With the World Cup starting today, it may seem premature to talk about the players Bayern will sell in the transfer window. However, the recent record sale of Douglas Costa to Juventus for €40 million got me thinking: Who are the four most likely players that Die Roten should sell this summer?
Below are the four I think Bayern should sell for monetary reasons. These are players that have been already been linked with a transfer and should be sold purely in the interest of profit—although potential trans raise mixed feelings. (KHR: if you’re reading this, please keep Thiago.)
For players Bayern may be scouting at this World Cup, see yesterday’s BFW World Cup scouting report.
1. Robert Lewandowski
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Lewy has been linked with a transfer to Real Madrid since the last summer transfer window, and now may be the best time to sell him. Since March, Lewandowski has had eight games where he has not scored a single goal, including both the matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Champions League. Most Bayern fans see the team’s success defined by European results, so to say Lewy let the team down may not be far off. At 29 years old, Lewy may soon show signs of age, so it may be time to sell high. Rumors of a transfer fee upwards of €90 million mean that Bayern could sell Lewandowski and buy a replacement (why not 22-year-old Timo Werner?) while still making a profit.
2. Thiago Alcantara
Thiago has been linked with a move to Barcelona since January in a hope to return to his former club. Barcelona’s keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has made it clear that he wants the 27-year-old Spaniard to return to Catalonia. Even Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hinted at Thaigo’s availability when asked about this particular rumor. Bayern have the depth in central midfield with Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Arturo Vidal, and the incoming Leon Goretzka to afford to pocket all of Thiago’s projected €60+ million transfer fee. Thiago is an important member of this squad, but Bayern has the depth to replace him if he leaves.
3. Sebastian Rudy
After being in the squad for one season, Sebastian Rudy has failed to make a major impact on the team. In the 2016-17 season, Rudy scored two goals and nine assists over 32 games for Hoffenheim. Last season, Rudy only scored one goal and created four assists in 25 games. To put that in context, Jerome Boateng has scored more goals and created the same number of assists over 31 games. Rudy further had no impact in the Champions League and only had an assist in the Pokal—in a 6-0 thrashing over Paderborn. Incoming coach Niko Kovac may choose to keep the Sebastian Rudy experiment going, but don’t be surprised if the 28-year-old goes elsewhere. Carlo Ancelotti reportedly would like to lure Rudy to Napoli.
4. Sven Ulreich
Ulreich made the best of a bad situation when Manuel Neuer suffered a season ending injury in September. His effort was well received, as he kept 17 clean sheets over all competitions, including marquee Bundesliga games against Schalke and Dortmund. However, his mistakes against Real Madrid cost Bayern a trip to the Champions League final. Ulreich is not someone Bayern have to get rid of. However, reports suggesting that Bayern are may purchase Jordan Pickford from Everton to be Neuer’s eventual replacement. If that transfer comes to fruition, some teams like Roma or Bayer Leverkusen may look to Ulreich as goaltenders become a hot commodity this summer. Having played the season of his career, Bayern could sell him for a handsome profit, despite having extended his contract in February through 2021.