Transfer Talk: Bayern Munich's summer so far
With the transfer window in full swing, ESPNFC's Bayern Munich blogger Susie Schaaf discusses how Pep Guardiola's side are shaping up ahead of the new season.
IN -- Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, free), Sebastian Rode (Eintracht Frankfurt, free), Juan Bernat (Valencia, 10 million euros).
OUT -- Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, 30 million euros), Mario Mandzukic (Atletico Madrid 22 million euros), Daniel van Buyten (released), Lukas Raeder (Vitoria Setbual, free), Alessandro Schoepf (1. FC Nuremberg, 150,000 euros).
Bayern are currently sitting on a 42-million-euro transfer surplus, due to the windfall of having secured Lewandowski and Rode for free. There is more money in Bayern's rather enviable kitty, but the club tends toward judiciousness rather than spending unnecessarily. Although there are a few rumours about players coming in, it appears the club is done buying for the summer; instead they are waiting for the winter transfer market to fill any needs.
Rate your business so far
9/10. I hold the apparently unpopular viewpoint that the sale of Kroos to Real Madrid is a good deal for both sides. Bayern get as much money as they could for an unhappy player with just one year left on his contract, and Kroos gets the salary that he feels he deserves. The club also got a decent price for another want-away player in Mandzukic. Obviously, getting a class striker such as Lewandowski for free is a beautiful gift. That, coupled with the versatility of Rode and Bernat -- and all three for just 10 million -- and I'd say that FCB has done extremely well this summer.
Who should be sold?
Although Xherdan Shaqiri has been grumbling -- with rumoured moves to Liverpool (earlier this summer) or Roma (currently) supposedly in the works, Bayern at this point seem unwilling to let him go, with Matthias Sammer telling kicker last week: "Xherdan is an important player for the future. There are no thoughts at all about selling him." To which the Swiss midfielder cheekily replied on Twitter: "I live in the present. ... Not in the future."
Diego Contento slips further down the pecking order with the signing of Bernat (if that's even possible), and is also looking for an out, with Napoli rumoured to be a suitor. After years of the defender being relegated to the bench, Pep Guardiola and the Bayern brass should consent to sell him for whatever nominal fee they can get -- as long as he has a chance to actually play. He deserves it.
Who should be signed?
While I don't think Bayern will sign anyone else this summer, the club has been recently linked to a couple of players -- one possible, one ludicrous.
Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado is the latest possible transfer to the Bavarian giants. No denying his talents, certainly, but he seems to be superfluous to Bayern's needs currently as they have a surplus of right-sided talent. Tz is reporting that Munich is ready to table a 42-million-euro offer for the Colombian international and, should the deal go through, Bayern will still have not dug in to their accounts -- only using the transfer money already earned on Kroos and Mandzukic.
On the ludicrous note, Pep Guardiola supposedly has Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus on his wishlist (doesn't everyone?!) but Karl-Heinz Rummenigge & Co. have nixed any chance of that happening. After the war that was Mario Gotze's transfer, and Lewandowski's free move, it's unlikely we'll see another player come from Dortmund to Bayern in the near future.
Problem solving: What do you need?
Most would say central defence is Bayern Munich's weak point, once again, but they have been the best defensively in the Bundesliga for two seasons running. Much will depend on (A) what formation Guardiola plans on using and (B) the comeback and strength of Holger Badstuber.
Roma's Mehdi Benatia was tossed about as a possible signing by German and Italian media back in May, but a 27-million-euro asking price may be a bit too steep as Bayern has never spent more than 20 million on a defender. Meanwhile, Chelsea currently seem to be the favourites for his services. But, should things go awry defensively in Bayern's Hinrunde, expect them to enter the winter transfer market in the hunt for an additional central defender.