Bayern Munich have announced Juan Bernat as their third signing of the summer, with the defender putting pen to paper on a five-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2019.
The reigning Bundesliga champions confirmed the move via the official club website. The left-back shared his comments on his impending switch to the Allianz Arena:
I'm delighted at the opportunity to play for this huge club in the future. FC Bayern are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the world. I'm really looking forward to appearing in a team with players like Lahm, Neuer, Schweinsteiger, Robben and Ribéry and having Pep Guardiola as coach. I'll give everything I have for this club to succeed.
The press release states that Bernat will say farewell to his Valencia teammates before training with Bayern for the first time on Thursday.
There is no mention of an official transfer sum in the report, but ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan cites Valencia journalist Eduardo Esteve in claiming that the immediate figure is worth €11 million:
According to very well connected @eduardoesteve Valencia are getting €11m up front plus €1m in add-ons from Bayern for Bernat.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) July 7, 2014
The investment likely means that Pep Guardiola is aiming to shake up his squad for the 2014-15 season, with David Alaba possibly moving into the anchoring midfield role he's featured in so confidently for periods of his career at both club and international level.
There's been a huge amount of speculation regarding the future of Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos of late, but he recently spoke to TZ Munich (h/t Goal via beIN Sports), hinting that reports of a €25 million move to Real Madrid could hold some truth:
I’ve made a decision and can’t say. I read things. It’s not hard to find out. But I’m saying there is nothing done. First I want to play the World Cup and when finished my decision will be known. I’ll say it myself. Before then there is nothing.
There’s one week of the World Cup left and then we’ll know more.
That vacation in midfield would allow for Alaba to play alongside the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the similarly inverted Philipp Lahm on a more regular basis.
Bernat is yet to make his senior debut for the Spanish national team, but the 21-year-old has steadily climbed the international youth ranks.
Squawka illustrates the kind of defensive presence the youngster will be hoping to translate from La Liga into the German top flight:
Juan Bernat won more league tackles last season (53) than any Bayern Munich player. (Toni Kroos, 47). pic.twitter.com/XQOqAMHpPX— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 7, 2014
Bernat joins fellow Spaniards Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara at the Allianz Arena, where he will hope to maintain the stellar standards that Guardiola has looked to uphold since being appointed Bayern boss in 2013.
Like so many other versatile figures in the squad, Bernat also brings a touch of malleability to the team. He's capable of playing in a more advanced wide midfield role, although the presences of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery may not call for such priorities.