Stuttgart sporting director Michael Reschke has hinted that Benjamin Pavard will be allowed to leave next summer. The France World Cup winner is attracting interest from many top European clubs - mainly from Bayern Munich who have shown a knack for raiding their Bundesliga rivals for top talent in recent years.
A deal transfer to the Allianz Arena could still happen this month as the transfer window in Germany doesn’t shut until 6pm on Friday, August 31. If Stuttgart were to cash in on Pavard this summer then they stand to receive a lot more money than if they wait a year as it has been reported that the defender has a €35m release clause in his contract which comes into play in 2019.
Losing Pavard now would obviously not be ideal for Stuttgart, but Reschke has to look at the business end of any transaction. Stuttgart is reportedly guaranteed €35M next summer for Pavard, but Die Schwaben could stand to make even more cash now if any willing club wants to overpay to secure Pavard for this season. As Reschke told Allgemeine Zeitung ( captured by Yahoo):
Benji is a player for the big clubs, sure. But another year in Stuttgart will do him some good. He will continue to mature here. The fact that he came back from vacation early, that he is already a totally positive part of the team, speaks for itself.
Of course, Bayern Munich is one of the clubs keeping close tabs on Pavard and given Reschke’s long history with the Bavarians, it is not a stretch to think that the Stuttgart sporting director has an idea of how much Die Roten would be willing to pay for Pavard during this window. The Bavarians, however, are not the only team interested in Pavard.
As well as Bayern, there was reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur before the transfer window in England closed on August 9. However, football.london revealed last month that whilst Pavard did fit the bill for manager Mauricio Pochettino, they were unlikely to get involved in an auction for his signature given that Arsenal, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain had also been linked with a move. It remains to be seen what happens to the Frenchman, but staying at Stuttgart does appear to be the most likely option.
Even with the Premier League window being closed, competition from those aforementioned clubs could push Bayern to act sooner rather than later if it really wants to secure Pavard. Any action for the Frenchman would likely have to be preceded by Jerome Boateng transferring out, which now appears to be a long shot.
This is all a huge cat-and-mouse game from Reschke. If I had to read between the lines for what Reschke is trying to say, I’d guess his sentiment is that “We are 100% okay with keeping Pavard this year and cashing out for €35M next summer, but if anyone wants to come stronger than that, we’re open to a sale now.”
Given the seismic shift going on with Bayern’s backline, and Boateng’s ability to freely market himself for a transfer, it is hard to rule out Die Roten making a last minute move should Boateng leave; even if that appears to be highly unlikely giving the timing and lack of potential suitors.
I am not sure Boateng will like the implication that Niklas Süle is the club’s number one option at center back and while Boateng leaving would certainly be a loss for Bayern, knowing that he may not get the call in big games could expedite his efforts to get out of Bavaria.