The Transfer Train growing more and more steam, with more speculation on track for Germany. FC Bayern Munich has a first class seat after winning the treble, and here's the latest notes:
Franck Ribéry and Daniel van Buyten Extend
After reports discussing their desires to extend (including ours), Franck Ribéry and Daniel van Buyten both signed contract extensions Thursday. Franck Ribéry, 30, who's contract was due to expire in 2015, has two extra years on it, pushing the expiration date to 2017. Van Buyten, 35, has signed a one-year extension to his deal, which will now run out in 2014.
Here is what Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on both extensions:
"We're delighted to retain two important pillars of our team. Franck and Daniel achieved unbelievable things last season. We could always rely on them, and they've often made the difference, especially in crucial matches."
Mario Gómez's Agent Speaks
It is the quote that is shaking the German media. Kicker snatched a quote from Mario Gómez's agent, indicating that the 27-year-old striker has a desire to leave Bavaria. Here is what he said, loosely translated from German.
"The tendency of Mario is heading in the direction, that he will separate himself from FC Bayern Munich"
WOAH! BREAKING NEWS! Oh wait, not really, but it is still the first public comments on Gómez, further making his exit more likely. The Napoli speculation is already present, and Kicker has also thrown Fiorentina into the mix, so the DFB Pokal Final might in fact been his last game in Bayern red.
In case you missed it:
-Speaking of making desires public, Robert Lewandowski told Sport Bild that he wants to transfer to his "club of choice." Of course, putting two and two together would implicate die Roten. Also not breaking news, but this is the first time he expressed his desires to leave publically. What's also interesting? ESPN FC mentioned a WAZ report that Lewandowski was clearing out his home. Coincidence...?
-I mentioned it previously, but the Sun has liked Bayern with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny, and €15 million could be the price. That seems less likely now with van Buyten resigned for one more year.
-Just two days after Jupp Heynckes's announcement, Michael Ballack is hanging up his cleats for good, putting to rest any rumors on a comeback. Wednesday night was his going away party in Zentralstadion in Leipzig, a friendly with former teammates and friends. Here's part of the report from ESPN FC.
Ballack, 36, had invited friends and old team-mates to play in the game in front of a 44,000 capacity crowd at the city's Zentralstadion. His former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho coached the World XI and ex-Germany manager Rudi Voller took charge of the Friends of Ballack XI.
Didier Drogba, Roman Weidenfeller, Philipp Lahm, Ulf Kristen, Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Essien, Miroslav Klose, Lothar Matthaus and Formula One legend Michael Schumacher joined Ballack for his final 90 minutes on the pitch, while a number of high-ranking football officials such as Bayern president Uli Hoeness, Germany manager Joachim Low and German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach joined tennis legend Boris Becker at the match.
With transfer speculation heating up like a Tuesday in Houston, Texas, feel free to add any rumors you here, Bayern related or not!
Also, do you think Franck Ribéry will have a starting spot in the last year of his contract (the 2016/17 season). And finally, if you had a going out party like Ballack, who would be on your starting XI with you, and who would be your manager?
As always, thanks for reading.