Bayern Munich Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 12
Welcome to the definitive source for all things regarding transfers and rumors in and out of Bayern Munich, throughout the summer and 2013/14 season.
(Last Update: Saturday, August 16, 12:00 EST)
Bayern began their new league season this weekend with a comprehensive 3-1 win over old foes Borussia Moenchengladbach, as Pep Guardiola & Co. began their new campaign in pursuit of defending their multiple trophies.
Yet in spite of the new coach finally coming to terms with all the players in the club and having a reasonably idea as to his starting eleven, the media continue to persist with rumors linking new stars to the club, and established players away from the club.
Here's a round up of all the latest rumours involving Bayern transfers, be sure to come back regularly for more updates.
Luiz Gustavo(Bayern to Arsenal and Wolfsburg)
With Thiago Alcantara's arrival at Bayern Munich to accompany Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez in the central of midfield, the press had 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 seemed 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.
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 Sueddeutsche.de (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."
The news then picked up the pace on Sunday, August 11, when the Guardian and the Telegraph published similar articles stating that Arsenal were closing in on the player. The next day, on August 12, the Independent announced their own version of the story.
On the same day, Sky Sports then broke that Arsenal had tabled a bid of £17.2 million for the Brazilian, stating that talks were at an advanced stage despite the player being away on international duty at the time being. The story also reported that Gustavo was not wiling to make the move to Wolfsburg as he preferred the prospect of Champions League football.
Alas it would be that this transfer saga would be yet another one that slipped through Arsene Wenger's fingers when Bayern Munich confirmed on August 16, with an official announcement on their site, that the Brazilian midfielder would be joining Wolfsburg this season.
“On behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to express warm thanks to Luiz Gustavo for his two and a half years in Munich,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge upon announcing the undisclosed deal, “his calm but always friendly and extremely professional manner has won him many friends at our club. We could always rely on Luiz Gustavo, and he made his contribution to FC Bayern winning the treble last season.“
Diego Contento (Bayern to Bremen or Liverpool)
One player who could also be on his way out of Munich is squad player Diego Contento, with an apparent que of clubs ready to fight for his services.
A left-back by nature, at the prime age of 23 years old, Diego 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.
Since that article in the Metro, the story has seemed to go cold, aside from a lonely IBT article regurgitating the same information, as the British and wider European press fixate over the current situation with Luiz Suarez.
Yet if a move is on the cards for the young full back, it looks likely that he'll probably stay in Germany since no genuine evidence has suggested that the Premier League side are actually interested.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern to Liverpool or Schalke)
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 out of the club, Pep may be content with holding on to this young star amidst such recent speculation. Or, however unlikely, we may well see Shaqiri loaned out in the hope of picking up enough game time to continue his development.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern to Manchester United)
Aside from the serious news of Gustavo or Contento leaving Bayern Munich, a news story was published in the English press which forced most to fits of laughter.
Acorrding to a story in English newspaper The Mirror, which was published on August 3, 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 and vice-captain 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 among the cries of laughter.
Emre Can (Bayern to Bayer Leverkusen)
The 19-year-old moved to the Factory Squad with immediate effect and join up with coach Sami Hyypia and the rest of his squad prior to the sides opening Bundesliga game against Freiburg, in which he did not feature.
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.”