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Arjen Robben considering a move to MLS, China, or Qatar after Bayern Munich

The Dutchman wants to end his career abroad.

Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and FC Schalke 04 at Allianz Arena on February 10, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Arjen Robben.
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Arjen Robben is coming to terms with the fact that his Bayern Munich career is nearing its end. The former Dutch international has enjoyed a decorated career with Bayern, having helped the club to six Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, and a Champions League trophy in 2013, which he scored the late winner for.

Robben’s current one year contract is set to expire this summer along with Franck Ribery’s. The club stated at the end of January that they would assess their contract situations in the near future.

While a final decision have not yet been made at this point, Robben is already mulling his options for the future, even if he stays at Bayern for another season in more of a secondary role. When asked about whether he could see himself in the MLS, China, or Qatar, Robben responded (via ESPN):

That’s exactly the current topic of conversation at my kitchen table at the moment, when talking to friends and family. Now is the time that I have to make a decision. A few years ago, it was usually relatively straightforward but I am approaching the end [of my career] now and I have a lot to think about. It’s not easy but it’s also exciting. A lot is still open but I have already ruled out certain things in my head—but they are staying private.

Despite being 34 years of age, the midfielder has shown few signs of fading fitness levels. He’s been an integral part of Bayern’s record of 21 wins from 22 matches under Jupp Heynckes. Thus far, Robben has tallied 5 goals and 10 assists from 24 appearances across competitions this season, suggesting he still has quite a bit left in the gas tank:

I’m still feeling very fit at the moment and believe I can still play for one or two years more at the highest level—that is my goal. I’ve achieved everything in my career that I set out to—with the Champions League as the crowning glory.

Additionally, Robben made a point to highlight the impact Heynckes and his coaching staff have had on the squad since taking over back in October, saying that he “would be happy if Heynckes continued.”

It’s super to have Jupp Heynckes back. He, Peter Hermann [assistant] and Hermann Gerland [assistant coach] all know the club inside out and what every player needs. There was a turnaround from the very first day and of course that was down to the coach. I would be happy if Jupp Heynckes continued—but it’s his decision alone and whatever happens we have to respect it.

Notably, Robben has worn the captain’s armband on 8 separate occassions this season after Heynckes was appointed manager, a testament to Robben’s leadership and influence on the rest of the squad.

The imminent arrival of both Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry this summer, coupled with the rise of the in-form Kingsley Coman will certainly be weighing in the back of Robben’s mind with regards to his future at Bayern. It’s up to him whether or not he wants to potentially assume a secondary role, or move on to a different employer to close out his career.

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