Arjen Robben: 5 Clubs the Dutchman Could Sign for This Summer
This week, Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben quashed speculation that he would be moving to a new club this summer. "I still have two years on my deal so why should I leave?" he reasoned with Reuters.
Well, perhaps the 29-year-old should leave because he is finding it increasingly difficult to secure his place in the Bayern Munich starting XI. Or perhaps because it is widely believed that he has been transfer listed by the German giants, with new manager Pep Guardiola deeming him surplus to requirements, according to The Daily Mail.
With these factors in mind, here are five potential new employers for Robben.
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Manchester City are no strangers to being the front-runner in the bidding for a world-class player, and this instance is no exception.
The Daily Mail are among those linking the Citizens to a £12 million move for the former Real Madrid star, which seems a very reasonable price for the 29-year-old. However, The Mail imply his sale would depend on City's ability to meet Financial Fair Play regulatory constraints.
The move may also depend on City's new manager—thought to be Manuel Pellegrini—and whether he would want to drop James Milner, or switch to a formation more conducive to wing play (at Malaga, he currently uses a similar 4-2-3-1 to City).
Robben's place in the City squad may also depend on whether they are seriously trying to take a "holistic approach," as they claimed in Roberto Mancini's exit statement.
The Dutchman has an unfortunate reputation as a troublemaker who looks out only for himself, which might not fit into City's new ethos of harmony and interconnection between all players and staff.
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Robben once compared living in London to "paradise," so it seems he would be more than happy to move back.
Some—such as B/R's John Baines—have mooted a return to Stamford Bridge, where he might play under Jose Mourinho for the third time in his career.
However, in light of Chelsea's intention to prioritise "box office" names like Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcao, perhaps a move elsewhere in London is more likely.
If Tottenham fail to secure Champions League football at the conclusion of the Premier League season, Gareth Bale will probably be tempted away in exchange for a huge transfer fee. Part of those funds could be used to strengthen the midfield with Robben, whom the club were interested in last year, according to Metro.
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At the start of this season, if you were to bet on one of the Milan sides having a disastrous year, it certainly would have been the Rossoneri.
Instead, Internazionale have endured a dire Serie A campaign, with Andrea Stramaccioni's side needing a serious shake-up in the summer.
Robben would be an excellent addition to Inter's underwhelming midfield, particularly if he was to revert to the left side of the park, where they have struggled this season.
According to Bild (via Sports Mole), the Italians are interested in bringing Robben on board for a fee of up to £15 million.
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In their quest to become one of Europe's biggest forces, Turkish Super Lig champions Galatasaray have added a number of high-profile names to their roster, including Didier Drogba, Tomas Ujfalusi, Emmanuel Eboue and Robben's international teammate, Wesley Sneijder.
Goal.com reports that the Dutchman has since insisted he will not go to Turkey, but his recent reticence to admit to wanting a move could simply be a ploy to show his commitment and willingness to be included in the final stages of Bayern's attempt at winning the treble.
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There have been no specific rumours linking the Dutchman to the Anfield side recently, but his combination of Premier League experience and world-class attacking prowess will surely be an attractive prospect to Brendan Rodgers—particularly if Luis Suarez has kicked his last ball in a Liverpool shirt.
Liverpool have the exciting youthful prospects of Suso and Raheem Sterling on the right side of midfield, but Robben could be a viable alternative to someone like Stewart Downing on the left.