Bayern Munich expert and Bild journalist Christian Falk sat down with Get German Football News to discuss the latest on Leroy Sané, Ivan Perisic and Bayern’s search for a No. 6.
Leroy Sané is reportedly out for several months after sustaining an injury in last weekend’s Community Shield match. How has this effected Bayern’s pursuit of him, and is a deal still likely?
I think there is no decision there at the moment, we have to wait until after the operation. I don’t think it will work this transfer window but Bayern is still interested. He is out of action until February, so now it’s just a question of whether you try to get him in winter or summer, so there are many opportunities. The player signified to Bayern Munich that there would be an opportunity to have him in Munich, so Bayern Munich will still try to get him. He’s a German national player, so Bayern still want to have German players in their squad.
You mentioned there that he will be out until February, is that information coming directly from Man City?
Nobody can say at the moment before the surgery, but those are Pep Guardiola’s words. Normally if you have this injury you are out for 6 months.
News emerged over the weekend of Bayern’s interest in Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, how far advanced is that potential deal?
I think he is coming to Munich tomorrow, to make the final medical check. Interest in Perisic was not new, Kovac wanted him for a long time, but the club was just on Sané, because he was the number one target, if you have Sané you don’t need another winger. It would be also possible to get another one, but they first wanted to get a deal with Sané to know what else they can do on the transfer market. Bayern has a big bank vault, but they can’t pay so much for players, because they don’t get any credit from (selling) players, so they just spend what they have.
Your paper Bild recently linked Ziyech, Bergwijn and Timo Werner with a move to Bayern. Are these players views as possible alternatives to Sané?
They were all interesting to Bayern Munich, but like with Perisic, everybody had to wait to see what happened (with Sané). For Ziyech now its too late, he signed a new contract at Ajax. But there were talks we know that – there were talks with Bergwijn, talks with Werner, but they still said wait, we have to do the other transfer first. In some people’s view it is too late now, but we will see what happens. Bayern Munich is not finished in the transfer market, they want minimum two players more.
What kind of players are they still looking for?
I think they are searching for central players, one offensive player in the centre and one defensive. Because Niko Kovac is not confident with Javi Martinez, he really wants a number 6. Martinez is a real number 6, but not the kind that he (Kovac) wants. Every other player playing this position for Bayern Munich is not a real number 6, they are more number 8s, guys like Tolisso and Sanches, they are not experts in the number 6 role. They can play it of course, but Kovac wants a specialist.
Do Bayern have any specific players in mind to bring in to fill the number 6 role?
Because they don’t have to spend money on Sané at the moment Bayern have more space for other transfers like Espanyol’s Marc Roca, but €40 million (his release clause) is a lot of money in the transfer market. It may happen that he is now in the sight of Bayern Munich again, because they have more money now. Salihamidzic we know, met the player’s representatives in Paris, so he is still a player that Bayern Munich have an interest in. His club don’t want to sell him cheaper. Before, Bayern wasn’t able to spend this money, and tried to get him cheaper but Espanyol said no, so they will have to pay to release clause.
Reports in Spain indicate that Bayern are interested in potentially taking Gareth Bale on a loan deal, is that a possibility?
I don’t think that’s true. To our information, there is no idea of signing Bale in any form. Often the stories emerge from Spain, as they did last month, again and again and again. But we didn’t hear something from the club in this direction.
Dani Olmo has also been linked with a move to Bavaria over the weekend. Many of Europe’s biggest clubs appear to be interested in the Dinamo Zagreb youngster, are Bayern one of them?
Bayern Munich is interested in him, that is true. But at the moment they are doing the Perisic deal. After they will search for a second wing player, and Olmo is on their list.
Jerome Boateng recent came out and apologised to the fans and the club for his conduct during pre-season. Is this a sign that he is once again fully committed to Bayern and ready to fight for his place this season?
Yes, sure. He is a very professional player, he knows that he has to perform again. Last season wasn’t very good, he knows that. He didn’t get the offer he wanted to leave the club, he has a very high salary – so it is not easy to find a club. He knew that there was always interest from PSG, but they signed another defender (Abdou Diallo). So, there are not many options left. He did very good in training, so I think he has a really good chance to be in the line up on Friday against Berlin. Bayern has a new assistant coach in Hansi Flick, he was the assistant coach at the national team when Boateng was world champion, and they have a very good relationship, so this could also give him a new chance at Bayern Munich.
Bayern of course lost 2-0 to BVB last weekend in the Super Cup. Firstly, what was your reaction to the defeat, and how was it viewed by the club itself?
Well you saw in the match a very good example of why Kovac wants a number 6. Tiago is a fantastic player, and if you are not playing very strong teams of course he can play (in the 6 role) because Bayern, in home matches, has a lot of ball possession. But if you are playing against strong teams, we saw against Liverpool that Tiago wasn’t playing the 6, Martinez was.
You need more defensive players on the pitch, and if you have an offensive player like Tiago in the 6 it is getting difficult against teams like Dortmund. You have also seen in this match that defensive players are not in such as good a shape as they thought, that was a big surprise. Also, if you look at the bench that Dortmund had, many very good players, who can always come onto the pitch if you have a problem – Bayern have not. I think that’s the biggest problem at the club because they want to be good in three competitions – Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League, so they know the squad is too small. You have a few players who are always injured, like Coman and Gnabry, so you can’t have that for a whole season.
Lewandowski’s quotes after the game also highlighted that same issue, with the striker stating that he wants players to come off the bench who can impact the game, something that did not happen in the Super Cup.
Sure, you need experienced players to get the titles and Lewandowski knows that. There is not so much time left for him to win the Champions League, and he does not have the time to educate young players, he needs other players who can perform immediately. So, I think that also why Perisic is now here, he’s an experienced player and he can help them now. And I think a few players will be pleased that not just one player is coming in Sané, because Sané wasn’t always performing good in a row, sometimes he’s very good, sometimes just good. He also had had many games where he has looked bad, particularly for the national team. So I think many players in the squad are looking for the club to spend money on a few players which are not so expensive, but will have more quality in many players (rather than just one).
Callum Hudson-Odoi recently posted a picture on social media which appears to show him back in training. Could his speedy recovery persuade Bayern to go back in for the English forward or will he sign a new deal to stay at Chelsea?
I think Bayern lost the competition with Chelsea already. He is just 18-years-old so he would have to be very strong minded to play a whole season without signing a new deal at Chelsea, because you get a lot of pressure there. With Lampard at the club the situation changed, he said he needs him, he’s a young player to educate. Now I think Hudson-Odoi will stay there. Though I don’t think the new contract is official, it will happen. Bayern’s interest was good for the player because he gets more money in his new salary! But that’s poker, and I think Bayern lost this one.
By Tom Fenton.