Dortmund will sign Stuttgart center-back Waldemar Anton for a fee of $24 million. Anton, currently in camp with Germany at Euro 2024, fielded interest from the likes of Leverkusen and Liverpool. However, Anton decided not to sign with the reigning German champions, choosing Dortmund in a shock switch.

Anton appeared in 37 games for Stuttgart, leading them to a second-placed finish and a Champions League berth in the group stage.

Dortmund beats out Leverkusen

Anton’s contract at Stuttgart expired in 2027 but had a release clause of just $24 million. It made sense that many of Europe’s top clubs were interested in the defender after Stuttgart’s surprisingly good season. The 27-year-old was named in the Bundesliga’s Team of the Season alongside Jeremie Frimpong, Jonathan Tah, and Alejandro Grimado.

Leverkusen were one of the most interested parties after Tah looked set to join rivals Bayern Munich. Head coach Xabi Alonso reportedly called the defender personally at least two times, and the reigning German champions were in constant contact with Anton’s party.

However, Anton decided against joining Leverkusen and opted to further negotiations with Dortmund. Multiple outlets out of Germany report that Anton could sign a five-year contract worth up to $6.5 million annually. Tah also ruled against leaving Leverkusen with Bayern, and Leverkusen could bring in center-back Riccardo Calafiori as well.

Dortmund moved swiftly into negotiations with Waldemar Anton and his team, paying the $24 million release clause. Anton reportedly agreed with those terms and has accepted the offer. He will likely complete the medical after the Euros finish, with Anton playing with the German national team.

Although Anton has not appeared in a game for Germany at Euro 2024, he’s an integral member of the rotation and one of coach Julian Nagelsmann’s top choices at center-back.

New Dortmund defense takes shape with Waldemar Anton

Signing Anton is a great move for Dortmund considering the quality of their new signee and the change Dortmund is going through. They just hired Nuri Sahin as their new coach after the departure of Edin Terzic. Veteran defender Mats Hümmels also left the club for free and could join Mallorca in the summer. Dortmund could lose several players, including loanee Ian Maatsen, Karim Adeyemi, and Sébastien Haller.

Anton’s arrival will provide stability for the black-and-yellow. Anton is comfortable with the ball at his feet. He registered the third-most touches and the most passing distance in the Bundesliga. His most impressive attribute is his strong tackling and aerial presence, earning him comparisons to Eric Dier and Ronald Araújo.

“Waldemar is everything you want from a captain: tireless, disciplined, always trains at 100 percent,” Stuttgart gaffer Sebastian Hoeneß said. “He’s consistent, a stabilizing factor in the defense, and also makes very few mistakes. He’s every coach’s dream because he’s an absolute team player.”

Anton will likely join star defender Nico Schlotterbeck in a solid partnership. However, the make-up of the backline is unknown after Ian Maatsen’s impending departure. Reports say Maatsen will join Villa for a fee above $45 million after Dortmund could not reach a price with Chelsea. Maatsen was key in Dortmund’s push to the Champions League final and they have a gaping hole at left-back that needs to be solved.