Next to the Toni Kroos transfer rumors, the most irritating are the Xherdan Shaqiri transfer rumors. Mostly because they frequently involve near-insane player swaps and are almost universally bad ideas. Of course, what month would be complete without another one of these rumors to add to the fire?
A report from Italy's Opti Magazine states that Bayern Munich are sniffing around 26-year-old AS Roma centerback Mehdi Benatia. The report further goes on to outline a potential for swapping Xherdan Shaqiri, Pikachu look-a-like extraordinaire, in the deal. Normally, a single Italian rumor wouldn't be enough to peak my interest, but this is the second source linking Bayern Munich with Mehdi Benatia in as many days.
So, in what ways does this make sense? Well, first, Mehdi Benatia is a 26-year-old centerback so he fills a potential position of need for Bayern Munich given the uncertainty surrounding whether Holger Badstuber can ever return to being the player he once was. Second. Actually, that's the only way.
However, here are the ways he doesn't make any sense. Benatia just moved to AS Roma last summer on a €13.5M transfer from Udinese. He signed a five-year-contract. He has made 28 appearances for Roma as their best, and primary, centerback and is going to be playing Champions League football next season. So, with the sole exception of his wages which are reportedly quite low(€1-2M), there is no single incentive for the player to move or AS Roma to sell.
Furthermore, even adding Xherdan Shaqiri into the pile means nothing because the Swiss international would most likely be playing behind Francesco Totti, so his situation would be no different then what he already encounters at Bayern Munich.
What instead we should be focusing on amongst all these transfer rumors is who is after Xherdan Shaqiri? Roma. Liverpool. Arsenal. These are all huge players in European soccer. Remember that Xherdan Shaqiri is only 22 years old. He is Bayern Munich's future on the wings. He has had incredible flashes of brilliance, tempered by the inconsistency of youth. He's not going anywhere soon unless someone moves heaven and earth to get him. And no offense, giving Bayern Munich Mehdi Benatia does not qualify in that category.