Benjamin Pavard’s current contract at Bayern Munich is set to expire next summer and every indication from the player and his representatives thus far points towards the 2018 World Cup winner leaving in the summer. Despite having a bright start to the Hinrunde as Julian Nagelsmann’s first choice at right back, things have started to go a little downhill for Pavard, as Noussair Mazraoui had been preferred in a handful of matches in the Champions League and Bundesliga ahead of Pavard. This was followed up by him getting benched for Jules Kounde with France at the World Cup in Qatar that caused him to make negative comments about Didier Deschamps, his coaching staff, and some of his Le Bleus teammates.
Pavard’s behavior and posturing has made it quite clear that he wants to leave the club, even though a significant window has opened up for him. Lucas Hernandez is out with his ACL tear and Mazraoui faces a spell on the sidelines with a bout of pericarditis, making more opportunity for Pavard to get more minutes. He prefers a center back role but has to compete with both Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt in that department, which is part of the reason why he wants to leave to be able to go somewhere and be a center back.
Per information from Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg (via @iMiaSanMia), Bayern is set to hold talks with Pavard about his contract this spring. It is well understood within the club that the player wants to leave and that a contract extension is highly unlikely, though not completely off the table at this point. Pavard, given the injury situations of both Hernandez and Mazraoui, will likely play a pivotal role, at least in the beginning phases of the Rückrunde, so that could, in theory, change how he feels about not extending his contract, especially if he goes on a very solid run of form.
Pavard’s camp has already shopped him to Barcelona and there are other clubs that would be interested in signing the French international, but most top clubs are currently in search of a right back, not a center back. Pavard’s preference to play in the center of defense is making it more difficult to find suitors, so much to the point that even Real Madrid had inquired about him, but nothing concrete or any contact has been made, per Plettenberg. It’s also suggested that Pavard could imagine a move to Italy to play for a Serie A club.