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Bayern Munich Summer Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumors and Updates

Clark WhitneyFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2013

Bayern Munich Summer Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumors and Updates

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    The 2012-13 season is not yet finished and still Bayern Munich are looking ahead to the next campaign. The Munich giants have already secured incoming coach Pep Guardiola's "dream signing," Mario Gotze, as well as Mainz defender Jan Kirchhoff.

    Although Bayern's squad is veritably packed with world-class talents, there remain a great number of rumors linking star players with moves to Munich.

    On the other hand, some of those who have been riding the bench are now being linked with transfers away from the Allianz Arena.

    Click "Begin Slideshow" for a roundup of all the latest rumors involving Bayern transfers, and be sure to come back regularly for more updates.

    LAST UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5

Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund to Bayern)

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    Bayern Munich have three strong strikers in Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro, but are still aiming to add Robert Lewandowski to their ranks. The BVB man is one of Europe's most dangerous and coveted strikers, and signing him would have a twofold advantage for Bayern: It would strengthen their squad and be a hefty blow to their domestic rivals.

    Although Bayern continue to deny a deal with the player has been sealed, popular sentiment in Germany is that the player and Bayern have agreed to two contracts: One that would take effect this July should Dortmund agree to sell him and another that would begin on July 1, 2014 when the Poland international's contract with BVB expires.

    Jupp Heynckes' agent revealed in April that Bayern had an agreement with Lewandowski, and independent reports from the Daily Mail and Bild have backed up these statements. The latter broke the news of there having been two contracts agreed.

    Having been forced to sell Mario Gotze due to the player's buy-out clause having been activated, Dortmund have no intention of selling a second key figure to their domestic rivals. CEO Hans-Joachim Watkze had set a deadline of May 15 for clubs to submit offers for Lewandowski and none has been revealed.

    In an attempt to force a move to Bayern, the player has reportedly told Dortmund's bosses that he would only accept a transfer to Munich. BVB would be more willing to sell to a foreign club should an offer of €25 million be tabled, but a transfer could only occur if the player and buying club were to reach an agreement that the player has allegedly ruled out.

    If they don't sell to a foreign team, Dortmund could simply keep Lewandowski until his contract expires in 2014. BVB are not financially compelled to sell him and might prefer another season with their star striker rather than starting anew with a different target man.

    After the Champions League final, Jupp Heynckes nonetheless suggested it wouldn't be long before Lewandowski signs with Bayern. And Lewandowski's agent is doing everything he can to make the deal go forward sooner than later. On Monday, May 27, he said: "Robert will play for Bayern when Borussia keep their word. The two clubs only have to reach an agreement. It's a matter of a week or two, maybe three."

    Even Lewandowski has spoken out to push for a transfer. In an interview with Sport-Bild on June 5, he said: "I expect everything to be cleared up now so that I will be allowed to move to my dream club this summer. That would be the best for everybody involved."

    Given that the topic is being openly discussed at Bayern and by the player and his agent, surely a deal cannot be far away.

Mario Gomez (Bayern to Chelsea, Manchester City, Napoli or Fiorentina)

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    There are many top-class strikers available in the transfer market this summer, and as they move, their clubs will be looking for replacements. Falcao has already completed his move to Monaco, but among the big names still being discussed are Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Mario Gomez.

    Although Gomez is Bayern's all-time top scorer in the Champions League and found the net 80 times in the two seasons preceding the current, he is very much a forgotten figure in Munich.

    The 27-year-old has rarely played under Jupp Heynckes, with Mario Mandzukic having established himself as first choice. With Pep Guardiola set to replace Heynckes this summer, Gomez's future in Munich appears bleak.

    If Guardiola opts to use a "false nine" system as he did at Barca, Gomez's days in Munich are surely over. The same can be said if Lewandowski moves to Bayern. Even in the current Bayern setting, without any tactical and personnel changes, Gomez is unhappy as a backup—his agent revealed this as recently as April and asserted that things cannot stay as they currently are for his client.

    Like with Arjen Robben, a lot depends on the offers Bayern and Gomez receive. Chelsea had long been linked with Falcao before the player joined Monaco.

    Chelsea were immediately linked with Cavani in the aftermath, although Gomez was reported in April to be their first-choice alternative if the Falcao deal were to collapse. Bild corroborated that story, claiming Chelsea had made contact with Gomez's agent.

    On June 3, Bild updated their Gomez narrative, claiming interest from both Napoli and Fiorentina. The next day, Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that Gomez had no interest in moving to Serie A, but Chelsea remained interested and Manchester City had joined the race for the Bayern man, who would cost in the region of €30 million. According to the player's agent, Uli Ferber, "In the next three or four days, his direction should be clear."

David Alaba (Bayern to Arsenal)

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    David Alaba may be one of the world's best left-backs, but according to Sport-Bild, Arsenal are interested in signing him to play in midfield. And the player allegedly prefers midfield, where he began his career and currently plays for the Austrian national team.

    Alaba has a contract with Bayern that expires in 2015, and the Bavarians are allegedly working towards extending his deal. Given the club's treble-winning success, it's unlikely that even playing in his preferred position will convince the player to try to force a move. The London club's interest may provide leverage in his contract negotiations, however.

Rafinha (Bayern to Schalke)

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    Ever since David Alaba emerged as Bayern's long-term full-back opposite Philipp Lahm, Rafinha has been a backup on the right of defense. At 27, he still has some of his best years ahead of him, but faces a frustrating situation in Munich.

    In early April, Bild reported that Schalke were prepared to send the player a lifeline and offer him a contract. Shortly thereafter, the player revealed that he'd neither heard from the Gelsenkirchen side, nor had he considered leaving Munich before his contract expires in 2014.

    After the Champions League final, Bild published an update on the Rafinha-to-Schalke story, claiming that due to Bayern's victory the Konigsblauen had earned €5 million as part of their package to sell Manuel Neuer two summers ago. And Schalke had allegedly decided to use that money to bring Rafinha back to Gelsenkirchen, where he played from 2005 to 2010.

    On June 5, Schalke boss Clemens Tonnies confirmed a meeting with Rafinha, adding: "He would like to return to Schalke, this is his family."

    With the World Cup set to be played in Rafinha's home country of Brazil next summer and Maicon and Dani Alves past their best, the Bayern man may be tempted to move to Schalke to make an impression on Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Rafinha has played in just 17 matches this season, averaging 45 minutes per appearance, and would therefore be a reasonable loss with which Bayern could cope.

Mario Mandzukic (Bayern to Dortmund)

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    Having already lost Mario Gotze to Bayern and with Robert Lewandowski close to sealing a move to Munich, Dortmund are keen to strike back at the Champions League winners.

    According to Sport Bild, BVB will negotiate a sale of Lewandowski to Bayern if and only if the Bavarians offer one or both of Mario Mandzukic and Xherdan Shaqiri as part of the deal.

    Mandzukic exceeded all expectations in his first season at Bayern, relegating Mario Gomez to the bench as he scored 22 goals in all competitions—including the opener in the Champions League final. But if Bayern are aiming to sign Lewandowski, they surely intend for the Poland international to be a starter. And that could well unsettle Mandzukic, who certainly will feel he deserves more than to be benched after such an impressive season.

    Bayern are in a good negotiating position, given that Mandzukic has a contract that runs until 2016. And Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently told Bild that the player's sale is not being considered at Bayern. He added: "Mandzukic scored the extremely important 1-0 in the Champions League final. Moreover, he had a great season."

    Mandzukic still holds some power, though, but BVB would need to give him a very attractive offer for him to burn his bridges in Munich.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern to Dortmund)

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    In the same report that revealed Dortmund's interest in Mario Mandzukic, Xherdan Shaqiri was also linked with a move to the Ruhr area.

    The 21-year-old had a less successful first season in Munich than did Mandzukic: He warmed the bench even after Toni Kroos' season-ending injury in early April.

    When he signed with Bayern, Shaqiri may have expected considerable minutes off the bench as he looked to break into the first team within a year or two. But Arjen Robben has roared back into form, Franck Ribery has yet to decline, and most critically, Bayern have signed Mario Gotze as yet another option in attack.

    Although Shaqiri may have hoped to soon be in Bayern's top three in an advanced midfield position, he now is sixth in the pecking order. And as he approaches his 22nd birthday, bench-warming is becoming less and less acceptable.

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is adamant that Shaqiri has a future at Bayern, and told Bild a sale is "No option at all." He added: "Xherdan Shaqiri will be a great player in the future and will become even more prominent."

    Like Mario Mandzukic, Shaqiri has a contract that will expire in 2016. But if Dortmund will not sell Lewandowski without the Swiss attacker moving the opposite way, Bayern may be tempted to deem Shaqiri an acceptable loss.

Claudio Pizarro (Bayern to Hamburg, Dortmund or Schalke)

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    Much like Mario Gomez, Claudio Pizarro cannot expect to earn much playing time at Bayern next season. The veteran striker, who will turn 35 later this year, has delivered for Bayern whenever called upon this season.

    Given his age and competition from Mario Mandzukic and possibly one or both of Gomez and Lewandowski—not to mention, a possible tactical change to a "false nine" system—Pizarro's prospects at the Allianz Arena are rather bleak. His contract expires at the end of June, and as of yet, there has been little discussion of an extension.

    Hamburg have been linked with Pizarro, who recently stated his intent to stay at Bayern. Still, with an incredible record of 14 goals and nine assists in just 1150 minutes of play this season, the Peruvian has proven that he has something more to offer. If given a considerable offer, perhaps he would accept a move a club like HSV where he would be higher than a third- or fourth-choice option.

    More recently, Bild reported that Dortmund are now interested in signing Pizarro. Although a younger striker is believed to be Robert Lewandowski's long-term replacement at BVB, the still-useful Pizarro would add experience and quality to the Dortmund team.

    Schalke have also joined the race to sign Pizarro, according to Sport Bild. According to the publication's Twitter account, the Gelsenkirchen side made contact with the player's agent. Schalke have little depth behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and could use a player of Pizarro's quality. Speaking with Bild, Schalke manager Horst Heldt recently confirmed interest in the striker. And coming on a free transfer, the price is right. But first, it will have to be seen whether the player is offered and decides to pen an extension at Bayern.

Sebastian Rode (Frankfurt to Bayern)

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    In late April, Frankfurt CEO Heribert Bruchhagen revealed that Bayern had reached an agreement to sign midfielder Sebastian Rode. The player's contract is set to expire in 2014, and according to Bruchhagen, the Bavarians had convinced Rode to sign a long-term deal with the Munich giants.

    Weeks later, Bruchhagen spoke freely on the topic, claiming that he had no intent of letting Rode leave this summer, despite the player having rejected an extension. According to the Frankfurt chief, the €6-8 million that could be garnered from the sale of Rode would not be sufficient to replace the player.

    By now, it's quite clear that Rode and Bayern have every intent to make a transfer happen sooner or later. The Bavarians are in a good position to force Frankfurt's hand if they want the 22-year-old next season, although how Rode will fit into the squad is still very much an uncertainty.

    While Bruchhagen has often spoken on Rode's impending transfer, Bayern have been silent.

    Whether they intend to use the player as a long-term replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger—in which case there would be no use in paying for him this summer—or as immediately needed extra depth if they loan out youngsters like Emre Can and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is unknown.

    Although Bayern have been quiet, Rode himself has spoken of his interest in joining the club, which he labeled "the most interesting club in the [Bundesliga], if not in Europe."

Neymar (Santos to Bayern)

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    Neymar had long been linked with a move to Barcelona, with a transfer reportedly close to being confirmed. However, former Santos vice-president Vicente Cascione recently claimed that the 21-year-old's transfer to Bayern was already a done deal.

    On his personal website, Cascione wrote:

    "I have this information first hand. Neymar has signed for Bayern Munich. It's already a done deal. I am not speculating here. This information is irrefutable. From August this year on, the player will be part of Bayern's squad. So his next destination will not be Spain, like many expected. He's not going to Barcelona or Real Madrid. He will go to Germany."

    Casione was proven wrong on the night of Saturday, May 25, when Barcelona announced the signing of Neymar. Bayern president Uli Hoeness later revealed that incoming coach Pep Guardiola wanted to sign the young Brazilian, but the executive vetoed the move in favor of a transfer of Mario Gotze.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Bayern to Zenit)

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    With his contract set to expire at the end of June, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk appears set to leave Bayern. The 34-year-old finds himself behind Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Luiz Gustavo in the pecking order, and made just 16 Bundesliga appearances (only three in which he played the full 90 minutes) this season. With new signings on their way and youngsters set to be promoted in the Bayern squad, the Ukraine international has no future in Munich.

    Tymoshchuk will join Zenit, the very team he left for Bayern in 2009, this summer. Luciano Spalletti, coach of the Russian side, confirmed the of re-signing the 34-year-old. Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later confirmed that the player would leave Munich at season's end. The veteran had previously suggested he might choose to sign an extension but evidently could not come to an agreement with the club.

Arjen Robben (Bayern to Manchester City or Juventus)

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    Arjen Robben's brilliant resurgence of form has caught the interest of many of Europe's ambitious clubs, with Manchester City and Juventus allegedly mulling bids for the winger.

    The mercurial Dutchman scored in both legs of the Champions League semifinals with Barcelona and was a candidate for man-of-the-match in the DFB-Pokal semifinal against Wolfsburg.

    Still, with Kroos expected to be fit at the start of next season and Mario Gotze having already confirmed his transfer to Munich, it would be a surprise to see Robben earning very much playing time with the Bavarians in 2013-14.

    Hope springs eternal for Robben, however, and the player recently expressed his intent to see out his contract (which expires in 2015) at Bayern. Moreover, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated on Saturday that Robben's sale at season's end is "not an issue."

    Robben will not be satisfied to warm the bench indefinitely, but for now it seems he has not given up on his chances of earning substantial playing time under Pep Guardiola. And it seems Bayern are not yet ready to let him go.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United to Bayern)

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    Shortly after outgoing Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Wayne Rooney had submitted a transfer request, the Sunday Times claimed Bayern were interested in signing the England international this summer.

    The report was largely ignored in the German press, and Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer flatly rejected the claim and burned any possible bridges to Rooney by stating that Bayern "have stopped buying ageing foreign players and trusted in [their] youth development."

    Because of the nature of Sammer's denial and due to Bayern's apparent preference for Lewandowski, it's unlikely that a move for Rooney is in the cards. The striker may well leave Old Trafford this summer but not for Munich.

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