Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said midfielder Julian Weigl will stay in Dortmund this winter amid heavy links to Thomas Tuchel’s Paris-Saint Germain on Saturday.
Weigl, 23, played an integral role in BVB’s 1-0 win away to RB Leipzig that restored the Bundesliga leaders’ six-point advantage over second-placed Bayern Munich, who had dismantled Hoffenheim 3-1 on Friday.
The defensive midfielder had to help out at centre-back next to Abdou Diallo as Lucien Favre was forced to start the second half of the season without injured defenders Manuel Akanji, Omer Toprak and Dan-Axel Zagadou.
Asked about a potential move from Weigl to the Ligue 1 leaders, Zorc told German broadcaster ZDF: “Julian Weigl will stay in Dortmund,” adding: “He has already played very well against Gladbach [as centre-back] before the winter break and once again showed a brilliant performance tonight — especially when keeping in mind that he usually plays in midfield.”
Sources told ESPN FC that Weigl, who played under Tuchel at Dortmund, remains PSG’s top choice this month while PSG are looking for a replacement for Adrien Rabiot, who is still training with the reserves after refusing to sign a new contract. The pressure on sporting director Antero Henrique is increasing after midfielder Marco Veratti picked up an ankle injury in PSG’s 9-0 win over Guingamp on Saturday.
“I cannot talk about players who play for another club,” Tuchel said during Friday’s prematch news conference when asked about Weigl. “Julian was a player of mine, but he is still a Dortmund player today. We are working hard to bring in a defensive midfielder.”
Weigl, a Germany international, has struggled to find regular playing time in holding midfield this season, starting as a centre-back in two out of five league appearances under coach Lucien Favre, who has preferred to pair summer signings Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney ahead of the backline.
Meanwhile, the Black and Yellows had to make do without Marco Reus against Leipzig after the midfielder rolled his ankle in practice on Friday. However, Zorc said that it was a “light ligament strain and we hope that he won’t be out for longer than one or two weeks.”