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German giants make explosive start to the summer transfer window
Bayern Munich are at some what of a crossroads with regard to their future. While future hall of famer and legend Pep Guardiola quits as the coach of the German giants, they have already made a flying start to the transfer season. The club set the ball rolling with the transfer of Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches for €35 million, and then landed a crippling blow to arch rivals Borussia Dortmund by signing centre back and German international Mats Hummels for a reported fee of over €30 million. Sanches was linked to several clubs by Portuguese newspapers, such as Manchester City and Liverpool with Arsenal coming the closest to signing the Portuguese. Hummels was on the radar of Manchester United and coach Louis van Gaal for a very long time. But as it turned out, Bayern swooped in to pick up two of Europe’s most talented players this season. While Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchels has admitted that he’d be hard pushed to find a suitable replacement for the 27-year old Hummels, Bayern president Karl Heinz Rummenigge himself has extolled the virtues of Sanches as a player. “Renato Sanches is a dynamic, technically-gifted midfielder who is strong in the tackle and will strengthen our squad”, the president said.
Coach Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, is unwilling to accept the claim of German fans that he has altered the German style of football. Guardiola, who has spent three seasons in charge of the German giants, has been a real success story, managing three Bundesliga titles but missing out on a Champions League title. The road, though, has not always been easy. The coach has faced some tough criticism from Bayern fans and Club authorities alike for bringing his characteristic possession football tactics that made him a demigod at Barcelona. Nevertheless, he maintains his stand, saying he has learnt much from his stint at Bayern and is eager to do the same from English football when he takes over the reins of Manchester City from outgoing boss Manuel Pellegrini. Coach Pep feels that the Germans have been amazing exponents of the game of football, having lost only nine matches in three years in the Bundesliga. Incidentally, five of those came in situations when they had already sealed the title for themselves. When Guardiola joined the club in 2012, the Bavarians had won only two titles in the last five years, but since then have managed to successfully defend the title twice. He will be replaced by incoming coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose stint at the helm of Real Madrid ends at the close of this season.
Needless to say, Bayern will remain formidable opponents with the arrival of Ancelotti. They have a great mix of players, with the experience of the likes of Philip Lahm and pure talent from the likes of Mario Goetze, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba. Whether Carlo Ancelotti adapts well to German football is yet to be seen, but one can expect the best. Bayern Munich fans can only wait and hope to repeat the cheers that have been so resounding in the Allianz Arena.