After days of speculation, the rumors appear to have finally borne fruit: Javi Martinez may be on the way to FC Bayern. The deal is said to be worth 40 million Euro, a new record for the club (and, indeed, for the entire Bundesliga). But the deal comes with 10 million in give-backs to Bayern, in the form of Martinez reducing his salary by 2 million Euro a year for each of the remaining 5 years on his contract. See the update at the end of the story.
Several articles strongly hint that Bayern management has confirmed the deal, but there's nothing on the club's official site as of yet. So, if you're really opposed, I guess you can hold out until Uli speaks. But it looks like this move has happened.
Martinez is a versatile guy who can play CB and CDM. As we mentioned earlier this week, part of the reason Bayern wanted him so bad was his ability to turn defense into offense quickly - a problem over the past two seasons, in which Bayern has been more of a station-to-station offense rather than a quick-strike counter-attack force.
The money is a huge commitment, but honestly I don't really care so much about the money. The club's been making great revenue the past few years, they can afford it. I guess my bigger concern is whether this will push other players out; either actually push them out (it was rumored that Gustavo might be sold if Javi were brought on board) or by pushing Gustavo and/or Tymoshcuk and/or Can further down the roster so that they don't see much of the field.
I guess Can is my biggest concern. He has looked decent at LB, but CDM is really his spot, so I hope he gets some playing time there. Tymoschuk has done some good things for Bayern, but honestly he probably wasn't going to be around after this upcoming season anyway. At worst, he's a good back-up and Pokal guy this coming season. Gustavo doesn't need to be moved, in my opinion. Martinez can play CDM and CB, both spots where we've had numerous injuries. With three tough competitions coming up, we'll need depth at both of those spots.
I'll say this, too: there's a lot of consternation over getting someone from the Spanish national side, but look: they're doing something right over there. If this move puts us over the edge to get into trophy-winning form - especially in the CL - we'll quickly forget about where he came from. So I think Bayern fans should give him a chance.
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FC Bayern's Markus Hoerwick says no deal has yet been reached. The club retains its interest in the player, but, as of now, says no firm commitment has been made. If I had to bet, I would say the deal ends up happening, but it can't be confirmed as a done deal yet.
I'll admit, I thought it was legit when Bild posted earlier - they seemed to indicate they had confirmation from the club. Apparently not. Stay tuned.