The injury suffered by Manchester City’s Leroy Sané seems to have sent Bayern Munich scrambling to find a timely way to bolster the squad. According to Sport1, the Bavarians are taking a close look at three candidates to help provide speed, depth, and a scoring punch to the offensive unit. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, PSV Eindhoven’s Steve Bergwijn, and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech are among the leading contenders for Die Roten.
Per Sport1, however, there is some internal conflict surrounding Werner in the Bayern front office:
According to Sport1 information, there were more and more doubts after the second half of the season on whether Werner would strengthen Bayern despite his speed and goal scoring. Even (Bayern sporting director Hasan) Salihamidzic is not one hundred percent convinced of the national striker. In addition, the right-foot is not a typical outside player, which is why his possible commitment has so far been considered independent of a possible Sané deal. Werner sees himself in a central role.
While Sport1 also covered the obvious news that Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi was likely to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge, the outlet dove into some lesser-discussed names including Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, FC Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé, and even former Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.
Each option, it seems, is a long shot. Interestingly, Sport1 refuted the reports by Italian journalists Fabrizio Romano and Gianluca DiMarzio that indicated that Bayern was deep into negotiations with Perisic:
According to Sport1 information, the 30-year-old Croatian has been judged by the organization as not suitable for Bavaria and was therefore not an option.
Sport1 then went on to reiterate the report from kicker that Dembélé was no longer a candidate, while also bringing Ribery into the mix:
Franck Ribery would still be available free of charge. After twelve years with FC Bayern, the 36-year-old was only dismissed in June, but still has no new club. One thing is clear: the Frenchman is fit and wants to stay with his family in Munich.
As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
The Sport1 report seems valid on the surface, but Bayern Munich is not naive in the art of negotiation, which makes me a bit skeptical on some of the information presented. Below, I’ll take a quick run at my take on each potential transfer target:
- Timo Werner: Werner fits Bayern’s requirement for versatility and could play a key role at either wing position, striker, or as a secondary striker. No doubt, Werner has blazing speed and a knack for scoring, but the newfound doubt internally about Bayern seems (it has been widely reported that the cub has agreed to personal terms with Werner), shall we say, curious. With a move for Sané no longer a sure thing, Bayern realizes that RB Leipzig knows that the Bavarians need to make a splash. The is essentially a stare down between the organizations and it’s impossible to say who will blink first. Will Bayern give-in and pay more the €30-€40 million valuation that Werner is worth or will Leipzig play hardball long enough that it misses the transfer window deadline and risks losing Werner on a free transfer next summer?
- Hakim Ziyech: Skilled, speedy, and productive, Ziyech is an easy get if Bayern thinks he is worth the €25-€35 million numbers that have been bandied about. Where Ziyech comes into doubt is how he would fit in. The Bayern offense has a clear hierarchy with Robert Lewandowski sitting at the top of the pyramid. The offensive corps is always focused on getting the Polish Hitman involved and feeding him at will. At 25, Ziyech is a more experienced option, but also on that has more of an inclination to go it alone. How that would play in Munich would be very interesting to watch play out on the pitch. Still, if a move for Sané goes off the table, Ziyech might be worth the relatively cheap gamble even if he can’t be reigned in.
- Steve Bergwijn: PSV Eindhoven already shot down a €25 million from Sevilla for Bergwijn, so we know that it will take north of €30 million to land the talented 21-year-old. The problem with Bergwijn is that he almost seems too similar to the current group of wings including Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, along with back-ups and fellow youngsters Alphonso Davies, and Fiete Arp. Does Bayern really need another kid who probably needs consistent field time to be effective on the roster? Probably not.
- Ivan Perisic: A move for Perisic — or any player of that ilk — is one that Bayern should consider, in addition to adding a more long-term option. Bringing in a big-name, young talent is crucial. Certainly, securing Leroy Sané or Callum Hudson-Odoi would have been a complete and utter game-changer for the Bavarians. An experienced, skilled, flexible, veteran presence, however, is also something that could of great value to Die Roten over the course of a long season. Regardless of whether or not Bayern can sign Werner, Ziyech, or Bergwijn, it should absolutely be looking for a veteran to bring in as well.
- Franck Ribery: I think it is safe to assume that Bayern Munich already had this conversation with Ribery last season regarding if he would have been willing to stay on in Munich as a mentor for the young wings and put aside his burning desire to be on the pitch? The guess here is that Ribery decided he had too much left in the tank to take a back seat to anyone. It’s a nice thought — great rationale even — but it just feels like Ribery wants to be a featured player somewhere and not end his career riding the pine.