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Bayern Munich considering Jonas Hector to replace Juan Bernat

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Jonas Hector of Koeln wears a shirt with a message against discrimination for the campaign 'Say No to prejudice', an anti-discrimination campaign of the DFL foundation, prior to the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koeln and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at RheinEnergieStadion on March 18, 2018 in Cologne, Germany.
Jonas Hector, March 18, 2018.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

If and when FC Köln is relegated to the 2. Liga after its catastrophic return to European competition in 2017, left-back and sometime defensive midfielder Jonas Hector will likely be among the casualties: his contract includes a release clause in the event of relegation for a sum of €7-8 million—a steal for an excellent player who has played 35 times for Germany.

According to Kicker, Borussia Dortmund is especially interested in the discount national player, although captain Marcel Schmelzer is their regular starting left-back, backed up by Raphaël Guerreiro. But Kicker has also learned that Bayern Munich are interested in Hector. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has reportedly already been in touch with the 27-year-old.

Whether Hector would join Bayern is another question: he would most likely have to content himself to be David Alaba's backup at left-back, while he might enjoy much more playing time elsewhere.

Bernat wants out; Rafinha deliberates

There is good reason why Bayern may be seeking a new second left-back. Per ESPN FC's Mark Lovell, Kicker's Thursday print edition revealed two more pieces of news regarding Bayern's left- and right-backs.

Bayern Munich's Brazilian defender Rafinha (L) and Bayern Munich's Spanish defender Juan Bernat attend a training session at the team's training grounds in Munich, southern Germany, on April 11, 2017, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal football match between FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Rafinha and Juan Bernat share a moment together, April 11, 2017.
Photo by Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Current backup left-back Juan Bernat, who joined Bayern from Valencia in 2014, will seek a new club after the current season with Bayern's blessing. Bernat is under contract until 2019. This summer will be Bayern's last opportunity to transfer him elsewhere for a fee.

On the right, the future of Brazilian right-back Rafinha is also uncertain. Bayern have reportedly made him a “very good offer,” but he has yet to commit himself. The club has given him a deadline as he makes up his mind whether to remain at Bayern for one more year or to rejoin his family in his native Brazil.