoeneß commented in a interview on the uncharacteristic transfer policy.
Bayern's austerity is one reason why the total expenditure of 18 Bundesliga clubs for new players has so far remained below that of the previous year. Compared to the record investments of nearly 600 million euros in the summer of 2017, the clubs have so far spent much less - just about 413 million. This is offset by transfer revenues of more than 423 million euros (2017: 485 million euros). This was the result of calculations by the German Press Agency.
Three of the four most expensive summer signings were made by Dortmund. Players such as Abdou Diallo (Mainz / 28 million euros), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen / 20) and Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian / 20) should help the fourth-placed team to reduce the gap with Bayern. It can not be ruled out that Borussia will spend millions more on an attacker until the transfer window closes on 31 August. However, they will hardly bring in a remarkable scorer like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left Dortmund to join Arsenal last winter for nearly 64 million euros. "I have to follow the guidelines of the club. International top strikers, you have to be honest, are currently almost impossible to buy for Borussia Dortmund," said the sports director Michael Zorc.
In contrast, Bayern did not feel like shopping. Leon Goretzka came from Schalke on a free transfer, and Renato Sanches (Swansea) and Serge Gnabry (Hoffenheim) returned from loans. This thriftiness makes sense. After all, next summer they will need a lot of money for the purchases of James Rodriguez (now only borrowed from Real Madrid) for allegedly 42 million euros, and the world champion Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart) for 35 million euros. In addition, the contracts of the veteran Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben will expire.
This year's revenue from selling Douglas Costa (Juventus / 40), Arturo Vidal (Barcelona / 18) and probably also the Germany's national player Sebastian Rudy, who is courted by Leipzig and Schalke, could expand the expenditures for new stars next year. Already in January, the Canadian talent Alphonso Davies will come to Munich for 10 million.
Meanwhile, three Bundesliga clubs have reported record signings. Borussia Mönchengladbach paid 23 million euros for Alassane Pléa (Nice), Werder Bremen 15 million for Davy Klaassen (Everton) and Mainz - 8 million euros for Jean-Philippe Mateta (Lyon). And Paulinho (Vasco da Gama / 18.5) became the third most expensive signing in Bayer Leverkusen's history. Sports director Rudi Völler is optimistic for the new season: "It was the first time we managed to keep such players as Julian Brandt, Jonathan Tah and Leon Bailey. Because they realized that something is going on here."
RB Leipzig received the biggest transfer money in the Bundesliga, as Naby Keita moved to Liverpool for 70 million euros. The Saxons reinvested more than half of this amount for new players like Nordi Mukiele (Montpellier / 16 million), Matheus Cunha (Sion / 15) and Marcelo Saracchi (River Plate / 11). This puts Leipzig in second place after Dortmund in the list of the teams who have spent the most money on transfers this summer.