After the transfer seemed close to finished last week (and, in fact, after Yahoo! and goal.com reported it as a done deal), FC Bayern's attempts to sign Spanish international Javi Martinez have ground to a halt. When we last checked in, the story was that Javi and Bayern had agreed to terms, and Bayern was willing to pay the 40 million Euro release clause. But Athletic Bilbao didn't want to be seen as selling one of their biggest stars, so they preferred to have Javi pay the buy-out fee himself.
Unfortunately, this would entail an extra tax fee (variously reported as 6 million or 8 million Euro). Given the already exorbitant fee for a relatively unproven player, FC Bayern drew that line at a last minute 6 million add-on. Still, the deal was expected to go through once the final details had been reached.
Today, everyone sounds a little less optimistic. Bayern president Uli Hoeness:
"It does not look too good right now. The people at Bilbao are very, very stubborn and do everything they can to stop this transfer from happening."
Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer:
"The transfer is not close to being closed, we clarified our position and now it’s Bilbao’s turn to respond.”
Looks like the boys upstairs have grown tired of jumping through hoops. While everyone agrees that Javi Martinez is a talented player, it was already debated whether he was worth 40 million Euro (especially for a club that had so many other options in the midfield and CB spots). When you add on an additional 6 million extra fees, it becomes a pretty outlandish deal to accept. Plus, it's not like the Spanish government hasn't gotten enough German money this summer already.
For Athletic Bilbao's part, they have kept both Javi and Fernando Llorente off of their roster for tomorrow's Europa League match vs. HJK Helsinki. So Bilbao is clearly willing to sell, or at least considering it. But right now, this deal looks a lot less likely than it did a few days ago. I guess the lesson is, "don't believe everything you read in goal.com."
KHR says Bayern is still interested, if a deal can be reached. But with so many solid players who can play multiple positions, and will a relatively soft opening to the season, Bayern can afford to be patient. Athletic needs the money. Seems like two possible things could derail this for real: (1) Athletic could reach a deal to sell Fernando Llorent (possibly to Juve), which might ease their financial problems, or (2) either of the Manchester clubs could come in and offer the full 46 million or whatever for Martinez.
Needless to say, we'll be following the story. Stay tuned to this page and to our twitter feed at http://twitter.com/BavarianFBWorks to be kept up to date. As always, if you have news or insider knowledge, email us at email@example.com and we'll see if we can work you into the next post. Thanks for reading.