Bayern Munich have finally announced the official transfer of Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for a hefty fee of €80m, making him the most expensive Bundesliga transfer ever. Not only that, he’s also become the most expensive defender ever, toppling Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk transfer fee of £75m when he moved from Southampton FC.
Some managers and representatives from other Bundesliga clubs enviously reacted (via t-online.) to hearing the news of Hernandez’s blockbuster move to Bayern. At such a high fee, no other club really comes close to being able to afford a player with that price tag
Michael Zorc gave the diplomatic equivalent of no comment, stating simply, “Every club has its own transfer policy.” While his comment was calm and collected, there’s certainly an opinion that he more or less has chosen to keep to himself considering Bayern are consistently Dortmund’s biggest rivals in the Bundesliga.
Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl took a less diplomatic approach when he commented on the transfer, re-iterating the fact that few clubs across Europe have as much spending power as Bayern:
Those are numbers that are utopian for us. We can only dream of such numbers in Mönchengladbach. We’re light-years away from FC Bayern. Besides Bayern Munich, there are only eight or nine teams that can cross such limits.
Hannover 96 general manager Horst Heldt took it another step when he said that he feels the transfer market has completely lost its touch with reality. At a club like Hannover, their yearly budget is just about as much as Bayern paid to acquire Hernandez , so he said it’s difficult for them to keep up:
Damn (pfui Teufel!), that’s a massive sum. What a soccer player is worth has little to do with the reality of life. Even here in the Bundesliga, we’re reaching a dimension where other clubs have already long been established. It’s a market that has developed. One person is ready to invest such a sum. Another is ready to give up his player. For us at Hannover 96, what this player costs is a yearly budget. We invested €17 million in several players. It’s obvious that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up. You have to try to come up with other ideas.
Before Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso was the Bundesliga’s most expensive transfer, costing Bayern a total of €41.5m from Lyon, almost half as much as Hernandez’s cost. Both Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had long since been opposed to mega money transfers, but they’ve both promised a big summer in the transfer window to rejuvenate the squad in order to bolster their prospects on all fronts, and in particular, European competition. The signing of Hernandez could prove to be the dawning of a new era at Bayern, and perhaps even the Bundesliga itself.