In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge disclosed some interesting details about Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Dayot Upamecano. The 22-year-old has been Die Roten’s top transfer target for upcoming summer and recently, the club hasn’t shied away from making their interest known in public. However, they are facing stiff competition for Europe’s highly sought-after central-defender.
“There are two quite attractive competitors besides Bayern Munich. You now have to wait and see how things develop,” Rummenigge told Sky Sports on Deadline Day, before he himself revealed the names of the two teams: English Premier League’s Liverpool and Chelsea FC.
“The fact is that the player is interesting, of course,” Bayern Munich chairman continues. “It is also a fact that we will lose at least David Alaba at this position. Whether we will have other departures at the position, I can not seriously predict at this point.”
Furthermore, Rummenigge urged patience, stating that the balls are now in the player’s court.
“That depends on how quickly the player wants to have clarity about it,” says the club icon. “We have to let things grow in peace now. I think we have a very good relationship with Mr. Struth (Upamecano’s representative). The relationship is based on trust. Now we’ll wait and see. The player will know what he wants at some point.”
Leipzig, on their part, have reportedly reached a summer transfer agreement with RC Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan. Touted as the replacement for Upamecano, the 20-year old will cost Die Roten Bullen around €15 million in fees.
Rummenigge also mentioned that he has a “trusting relationship with RB Leipzig, so when the whole thing becomes more concrete, we will talk to each other.”
It seems that Bayern are ready to splash big on the France international, who has an alleged release clause of €42.5million. In the event that the Bavarians receive the green light from the 22-year-old and subsequently decide to trigger his exit clause, it will be difficult to finance another transfer of this magnitude in the summer, Rummenigge remarked.
For now, however, the German giants will wait for the player’s decision. “We also owe that to RB Leipzig,” Kalle assured.
No bad blood with David Alaba
As for David Alaba, the man who Upamecano will succeed in coach Hansi Flick’s team, Rummenigge had nothing but words of gratitude for the decade-old stalwart.
“He was always a pleasant person,” the 65-year old said. “He is still totally committed to FC Bayern. He’s an absolutely serious, sweet, nice guy who we all like. He deserves to be treated well until his last day at FC Bayern. We will part in friendship.”
King Kalle believes that the Austrian will leave Munich “99.9%”. “Accordingly, we need to close the gap well. Upamecano is a player who can be trusted to do that.”
Veteran Jerome Boateng is another player whose contract expires at the end of the season. When asked if the negotiations have taken place at Säbener Straße, Rummenigge replied - “We don’t have to decide things now that are due on July 1. I think Jérôme is playing a good season.”
Bayern loaned-out two of their highly-rated youth prospects, Chris Richards and Joshua Zirkzee, on January window’s deadline day. In addition, the quality of the previous summer’s acquisitions has been frequently questioned in the media. Kalle, however, has no doubts over this year’s roster. “When you win five titles, you are great. We have top quality everywhere. We can more than live with the squad,” he declared.
Bayern’s Chairman of the Executive Board also touched on the subject of stadium attendees. He remains hopeful that the fans will soon return to the stadiums in Germany.
“I’m optimistic that sometime in the second half of spring we’ll have the chance to play with spectators again,” said Rummenigge, who also disclosed that the club misses out on four million euros in income per home match. “Probably not with 100 percent, but the more people are vaccinated, the more light comes into the tunnel.”