Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap has verbally agreed a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund, but the side have to overcome several hurdles in order to complete a deal, according to journalist Florian Plettenberg.
The 21-year-old joined Southampton last summer, but is yet to feature following the club’s relegation to the Championship last summer and is likely to depart before the transfer window closes on Friday.
Who is Armel Bella-Kotchap?
The German began his professional career with Vfl Bochum and made over 70 first-team appearances in a three-year spell before moving to Southampton in the summer. Following his move to St. Mary’s, Bella-Kotchap made 26 appearances, providing two further assists.
The defender has been capped twice by the German national team, making his debut in September 2022 but hasn’t made an appearance on the international scene since Southampton’s relegation in May.
A strong start
Despite the clubs relegation last season, Russell Martin’s side have had an excellent start to the 2023/24 Championship season, picking up ten points from their opening four league games, with their only draw coming in a 4-4 game against Norwich City.
The Saints have beaten Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and QPR so far this season and currently sit fourth in the division, ahead of Saturday’s home match against Sunderland.
What’s been said?
According to journalist Florian Plettenberg, Borussia Dortmund have a verbal agreement with Bella-Kotchap, but the German side are yet to finalise a deal with Southampton themselves. He confirms that the two clubs are locked in negotiations, with Dortmund requesting a loan-to-buy agreement.
Bella-Kotchap is a very bright, young defender who will become a star in the German national team in years to come. His departure would be a big blow to Southampton but it’s arguably the best thing for all parties involved.
Southampton would receive money, Borussia Dortmund will receive one of the countries best young defenders and Bella-Kotchap will be able to use his experience in order to shine in his native Germany.