As silly season reaches its climax, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has indicated that Bayern remains active in the transfer market, although not in the direction most fans would want.
It’s normal that there are a lot of rumors coming in during the transfer season, it’s well known that we have nine midfielders and a maximum of three to four positions, which is a lot, actually too much. Therefore, both we and the coach are of the opinion that if one or the other player wants to go, we will deal with it seriously.
This has been the stance of Rummenigge since the summer began, as new man Niko Kovac may find himself facing a selection crisis before he manages his first Bundesliga match. With an unforgiving locker room, filled with world class talent, Kovac could be sunk before he ever gets the chance to swim if the squad remains this size.
Along with supporting Kovac through transfer dealings, Rummenigge has expressed his pleasure with the new methods of the young, Croatian manager:
It’s a bit of a new journey for us, but I still think Niko has an exciting, positive track record behind him and we’re convinced of him. He trains quite hard, and most important, he has our full trust and approaches the job with zeal.
Offloading midfielders is a natural progression of this support, while players in other areas, such as Jerome Boateng, may end up making way for future targets.
The chopping block
Now that Vidal has exited, who will be the next casualty of Bayern’s transfer policy?
The Spanish midfield maestro seemed like he was headed back to Spain just a few weeks ago. The Bayern brass have backtracked and asserted their intentions to keep him. Despite injury concerns, Bayern’s number 6 oozes class and is one of the best central midfielders in the world on his day. He presents and interesting option in both the attacking and defensive midfield positions. Despite the need to offload, letting Thiago leave would seem to be a rash decision considering his playmaking qualities. His future likely lies in Munich for at least this campaign.
Although the German pivot only arrived from Hoffenheim last season, the arrival of Jupp Heynckes greatly decreased his role and raised questions about his abilities and place in the team. The 28-year old is an interesting case. Some promising performances under Ancelotti and a strong, but brief World Cup cameo has reminded some of the reasons Die Roten signed Rudy. His versatility and nonstop motor seem to fit Kovac’s tactical system, but with interest from the likes of Napoli and RB Leipzig, Rudy may not be given the opportunity to prove his quality.
The development of the former golden boy has come to a screeching halt since his arrival in Munich. A disappointing loan spell at Swansea and links to his former club, Benfica, seemed to spell the end for the Portuguese international. That was until Kovac arrived. Kovac along with Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness have expressed their desire to retain his services in hopes of reviving his career. The former Eintracht Frankfurt boss has demonstrated an ability to develop the likes of Oscar Mscarell and Ante Rebic, making Sanches an exciting project. He is unlikely to be sold or loaned.
Javi Martinez has only loosely been linked with Napoli this summer and has shown signs of life in the preseason as a defensive midfielder and a center back. In terms of ability, Martinez would find himself on the outside looking in, but his age and injury record also diminish his value on the market. If Jerome Boateng gets his move away from the Bavarian capital the Spanish midfield destroyer is the perfect depth option at the back and in the midfield. Javi’s tenure of loyal service to Bayern is likely to last at least one more season.
Jerome Boateng is a world class defender who when paired with Mats Hummels is a part of one of the most formidable center back pairings in the world. Boateng has also accomplished a great deal at Bayern and has alluded to his desire to try something new in the twilight of his career. Manchester United and Paris St Germain have expressed interest and Rummenigge and Hoeness are open to negotiations. The rise of Niklas Süle and imminent arrival of Benjamin Pavard the midfield selection crisis and a breakdown in relations between Boateng and the Bayern hierarchy may make this the most logical move. Süle has proven he can be an elite center back alongside Hummels and youth is on his side. Boateng’s departure would also likely mean Martinez would play mainly at the back, which would lighten the midfield load. Losing a world class defender and leader is always difficult, as many Bayern players have indicated they would like the German international to remain with the Rekordmeister, but it may be the most logical and potentially valuable moves Bayern could make.
Who do you think Bayern will offload?