By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, May 16 (Xinhua) — Football fans in Germany are eagerly awaiting the 2018/19 Bundesliga’s last matchday this Saturday, with the title to go to one of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
In advance of their home game against Eintracht Frankfurt, league leaders Bayern can count on a two-point lead over Dortmund, who also face a home tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.
But while preparations continue in Munich for the farewell party for club legends such as Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery and Rafinha, a massive squad overhaul seems to be on the way in order to secure the Bavarians’ status as a powerhouse of European football.
The latest rumors speak about breathtaking changes being considered by Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness. More new arrivals could follow in the footsteps of France’s 2018 World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid) and Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart).
And there may be changes afoot off the field too, as doubts remain over the future of current Bayern coach Niko Kovac. Several media reports speak about RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick being ushered in as a replacement, with rumors suggesting Bayern have eyed Rangnick for several years.
With Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann set to take over at Leipzig next season, Rangnick has spoken about wanting to continue as a coach, rather than being a sporting director.
If recent reports are to be believed, German international and Manchester City forward Leroy Sane is a possible target for Bayern too. The 23-year-old has just won his second Premier League title but is reported to be unhappy about the situation at City, who may face expulsion from the UEFA Champions League amid possible violations of financial fair-play rules.
With Sane’s current contract set to expire at the end of next season, City may be of a mind to sell the forward this summer rather than risk him leaving for free in 12 months’ time, with outgoing Bayern winger Arjen Robben having praised Sane as one of the world’s best in his position.
Rumors suggest that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has contacted French international Antoine Griezmann via his agent and sister Maud Griezmann. The 28-year-old recently announced his decision to leave Atletico Madrid this summer, with media reports suggesting the 2018 World Cup winner’s contract has a release clause worth 120 million euros.
German football magazine Kicker has reported that Manchester United and Paris St Germain have tabled offers for Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, though the Bavarians are said to be keen to extend the Pole’s contract until 2022, with Lewandowski said to favor extending his stay in Munich.
Leipzig striker Timo Werner is said to have agreed to join Bayern for the 2019/2020 season in a deal worth 35 million euros. Acquiring Werner and Griezmann would allow Bayern’s coach flexibility, as it would end the dependency on a sole striker.
German international and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz is said to be on Bayern’s shopping list, as Hoeness hasn’t given up on his dream of recreating the German national team in Munich yet.
19-year-old Havertz is said to be one of Germany’s most celebrated talents, while rumors suggest that Bayern have also found a successor for their increasingly injury-prone goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.