Per a report by the Daily Mirror, Bayern Munich is shifting focus from its pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic to Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. If true, the change would likely result in a deferment of spending, since Pulisic is considered to be available next summer, while the date for a sale on Havertz is far less certain.
If the report is true (as always, a big if), both Liverpool and Chelsea would benefit as potential suitors of Pulisic:
Liverpool and Chelsea’s hopes of landing Christian Pulisic have been handed a boost. German giants Bayern Munich have also been monitoring the American winger during the last 18 months. But the Bavarians, looking to overhaul an ageing side in 2019, have switched their attention from Pulisic to Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. Havertz, 19, is already a full German international, with two caps to his name. He has been shining for Bayer this term, and has nine goals in 23 games to his name already.
The shift from Pulisic to Havertz would also potentially be a blow to Bayern’s internationalization strategy, which theoretically has aspired to penetrate the North American market by procuring its biggest star. Pulisic, a Hershey, Pennsylvania native, would represent a marketing coup of sorts for Bayern, while Havertz is considered to be one of Germany’s top domestic future stars.
The report went on to state why Bayern *might* be turning toward Havertz instead of Pulisic.
Now Bayern are keen to swoop for the versatile midfielder, at a time when Bayer have sacked coach Heiko Herrlich to bring in Peter Bosz. That may not lend itself to a January arrival, but with Arjen Robben departing in the summer, Bayern are determined to land Havertz in 2019. They are also aware that his value is only going to rise in the coming seasons. As such, Bayern have all but dropped their interest in Pulisic; they reckon he would prefer to head to the Premier League and also that BVB would prefer to sell him abroad. That is giving Premier League sides something of a free run at Pulisic who has just 18 months left on his deal at the Westfalenstadion and is available for the right price in January.
There really is no telling if there is any validity to the report. This is the time of year when teams issue red herrings out to deflect focus from where they are really looking. That said, it would not shock anyone if Bayern was targeting Pulisic, Havertz, or both. Bayern certainly has the capital to make any move happen that it wants.
An acquisition of Havertz seems very unlikely, though. Leverkusen has shown no willingness to let go of the talented attacking midfielder, who it has under contract through June 30, 2022. Simply put, Leverkusen has no pressure or urgent need to sell a burgeoning superstar now for 10 cents on the dollar.
As for Pulisic, I would not necessarily count Bayern out of the running. The club has been linked to numerous possible acquisitions, so names will come in and out of focus repeatedly leading toward what should be a crazy summer of 2019.