Following the transfer of Matthijs de Ligt, the red alarm is making noise for the likes of Tanguy Nianzou, Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard and the loan returnee Chris Richards.
While Lucas Hernandez is the undisputed starter in the defense, the rest of the defenders have to worry about their position and future at Bayern. The likes of Nianzou and Upamecano have already changed their agency a while ago.
With Chris Richards being shipped off to Crystal Palace, the deal looks 95% done. Meanwhile, the club is already working on selling more players. Among them is also Benjamin Pavard.
According to Sky Germany, the Frenchman is open to leaving the club. Bayern Munich also want to sell the player and that would only happen if de Ligt was signed. A couple of days ago, Bayern announced the signing of the Dutchman on a 67m euro deal including add-ons. For Pavard, Nianzou, and Upamecano, their position at the center back is endangered.
As per Sky Germany’s reporter Florian Plettenberg, Pavard is not considering a contract extension anymore. With the defense being rejuvenated and following his strong performances in the second half of the season, it makes sense for Pavard to seek a new challenge where he could lead as a defensive boss. For Bayern, Pavard was never in their plans as defense chief.
With David Alaba, a leader in defense was lost in the summer of 2021 and the club did not consider any of the defenders under contract in 2021-22 season capable of leading the defense. Despite Lucas Hernandez always earning praise from the club, Bayern did not quite trust him as a leader as he has to be more focused on his own duties. Hence, a new defense chief in de Ligt was signed.
In the months that passed, Bayern considered the likes of Gleison Bremer, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rüdiger, and Matthias Ginter for the defense. The club ended up with none of them, but when they saw the opportunity to make more money through player sales, the signing of de Ligt was immediately considered. For Pavard, it’s been revealed that Bayern wants a sum of around 25 to 30 million euros.
It was not difficult at all to convince the young guy; De Ligt was destined to join Bayern in 2019, his late and deceased agent Mino Raiola had revealed that he wanted to bring the player to Bayern at that time, but somehow it did not happen.
The close relations with the entourage of de Ligt proved key to convincing the player of the Bayern project led by Hasan Salihamidzic and his right hand, Marco Neppe. Both did not cut contacts with de Ligt. That is why, it was not very difficult to convince him to come.
So how will the fellow centerbacks fight for their position at Bayern?
Not only Pavard’s future is being considered, but Tanguy Nianzou is also considering his future. Although the club wants to offer him a two year extension, the youngster wants to leave the club either on loan or on a permanent deal. Few clubs from France have already expressed their interest in the Frenchman. Last season, there were rumors circulating that Nianzou was not satisfied with the lack of gametime that head coach Julian Nagelsmann had offered to him.
A couple of months ago, the change of agency for Nianzou would mean an early preparation for what was to come. But with de Ligt’s transfer recently, things could escalate. It remains to be seen, however, how Bayern will manage to convince Nianzou to stay, and whether the parties see that a loan move is conceivable.
On the other hand, Dayot Upamecano, who came as a major signing for a sum of 41.5 million euros from RB Leipzig, has not really been rumored to leave, but with de Ligt’s arrival, his position as a starting centerback could be lost. Naturally, he will now have to fight for his place.
Of course, anything can happen during the training sessions, and how the players will perform in front of Nagelsmann. But considering that Bayern needs a defense chief to lead the team from behind, it is only logical that de Ligt should partner with Hernandez if Nagelsmann considers to play the rumored 4-2-2-2 formation.
Otherwise, a back three of Hernandez – de Ligt – Upamecano would certainly be more conceivable. If you take a look at the numbers and the fees, Bayern would have the most expensive backline in the world. All the three combined, without the bonuses, cost 188.5 million euros. That certainly was never imagined in any of our dreams.