When Bayern Munich sold Toni Kroos to Real Madrid this summer, they broke their promise to manager Pep Guardiola that the midfielder would not be offloaded “under any circumstances.”
So claims an upcoming biography, entitled Herr Guardiola, according to Kit Holden in the Daily Mail.
But while there’s no replacing a playmaker of Kroos’ quality, the Bavarian giants could be set to make it up to Guardiola, at least in part, by satisfying the Spaniard’s desire for another central defender.
Earlier this week AS reported that Bayern sporting director Michael Reschke was on his way to Madrid to negotiate the €36 million acquisition of Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.
Labelled “untouchable” by Rojiblancos boss Diego Simeone, as per Football Espana, the 28-year-old was a key figure in Atletico’s run to the Primera Division title last season and even scored what proved to be the championship-winning goal against Barcelona.
He also found the back of the net in the Champions League final, and his goalscoring heroics also included an important match-winner away to Getafe in La Liga and Copa del Rey winners against both Valencia and Athletic Bilbao.
No doubt Bayern, who struggled to consistently attack set pieces last season, could do with Godin’s aerial presence, but the Uruguay international would lend himself usefully in their defensive setup as well.
In 2013-14 Godin averaged more than seven clearances per match, according to Squawka, and his 94 interceptions over the course of the campaign revealed a player with instincts that might have gone previously unappreciated.
Crucially, the former Nacional and Villarreal defender has also functioned at the heart of a back three for Uruguay from time to time, and with Guardiola tinkering with the system in pre-season, Godin’s experience with the formation only makes him more attractive.
Then there are the questions surrounding Bayern’s current defensive corps, which has welcomed Holger Badstuber back into the ranks following the 25-year-old’s recovery from an ACL injury.
In a recent interview with Kicker, as relayed by Goal, Brazilian centre-back Dante conceded he risked losing his place to Badstuber—an honest admission, although it’s unlikely Guardiola would be all that comfortable going into the season with the pair of them fighting for a place alongside Jerome Boateng, anyway.
He might have actually preferred to persist with Javi Martinez in the role, but the Spain international’s season-ending knee injury changed those plans.
Of course, Atletico still have to be convinced to sell, but a Tuesday report by Charles Perrin in the Express revealed they were already considering Liverpool’s Daniel Agger as a possible replacement should the deal go through.
Naturally, Simeone would be furious if his best defender was sold, and during the World Cup he vowed he would “never” let Godin leave the club, according to AS.
Guardiola, however, has heard those promises before.