With the advancing age -- and seemingly imminent retirement -- of Claudio Pizarro, the question of who would fill the backup striker role for Bayern Munich next season has been of particular importance. This week, multiple sources have reported that Bayern Munich are looking at adding Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Raffael to their ranks this summer.
Swiss tabloid Blick first reported the rumor Tuesday on their transfer ticker with few details besides he would be Pizarro's replacement and that rumor was independently reported by Express Wednesday who stated that a fee of €15 million was being proposed for the 30-year-old Brazilian striker.
Why It Makes Sense
Of all the strikers in the Bundesliga, Raffael is one of the most defensively ferocious and a great presser. With Guardiola's aggression in winning the ball, he would be an immediate success as a reserve striker and as a depth signing in attacking midfield if necessary. In addition, his advancing age guarantees this will likely be his last shot at winning Bundesliga or European silverware, let alone his last chance at a salary windfall -- both of which Bayern Munich can offer.
Why It Doesn't Make Sense
Those same strengths that Raffael can bring to Bayern Munich would also be the reason he doesn't move. Raffael is a very important cog in Lucien Favre's setup at 'Gladbach and with two years left on his contract and their looming participation in the UEFA Champions League, they're going to need every hand on deck. Couple that with the transfer of Max Kruse to VfL Wolfsburg, and the idea that 'Gladbach would go into the continent's most lucrative competition -- at least for Bundesliga clubs -- with a completely new and unfamiliar striker set doesn't sound particularly likely.
Ultimately though, it's probably more likely that those conditions ensure Max Eberl gives the phrase hardball new meaning.