VfB Stuttgart defender and 2018 World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard is reportedly seeking to leave Die Schwaben during the upcoming winter transfer window, while his club seems unwilling to let that happen.
Allegedly frustrated with the performance of his squad, Pavard is seeking to hasten his exit. The Bavarians have been linked to the versatile defender many times over the past six months and Sky Sports is reporting that Pavard’s desire to leave Stuttgart has been expedited.
Benjamin Pavard is dissatisfied with VfB Stuttgart. The reasons: the exhausting relegation battle, the constant chaos and the coaching change to Markus Weinzierl. The 22-year-old would therefore like to fulfill his dream of playing in the Champions League in winter.
Pavard reportedly has a €35M release clause, but that would seemingly be within Bayern’s price range should Die Roten elect to pursue the 22-year-old. Sky also indicated that Pavard has multiple suitors, but he has a preference to stay in the Bundesliga.
The German record champion is not the only one interested. According to Sky’s information, SSC Napoli has redoubled its efforts to obtain the Frenchman recently. Carlo Ancelotti would like to bring the defender to southern Italy. But the Frenchman’s goal is clear: he wants to stay in the Bundesliga!
Stuttgart sporting director Michael Reschke issued a statement through Sport1, indicating that the club is not considering a winter move for Pavard.
Michael Reschke just told @SPORT1: “There are no plans to give up @BenPavard28 during the winter break.” @VfB #fcbayern #Pavard
Per @iMiaSanMia, Bayern coach Niko Kovač also addressed the rumor at his press conference earlier today and seemed to scoff at the notion of adding Pavard in the coming weeks.
Kovač on the Pavard rumours: "I still think he is a very good player, but we have three centre backs. It makes no sense to get a fourth and a fifth. I don't think we will get him in January" pic.twitter.com/BNs9PdhNKI— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 11, 2018
Even if Pavard was able to make a winter move, his immediate availability to any team might be in question. Pavard suffered a muscle tear in his thigh in Stuttgart’s match against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which will have him sidelined for at least the rest of this month.
.@BenPavard28 suffered a muscle tear in the back of his right thigh during Sunday evening's match at Borussia Mönchengladbach.☹️ We wish you a speedy recovery, Benjamin! #VfB pic.twitter.com/VVoOjTjzQa— VfB Stuttgart_int (@VfB_int) December 10, 2018
The Stuttgart defender injured himself while conceding an own goal in the 84th minute. Unfortunately, Die Schwaben had already made their three changes and had a man sent off, so Pavard was still forced to fight through the pain for a spell.
We wanted to get him off before, but he didn’t want to let the team down.
Pavard’s ability to shift between center-back and right-back make him especially attractive for Bayern. Joshua Kimmich’s move to CDM has created a lack of depth at right back, while Bayern has also battled inconsistency with its center backs at times this season.
The trickle down effect on this type of move - should it happen in the winter or the summer — is fascinating. If Bayern is successful in procuring Pavard, this could trigger a permanent move to CDM for Kimmich and subsequently open the door for Bayern to explore a sale of players like Javi Martinez or Renato Sanches.
If Pavard is seen as a center back of the future, then Bayern would seemingly still be in the market for a defensive midfielder to allow Kimmich to return to right back.
There are many possibilities for how this could work should Bayern initiate a deal for the Frenchman. We can only wait and see how it all develops.