Speaking with Fox Sports Brasil, as relayed by the Mirror, the 30-year-old revealed he was closing in on a switch to Old Trafford, adding, “I’m thankful for the Manchester United interest. It will all be sorted out by the end of the month.”
Bayern Munich defender Dante has agreed a deal to sign for Manchester United, according to Fox Sports Brazil.— EPL Stuff (@EPLStuff) January 21, 2014
Dante joined Bayern Munich from Borussia Monchengladbach for just under €5 million ahead of last season and played a major role in the club’s historic treble under former manager Jupp Heynckes.
In an interview with this writer back in November, the centre-back remarked that while it had taken “a while to understand” what incoming boss Pep Guardiola expected from the Bayern players, the team had nevertheless adapted well to the Spaniard’s methods, with Dante, himself, expressing praise for Guardiola’s “modern way of thinking.”
He also stated that Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger were the best players he had worked with over the course of his career.
That said, a January transfer to United would almost certainly enhance his wages—perhaps considerably—and it’s in this light that reports of his Bayern exit need to be taken in the context of his contract.
It’s quite possible the United and City stories are part of a strategy to increase his wages at the Bundesliga giants, and just last week the Brazilian’s spokesman, Leo Scheinkman, rebuffed the building talk of a Dante exit from Allianz Arena, telling talkSPORT reports of any transfer were “just rumours.”
“He is happy working with [Pep] Guardiola and is focussed on having another great season in Germany ahead of next summer’s World Cup in his native Brazil,” Scheinkman added.
Real Madrid and Manchester City are both interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Dante. [BILD]— Transfer Talk (@EPLBible) January 16, 2014
Of course, Dante’s Tuesday remarks wouldn’t seem quite as believable if United’s defensive crisis wasn’t so pronounced.
Club captain Nemanja Vidic—currently suspended—has battled numerous injuries in recent years and is out of contract at season’s end. As is Rio Ferdinand, which means the defensive corps that propelled the Red Devils to five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown will finally be broken up.
And without a world-class pairing in two of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, it seems manager David Moyes will be looking outside the club for defensive reinforcements.
Dante could well be part of that recruitment strategy, and United would do well to at least make an approach for him in the coming days—if they haven’t already.
But there remains one question in all of this that has yet to be addressed, and that would have to be answered before any agreement could be reached: why would Bayern sell him?