For his performances in the World Cup with France, Benjamin Pavard of VfB Stuttgart quickly became one of the most sought after transfer targets for a number of top European clubs, with Bayern Munich at the top of the list. As recently as last week, it was reported that Pavard had already agreed to join Bayern in the summer of 2019 when has a €35-million release clause in his Stuttgart contract that can be triggered. Bayern, though, were in talks to try and advance that move to this summer, but Stuttgart are reluctant to let him go if Bayern don’t raise their bidding price.
According to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić met with Pavard and his agent, Joseph Mohan, back in June during France’s 0-0 draw with Denmark in Moscow. Both sides had already guaranteed their advancement to the knockout stages by that point, so France, in particular, fielded a weakened side. It was during that brief meeting where Pavard apparently made a verbal agreement to join Bayern in the summer of 2019, when his release clause can be activated.
In Stuttgart, sporting director Michael Reschke ascertained that Stuttgart wants to hold on to Pavard at least until next season, but admitted that the financial situation [surrounding any given transfer] must always be evaluated:
It is the absolute wish of VfB that Benji plays one more season for VfB Stuttgart with full conviction, but of course as a professional club [one must] always let the overall economic situation also influence the decision-making process.
Reschke’s remarks echo the current situation Bayern have with Jerome Boateng. The towering center back has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that the two clubs are in advanced talks to reach an agreement for him. If a deal does actually materialize, this would give Bayern increased funds to up their ante to bring in Pavard this summer instead of waiting until next summer, and it would also almost ensure a starting spot for Pavard. The two transfers, at least at some capacity, seem to be contingent upon one another, but Bayern would likely have to up their offer to somewhere around €50m if Boateng joins PSG and Stuttgart give Pavard the green light to move earlier than initially anticipated.
If Boateng does leave for the French capital, Bayern could be making a calculated risk by upping their bid to bring n Pavard. Additionally, if Boateng stays, and so does Pavard, a lackluster season for the latter with Stuttgart could even make Bayern reconsider having to pay the €35m release clause. As is the case with most transfers, there are a lot of moving parts to this one, but nonetheless there is a good chunk of time left in the summer window to get things fully sorted.