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Benjamin Pavard: ‘I have signed nothing’

The World Cup winner might not be a sure thing to sign with Bayern Munich after all

Belgium v France: Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Benjamin Pavard stormed onto the global soccer scene this summer contributing one of the goals of the tournament and playing a vital role for Les Bleus on their way to World Cup glory. Speculation persisted throughout the transfer window linking the French defender to a move to Bayern Munich. It was even reported that a deal for Pavard had been completed and that the world champion would arrive in Munich for the 2019/20 campaign.

Despite the seeming inevitability of his move to the Bavarian capital, the young central defender refuted claims of a done deal in a recent interview with L’Equipe.

You journalists said I had signed for Bayern but I am happy at Stuttgart (...). The World Cup arrived sooner than I expected, even for me. My plan was to stay another season in Germany. I am at a very big club with fantastic fans. I have signed nothing.

Pavard’s denial of the €35 million agreement has also led to speculation that Liverpool remain keen on enticing the player to Anfield, where the 22-year-old would have the opportunity to develop under the tutelage of former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp and pair with Virgil Van Dijk in front of new arrival Alisson Becker.

This could all be much ado about nothing. It was clear some time before the transfer window closed that Pavard would remain in Stuttgart for another season with Bayern his most likely destination. In all likelihood the rising star is displaying a bit of professionalism in hopes of maintaining a positive relationship with supporters in the home of Mercedes-Benz. As he probably saw with Leon Goretzka, fans can be quite brutal to players making the switch to Bayern.

On the other hand, Liverpool is an enticing option. Competition for places is still present with the likes of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, but it is not to the same degree as competition for places at the Rekordmeister. Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng alongside promising youth prospect Lars Lukas Mai make first team action difficult to come by. Liverpool are also currently sitting atop the English Premier League, following a campaign in which they reached the Champions League final. Klopp’s high energy, gegenpressing style is enthralling and a young roster highlighted by the fearsome front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah is enough to excite anyone.

Whether Pavard is just deflecting attention from his future move to Bayern to please his current employers, or his head has truly been turned by another suitor remains to be seen. If the Bavarians are able to capture the World Cup-winner’s signature, then their backline will likely remain a formidable force for the next decade.

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