Dortmund players warned: Don't go on strike like Aubamyeng, Dembele

Hans-Joachim Watzke has told Borussia Dortmund's players that anyone who tries to go on strike to force a transfer "will fail miserably."

Dortmund have seen both Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang force moves with their behaviour in recent months.

France winger Dembele went on strike before joining Barcelona last August, while Gabon international Aubameyang was criticised for his conduct and failed to attend an important team meeting in the run-up to his move to Arsenal.

But Watzke told FAZ: "On Thursday, I laid it on the line for the squad -- the next player who does something like that will fail miserably.

"He'll run into major problems. The next player who tries to put us under pressure by withholding performances or even going on strike will not get a pass and will instead sit in the stands.

"They are all aware of it. This is now a public statement. Following Dembele and Aubameyang, there is now an overriding interest for the club -- we need to get a better structure into our squad again."

However, the Dortmund chief added that although he could partially understand the case of Aubameyang, who had wanted to leave last summer, "Dembele's was a catastrophe from a character and ethics point of view."

He added: "Aubemayng committed himself to us for this season, especially as a reaction to Dembele's transfer.

"But he also had the notion that we owed to him because in 2016 he opted for us and decided against very lucrative offers amid the exits of [Mats] Hummels, [Ilkay] Gundogan and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan."

Watzke said Aubameyang had been allowed to leave "because we had the impression there will be no new start for him in the Ruckrunde [second half of the season]."

He added: "Not with the fans, not with the team. Too much had been damaged through his behaviour."