The recent news that Bayern Munich center-back Jerome Boateng would not be back with the club next season caught the veteran defender by surprise. With that reality setting in, Boateng is now juggling the thoughts of staying focused on this season with the Bavarians, while also weighing his options for the future.
“As you have correctly stated, I am a person who loves to get to know new cities, new cultures and new people,” Boateng told Goal in an extensive interview. “I’m actually not the type who likes to stay in one place for a long time. Accordingly, Paris, London, but also cities outside Europe are interesting for me.”
The news that Bayern Munich was not bringing him back, however, still stings — especially because he had no knowledge that the information would be leaked.
“I was surprised by the coverage and would have liked to have sat down beforehand. But now I don’t deal with it anymore,” said Boateng. “I have always said that I would like to get to know something different and take on a new challenge. I feel really good and in top shape and have delivered and performed in the last few months. That is also the feedback I get from Hansi Flick and my teammates. That is the most important thing for me.”
Boateng will not let his uncertain future become an issue as Bayern Munich is a leading contender to secure another treble.
“My focus is 100 percent on defending the five titles from last season with the club,” Boateng said. “When the day comes when we part ways, I will look back proudly on these years and many successes with this club. Not many footballers are allowed to experience something like this. At the same time, I look ahead full of motivation and look forward to what’s coming.”
Boateng also knows that he is not alone in facing uncertainty regarding next season. Back-line mate David Alaba is also going through the process and is enduring a harried set of negotiations with Bayern Munich.
“That is a very difficult subject. I do not know the details and therefore cannot comment,” said Boateng. “I know David is a great guy and a great footballer — and I can only say that his character is not shown correctly if he is portrayed as greedy for money in the news.”
In spite of all of that, Boateng still looks back at the past year fondly. When Hansi Flick took the reins from Niko Kovac, Boateng felt assured he would be given an opportunity to prove his mettle once again.
“Shortly after he took over, he said, ‘Jerome, I know what you can do. The most important thing is that you get fit.’ (Last) December he said it was my decision whether to go or stay,” Boateng said. “But he said that he would be happy if I stayed. Hansi Flick assured me that if I perform well, I’ll get the same opportunities as everyone else. That was enough for me.”