Per a new report by Bild+, AS Monaco defender Benjamin Henrichs has decided to join RB Leipzig instead of Bayern Munich. The German international is said to have already agreed personal terms with Leipzig and that a long-term contract is on the table. The only obstacle Monaco and Leipzig still face at the moment is lining up a concrete replacement for Henrichs and agreeing on a finalized fee. Monaco want somewhere around 25-million Euros while it’s understood that Leipzig don’t really want to pay much more than 20-million Euros.
Leipzig sporting director Markus Krösche said they want to try and get Henrichs as soon as they can in order to get him integrated with squad as quickly as possible:
It may still take some time. Basically, we try to complete transfers as early as possible so that the player is with the team quickly and the coach can work with him. But it’s clear that Benni is already a bit used to this way of playing from Leverkusen under Roger Schmidt. Nevertheless, it’s a bit different. In general, I’m not a friend of very late transfers.
Krösche also highlighted Henrich’s versatility, as he can play a handful of different positions depending on the system Leipzig choose to deploy for any given match:
He can be used in many positions. Benny can play right and left full-back and at the [number] six (in midfield). He would bring even more flexibility into our game. But we haven’t got him yet, so there’s no need to talk about it.
Apparently, Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann was one of the key reasons why Henrichs ultimately chose Leipzig over Bayern. He outlined a clear plan for Henrichs and it was made clear to him that he would be a big part of Leipzig’s future.
By stark contrast, Bayern was only interested in offering Henrichs a loan spell during this (winter) transfer window due to the defensive injuries that currently hamper their squad. Specifically, Bayern has been floating the idea of trying to sign a right back in order to let Joshua Kimmich continue to play in midfield.
Not for nothing, either, but Henrichs also already has some familiarity with Leipzig’s training grounds. Back in January 2017, Leipzig wanted to sign Henrichs after Marcel Halstenberg had torn his cruciate ligament. Then sporting director and former manager Ralf Rangnick had sent a private jet to Cologne to have Henrichs flown in to Leipzig, however he had ultimately decided to stay with Bayer Leverkusen at the time and then joined Monaco in the summer of 2018. Now, everything seems to have come full circle and it looks like he will be a Leipzig player as soon as a fee is agreed upon with Monaco.