Bayern Munich have identified the right back berth as a squad position they are looking to strengthen this summer with back-up needed for Frenchman Benjamin Pavard. The recent injury suffered by the 24-year-old means that Hansi Flick will have to come up with an immediate alternative for the forthcoming Champions League matches, but longer-term Bayern have two targets in mind.
The US option
Bayern have long been linked with Ajax’s 19-year-old US fullback Sergiňo Dest and are reportedly in serious negotiations with the Dutch club to bring him to the Allianz Arena next season. The sticking point at the moment appears to be Bayern’s insistence on an initial loan with an option to buy, whereas Ajax want an outright sale in the region of €20 million.
Dest has enjoyed a breakout season in the Eredivise in his debut year in the Ajax first team appearing 20 times in the league as well as five times in the Champions League. He provided five assists and had grabbed the attention with his mature displays down the right, where his pace and dynamism have been a key feature of the Amsterdam side’s play.
While Pavard enjoyed a great first season with Bayern and made the right back slot his own, the club are keen on having another option and took Spaniard Alvaro Odriozola on loan in January to provide cover. The signing of Dest would provide serious competition for Pavard, not least because he would provide a similar function to that of Alphonso Davies on the left-hand side. Dest would also be able to fill in on that left side should he be required.
There are other clubs interested with Barcelona and Tottenham reportedly in the race, but Bayern appear to be in the driving seat and if they can overcome the negotiating difficulties with Ajax, could have another highly-promising young player in their ranks next season.
The English option
The second somewhat surprising name to emerge in the reckoning is that of 20-year-old Norwich City full back Max Aarons. The English U-21 international has just been relegated from the Premier League with the Canaries and will be looking for a move back to one of the top leagues. Bayern would certainly provide that and like with Sergiňo Dest, a fee of around €20 million should be sufficient to sign the player.
It has been a poor season for Daniel Farke’s side suffering the drop into the Championship, but Aarons has been one of the bright lights in the side making 40 appearances in all competitions. He is adept crosser of the ball, is a very creative threat down the right, but also has the ability to cut inside.
His raw stats don’t look anywhere near as impressive as those of Pavard or Dest, but it has to be considered that he has been playing in a struggling side where his efforts and creativity are not rewarded by conversions.
The fact that Norwich have already signed a right back to replace Aarons would suggest a move is on the cards, but with Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen also showing an interest, Bayern are going to have to decide quickly whether their preferred option is going to be Sergiňo Dest or Max Aarons.
Or do Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Hasan Salihamidzic have another option up their sleeve?