By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) — Ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup, German champion Bayern Munich’s defense remains under reconstruction.
While David Alaba’s departure seems imminent, the Bavarians find themselves in a fierce battle with Premier League Chelsea over Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and their German international Niklas Suele.
Despite Lucas Hernandez and youngster Tanguy Nianzou being seen as possible options as central defenders, other options have to be considered.
Recent media reports said the club’s intention not to extend Jerome Boateng’s contract. The 32-year-old’s departure would increase the 2020 treble winner’s necessity to fill the gaps with top-class players to face international challenges.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke about two rivals competing in the race for French defender Upamecano. The 22-year-old can count on an exit clause fur summer 2021 worth up to 45 million euros.
Leipzig has accepted the fact their kingpin will depart and is eying 20-year-old Racing Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan. The deal is said to be worth 15 million euros.
The club has already signed 18-year-old Croatian talent Josko Gvardiol from Dinamo Zagreb for 16 million.
Rummenigge has no doubts about Upamecano’s quality. “If you hear that Liverpool and Chelsea are interested, it is proof enough of his class,” he said.
Designated chairman Oliver Kahn, who will take from Rummenigge in January 2022, said he is optimistic “as Bayern is the currently most successful club in world football. We have something to offer.”
Munich’s difficulties would increase if Chelsea can convince German international Suele to join the London club.
Suele’s departure this summer might provide some transfer money for Bayern as the 25-year-old contract expires in 2022, but it will cause a hole that would have to be filled.
Both Suele and Upamecano are both clients of the same management agency, “sport360”.
“We will see what Niklas’s decision is. The fact is he has a contract until 2022,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick commented.
Aside from what Chelsea’s German coach Thomas Tuchel has to offer, Suele has to decide if he is ready to fight for the position next to Upamecano at Bayern.
Reports said Bayern is demanding a reliable performance after Suele is on his way to fully recovering from a knee injury.
Suele has lost its regular position among the starting eleven and there are doubts about his fitness.
Reports speak of Bayern’s attempt to either extend the contract or gain up to 30 million for Suele. The player’s representatives hope his asking price will be no more than 20 million.
Suele and his agent were said to be in contact with Chelsea and considering a move to England.
Rummenigge spoke about a tight budget due to a drop in income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have to consider that,” he said. If the Upamecano deal can be realized, Bayern might be forced to sell Suele. Enditem