Bayern double swoop for Sanches and Hummels shows Munich mean business
Holly Thackeray | May 10, 2016
Bayern Munich have stunned domestic and European rivals with a double transfer swoop for Borussia Dortmund defender and captain Mats Hummels and Benfica midfield wonderboy Renato Sanches.
According to reports the ink is already dry on a swiftly made deal for teenage dynamo Sanches, while Hummels’ is still subject to a medical, though both should arrive this summer on five-year deals.
Bavarian giants Bayern are known for being quick movers in the transfer market, after notably securing Carlo Ancelotti’s signature as their next coach back in December – and they stunned the tabloid world again with this double deal, for the two stars to join up for the start of next season with the Italian tactician.
With current dugout incumbent Pep Guardiola departing for Manchester City, and a disappointing Champions League semi-final exit to Atletico Madrid, the Munich bigwigs have not rested on their laurels.
Strides ahead of continental and domestic competitors, these moves are a sure sign of ambition and intent for next term, when the German giants are 5/1 to lift the 2016/17 Champions League with Coral.
Munich steal march on rivals with Sanches shock
While the Munich men’s move for Germany international, and former Bayern academy product, Hummels was long mooted, it is the Sanches coup that has most surprised.
The teenage talent had reportedly caught the eye of Barcelona, though most bets were on the Portugal midfielder arriving at Old Trafford, with some outlets even suggesting negotiations with Manchester United were underway.
Considering the Mancunian club’s apparently close relationship to Sanches’ super agent Jorge Mendes, previous in snapping up Portuguese potential, history of huge splurges on young stars and links to Jose Mourinho, it seemed the most plausible outcome.
Yet, Bayern seemingly swooped in to leave the Red Devils in the dust, with decisive action that will be the envy of English football fans.
Multiple Munich midfield options
Initial reports suggest the Allianz Arena outfit have forked out £27.5m for the 18-year-old, with the potential for the price to rise to around £37.5m.
It may appear a huge outlay for the Lisbon-born box-to-box midfielder, but Sanches is credited with reinforcing and refreshing Benfica’s Primeira Liga title challenge after his emergence from youth ranks, and the Portugal-capped protagonist could end the campaign and his Eagles stint with a winners medal.
As well as being an exciting investment for the future, Sanches should still slot in seamlessly for Ancelotti in the first-team squad.
Having already shown he has the composure and quality to compete in the Champions League, this Allianz Arena switch should work out much better than one to Manchester, as the youngster can develop alongside a settled midfield full of star quality, instead of being thrown in the Old Trafford deep end.
Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of Sanches: “Renato is a dynamic, combative and technically gifted midfielder who will strengthen our team further,” with the player perhaps signalling a shift back to a more direct attacking style than under gaffer Guardiola.
A perfect partner or alternative for Arturo Vidal, Sanches should bring some of the exuberance, heel-snapping and driving force Bayern lacked over two semi-final legs versus Atletico Madrid.
Dortmund failed to resist raid for Hummels
While perhaps not as eye-catching, and certainly not as surprising, as Sanches’ capture, Hummels is another name to be caught in the Bayern net.
Despite reports saying the Dortmund defender had told press: “I have not offered myself anywhere. That is the greatest piece of nonsense I’ve ever heard,” low and behold Hummels will return to Bayern as a potential hero.
Though he will perhaps be remembered far from fondly by passionate BVB support, as he follows in the footsteps of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski for leaving the Westfalenstadion for Dortmund’s great domestic rivals.
Having been a lynchpin in The Black and Yellows’ recent silverware successes, Hummels has returned from whence he came, after being offloaded by Bundesliga big-guns Bayern back in 2009.
Though Munich do need an upgrade in central defence and rearguard reinforcement, with his arrival perhaps instigating a rumoured Medhi Benatia departure, it appears more of an affirmation of their dominance over Dortmund.
Hummels’ return to the fold is also somewhat of a blow to the Bundesliga as a competition, as the 27-year-old’s addition should further tip the league challenge in Munich’s favour next term. It may work well for Germany, however, with Hummels and Jerome Boateng now able to work on a partnership for club as well as country.
The ball playing centre back’s last game for Dortmund could be against Bayern in the DFB Pokal final on Saturday, May 21st should he feature – though the announcement of this deal (but not the fee) mirrors the controversial revelation of Gotze’s transfer just before the Champions League final in 2013, which Munich went on to win.