Bild journalist and Bayern Munich insider Christian Falk has indicated that the Bavarian’s remain at the front of the queue to sign Ousmane Dembélé – should Barcelona decide to sell. Speaking to Get German Football News in an exclusive interview, Falk also claims that interest in the Frenchman goes back to 2016, where Borussia Dortmund beat their Bundesliga rivals to secure his signature.
“The first time they wanted him was in 2016, they were too slow, Dortmund was faster, quicker and they got him. Bayern, if they like a player they are always tracking his career. That’s why thoughts are now on Dembélé again. But, we have to say it is only a thought of Bayern Munich, it is not very hot hot hot, because they are still hoping on [Leroy] Sané, but their chances are getting smaller.”
Falk, also states that’s Bayern resurrected their interest in the winger last year but decided not to act on that interest, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both still key members of the squad. Dembélé, who has struggled for regular first team football in Spain, is seen by the Bayern hierarchy as a potential alterative to Leroy Sané.
“I heard for the first time about interest in him (Dembélé) a year ago, at this time they didn’t make a move, it was just a thought. But now they are a little bit in trouble with the Sané deal, nothing is going on, so the bosses are getting a little bit nervous – they have to think about new things. And one player who is a little bit like Sané in quality is Dembélé,” Falk told GGFN.
Bayern’s potential move for Sané has lost momentum in recent weeks, with Falk himself speculating that the German international “doesn’t seem to want to leave the Premier League,” but that ultimately, the decision will be down to the player alone.
However, with Barcelona seeking to bring in Antoine Griezmann and potentially even Neymar, Bayern’s chances of securing Dembélé’s signature have likely increased. Falk claims that Bayern Munich are one of many clubs who would be keen to bring in the 2018 World Cup winner – should the opportunity present itself.
“Bayern Munich are hoping that Neymar is also coming (to Barcelona), then that it is getting a bit difficult for Dembélé to play in this team. They have to sell also because of FFP, we know that Dembélé is talking to the club, Barcelona is telling him that they want him to stay. But in football everything is changing quick, they know if Neymar is coming they have to do something quick,” said Falk.
“At the moment, we think he is staying at Barcelona but if things change, Bayern is one of his first options, Paris are also interested.”
For Bayern, time is on their side, with Falk also emphasising that England’s shorter transfer window could see the German side make a late move for Dembélé – for what could potentially be a Robben-like cut price fee. With that in mind however, Falk insists that Munich “don’t know how long they can wait. They have to do something also in the transfer market.”
Should both Sané and Dembélé both prove to be out of reach, a “B-list” of attackers could be consulted, with Falk confirming one of the players on that list – Arsenal target Yannick Carrasco.
Carrasco, 25, is currently playing in the Chinese Super League for Dalian Yifang but has recently been the subject of interest from Arsenal, as well as Bayern Munich, according to Falk. With Arsenal seemingly in the market for Wilfried Zaha, Bayern’s path to sign Carrasco could be a fairly clear one. However, as previously stated, a move will only be made should attempts to sign Sané and Dembélé prove unsuccessful.
“I said Dembélé is the plan-B but he is seen as the same level as Sané (ability wise). One step below that level is Carrasco, alongside a few players. They have a focus on him, but first they want to know if they get the top level.”
Falk also provided a small update on the situation regarding long time target Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea, with reports emerging in England that the Premier League side is now preparing to offer the youngster a lucrative new deal. To Falk’s knowledge however, Bayern’s hopes of signing the England international have not faded just yet:
“Perhaps you heard, Bayern signed a (Chelsea) youth player, whose agent was the brother of Hudson-Odoi. A similar thing happened with Luca Toni to Bayern, first a youth player came with the agent. It’s a strategy, give a little bit of money before, then you get the big deal. So, I think it is not over, they think they can get him, but we all know Chelsea is doing everything to get him a new contract of course.”
Falk went on to state that talks will continue between Bayern and the player, but that ultimately, Frank Lampard’s appointment as Chelsea manager way persuade Hudson-Odoi to remain at Stamford Bridge.
“They will have to talk, nothing is signed (for 2020) but they know the numbers and what they have to pay, they are still in talks. But they will wait, see what Chelsea is doing. Perhaps he doesn’t sign a new contract and is on the market in 2020, and then he is a good price (for Bayern).”
Additionally, Falk confirmed that Bayern are indeed interested in signing Schalke’s young goalkeeper Alexander Nübel – but potentially not this summer. Nübel, who starred for Germany’s Under 21 side at the recent European Championships, was a reported target for both Atlético Madrid and Bayern.
Despite the interest, Falk doesn’t see a move to Munich as a likely outcome this summer.
“Yes, they are really interested in him, now is a question of when you do it, because at the moment you have Manuel Neuer. It is not good for a young player like Nübel to join a club and sit behind the No. 1 of Germany. But I think sooner or later we will see him here, just perhaps not in the goal next season. I think there is a good chance to (one day) see him in the jersey of Bayern Munich.”
By Tom Fenton.