Bayern Munich Transfer News: Benjamin Pavard Deal Reported Amid Chelsea RumoursJuly 15, 2018
Bayern Munich have reportedly won the race to sign Stuttgart and France defender Benjamin Pavard, beating alleged suitors Chelsea and Manchester City to the breakthrough star's signature.
The 22-year-old followed up a fine season in Germany by impressing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and The Sun on Sunday (h/t Daily Star's Rhys Turrell) reported Bayern have secured his loyalties, though he won't move until the summer of 2019.
Pavard will remain at Stuttgart for the coming season, after which Die Roten will activate his £31 million buyout clause in a move that could prove to be one of excellent value.
France have soared into the World Cup final against Croatia after Pavard shone as a replacement for injured Djibril Sidibe, who looks likely to have a job in winning back DidierDeschamps' starting right-back shirt.
Statman Dave provided a brief look of Pavard's excellent World Cup so far, which has seen him contribute excellently to the attack while steadying a French defence that's also impressed on the whole:
The "absolute wonder goal" referred to came against Argentina in the 4-3 round-of-16 win:
Pavard's performances in Russia are all the more impressive considering he played most of last season at centre-back, but can also play in front of the back four and on the right side of midfield. Needless to say, his malleability is likely one of the factors that's pushed Bayern to move for his services.
The youngster is said to have turned down interest from Chelsea and City to stay in Germany with the Bundesliga champions, who already have a star right-back in Germany international Joshua Kimmich.
Impressive as Kimmich has been in the role, he only moved more permanently into defence from midfield as Philipp Lahm's time at the club started drawing to an end.
The move could be to provide more competition in the position, or that Kimmich is primed for a switch back into midfield. The Bundesliga celebrated Pavard's swift rise to success in Germany:
Despite gaining increasing first-team experience at former club Lille, Pavard joined Stuttgart in the summer of 2016 following their relegation to the 2. Bundesliga. DW Sports chronicled his rise through Germany's ranks:
Since then, he's grown to become a more senior member at Stuttgart, and sporting director Michael Reschke gushed over his abilities when speaking to Archie Rhind-Tutt of the Evening Standard:
"What he does so well is play football with a real instinctiveness; he's at home on the pitch. Whether it's his technique or his tactical understanding, he understands what the game is and how it works.
"Sometimes he'll play an extraordinary pass—something outstanding—but even when he does that, he does it because it makes sense. He doesn't do the outstanding things to shine; he does them because it's the right solution at that moment. That's what's special about this guy."
Bayern's use of Lahm, Kimmich and David Alaba in recent years suggests they may have found a similarly versatile full-back option in Pavard, who will develop for one more year at Stuttgart before making the jump to the Allianz Arena.