Transfer news

Manuel Friedrich signs for Dortmund

November 21, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld

Borussia Dortmund have signed free agent Manuel Friedrich, and the veteran centre-back could be in the squad against Bayern Munich this weekend.

Bundesliga
GettyImagesKlopp and Friedrich previously worked together at Mainz.

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Friedrich, 34, had been on trial at Dortmund as the coach Juergen Klopp looked for cover following the long-term loss of Neven Subotic to a serious knee injury. With their defensive problems worsening after Mats Hummels was injured in Germany's 1-0 win over England at Wembley on Tuesday, Dortmund have now signed Friedrich until the end of the season.

"With the signing we have reacted to the injuries in our defensive department," sporting director Michael Zorc said. "Manuel Friedrich has a lot of experience and had made a very good impression in training."

Friedrich, who has won nine Germany caps, added in Bild: "I am absolutely looking forward to wearing the Dortmund jersey in the Westfalenstadion. I only had the pleasure of experiencing it as a guest. To have the 'Yellow Wall' behind you and not against you must be an incredible feeling. I am looking forward to the cool time in black-and-yellow."

However, it is unlikely that Klopp -- who played alongside Friedrich for Mainz and later became his coach at the club -- will name the new man in Dortmund's defence from the start against Bayern on Saturday.

Klopp will have to do without his entire first-choice back four against the champions. Poland international Lukasz Piszczek has just returned to team training following hip surgery in June, while left-back Marcel Schmelzer also suffered a muscle injury in the friendly at Wembley and joins Hummels and Subotic on the sidelines.

"When players get injured during international games, it is all always woeful for the player, the national team and the club," Germany coach Joachim Loew said via a DFB press statement. "Marcel and Mats have been in good form recently. That they are sidelined now is certainly unfortunate for them and Borussia Dortmund."

Dortmund chief Aki Watzke, who had warned Loew ahead of the friendlies not to take advantage of the Dortmund players, told Bild that he will not open a discussion over who is to blame for the injuries. However, he admitted that the injuries are a major setback for Dortmund.

"Our defence from the Champions League final has been decimated," he said. "Our double-winning back four -- vanished! We should not talk about the league title now. We just want to stay in sight of the top." 

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