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The Expensive, Lucrative, and Strange Transfer of Kingsley Coman

Coman's move to Bayern was not traditional, yet it might be a perfect development model.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Kingsley Coman is a Bayern Munich player.

The seven words are the end result of Bayern's long negotiation with Juventus. The 19-year-old will now be stepping onto the Allianz Arena pitch in red, the Rekordmeister are a better team because of it.

His move to Bayern is more complex than that, for this is a transfer the Rekordmeister never did before. Loans are almost a foreign concept for Bayern, the club only completing seven first-team loan agreements in its history. The most recent loan was Takashi Usami, a €300,000 roll of the dice in the second Jupp Heynckes era that paid no dividends.

The rarity of an incoming Bayern loan makes the Coman agreement even more abstract: €7 million for a two-year loan and a €21 million purchase clause Bayern can activate at any time before April 30, 2017. Bayern had the capital to make this transaction a full transfer this summer, even if the net spend on transfer fees is around €50 million. That Bayern elected not to may seem head scratching, but ultimately it is a brilliant, low-risk move from which they can profit greatly.

Make no mistake. €7 million is not a low figure for a loan; not when Franco di Santo, Fabian Schär, and Julian Weigl all make permanent moves to Bundesliga clubs for less. Even on a per-year basis, the Coman loan is the most expensive agreement a Bundesliga club ever undertook.

The fee is not what makes this transaction low-risk, but rather the worst case scenario: Coman fails after two seasons and Bayern sends him back to Juventus. By the same token, that circumstance is no different than Bayern having to take a significant loss two years after purchasing a player. A €7 million loss on a player is a big margin, but it is still roughly half of the loss Manchester United and Real Madrid swallowed this summer on Angel di Maria and Asier Illarramendi respectively.

Meanwhile, the upside to that risk is Bayern find the forward that stands opposite Douglas Costa for the next five years. Bayern may need to buy a player once Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben move on from the club anyways, which means Bayern's transfer policy is being proactive to that eventuality. If a player like Mario Götze, Julian Green, Sinan Kurt, or Fabian Benko beat Coman to the punch, the profitability of that player would likely far outweigh the €7 million hit Bayern would take by sending him back to Juventus.

Bayern have tried to address their flank situation for the past five years, acquiring players like Götze, Kurt, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Mitchell Weiser to address the time after the Robbery era. Half of those players Bayern moved on from, some to a profit (selling Shaqiri for €18 million to Inter Milan) and some for a loss (not renewing Weiser's contract). The reason for the "misfires" was not necessarily performance-based, but also because Ribéry and Robben continued their form into their 30s.

The Coman transaction is an experiment to try and remove some of the frustration associated with those misfires, giving the club and the player an out should events not go "according to plan." Juventus meanwhile hold on to the hope Bayern may make the mistake Paris Saint-Germain did, in turn getting a 21-year-old player that could still have potential.

The intricacies of the move may not ultimately matter. The Bayern front office, regardless of the outcome, about one simple fact: Kingsley Coman is a Bayern Munich player.

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