Christmas Shopping: Who Should Bayern Munich Buy?

In a sense Bayern Munich completed their most significant transfer dealings before the transfer window even opened. Since the end of last season the club has tied its most important players to improved long-term contracts. Bastian Schweinsteiger recently joined Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Holger Badstuber in pledging his future to the Bavarian giants. The focus had been very much on consolidating the talent already on the roster rather than adding more but it is fair to assess that the Bayern squad needs to be tweaked in certain areas.

The autumn campaign will finish with Bayern a long way off the pace in the Bundesliga; an injury crisis a mile long, Louis van Gaal’s constant rotation and under-performance in defensive areas have left FCB foundering somewhat domestically. The Rekordmeister can finish the autumn campaign no higher than fifth.

Van Gaal’s faith in certain elements within his squad has been misplaced. Despite his ‘who needs Neuer, we’ve got Kraft’ brand of intransigence, the Dutch coach must surely be aware of the occasional unreliability of his Bayern contingent. Sporting director Christian Nerlinger has admitted that adequate January targets are tough to come by but has acknowledged the need for some freshening up ahead of the spring.

With Bayern announcing 2009-10 profits of €2.9 million there is certainly money to spend at the Allianz Arena but Van Gaal needs to be wholly convinced before lavishing sums on incoming players.


Only one true candidate for the job here. Manuel Neuer, the Schalke goalkeeper, has been heavily linked with Bayern of late and the German international came through a recent 2-0 win against FCB with his reputation enhanced. A January move is extremely unlikely as Felix Magath would be loth to sell a key player to his detested former employers with the Champions League to consider but a summer transfer seems almost inevitable.

Hans Joerg Butt has lasted longer at Bayern than many observers expected and he will bow out at the end of the season with the diginity he merits after a fine careerCedric Carasso of Bordeaux, Bologna’s Emiliano Viviano and Lazio’s Nestor Muslera have also been fancifully linked to the Allianz Arena. It would make no sense for Bayern to move for any of those on a short time basis, their lack of availability aside, with Neuer set to arrive in summer.


Where to start?

The Bayern backline has come in for an amount of justifiable stick over the autumn; injuries and lack of form have led Van Gaal to field a myriad of defenders to similar and dismal avail. Bayern’s inability to shut out opponents has cost them precious points in the Bundesliga as well as a 100 per cent record in Europe. The non-specialist Anatoliy Tymoshchuk has somehow become the Champions League finalists’ most accomplished centre-back this season, confirming the need for revisions to be made in this area. Also, Nerlinger has spoken about the possibility of signing a full-back should the right one become available.

To that end, there is no shortage of defenders being linked with Bayern this winter. In the right back slot, Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea) and Glen Johnson (Liverpool) have been touted. Leighton Baines (Everton), Benoit Tremoulinas (Bordeaux), Domenico Criscito (Genoa) and Taye Taiwo (Marseille) have all been regarded as potential Bayern left-backs by the press while centre-backs John Heitinga (Everton), Adil Rami (Lille) Alvaro Dominguez (Atletico Madrid), Miranda and Jon Gudni Fjoluson have seen their names linked with Bayern.

In reality, Sao Paulo’s Miranda would be the most likely candidate. The Brazilian’s agent has confirmed contact with Bayern and he is out of contract in the middle part of 2011. Sao Paulo might be keen to garner a small fee in January rather than lose one of their best backs for nothing. That said, the player is a close friend of Lazio’s Hernanes and may fancy a move to Rome in summer.

Fjoluson, meanwhile, has been on trial at Bayern from his Icelandic club Fram and the 21-year-old is seen as one of Europe’s brighest defensive prospects.

Edson Braafheid is free to find new employers in January while Martin Demichelis has not taken well to his demotion from first-team duties. Despite being highly regard by Van Gaal, Diego Contento may be permitted to move on loan in January for a short spell of first-team football elsewhere.


Mark van Bommel, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have all struggled for fitness and it has led Bayern to be experimental, to an extend, with the players at their disposal in midfield. Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger have jostled with each other for the holding and playmaking roles respectively while Tymoshchuk, Andreas Ottl and Hamit Altintop have filled in well in the absence of Van Bommel. Business could be done by Bayern in this area if the deal is right over the winter. Their captain Van Bommel is out of contract next summer and has attracted attention from Wolfsburg, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City while Ottl and Hamit could be sold to Roma and Fenerbahce respectively in order ro recoup some transfer value before their contracts run out.

Bayer Leverkusen’s versatile Chilean Arturo Vidal would make a fine signing for Bayern but Jupp Heynckes’ side are unlikely to play ball. Interest in Basel’s Xherdan Shaqiri has been admitted while tentative contact has also been made with Lyon’s Michel Bastos. The out-of-favour Spurs midfielder Niko Kranjcar might fancy hooking up with his compatriots Ivica Olic and Danijel Pranjic while Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia was linked last summer. Bayern are known admirers of the Palermo pair Josip Ilicic and Javier Pastore but those two are going nowhere in winter.

Bayern may also seek to recruit the basis of the next generation; teenagers Mateo Kovacic of Dinamo Zagreb or Ylli Sallahi of SV Kapfenberg could well come on board.


Injuries sustained by Miro Klose and Ivica Olic have served to show the dearth of striking reserves in the Bayern ranks this season and propelled the previously misfiring Mario Gomez into the central striking reckoning. There are certain players that appeal to Bayern which would help increase their front-running options; Franz Beckenbauer is an admirer of Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner and has spoken of the Dane’s suitability for Bayern while the Cluj president Iuliu Muresan has revealed that the Germans would be prepared to sanction a deal for 6’8 striker Lacina Traore.

Moves for more expensive targets like Twente’s Bryan Ruiz and Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko are unlikely to materialise until at least the summer. However Bayern may opt to gamble again on some younger talent. Troyes’Thomas Izerghouf and Dino Spehar of NK Osijek are on the radar of FC Hollywood.

IN (3): Miranda (Sao Paulo), Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham), Mateo Kovacic (Dinamo Zagreb)

OUT (4): Edson Braafheid, Martin Demichelis, Andreas Ottl, Hamit Altintop

LOAN IN (1): Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal)

LOAN OUT (0): –

Preferred Line-up (4-2-3-1) 


Lahm      Breno/ Miranda     Badstuber     Contento

Tymoshchuk          Schweinsteiger

Mueller/Robben    Kroos/ Kranjcar       Ribery

Gomez/ Bendtner

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Bayern sets sights on signing Hoffenheim’s Luiz Gustavo

Luiz Gustavo is being targeted by Bayern.

Luiz Gustavo is being targeted by Bayern.

Hoffenheim midfielder Luiz Gustavo is reportedly being targeted by Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich have reportedly set their sights on signing Hoffenheim midfielder Luiz Gustavo during the upcoming winter transfer window.

According to Bild, the Bavarian giants are keen to land the 23-year-old defensive midfielder to provide cover for Mark van Bommel, who was recently injured.

Initial negotiations have begun between the two clubs, and a figure of approximately €10 million is what will be required to land the player.

Gustavo has a contract with the Hoffe until 2014 and can also be used as a left-back if required. Van Bommel will be out of contract at the end of the summer.


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Thomas Müller receives his Golden Shoe award from the World Cup.

Müller receives the Golden Boot.

Müller receives the Golden Boot.

In the past summer, our team entertained the entire world at the world cup in South Africa with a spectacular display of offensive football.  One player surprised, not only the German fans, but the entire world: Thomas Müller (21)!

The Bayern striker, a World Cup newcomer, became the top scorer with 5 goals.

At the Adidas ceremony in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Bavarian star was finally presented with his trophy.

Müller has prevailed among some of the biggest names of the world cup such as David Villa (Spain), Wesley Sneijder (Holland) and Diego Forlan (Uruguay).

While all of the players scored five goals during the world cup, Müller also had three assists which was the key decider.  Thomas Müller, the man with the golden boot!

BILD: Congratulations! What does the title mean to you?

Müller: “Thank you, Of course I’m happy, but the award was earned by the team.  This award in particular is a bit special.  This is something I can personally take pride in, for me to join a list of great names.

BILD: You have achieved so much with just 21 years of age.  What can, and what should you do in the future?

Müller: I’ve still got the opportunity to win the Champions League this season.  To get into the final again is my goal for this season. I also have many goals with the national team as well.  Clearly I would like to win the 2012 European Championship as well as the World Cup 2014.

BILD: Can you imagine spending your career at Bayern like Lahm and Schweinsteiger?

Müller (under contract until 2015): “Sure, I could imagine that! In Germany, there is nowhere better than Bayern.  Internationally, it has become more and more apparent that we are very, very big.


Translated by: TJ

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Schweinsteiger interview with Audi Sport 1

Schweinsteiger shares some of his stories and secrets.

Schweinsteiger shares some of his stories and secrets.

National football player Bastian Schweinsteiger has recently commented on some of his experiences and secrets from the locker room pertaining to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the DFB.

“When we had just finished our game against Argentina in the world cup, she just came right into the locker room….but we also had to shower.  Then you’re standing there half naked next to the chancellor.  It’s always funny.  She came in with a beer in her and talked with me.  Then you think to yourself: Am I really here?” said Schweinsteiger in his interview with Munich-based Star Talk on Audi Sport 1.

The national player, who has capped 84 times, recently extended his contract until 2016 with Bayern on Saturday and spoke about his experience with Oliver Kahn.  “I saw him play for the first time in November 2002 when I sat next to him. The first time he spoke to me was in 2005” said Schweinsteiger.

But there was obviously another problem with the Bavarian titan.  “Every one of our players had a towel in the changing room.  What I found funny was that none of us could ever find our towels.  I always thought to myself ‘Where is my towel?’ Then I see Oliver Kahn sitting beside me, his hair looking nice, as he polishes his gloves…with TWO towels!” said Schweinsteiger.

The midfielder also added:  “At that time, I dared not say ‘you give me my towel back’.  From then on I just brought an extra towel with me so I always had my own towel.

Schweinsteiger’s first meeting with ex-coach Felix Magath, who coached Bayern from July 2004 to January 2007 could be described as less than pleasant.  “I wanted to greet him, but then he asked me: Who are you? I said: Bastian Schweinsteiger. It was funny that at the time I was also injured and was forced to take a ten day break.  After the first training session, we hit the road on our way to the game against Mainz.  Then he said: The whole team is traveling to Mainz.  I then asked: Coach, am I going too? And he said, very seriously: Ahh and who are you?” said Schweinsteiger.


Translated by: TJ

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Bordeaux Goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso On Bayern Munich Radar

Bayern are reportedly also considering Carrasso as a potential replacement for Jörg Butt.

Bayern are reportedly also considering Carrasso as a potential replacement for Jörg Butt.

Bayern Munich are supposedly keeping tabs on Bordeaux shot stopper Cedric Carrasso.

Highly rated glovesman Cedric Carrasso could be on his way out of French side Girondins de Bordeaux as Champions League hopefuls Bayern Munich have shown an interest in adding the goalkeeper to their squad, according to a report in RMC Sports.

The Bundesliga champions have been looking to sign a new shot-stopper for quite a while now and were initially believed to have set their sights on Schalke goalie Manuel Neuer. However, the Gelsenkirchen side are reluctant to let go of the Germany international, prompting Bayern to turn their attention elsewhere.

The report claims that Bayern have watched the 28-year-old Carrasso in action on more than one occasion this season and they could make a move for the France international in the January transfer window.

Carrasso started his professional career with Olympique de Marseille and also wore the jerseys of Crystal Palace, Guingamp and Toulouse before joining his current club in the summer of 2009.

The Bordeaux goalie’s current contract runs until the summer of 2013, meaning that Carrasso won’t be available on the cheap.


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Bastian Schweinsteiger Urges Bayern Munich to Sign Schalke Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Schweinsteiger supports having Neuer as the new Bayern keeper.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has voiced his support of a potential move by Bayern Munich to attain the services of Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Just days after his club’s management revealed Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as a primary transfer target, Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has weighed in on the issue, voicing his support of a move for the Germany No. 1.

“We don’t have a problem in goal at the moment, but with Manuel Neuer we would have the opportunity to bring the best German goalkeeper to the club,” he told Sport1. “I am always in favour of FC Bayern having the best German players.”

The 24-year-old Neuer has in recent months become the target of not only Bayern, but Manchester United. While a potential bidding war could see a sizeable bid tabled for his services, Schalke have made clear their intent to retain the Gelsenkirchen native, who has been at his hometown club since the age of four. Schalke have reportedly offered to double his wages, and last weekend Neuer revealed: “I expect to be playing for Schalke next season.”


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Bayern Munich Fans Brutally Attacked By 1860 Supporters

As many as 50 masked supporters of 1860 Munich attacked fans of local rivals Bayern in Obersendling.

A crowd of Bayern Munich fans were attacked late Friday night by a group of 20 to 50 masked fans of local rivals 1860 Munich in the Bavarian capital’s Obersendling district.

According to police spokesman Peter Beck, the perpetrators shattered the rear, front and side windows of a vehicle carrying three Bayern fans who had just left a fan club meeting. They then pulled one of the passengers out of the car and punched another in the face. Simultaneously, the clubhouse itself was attacked as fans damaged windows and the front door.

Also among the injured was an 1860 fan who broke his arm while beating the front door.

The perpetrators, all estimated to be between 22 and 46 years of age and all known to police, fled before police arrived. Five arrests were made in the immediate aftermath, but all were released without charge. Police are still on the lookout for more offenders.


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Bayern continues interest in Leighton Baines

Bayern has shown continued interest in Everton FC star Leighton Baines.

Bayern has shown continued interest in Everton FC star Leighton Baines.

FC Bayern Munich are stepping up their efforts to find a new full-back.  The candidate list is quite extensive, but the current favorite is obviously Leighton Baines.  The Englishman is experienced and affordable.

For this reason, Philipp Lahm can stay in his current beloved position as right-back as Bayern is only obligated to look for a left-back.  The German tabloid Bild also states that Benoît Tremoulinas (Girondins Bordeaux) and Domenico Criscito (FC Genoa) have been observed for weeks and are also favorites on the Bayern transfer list.

According to Bild, Bayern sent their scouts out again recently to watch Baines in the game against Wigan Athletic (0-0).The national player currently plays for Everton FC and the Bavarians are supposedly preparing their offer at a cost of €8 million.

The problem lies in the local ties of the 26-year-old.  As TZ reports, Baines is suffering from homesickness.  The Everton star was born and raised in Liverpool and has not played for any club outside of that area.


Translated by: TJ


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Rummenigge: At the same level as Barcelona

Rummenigge comments on some of the latest news from the FCB camp.

According to FCB boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern has nothing to hide against Barcelona.  On the contrary, if everyone is fit, the Munich team will be on par with the team coached by Pep Guardiola.

FC Bayern is doing everything they can to conclude the year 2010 peacefully.  In particular, the contract extension of Bastian Schweinsteiger has caused great euphoria in Munich.  Karl-Heinz Rummenigge sees the club as being on par with Barcelona: “I think that if all of our players are fit, it will not be easy for Barcelona,” said the Bayern chief executive in the Bild-Zeitung. “Then we are at eye level”.

Continue reading

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Foot injury! Toni Kroos out for the rest of the first round.

Kroos will miss the next two matches against Stuttgart.

At the time Dirk Hebel, an advisor to Toni Kroos, didn’t even understand a word.  He was at a concert when he received a call from Toni Kroos who said he was suffering from “Pain like hell” which was “getting worse and worse”.

After the game against St. Pauli (3-0), it happened rather suddenly.  There was no specific action during which the midfielder injured his left foot.  Yesterday Bayern doctor Müller-Wohlfahrt joined Kroos in practice where he declared that he would be unavailable to play for the remainder of the first half of the season.

“I will miss the next two games,” confirmed Kroos when asked by Bild for his current status.  His injury comes right before two big games for Bayern against Stuttgart (in the league and the cup).

Kroos has yet to miss a single game this season so far.  He has played 24 times so far this season in the Bundesliga, Champions league and the Pokal where he assisted in seven goals and scored two himself.  Now the early qualifying rounds are off.

Fortunately, Kroos is still on task to travel with the Bayern squad to the training camp in Qatar on January 2nd.  “There is nothing broken,” said Kroos “Had I played the next two games, I would have been at rick of fatigue fractures, but fortunately nothing is broken!”

His break is therefore a purely precautionary measure.  This should come as a small sigh of relief for him and Bayern!


Translated by: TJ

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