Dortmund signs Modeste as illness-struck Haller replacement

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund signed French forward Anthony Modeste from Bundesliga rival Cologne on Monday to compensate for Sébastien Haller’s illness-enforced absence.

The 34-year-old Modeste completed a medical checkup in Dortmund and signed a one-year contract.

“We made a conscious decision after analyzing the past season to sign a more classic striker who gives our offensive game a certain physicality, who’s good at heading the ball and a goal threat,” Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl said.

Dortmund had already signed Haller from Ajax for 31 million euros ($31.5 million) to fill that role, but he had to leave the team’s preseason training camp due to a testicular tumor. The 28-year-old Haller needs chemotherapy.

“Given the background of Sébastien Haller’s illness, we’re glad that we were able to add such a forward as Anthony Modeste to our squad for the current season at short notice,” Kehl said.

Modeste has scored 83 goals and set up 16 more in 190 Bundesliga games for Hoffenheim and in three stints at Cologne. He scored 20 in 32 league appearances for Cologne last season.

“The offer from Dortmund gave me the unique opportunity at my age to also play in the Champions League and to prove myself at the highest level,” Modeste said. The forward expressed his thanks to Cologne, where the timing of the transfer has not pleased coach Steffen Baumgart.

“It makes me sick,” Baumgart said Sunday.

Modeste is likely Dortmund’s final signing of the offseason after Haller, goalkeepers Marcel Lotka and Alexander Meyer, midfielder Salih Özcan, defenders Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck, and Germany forward Karim Adeyemi.


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