Remember when life was simple? Bayern Munich had a stable midfield, future captain Joshua Kimmich at the helm. One former Leipzig player, Marcel Sabitzer, looked set to be displaced by another, Konrad Laimer on a free transfer. Hey, maybe Laimer wouldn’t start, and like Sabitzer, find his way out after a few seasons — but at least he was head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s desired “pressing machine”.
Now it’s a mess! Kimmich is staying,
maybe probably, but neither pivot partner Leon Goretzka nor the incoming Laimer look to have a clear place in Thomas Tuchel’s side. Oh, and Kimmich is apparently vacating the No. 6 role. So the search for a new defensive mid is just getting started.
The latest is Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, whose contract is expiring and would therefore be a free transfer. Bild has the report and puts the 28-year-old Frenchman’s probable contract likely in the second tier on the Bayern squad.
Bayern are interested in Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who will be a free agent this summer. Bayern already had their eye on Rabiot back in 2019. The player's mother/agent wants an increase on his current salary (around €7m net per year) [@cfbayern, @altobelli13] pic.twitter.com/cioDbzLKin— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) May 23, 2023
Still, Rabiot would arrive on a free while other targets, such as West Ham’s Declan Rice, would be very expensive. Rice is already the apple of many a top English club’s eye, from Chelsea FC to Arsenal. Plus the English tax.
Rabiot checks a lot of other boxes for the Rekordmeister too:
- Long admired by the Bayern bosses, and such players have a way of finding themselves in Bavaria sooner than later (see: Matthijs de Ligt, also after a Juventus misadventure).
- No stranger to being the center of some drama (see: the summer 2021 EURO) and so will slot right into FC Hollywood.
- He’s French, and would join a large and growing contingent of French-speaking players on the Bayern squad.
- He’s left-footed, and Bayern don’t have a lot of senior team players who could say the same. Different passing angles!
- He can play left-back (at least, France national team coach Didier Deschamps thought so), adding versatility in reserve should Bayern bid good-bye to Daley Blind and Manchester City loanee João Cancelo in the same transfer window.
Finally, while Rabiot is a high-intensity, get-stuck-in tackler, he’s got more than a little bit of a No. 8 in him and can play box-to-box. That is to say: a six who isn’t quite or at least not exclusively a six, who doesn’t even like playing in defensive midfield, and could help ensure the No. 6 position remains a topic of conversation for a long time to come.
But in seriousness: perhaps he’s the exact profile Kimmich needs in a partner, and if there’s reciprocal interest, it’s hard to say no to a free.
So, welcome aboard!