Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke believes his club beat Bayern Munich to the signing of Ousmane Dembele, but says the relationship between the two Bundesliga giants is as good as ever.
Dembele signed for Dortmund from Rennes in May, agreeing a five-year contract, after an impressive campaign that saw the 19-year-old score 12 goals in 26 Ligue 1 appearances.
Watzke claims Dortmund acted quicker than Bayern in securing the services of the striker, but feels the two clubs enjoy a profitable professional relationship.
Both sides have been busy in the transfer window, Mats Hummels returning to Bayern from Dortmund while Mario Gotze and Sebastian Rode have moved in the opposite direction.
"We were in that moment faster [than Bayern in signing Dembele]," Watzke told Sport1.
"I do not know how deep the interest of Bayern was, but we were very early and had already discovered the player.
"He has exceptional talent, but there are many things he still needs to learn. He needs to learn the language and assimilate here.
"I cannot blame Bayern in this case. We had three talks with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge this year. These were very confident and professional. The relationship to Bayern is as good as it's ever been.
"They have established themselves on the same level as Real Madrid.
"Accordingly, it would be stupid to say that we are attacking Bayern Munich. You should then attack if the opponent has a period of weakness."