One week ago, former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger claimed that Bayern Munich had meddled in the transfer of Serge Gnabry to Werder Bremen a year before before he joined Bayern. A report from Sport Bild now seems to confirm Wenger’s suspicions that Bayern was involved in Gnabry’s transfer away from the Gunners all along.
It all started when Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saw Gnabry on TV when he played for Germany against Fiji at the 2016 Olympics, scoring two goals. Rummenigge called then technical director Michael Reschke and told him to sign him.
Reschke set to work. Sport Bild outlined that the transfer maneuver that ultimately brought Gnabry to Bayern. It was a win for all parties involved — except, of course, for Arsenal:
Werder was also interested in Gnabry. A win-win-win situation: Werder gets its target player, who can mature there for a year. In addition, Arsenal, where Gnabry did not want to renew his contract, would demand a lower transfer fee from Werder than from a top club like Bayern.
In the end, Bayern, Werder Bremen, Gnabry, and even Hoffenheim benefited from the situation. Werder paid Arsenal €6m, and Bayern then paid Werder €7m, essentially getting Gnabry for free while Werder and then Hoffenheim both had a fantastic talent in their ranks for one year:
This way Werder got its dream player for one year and in 2017 they received €1m [net] for the transfer to Munich. The money, in turn, was immediately collected by Bayern as a loan fee from Hoffenheim, because Gnabry was loaned out there for a season.
When Gnabry’s transfer to Bayern in the summer of 2017 was made official, he was almost immediately sent out on loan to Hoffenheim. Gnabry later explained that Hoffenheim was be the best next step for him. He said,
After my meeting with Julian Nagelsmann, I wanted Hoffenheim to be the next step in my career. There were other offers, but that was where I could develop best.
After a few years of constantly moving to different clubs and cities, Gnabry finally made it to Bayern where he has now established himself as a regular starter. Gnabry continues to become more and more of an influence at the club on and off the pitch. In many ways, Gnabry epitomizes Bayern and it’s ideology.