The Daily Mail reports that two London clubs — Arsenal and Chelsea — are leading the race to sign the German defender, as he looks to continue his career in top-flight football. With Boateng’s contract expiring this summer, he would be free to leave to whomever he chooses.
While his starting time hasn’t been in doubt, Sport Bild’s initial reporting yesterday claimed Boateng is unhappy at the club and feels that he is unappreciated and under supported. The Mail adds to this by saying Boateng feels appreciation only from manager Hansi Flick.
If Boateng does leave for London, it will not be his first time playing in England. He left Hamburger SV for £10.6 million to join Manchester City for the 2010/2011 season. He made 24 first team appearances with the Cityzens and won the FA Cup that year. In the summer of 2011, he made a transfer request, citing his desire to earn more call-ups to the German national team. Boateng moved to Bayern for £12 million and the rest is history.
Either London club would be an interesting destination for Boateng, given Bayern’s history with both teams. He started in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final in Munich which saw Chelsea beat Bayern for their first European crown — but also started in both legs of the Round of 16 clash with the Blues en route to the 2020 UCL title. As for Arsenal, the defender didn’t make an appearance in Bayern’s demolishing of the Gunners by a 10-2 aggregate score in the Round of 16 in the 2016/2017 season. But, a few seasons prior, in the same round during the 2013/2014 season, Boateng helped the team in their first leg of a 3-1 aggregate elimination of Arsenal.
As to who needs Boateng more, it seems Arsenal lead in the misery department. With an inconsistent backline filled with mostly young defenders, bringing in a veteran like Boateng would make the most sense. As for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been vocal about his desire to improve the defense. But, with the Blues linked to names like David Alaba, one would wonder whether or not Boateng is high on their list.
Time will only tell where the German defender goes, but between now and then, he remains one of the top center-back options at the reigning Bundesliga champions.