Eric Abidal in Telefoot (French TV show): "I'd like to play for Bayern Munich. Guardiola would be happy if I did."— Felipe (@FCBayernUpdate) June 9, 2013
If you're unaware of the health problems that the 33 year old has had in recent years, let's do a quick recap. In early 2011, he was diagnosed with a tumor on his liver and underwent surgery to have it removed. A year later, Abidal would undergo a liver transplant. It was not until April of this year that he returned to the field in an official match for Barcelona.
Abidal's contract at Barcelona was not renewed after six seasons with the Catalans, and rumors since that time have linked him with a move back to France. The two interested suitors were Monaco and PSG. Playing the final few years of his career back where it started, would be a nice story.
However, I think it would be a shrewd bit of business if Bayern were to sign Abidal for the 2013-2014 season.
Reason 1: He would be content with spot duty as a reserve.
At this stage in Abidal's career, he is more content with contributing to a winning side and going for trophies, than finding a mid-to-low table club that would guarantee him minutes as a starter. While the Monaco project would be alluring to Abidal considering he started his career there, he won't get any Champions League run. PSG would also be a draw but would it give him the same rush as the minutes with Bayern would?
Reason 2: It would allow Diego Contento and/or Emre Can to go out on loan.
Contento is 23 years old and needs to see significant minutes in the next year or so to gauge how good of a player he cant truly be. The left back isn't going to beat David Alaba out for the starting job and is will remain the reserve left back barring something unforeseen. Toni Kroos, Alaba, and Philipp Lahm --- albeit at younger ages --- were all given opportunities on loan to prove their abilities. Contento has shown glimpses of what he can do, including last season's Champions League Final against Chelsea when he was thrown onto the field due to Alaba's suspension.
The other player in this and/or scenario is Emre Can. The 19 year old saw his first minutes with the first team this season playing in the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal, but it totaled less than 400. A loan to another club this summer could see Can really blossom into the player that he can truly become.
Reason 3: Provides experienced depth until Holger Badstuber returns.
With Badstuber likely out until the beginning of 2014, Bayern will still be without a starting centerback and a backup left back. Abidal provides depth at both of those positions.
Left Back: Bayern already have one of the best ---some would argue the best --- left backs in the world with Alaba. However, what happens if Alaba goes down with an injury? The obvious answer is to move Lahm to left back and then start either Rafinha or Jerome Boateng on the right. However, there are rumblings out of Schalke that they may make a move for Rafinha, and we all know that Boateng is far better at the center of defense than on the right. Abidal would allow Bayern to keep Lahm at right back and still maintain some form of attack out of the fullbacks.
Center Back: The starters for the start of the season will be Dante and Boateng. The backups will be Daniel Van Buyten and Jan Kirchhoff. Van Buyten will likely see fewer minutes this season than last, and Kirchhoff will get the opportunity to adjust to Bayern. Abidal has played in huge games before and would be a good option off the bench in spot duty, if necessary.
With all things considered and there being no transfer fee of any sort, Bayern would be wise to really consider a move for Abidal. What do you think?