It has been a summer of non-stop action for Borussia Mönchengladbach and especially for the Foals’ sporting director Roland Virkus. With big names exiting for free such as Marcus Thuram and Ramy Bensebaini, Gladbach have also had to contend with losing a key figure in Jonas Hofmann for just €10m to rivals Bayer Leverkusen.
However, while many have left, Virkus has been busy ensuring that the gaps in the squad are filled with players that can boast both youth and quality. Nevertheless, what will offer the Gladbach faithful the biggest sigh of relief is that they have been able to retain the services of influential midfielder Manu Koné.
A player, who has been considered the Foals’ most valuable asset, has been linked to a multitude of top European clubs. However, an injury sustained during the under-21 European championship has prevented any concrete interest being generated in the midfielder.
Virkus spoke to Rheinische Post about Koné’s future stating that: “We have decided that Manu Koné will stay with Borussia. Of course you can never rule out anything in football. If there’s a significant offer, we’d have to talk again. But actually, the goal – and that’s also been discussed with the boy – is that he stays and stays here for the time being will be well.”
The Gladbach sporting director would even insist that: “Manu sees that something is happening in Gladbach and he might want to be part of it.” However, while the 22-year-old may be looking to help the Foals fight their way back into European contention, one player that will almost certainly be departing is long-serving Nico Elvedi.
“Nico expressed the desire to change clubs after eight years. We said we only want players who are 100 percent committed. We are in talks with clubs. There will be a decision in the next two weeks, I can’t give a date yet,” Virkus explained. However, while Elvedi looks to depart, the signing of highly rated former Werder Bremen defender Fabio Chiarodia could be the perfect replacement for the Swiss international.
At the beginning of the summer, it almost certainly looked bleak for Gladbach. However, a few smart signings later, with the impetus put back into recruiting younger players, has renewed life into the nickname; Die Fohlen. It is a concept that inspired Gladbach’s golden age, and many will hope that the sequel is just as rewarding.
GGFN | Will Shopland