In an exclusive interview with Munich’s Abendzeitung, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge indicated that, despite various rumors to the contrary, the club presently still intends to exercise its purchase option to acquire Colombian superstar James Rodriguez permanently. Rummenigge also addressed Bayern’s plans concerning club legend Oliver Kahn and a potential homecoming by none other than Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Concerning James, Rummenigge reiterated his own personal fandom of the star:
I still out myself as a fan of James. He has in incredibly fantastic left foot and is a world star in my opinion.
Rummenigge indicated that Bayern still plans to purchase James permanently from Real Madrid as his initial loan comes to and end this summer. Bayern, however, has no intention of finalizing its decision before it has to. Rummenigge stated,
The option that we have we have to exercise by June 15th. So we still have plenty of time. But I have to make it quite clear that everyone here is happy with him. I firmly believe that James will also play for FC Bayern next season.
There has been incessant speculation that James Rodriguez’s preference is to return to Real Madrid, fueled in part by the star’s own candid statements about his affection for the city and club. James has also indicated that he wants more playing time under head coach Niko Kovac. Rummenigge, however, denied that James and Kovac have a troubled relationship. He stated,
I’m sure that Niko Kovac sees James’s quality exactly the same way (as myself) and now is also very happy with him. I don’t believe the two had a problem (with each other).
In other news, it has now been confirmed that Oliver Kahn will join Bayern’s executive board in 2020. Presuming that all goes well and both parties are satisfied, the goalkeeping legend will then succeed Rummenigge himself as chairman. Rummenigge praised his designated heir:
Oli would be capable of successfully performing this important job. I’m sure of it. He embodies everything that you need in this job. He played soccer at the highest level and therefore enjoys the acceptance of the public and the fans. And he has acquired skills in the financial and economic branches after completing his second education.
Rummenigge added, however, that the club will ensure that Kahn receives sufficient time to acclimate to his new functions. If the club’s supervisory board then feels confident of his readiness, Rummenigge will hand over power to him:
Still my successor will have to be with us at the club for a certain amount of time. That is important and necessary. If the supervisory board then gives Oli its confidence, I will be prepared to integrate him and collaborate with him harmoniously, and then I would pass on the baton to him.
“The exact details and timing,” he concluded, “still have to be decided.” Be that as it may, the transition from the era of Rummenigge and Hoeness to something new is already underway.
Whether he takes part in that tradition is a tantalizing question, but Bastian Schweinsteiger remains a definite subject of interest at his beloved former club. Rummenigge expressed his personal hope that Schweinsteiger might return to Säbener Strasse in some capacity in the near future. He told AZ,
FC Bayern is always interested in binding important former players to the club. For example, I would also like to have Bastian Schweinsteiger with us. But I don’t know whether he’ll ever comes back to Munich. For me, it was one of the most emotional moments of last year when Basti took a lap of honor after his farewell game. I thought to myself: his conduct, which was always extremely serious, upright, and amiable, paid off. I’m in touch with Basti relatively often. We regularly text and also sometimes talk on the phone. I told him he should think over sometime whether that is an attractive option for him.
Basti’s farewell was, of course, also a major highlight for Bavarian Football Works itself, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we would be thrilled to see Basti back at the club in Munich.