The end of the winter window saw Bayern Munich linked with numerous center-backs. By this time, Niklas Sule had rejected a contract offer from Die Roten. The German defender had also reached a pre-contract agreement with Borussia Dortmund for a free transfer in the summer.
The Bavarian club was expected to sign a center-back to replace the German international. Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen emerged as the top target to fill the void left by Sule. The Danish defender was also available on a free transfer in the summer. Despite putting in a lot of effort, Rekordmeister failed to seal the signing of Christensen. The former Monchengladbach center-back will be playing for Barcelona from next season.
Christensen teammate Antonio Rudiger was also on the list of center-back targets to replace Sule. However, Rudiger’s wage demands had scuppered a possible move to Bavaria. The 29-year-old defender recently sealed a move to Real Madrid. Despite ruling out signing the former Roma defender, the latest development in German media suggest a late move for Rudiger was made by Die Roten.
According to SportBild’s Christian Falk (via FussballTransfers), Hasan Salihamidzic had contacted Rudiger’s agent after Bayern’s defeat against Villarreal in the Champions League. Salihamidzic made a panic move after realizing the need for signing a leader at the back. However, it was too late as Rudiger was on the verge of completing a move to Real Madrid.
This report can be taken with a pinch of salt as Die Roten often maintains a tough stance when it comes to the wage demands of players. Rudiger’s salary demands would have made a negative impact on the wage structure at the club. Moreover, Die Roten will not make a transfer decision just on the back of one result.
Matthias Ginter was also another center-back linked with a move to Bavaria. However, the German defender has also clinched a move to Freiburg. The Bavarian club also held talks for Torino’s Gleison Bremer, but he has also been heavily linked with Inter Milan. It is likely to be a left-field signing as most of the other defenders linked with Bayern have joined other clubs.
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It remains to be seen if Die Roten will be active in the market for a center-back. Julian Nagelsmann reportedly wants an experienced defender, while Bayern is counting on Benjamin Pavard to move in the central defense. Hasan Salihamidzic recently insisted that Pavard will be playing in his preferred position next season, while Noussair Mazraoui will be the first choice right-back.