5 Biggest Transfer Names Already Linked to Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich
Having swapped FCB allegiances from Barcelona to Bayern Munich, it’s of little surprise to see Pep Guardiola’s newest club already being linked with a raft of big-money summer moves.
Given the recent success of Die Roten and their push back towards Bundesliga dominance this season, this summer should have a massive impact on whether the club can maintain the shift back towards German, and perhaps even European, dominance.
With a squad already packed to the rafters with talent, the introduction of one of the world’s best managers will only make the allure of the Allianz Arena that much stronger, and the following five superstars are some of those who may be tempted into resisting its call.
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One of the in-form frontmen of the German top flight, Robert Lewandowski’s recent exploits in sinking Bayern hopes appear to have irked the Bavarians so much so that they’ve decided to end the issue by just signing him themselves.
Lewandowski’s current deal with BVB expires in the summer of 2014; rather than cash in on his signature now, it appears the Black and Yellows would rather bide their time in finding a suitable replacement before losing Lewy on a free transfer.
Such a move presents an odd quandary for some as Guardiola never really dealt with a forward of Lewandowski’s nature at Barcelona, and one would think Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gomez to be ample firepower for the Spaniard, but that hasn’t stopped the rumours flying.
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Considering that Bayern Munich are currently one of Europe’s biggest performers, it seems only natural that the Bavarians be associated with South American tease, Neymar.
The Bundesliga leaders are fortunate to have recorded the biggest revenue numbers of their history back in late 2012 (via SportsBusinessDaily.com) and are as likely a club as any to be able to afford the £86 million price tag on Neymar’s head.
No, you didn’t hear wrong. Spanish publication Sport (h/t Metro) recently reported that it would take a world record-breaking fee of £86 million to take the young Brazilian to the Allianz Arena this summer, beating off competition from Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Neymar has impressed the world outrageously in his Santos career so far, and while there are worries that the 21-year-old wouldn’t be able to adjust to Europe’s style, he remains one of the most sought-after talents in the market.
After beginning his pursuit of Neymar back in his days at the Camp Nou, it seems Pep Guardiola is set for a second hunt of the youngster in Munich this summer.
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After finding himself benched for a pivotal Champions League second-leg tie with Real Madrid, the inevitable bombardment of transfer speculation arose around Wayne Rooney, plenty of which has pointed towards a Manchester/Munich switch.
The Guardian recently reported on the matter, coming to the conclusion that it’s really up in the air as to whether Rooney remains a highly valued commodity at Old Trafford or is available to be cashed in on.
Honorary Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer recently added weight to his club’s argument, with ESPN reporting the German legend as saying that he’d welcome the Englishman’s arrival at the Allianz:
"I would be very, very happy if Wayne Rooney decided to come to Bayern Munich. But is this a rumour or is it true? I don't know!"
While Red Devil figures such as Sir Bobby Charlton say that Rooney will be given a new contract (via BBC Sport), that shred of doubt remains after the Champions League debacle that unfolded against Los Merengues.
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After his most fruitful season in Liverpool colours to date, reports of a Luis Suarez summer departure from Anfield are beginning to gather momentum.
The Daily Mail’s Laurie Whitwell recently wrote on Suarez’s success on Merseyside, discussing whether or not the Uruguayan’s pedigree makes him ready for a bigger challenge.
While that might certainly be true, Suarez has on several occasions defended his love for the Reds, but the lack of recent success at the club may force the striker to seek silverware elsewhere.
A lot may rest on just how well Brendan Rodgers’ side do in their quest for European football this season and just whether or not their star striker is ready to settle for another term of the Europa League.
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Somewhat of a more surprising story given the striker’s age and history with Pep Guardiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have recently put himself on Bayern Munich’s radar after declaring some admiration for the Bundesliga.
Currently top of Ligue 1’s scoring charts, the Swedish international put a bit of fear into PSG minds, saying that a move to Germany isn’t out of the question (via FIFA.com):
Sure, the Bundesliga would appeal to me. One day, perhaps. I still have a bit of time left. Obviously, if I go to Germany, then I go to Bayern Munich. For me they are in the top five clubs in the world.
I've lived in five countries, in Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and now in France. I got to know the people and the culture. This has shaped me.
It’s hard to argue against Ibrahimovic being one of the world’s most prolific strikers and even at the age of 31, the veteran forward continues to impress European audiences with his scoring exploits.
Ibrahimovic played under Guardiola during his single season at Barcelona and endured a tumultuous relationship with the Spaniard, then with the Catalan club's managerial staff.
Whether or not Der FCB will take the Paris Saint-Germain superstar up on his dream this summer is another matter entirely, but it’s unlikely the Qatar-owned club will want to sell what is arguably their most powerful weapon.