In an update to yesterday's discussion, Leverkusen appears confident that manager Jupp Heynckes won't raid the roster when he makes the switch to Bayern Munich this summer. Leverkusen's GM Wolfgang Holzhauser told Bild magazine that "Jupp is far too loyal to take a player with him to his new club," according to ESPN.
So, the first question is whether or not that's true. Bild doesn't mention any quotes from Heynckes, and obviously the GM (who's sticking around) is going to try to downplay the possibility of losing key players. It would mean more coming from Jupp.
But the second and more important question is whether the Bayer Levs have anyone that we'd actually want. Yesterday, we mentioned Arturo Vidal, the young Chilean midfielder who's probably the best bet to make a move to a richer club. Vidal is 23 and has impressed in his ~3 years in Germany, along with in his brief time with the Chilean senior national squad. He's mostly played in a midfield position this year, so I was inclined to say "who cares, we don't need him," but I now see that his Wikipedia page describes him as "a versatile defensive player who can play in midfield, defence or as a full-back" (the "c" in defence is how Wikipedia has it). So, that might make him a little more valuable to us ... but even so, rumors have Bayern looking a little more up-market as far as defenders.
In my estimation, Leverkusen doesn't have many tempting targets beyond Vidal. Michael Ballack obviously has had a great career, but I don't think that's a direction we should be looking right now. The Brazilian Renato Augusto has shown flashes, but I don't think he'd be an upgrade over even a Bayern bench player. Sami Hyppia is a name people might recognize, but at 37 years old he's not a tempting target. At any rate, Leverkusen's defense (though maybe better than ours) hasn't looked that great this year anyway.
So, in sum, not much of a loss even if Leverkusen's General Manager is right. Their club has had a great year and deserves respect for holding down second place in the BL, but their roster isn't loaded with enough talent to take a team like Bayern back into contention for trophies. We need at to look at CB, LB, and maybe GK, and we need to look at the best available players in the world at those positions. We'll have more on that next week. Thanks for reading.