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Franck Ribery admits he’s keeping his options open for life after Bayern Munich

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The Frenchmen has a bevy of choices for his next move.

Bayern Muenchen v SG Sonnenhof Grossaspach - Friendly Match Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Franck Ribery only has five months remaining on his current contract with Bayern Munich, and he’s admitted that he’s keeping his options open regarding where he’ll play next. The French international is open to the idea of moving to either the MLS, China, Qatar, or Dubai if he doesn’t sign an extension for Bayern.

Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has recently tipped Ribery for a move to Qatar this summer to join the ranks at Al Sadd SC of the Qatari Stars League. Though Ribery didn’t directly respond to Xavi’s request to join forces with him in Qatar, he gave the ex-Barcelona midfielder plenty of praise when speaking to Bild (via ESPN):

Xavi Hernandez is a great player, who performed unbelievably at Barcelona. He knows my situation and I am pleased that he speaks so highly of me.

Still, though, Ribery wants to keep all of his options open at this point, and even suggested that his time with Bayern might not yet be over come this summer:

I turn 35 in April but it’s crazy how well I can play when I am healthy. I am happy at Bayern though so we will see what happens in the coming months.

Back in December, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had stated that the club planned on holding contract extension talks with both Ribery and Arjen Robben at some point during the spring of 2018.

They are both institutions at the club. We know what we have in them and they both mean a lot to us. However, it’s also important how we proceed with them. We won’t decide this any time soon, but we will have serious discussions with them both -- I’d say sometime at the start of spring.

At 34 years of age, Ribery’s health and fitness level will likely factor into the decision of whether Bayern chooses to extend his contract. He spent a good month and half on the sidelines earlier this season due to a torn knee ligament, making way for increased minutes from the likes of Kingsley Coman, James Rodriguez, and Robben, who’s working his way back from a muscle injury himself.

If Ribery’s hat-trick in Bayern’s 5-3 friendly win over SG Sonnenhof Großaspach is any indicator of his health and fitness, though, he’s certainly on course to be an impact player during the Rückrunde, as Bayern pursue silverware on three fronts.

With the second half of the season ahead of him, Ribery has put talk of his future on the back burner and remains fully focused on the task at hand, winning:

It’s nice that we are a few [11] points ahead but we have to stay at it and do the job in Leverkusen. We haven’t won anything yet. We have to go on the attack again in the second half of the season.