Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City are tracking the Serbian 6 ft 4 centre-half Neven Subotic despite the player recently signing a new long-term contract with his club Borussia Dortmund. Speculation continues to mount concerning John Terry’s future with the FA Cup winners as Chelsea plan for their player’s departure with the Bundesliga star seen as an excellent replacement.
City, on the other hand see Subotic as a back-up if they don’t manage to tempt the current England captain away from the Bridge. The Gunners are still in the market for a centre-half despite the arrival of Thomas Vermaelen as Philippe Senderos and William Gallas may still be leaving North London.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic debut season with Borussia after moving from Mainz. His form resulted in the offer of a new improved contract signed last month which would see him remain at the club until 2014.
Subotic was born in Banja Luka in the former Yugoslavia but moved to Germany with his family in 1994 when he was 5-years old. However, in 1999 his family moved to the USA after their residence authorization expired. There the Serbian international played soccer for Sparta Gold and Impact Black youth clubs in Salt Lake City before moving to Florida where Subotic’s sister pursued a tennis career at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. The big defender began to play for the University of South Florida’s team and was later spotted by agent Steve Kelly while representing an U17 team in the Netherlands. Kelly offered the player a trial with Mainz who eventually signed him.
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The Serbian worked his way up from the youth teams as well as their 4th division side before making his professional debut for Mainz in the last match of the 2006/07 season against Bayern. The club were relegated from the Bundesliga but the following season so Subotic emerge as a future star. He made 33 league appearances (all starts) and scored 4 goals as Mainz finished 4th with the best defensive record in the division of just 37 goals conceded. They missed out on promotion by just two points and their coach Jurgen Klopp got a coaching job at Borussia and played a key role in the player moving with him to Dortmund.
Last season Subotic enjoyed an impressive first season at the top level of German football making 34 league appearances (all starts) and scoring 6 goals. Like John Terry, the Serbian has shown he is dangerous in the opposition box at set-pieces with an impressive 10 goals in just 68 career league appearances.
After signing his new contract, Subotic told Bild, “I am just 25-years of age in five years time.”
“If I would have the desire to move on that would still be a good time.
“Staying is best for me. I made progress at Dortmund last season and it would be too early to move abroad.
However, he didn’t close the door on a move after revealing, “I still have a lot to learn. At this point in time it would take an extraordinary bid to see me leaving.
“This would be great for both, Borussia Dortmund and me. They would have big money and I would know that this new club is really interested in me as a player.”
The reported £12m fee would not be too rich for either Chelsea or Man City who are known to have funds readily available. However, Arsenal may look to sell before they can buy with Emmanuel Adebayor’s sale likely to bring in a huge cash injection.
Subotic was eligible to play for the U.S, Serbia or Bosnia Herzegovina but opted to play for Serbia when he told the nation’s coach in December 2008. This was despite representing the USA U20 side. In March 2009, he made his international debut as a substitute in Serbia’s 3-2 win over Romania. He has since made 4 appearances and scored once in a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
At 6 ft 4 and quick across the ground, Subotic is made for the Premier League but just who can tempt Borussia with an ‘extraordinary offer to sell remains to be seen.
Would you like to sign the 20-year-old rated as one of the finest defenders in the Bundesliga? Let’s hear your views.