Borussia Dortmund have signed Salih Özcan from league rivals 1. FC Köln. The 24-year-old midfielder receives a contract until 2026.
“Salih Özcan is one of the promoted players of the past Bundesliga season and was instrumental in FC’s successful season in the central defensive midfield,” BVB’s designated sporting director Sebastian Kehl is quoted as saying: “He is an immensely strong player in two fights and with a strong header. One who goes where it hurts and uncompromisingly gives everything for his team to succeed. His mentality and physicality, coupled with his game intelligence, will be good for our team. “
Özcan is using an exit clause in his contract, which would have run until 2023 in Cologne.
With strong performances, the Turkish international played a big part in the success of Cologne, who are seventh in the table and are participating in the qualification for the Conference League. At BVB, he is expected to replace Axel Witsel in defensive midfield, who is leaving the club after his contract expires.
“1. FC Köln is my hometown club, to which I owe an incredible amount. I would only have left my city for very few clubs,” Özcan admits: “The energy of Borussia Dortmund, which you can literally feel, plus the opportunity to play regularly in the Champions League, ultimately led me to my decision. I am very happy to be able to develop further at BVB in front of more than 81,000 spectators and to help the team in the Bundesliga and the Champions League with my way of playing football. I am very ambitious and ready to invest everything for this.”
Dortmund had previously signed internationals Niklas Süle, Nico Schlotterbeck and Karim Adeyemi.