It is quite possible that Jerome Boateng played his last match for Bayern Munich in Sunday’s 1-0 friendly win over Manchester United at the Allianz Arena. Almost immediately after the match concluded, a report by Bild stated that Manchester United had made contact with Bayern and Boateng’s representatives to open up negotiations for the towering center back. For most of the summer, Boateng’s been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but it now looks like Man United are in a race against time to acquire his services before the transfer window closes on August 9th.
In Monday’s edition of Suddeutsche Zeitung, Boateng’s attitude and demeanor before, during, and after the Manchester United friendly was described as “melancholy.” Apparently, on the bus ride to the stadium, he kept completely to himself and had his headphones on the whole time, ignoring reporters who were baying for just a few seconds of his time.
On the pitch, the football on display was nothing to write home about, but such is the nature of the majority of pre-season fixtures. Bayern were clearly the better side against a ‘weaker’ United side and Boateng played a total of 45 minutes after replacing Mats Hummels at half time. To be fair, United didn’t give Bayern’s back line too much to think about, but Boateng did pick up a yellow card just minutes into the second half for a rather rash challenge, especially for a pre-season friendly. More tellingly, just after the final whistle, Boateng trotted over to the stadium’s sudkurve and applauded the fans by himself, as if to say; ‘danke und auf wiedersehen.’
Niko Kovac was skeptical of the Boateng to United links and said that, according to him, there’s nothing new to report:
I have three fantastic central defenders, and with Jerome there is no news to the best my knowledge.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić struck a slightly different tone when commenting on the potential transfer:
You know quite well that we won’t say anything about that.
Manuel Neuer also chimed in on Boateng’s potential departure to the Premier League:
Of course we’d miss Jerome; it’d be a shame if he left [for Manchester United].
Suddeutsche goes on to report that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Bayern’s front office would be expecting a bid of around €50m from United if they’re really serious about signing Boateng. His injury history over the past couple of season is part of the reason as to why the club would be open to the sale if United are willing to match Bayern’s valuation of him. Additionally, Niklas Sule was quite impressive last season in his maiden campaign and has continued to impress in preseason, so he’s naturally lining up to be one of Bayern’s preferred starting center backs, especially if Boateng ultimately leaves.
For United, only three days remain in their transfer window and then they’re 2018/2019 campaign kicks off the next day against Leicester City. They face an increasingly tight window to try and get Boateng on board, but if an agreement between both clubs is reached before the 9th, Jose Mourinho would more than likely pull the trigger.