Huddersfield boss Wagner discusses links to European duo

Date published: Thursday 18th January 2018 8:18 - Oli Fisher

Huddersfield boss David Wagner 2

David Wagner has commented on rumours linking Huddersfield with moves to sign a Dortmund defender and a Serie A youngster.

Huddersfield have signed Monaco centre-half Terence Kongolo on loan until the end of the season and paid Norwich an undisclosed fee for midfielder Alex Pritchard during January.

The Terriers have been reported to have lined up further deals for both Dortmund defender Neven Subotic and Chievo attacker Samuel Bastien, but manager Wagner confirmed his business was complete.

The former Dortmund reserve team boss said: “I know Neven very well. He’s a great guy, very good character and a very good player as well, but as everyone knows on the centre-back position we have no pressure, no problems.

“We’ve done our business. I’m not in the market. Even if I have my eye on the market I’m very happy with the players we have.

“Of course, something can change in the next two or three weeks, but if everything goes by plan we’ve done what we wanted to do and I’m very happy.”

The Terriers will bid for their first Premier League win in six matches on Saturday at Stoke, for whom new boss Paul Lambert will take charge of his first game since replacing Mark Hughes on Monday.

It is another crucial match-up for Town against a potential relegation rival and a manager Wagner knows all about.

Lambert spent just over a year as a player at Dortmund, helping them win the Champions League in 1997, and Wagner is full of admiration for what the former Scotland international achieved in those days.

“Listen, if you follow Borussia Dortmund, you know Paul Lambert,” Wagner said. “He was an outstanding midfielder, a working midfielder.

“He was a little bit like a terrier, like Hoggy (Jonathan Hogg) in his time. He played in a very good team, a very successful team as well. He would be a perfect fit for us (as a player). Maybe 25 years younger.”

Kongolo and Pritchard are in contention for their first league starts after both stepped off the bench in last week’s 4-1 home defeat to West Ham, which left the Terriers four points above third-from-bottom Stoke in the table.

Midfielder Philip Billing is expected to return to action in next week’s home FA Cup tie against Birmingham, while Wagner also confirmed centre-halves Martin Cranie and Jon Gorenc Stankovic were expected to rejoin the first-team squad for training next week.

Forward Elias Kachunga (knee) is unlikely to return to contention before the end of March.

Stankovic has not featured for the Terriers this season due to a cruciate ligament injury sustained while on duty for Slovenia Under-21s in March last year.

“We have a wonderful situation at the minute,” Wagner added. “Everybody is healthy, we have real competition for places in the starting XI and everybody knows they have to shine, this could be their time.”

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