Arjen Robben's Bayern Munich considering MLS, China or Qatar move
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has told Sportbuzzer that he has no plans to retire and could follow in the footsteps of Bastian Schweinsteiger and move to Major League Soccer, saying he is also considering China and Qatar.
Robben, 34, has won six Bundesliga titles and four DFB Pokals during his time at the club. He also scored Bayern's late winner in the all-German Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in 2013, but his current one-year deal expires this summer.
"That's exactly the current topic of conversation at my kitchen table at the moment, when talking to friends and family," Robben said when asked whether he could imagine seeing out his career in the United States, China or Doha.
"Now is the time that I have to make a decision. A few years ago, it was usually relatively straightforward but I am approaching the end [of my career] now and I have a lot to think about. It's not easy but it's also exciting. A lot is still open but I have already ruled out certain things in my head -- but they are staying private.
With his Bayern contract up for renewal, Robben is convinced he has plenty to offer and will not be retiring in the summer.
"I'm still feeling very fit at the moment and believe I can still play for one or two years more at the highest level -- that is my goal."
"I've achieved everything in my career that I set out to -- with the Champions League as the crowning glory."
Robben added that he "would be happy if Jupp Heynckes continued," although he stressed his future is not tied to the identity of the Bundesliga champions next coach.
"Of course, this decision is not completely independent of it," he said. "The coach is the one you work with on a daily basis. But I enjoy such open and honest communication with all those responsible here that I am not worried at all. The club will have a plan and then the club and I have to decide how we proceed."
Bayern have won 20 of 21 games since Heynckes returned for a fourth term at the club in October -- including a DFB Pokal penalty shootout success in Leipzig, and Robben hailed his contribution during afourth spell in charge.
"It's super to have Jupp Heynckes back. He, Peter Hermann [assistant] and Hermann Gerland [assistant coach] all know the club inside out and what every player needs. There was a turnaround from the very first day and of course that was down to the coach. I would be happy if Jupp Heynckes continued -- but it's his decision alone and whatever happens we have to respect it."
Robben also paid tribute to former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola for his impact in the Premier League.
"It's really impressive what Pep Guardiola is doing at Manchester City," he said.
"We also know him very well and I really enjoyed working with him. He is a really great coach and you can see that again now. If you look at their style of football, the coach's hallmark is all over it. Pep has developed this -- it is his work."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.