After experiencing a brief illness, center-back Jerome Boateng is back in training for Bayern Munich, per Az. The 30-year-old completed an hour long session at Sabener Strasse that was predominantly comprised of fitness and coordination exercises while the rest of the squad was given the day off having played Schalke 04 on Saturday and a friendly against Bayern fan club Vilshofen Rot Weiss on Sunday.
So far this season, Boateng has only featured in the DFL Supercup, which Bayern lost 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park. Boateng was an unused substitute for Bayern’s Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin, as well as its first round DFB-Pokal clash against Energie Cottbus before missing out on the Schalke match because of an illness.
Niko Kovac is showing a preference to Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard, and Lucas Hernandez, especially considering the fact that Pavard can be deputized either as a center-back or as a right-back where he played against Schalke.
It’s not difficult to see that Boateng’s playing time at Bayern is now significantly threatened by the depth in defense, leaving his future in question.
What does Boateng’s future look like?
The summer transfer window is open for another week, which poses the question; will Boateng ultimately decide to leave Bayern? The narrative regarding his future with Bayern has changed several times over the span of the past four months. Toward the end of the 2018-2019 season, Boateng often times cut quite a frustrated figure, making it seem increasingly likely that he would push for a move this summer. Uli Hoeness had even gone as far as recommending Boateng try to find a different club just after Bayern had clinched their 7th consecutive Bundesliga title.
The longer the summer went on without Boateng finding a new club, though, the more Kovac and his teammates began to vociferously back the defender, saying that he’s still a vital part of Bayern’s squad and that they do not want to see him leave. It was a complete turnaround on what the general feeling was at the end of the season regarding Boateng’s future with Bayern.
The Premier League transfer window has already closed, so if Boateng does wind up leaving, he’ll have to go somewhere in one of Europe’s other leagues. Reports out of Turkey last week suggested he was close to reaching an agreement with Fenerbahçe, but Bild reporter Christian Falk gave that the ol’ flex treatment:
Despite Bayern saying they would accept an offer for Boateng of around €25m from an interested club, as BFW’s Ineednoname put it last week in his op-ed, options just seem to be far too slim for Boateng and Bayern at this point:
At the moment, it seems like Boateng will remain at Bayern, not because the club wants him, but because he has nowhere else to go. As the transfer window rapidly draws to a close, it remains to be seen how the Boateng saga concludes — but it’s rather baffling to see a club whose stated intention is to compete on all fronts let quality depth leave for no good reason.