Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel urged his club to do what they can to prevent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from leaving, though he understood the prolific striker’s ultimate wish was to play for Real Madrid.
Aubameyang, 27, is the top scorer in the Bundesliga with 15 goals in 12 appearances. He has never hidden his desire to join Real Madrid, who Dortmund visit for a Champions League clash on Wednesday that will determine the winner of Group F.
The striker has said in interviews he wants to join Real one day to fulfill the dying wish of his Spanish grandfather, and last summer he said the Champions League holders were the only club he would leave Dortmund for.
Aubameyang said earlier this week he was unsure if he would remain at Dortmund beyond next summer, although Real are subject to a transfer ban that prohibits them from registering new players until January 2018.
Asked about his talisman in a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game, Tuchel said: ‘It’s normal that he wants to play at Real Madrid one day, any player with his talent would like to play at one of the best teams in the world…
‘But my opinion is clear. We cannot achieve our objectives without him. He’s an extraordinary player, he makes everyone better.’
Dortmund lead Group F on 11 points, two ahead of Real, and a draw will be enough to clinch top spot for the German side.
Tuchel’s men have endured a tougher campaign domestically and lie sixth in the Bundesliga, trailing leaders RB Leipzig by nine points, though they picked up a confidence-boosting 4-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday with Aubameyang scoring twice.
Germany attacking midfielder Marco Reus contributed three assists in the game, his first league start of the season after returning from injury, though Tuchel said he was a doubt against Real due to a cold.
‘Tomorrow at midday I will make that decision. The best thing would be for him to start,’ the coach said.