Bundesliga clubs, including German giants and reigning champions Bayern Munich, have been powerless to compete with the Premier League, according to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Winterkorn, 68, has been CEO at the German car manufacturer since 2007 and has interests in VW-owned Wolfsburg, while he also has a seat on Bayern's supervisory board.
This weekend, Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne joined Manchester City for around €75 million, reportedly earning him up to €20m per year, and Winterkorn insists that the Premier League can have their pick of players from Germany because of the money involved.
"There comes a time when you are just powerless," Winterkorn told kicker. "Even FC Bayern, who were interested, at the end of the day said: We can't compete against those sums.
"Whether the transfer fee is justified or not, we would have loved to keep Kevin. But when there are enough financiers in England, we have to consider in Germany how we can stop the sell-out."
De Bruyne, who signed a six-year contract at the Etihad, insisted that his move was not about money, but the chance to win silverware.
"I just want to win," he said. "I won two cups at Wolfsburg and I just want to keep on winning, and I think here's a good chance to win some titles with a team who have a lot of quality players."
During the summer transfer window, Premier League clubs have signed 13 players from the Bundesliga for a reported total of over €200m.
De Bruyne's transfer fee is the biggest ever for a Bundesliga player, with the Belgium international breaking the record set by Hoffenheim's Roberto Firmino who joined Liverpool for €41m earlier in the window.
Other major transfers include Son Heung-Min's €30m move from Leverkusen to Tottenham and Abdul Rahman's €20m departure from Augsburg to Chelsea.
"We receive all the money. Is it that bad?" Bayern Munich sporting executive Matthias Sammer told Sky this weekend. "Should we surrender? I can't understand the discussion."
Sammer said that the question now is to make use of the money "strategically," and strengthen the clubs' academies, while he added that Germany should be happy that their players are attracting interest: "I can remember that there were quite a few moaning about not earning enough. Really, we always complain."