Bayern Munich Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 5

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2013

Bayern Munich Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 5

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    Bayern Munich began their new season last night with a comprehensive 3-1 win over old foes Borussia Moenchengladbach, as Pep Guardiola & co kicked off their new campaign in pursuit of defending their multiple trophies.

    Although recently acquired stars Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara were not on show that evening, young defender Jan Kirchhoff, who signed from Mainz in the summer did get a run out for much of the second half as Pep slowly moulds the team in his own image. 

    Yet despite the start of the new season, the summer transfer window is far from finished, as old and new players alike find themselves continuously linked in and out of the Munich club. 

    (Last Update: Saturday, August 10, 10:00 EST)

    Here's a round up of all the latest rumours involving Bayern transfers, be sure to come back regularly for more updates.

Diego Contento (Bayern to Bremen or Liverpool)

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    The latest transfer rumour to reach Munich has been that of lowly squad player Diego Contento, and the apparent buzz and que of clubs ready to fight for his services. 

    A left back by nature, at the prime age of 23 years old, Contento was recently linked with Liverpool in the English newspaper, the Metro, on August 10, in a published article stating that the Premier League side were desperate for a new left sided full back.

    The paper claims it struck such a rumour from 'reports' in Germany that coach Pep Guardiola had told the full back that he could leave, and as such a reasonable loan deal could be agreed between the two clubs, amongst interest from Bundesliga sides Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin

    The actual report, published by Bild(German) on August 8, stated quite the contrary in the manner of suggesting that Bayern would be willing to part with the full back, but only if they kept the services of Luiz Gustavo. As at least one player would have to stay to remain as cover for David Alaba at left back. 

    The German tabloid claims it spoke to ex-Bayern player, Ludwig Kögl, who stated that "There was contact with Werder. What matters is what Bayern want. " but neither he, nor the article itself, mentioned anything about a bid from Liverpool. 

    If a move is on the cards for the young full back, it looks likely that he'll probably stay in Germany. 

Luiz Gustavo (Bayern to Arsenal, Chelsea and Wolfsburg)

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    With Thiago Alcantara's arrival at Bayern Munich well documented, the press have turned to the club with a fine comb and microscope to see just how this new arrival will effect the rest of the squad. 

    One player that seems destined to leave the Bavarian club is recent Confederations Cup winner Luiz Gustavo; Bayern Munich's Brazilian holding midfielder. 

    Bild (German) were the first to jump on this rumour, on July 17, stating that Pep Guardiola deemed the midfielder surplus to demand now that he had decided on the 4-1-4-1 formation for his Bayern side, leaving the Brazilian as third- or even fourth-choice midfielder. Yet no potential suitor was mentioned. 

    The first club to be linked with the Bayern midfielder were Premier League side Chelsea, when Talksport announced on July 16 that the London club were expected to make a bid for the player once John Obi Mikel was sold on. 

    The Metro then followed suit on July 19 with a story linking Gustavo to London again, but this time to Arsenal, where the midfielder would slot in to Arsene Wenger's side as the perfect utility man. 

    Then, on the very same day, Wolfsburg's general manager Klaus Allofs publicly announced his interest in the player in an interview with Bild, which was later picked up by Sky Sports, stating that the Wolves could be interested in the player if he was indeed transfer listed.

    "If you are looking to improve your team, and if the player is available for transfer, you have to discuss the name of Luiz Gustavo. There is no doubt about that," Allofs told Bild"We are interested in him and we have told his agent about that."

    Gustavo's own representative, Roger Wittmann, then spoke to Sport 1, which was reported by (German), stating: "There's nothing to it I can not take this seriously. He is now back in training since Thursday and Guardiola knows the boy just one day has never seen him. He would not just send off Luiz."

    Possibly just a natural reaction from Gustavo and his agent to ensure they aren't publicly supporting a move, but we can be sure that such conversations have taken place at length between the two in private.

    Yet on July 27, Bild broke the story that Wolfsburg had then made an official approach for the player, which Sky Sports then picked up. 

    "We've made contact and expressed our interest," Allofs, again, said to the German paper, "We want to do things correctly. There are still some obstacles to overcome, however."

    The English press weren't too far behind this when on Friday, August 2, the Daily Express linked the Brazilian to Arsenal and Chelsea after the young midfielder spoke to German paper SID stating; "I am very happy at Bayern. I have two years left on my contract, but you don't know what will happen until August 31."

    Yet then again, on August 7, The Express published an article stating that Chelsea and Arsenal were on the verge of losing all hope of signing the midfielder, stating that Wolfsburg had jumped to the front of the que. 

    As quoted in the Express article, Luiz Gustavo's agent, Roger Wittmann has also said that the player will hold talks with Wolfsburg, adding: "If Bayern allows it, we will talk with every big and serious club out there, including Wolfsburg."

    Yet, nothing concrete from either clubs for now. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern to Manchester United)

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    In one of the more peculiar rumours of the summer period, English newspaper The Mirror ran with a story on August 3 suggesting that Manchester United were ready to offer upwards of £25 million for Bastian Schweinsteiger if their current saga with Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas falls apart. 

    The article suggested that the midfielder could well find himself surplus to demand in Pep Guardiola's new side with the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze yet to find their place in the team, despite his importance to the side last season. 

    In spite of that, the article struggled to offer any real evidence to suggest such a rumour had any truth to it. For now, no official offer has been made. 

Emre Can (Bayern to Bayer Leverkusen)

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    On Friday August 2, Bayern Munich announced that young midifelder Emre Can have agreed terms and would complete a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen

    The 19-year-old will move to the Factory Squad with immediate effect and join up with coach Sami Hyypia and the rest of his squad in preseason as the side prepare for a strong Bundesliga campaign as well as Champions League football. 

    Although details of the transfer have remained undisclosed between both clubs, Bayern do have an option to buy back the player in the future for a set fee if such an action is ever requested. 

    In attendance at the press conference, Bayern Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated that “Emre Can is one of the biggest talents in German football,”  before adding, “we’ve taken this step to ensure he gains sufficient match practice, as we’ve done in the past with the likes of Toni Kroos in Leverkusen, Philipp Lahm with VfB Stuttgart and David Alaba in Hoffenheim.”

Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern to Liverpool or Schalke)

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    Another player who has been linked with the Bayern Munich back door is the young Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who looks set to test the resolve of Premier League side Liverpool, in the light of Thiago Alcantara's arrival.

    Despite spending a vast majority of the summer in Bayern's first team against numerous opposition across the club's multiple preseason tours, a regular spot in the starting XI once the competitive games kick in seems unlikely. 

    As such, the media has been speculating for much of the month as to the likelihood of the young player making his way to Anfield and forging a career in England. 

    The rumour kicked in around July 13 when multiple English papers, such as the Metro, suggested the Swiss midfielder was next on Liverpool's radar after missing out on a few targets. 

    This then forced Bayern in to speaking on the matter with club chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stating on July 16, as reported by Sky Sports"Nobody has called about Shaqiri. Right now there are no plans (to sell)."

    "The coach is completely satisfied with him. I think we will go into the season with the current squad."

    As such, nothing concrete has come from Liverpool or Bayern to suggest that any formal bid has been made, but the press have continued on with the rumour and as seen in the Daily Star and Liverpool Echo in the days to follow; Rummenigge's comments seem to have done very little to suggest the move is off. 

    Then as recently as August 2, Schalke's director of football Horst Heldt spoke to German newspaper Bild(German) about the availability of the player, to which Bayern offered a rather stern response. 

    "I got in touch with Matthias Sammer to ask him about Xherdan Shaqiri's availability." Heldt told the German newspaper; "Unfortunately, he made it clear that they do not want to let go of him."

    With Emre Can already on his way out of the club, Pep may be content with holding on to this young star amidst such recent speculation. 

David Luiz (Chelsea to Bayern Munich)

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    In what could quite possibly be nothing more than an opportunistic rumour, Spanish publication Sport have suggested that Brazilian central defender David Luiz is Pep Guardiola's prime target for the following campaign. 

    The premise of such a rumour is simple: Bayern Munich do look rather light in central defence in terms of quality players, and David Luiz is an easy link to a style of football that Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich are renowned for. Player A plays style B football, therefore he is likely to move to club C. 

    The article itself offers nothing more than obvious observations, with no quotes or indeed any facts. 

    However, Luiz has been linked with a move out of London for some time now, usually to Barcelona, and if Guardiola has instructed Matthias Sammer to hunt down a new central defender, then the Brazilian stopper may actually be an astute piece of business. 

    However, on July 3 Matthias Sammer, Bayern Munich's sporting director, denied interest in the player stating, "At the moment we don't plan to bring more players in" leaving us with a rather blunt answer to such rumours." 

    Then, as recently as July 29, Catalonian paper Sport were back among the rumours again suggesting that Luiz was on his way to Bayern, as reported by the Independent among others, all citing the Spanish paper's rumour (Spanish).

    However, Bayern and Pep Guardiola were quick to dispel such a rumour when the new coach stated; "David Luiz will not be coming to Munich," before adding "I have four, five central defenders who I am very pleased with." 

    A move that looks less likely by the day. 

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal to Bayern Munich)

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    Despite the record-breaking defense that helped Bayern achieve such illustrious glory last season, the club seem desperate to bolster their back line in preparation for fresh challenges next season. 

    Dante, the 29-year-old Brazilian defender, had an excellent season for the Bavarian club this year, as he quickly made one of the centre-back positions his own. Yet the lack of a genuine contender to partner with the samba stopper is something that should bother Pep Guardiola. 

    Not surprisingly, a host of defenders have been linked to the club. Possibly the most realistic of the speculation is that surrounding Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny. 

    The 27-year-old French international has quickly established himself as the key defensive figure at the London club and, as such, has found himself linked with the German champions, as well as those from Spain, Barca

    In an interview with Eurosport France on June 16, which was later picked up by Mundo Deportivo (Spanish), Koscielny's agent, Stephane Courbis, said; "There has been no contact at all with Barcelona, [But] I am sure that both Barca and Bayern have included his name on their list of three or four candidates to reinforce their defence."

    The story was later picked up by ESPNThe Daily Mail and Sky Sports News using similar quotes, and suggesting a genuine offer from either Barcelona or Bayern Munich may well be on the table. 

    The Sun then suggested on June 17 that the player would snub such a move to Germany or Spain, due to his love for Arsenal. Without quotes or genuine facts to back up the claims, though, it's hard to consider the article as a genuine twist in any potential move.

    Yet quotes did eventually surface on June 25 when the player spoke to local newspaper la Montage, which was then picked up by the Daily Mail, saying; "I have a four-year contract. For now, I am still at Arsenal."

    Not exactly the kind of statement any potential bidders would have liked to hear. 

Rafinha (Bayern to Schalke)

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    From one in-demand defender to one who's not quite as well regarded, speculation over the proposed transfer of backup full-back Rafinha to his former club Schalke have peaked recently. 

    With only 17 appearances for Bayern Munich this season, the player is well beyond any regard as a necessary member of the Bavarian squad, and at 27 years of age, guaranteed first-team football won't be around for much longer.

    The proposed move to the Royal Blues came about when the club's chairman, Clemens Toennies, spoke to TZ (German) about the Brazilian defender returning to his club on June 5. 

    Speaking to the German website, Toennies said: "I think after my meeting with Rafi that he's a little far purified. He would like to return to Schalke, here is his family."

    One man who stands in the Brazilian's way is Atsuto Uchida, Schalke's current right-back, who's just had a solid Confederations Cup with Japan, despite the nation being eliminated from the tournament early.

    Any potential move will depend heavily on how well Schalke regard the Samurai blue full-back. 

    Similarly, the club have also been linked with Fulham fullback Sascha Riether, as reported in the Daily Star on July 1, which would again ruin any potential move for the Brazilian full-back.  

    With the Gelsenkirchen club certain to invest in the summer in the hope of cementing a strong Champions League campaign next season, backing up any defensive positions would be a wise move, but whether a right-back is the priority is yet to be seen. 

Micah Richards (Man City to Bayern)

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    In one of the comical highlights of the summer, Manchester City centre-back, Micah Richards, has been linked with a move to the Bavarian club amidst a peculiar exclusive from the Daily Star.

    In the exclusive, published on June 27, an unnamed source spoke on behalf of the player stating that Richards was unsure of his future at Manchester City and was willing to look at new options. 

    All well and good until said source brought the Bundesliga champions into the picture, stating: "Bayern have made some inquiries and if a club of that stature want to sign you, then you have to give it serious thought."

    With the paper insisting on an offer from the Bavarian club for the young England international, we'll just need to wait and see if this is simple tabloid journalism or the real deal. 

Nicolas N'Koulou (Marseille to Bayern)

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    Aside from all the feverish transfer speculation surrounding the goalscoring aspect of Bayern Munich's evolving side, quiet reports throughout France have suggested that the Bavarian club may be interested in submitting a bid for Marseille central defender Nicolas N'Koulou. 

    The Cameroonian defender has also interested the likes of Monaco, according to Mercato (French), in a move that would likely raise between €14-20 million from the Ligue 1 side. 

    With the real lack of any definitive partner alongside Dante in Bayern's defence, the need for a confident centre-back is necessary.

    Although Daniel Van Buyten and Jerome Boateng both featured heavily last season in the position, it is unlikely that Pep Guardiola will deem either good enough for a permanent spot.

    In addition to that, Holger Badstuber—the young German defender who offered so much promise in the heart of his club's defence this season—has been hit with further injury setbacks, keeping him out of any plans for the next nine months. 

    A capable central defender seems like a smart buy for Bayern Munich this season, and if Laurent Koscielny—another rumoured option for Bayern—doesn't fit the bill, perhaps Nicolas N'Koulou will suit the Bavarian club perfectly.