Bayern Munich Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of May 26
With the 2013-14 club football season having come to a close, the transfer market is set to open, with Bayern Munich among the clubs to watch from both buying and selling perspectives.
The Bavarians won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal this season, but their performance against elite opposition left something to be desired: Their record 5-0 aggregate hammering at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals was a clear sign that things needed to be changed.
Smelling weakness, many clubs have been linked with moves for Bayern players. And the Bavarians, of course, will aim to upgrade their squad.
B/R has rounded up all the latest transfer whispers regarding Bayern and will post regular updates to narratives as information is reported. Click "Begin Slideshow" for all the latest.
Last Updated: Saturday, May 31
On Saturday, Spox cited Argentine newspaper Clarin as claiming that Ezequiel Garay was set to join Bayern. The German title holders have allegedly reached an agreement on a transfer fee of €15 million, which falls short of the player's €20 million release clause. The report asserts that because Garay's contract is set to expire in 2015, there was room for negotiation for the 27-year-old.
Garay is allegedly set to sign a four-year contract with Bayern. He can replace the 36-year-old Daniel van Buyten, who is out of contract in July.
Kicker has reported in a brief note that Bayern are stepping up efforts to sign Matthias Ginter from Freiburg following a decision not to renew the contract of the aging Daniel van Buyten. The recently capped Germany international has a contract valid until 2017 and according to the same report (among many others previously) is wanted by Dortmund.
In an interview with Swiss source 20 Minuten, Xherdan Shaqiri flatly stated that he was dissatisfied with his situation in Munich and that although he would like to fulfill his contract at Bayern, he would seek a transfer if is not given more opportunities.
"It is clear that I do not want to go on like this," he said. "I'm young and need to develop myself. I want to play in big games from the beginning and not just in the Bundesliga when everything is already decided. I don't want to have such a season (as the last) again."
When asked about where he might go, Shaqiri did not mention a specific club, but explained his ideal:
"For me it's clear that I want to play at a top club. The Champions League is very important to me," he said. "If I move, then abroad. Within the Bundesliga, I'd rather not. But it must be a club that plays for the title."
Update: Friday, May 30
Sinan Kurt and Alessandro Schopf
Rheinische Post reported on Tuesday that Bayern are interested in signing Gladbach starlet Sinan Kurt. The 17-year-old left-winger had a great season with the Borussia under-19s, scoring 16 goals and assisting three more in 24 appearances. At international level, he represents the German under-18s.
Kurt, who has been a Gladbach player since 2007, has a contract that expires in 2015. He is reported to be hesitant to sign an extension, even though he is expected to be promoted to the Gladbach first team should he remain at Borussia-Park.
The Rheinische Post report also claims that Gladbach are interested in 20-year-old Bayern II player Alessandro Schopf. The attacking midfielder, who has a contract that runs until 2016, scored 11 goals and assisted four more in 33 Regionalliga games with the Bayern reserves last season.
The report claims that both moves may not be completed due to bad blood between the clubs. Gladbach are said to be peeved by Bayern's pursuit of Kurt and are reluctant to deal with Bayern considering the clubs' transfer history. Most notably, a young Lothar Matthaus left Gladbach for Bayern in 1984.
Update: Wednesday, May 28
Speaking to Sport Bild, Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl admitted to calling his Bayern counterpart, Matthias Sammer, on three occasions to ask about Schopf. He expressed annoyance that Sammer had not mentioned his interest in Kurt during that time.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is quoted as saying: "Gladbach are interested in one of our players, we're interested in one of Gladbach's players. You have to see how things come together."
Suffice to say, Eberl and Rummenigge's words can be interepreted as none other than admissions of interest.
Update: Friday, May 30
In an interview with Bild, Eberl expressed disappointment in Kurt's decisions and claimed that the player had already begun negotiations with Bayern.
"I'm very disappointed with Sinan. We recently had another meeting with Lucien Favre, his agent, Sinan and myself. We showed him his prospects at Borussia. And what does Sinan make of it? Five days later, he negotiates with Bayern."
Eberl also issued a stern warning to Kurt: "As a player you have to be concerned with where it is easier to get moving."
The implication, of course, is that it is easier for Kurt to get his career off the ground at Gladbach, where he'd be a first-team player next season, than in the Bayern reserves.
Pierre Hojbjerg made a solid debut for Denmark in a friendly with Sweden on Wednesday, and after that and his performance against Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final, Express reports that he's attracted interest from Gladbach.
The Fohlen are in the market for a central midfielder who can create play, and are said to be keen to sign Hojbjerg on loan.
Bayern President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently told his club's official website that he had no intention to loan Hojbjerg, whom he believes has the ability to break into the first team next season. Gladbach have some sway in the matter, however, given that they have Bayern target Sinan Kurt under contract, albeit only until 2015.
Diego Godin had a dream season with Atletico Madrid and has seen his stock skyrocket as of late. The Uruguay international is now Pep Guardiola's most desired center-back as the summer transfer window is set to open, according to a report from France Football.
The report claims that Guardiola met with the Bayern board last week to discuss transfers and specified defense as his primary concern, with the 28-year-old Godin his top choice. Also among those considered as alternatives are Mehdi Benatia, Aymeric Laporte (who is reported to have a €36 million buy-out clause at Bilbao) and Martin Montoya.
With David Luiz having confirmed his transfer from Chelsea to PSG on Saturday, Bayern have been forced to look elsewhere for a new signing to play at center-back.
According to the print-only version of Kicker (as reported by the live ticker of German outlet Spox), former target Aymeric Laporte has his heart set on joining Barcelona, meaning that Bayern have turned to a third option, Mehdi Benatia.
The 27-year-old Benatia had an outstanding 2013-14 season at Roma, helping his team finish runners-up in Serie A. He has a contract set to run through the end of the 2017-18 season, however, and Roma boss Rudi Garcia recently stated (per Goal.com) that he has no intention of selling his star center-back.
If Bayern are to sign Benatia, it may take an enormous transfer fee, especially considering that Luiz's transfer fee set a record for a center-back.
Prior to Louis van Gaal's tenure as Bayern Munich coach, Bastian Schweinsteiger was an underachieving winger with bleached hair. The Dutchman turned "Schweini" into a club hero, a world-class holding midfielder who would later become the club's vice-captain.
Now, according to the Metro, Van Gaal wants to bring Schweinsteiger to his new club, Manchester United. And he's reportedly prepared to sell United's record signing, Juan Mata, to finance a move for the Germany international. The Spaniard only signed with the Red Devils in January, but the Metro speculates that he could be sacrificed as Van Gaal looks to build his United team according to his specific vision.
Schweinsteiger's current contract runs until 2016. He famously announced his extension (per Goal.com) in front of fans at the Allianz Arena, stating:
"I’ve said often enough that I want to win the Champions League. But the question for me is this: is that better with Real Madrid, Inter, some other club - or with Bayern Munich? I think I’ve answered that question clearly and unmistakably. We can achieve a lot here."
Last Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported that Manchester United had sealed a deal for Toni Kroos (later refuted by the Guardian, which claimed Kroos had been a target for David Moyes but was not of interest to new United manager Louis van Gaal) and was set to move for Arjen Robben as their next target.
The Dutch winger told De Telegraaf (h/t Goal.com) over the weekend that a move to United is "not an option" for him. "I am staying at Bayern Munich. Period."
Robben recently extended his contract with the Bundesliga title holders that runs until 2017, and the player added that he "cannot imagine that Bayern would want to sell [him]."
At this point, it's hard to see United poaching Robben.