Dante and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg will be allowed to leave the club this transfer window, Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer confirmed to Abendzeitung after the Champions League draw in Monaco. Both players will have to approach management with an offer from another club.
Although Dante has been linked to Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg and his former club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, the timing of this announcement is a little surprising, considering the current situation at central defense. Holger Badstuber, Javier Martinez, and Jan Kirchhoff are still recovering from long-term injuries. Medhi Benatia also pulled up lame in the Hoffenheim game with a thigh muscle issue, and Jérôme Boateng has to sit out a game after getting his second yellow in the last match.
"If Dante comes to us and asks us to leave, then we will deal with that," Sammer said. He also pointed out that the Brazilian, who is signed through 2017, has not approached Bayern's management, but the implication is that there is obvious interest.
Despite vowing earlier in the summer to fight his way to playing time in the loaded and highly competitive midfield, the 20-year-old Højbjerg has probably realized that match experience with the Rekordmeister will be hard to attain. Both the player and the club appear to have made the decision that the Danish national needs to play somewhere, but, to calm every Bayern fan's fears that the club would be letting such a young talent leave, Sammer stated that the only option would be a loan.
Among the clubs that are reported to be interested are FC Augsburg, where the Dane spent a very productive and successful six months last season on loan, and now Schalke 04, who may be looking for a replacement for Julian Draxler, rumored to be leaving for Juventus Turin. Even AC Milan have been mentioned as a possible destination. However, the front-runner right now is Bayer Leverkusen, according to BILD, and they would take on the youngster for a year.
Loaning out Højbjerg seems like a no-brainer, and it would be nice to see him follow in the footsteps of Toni Kroos (except for the last few, where he left for Real Madrid), another Bayern youth product that gained valuable experience while playing at the Bundesliga rival. However, it will be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola would handle losing Dante at a time where he has no other CBs that are ready to play. Even when Boateng returns from his suspension, who would partner with him in the middle?