Bayern Munich reportedly remains interested in Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez.
The defensive crisis at Bayern Munich deepened at the end of the year. Javi Martinez suffered a serious thigh injury against Wolfsburg, keeping him out of the action for a minimum of six weeks. The Spanish midfielder was acting as a makeshift defender for Die Roten.
This injury further raises the question of whether Die Roten should be looking to sign a defender in January. In the past couple of weeks, Bayern has been linked with right-backs instead of center-backs. Since Benjamin Pavard can play as a right-back, these reports do make sense.
However, Bayern can also do with a center-back along with a right-back in January due to growing uncertainty over Jerome Boateng‘s future. The German defender has reportedly held talks with Hasan Salihamidzic to express his desire to leave the club in January.
The center-back that has been frequently linked with Die Roten in Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Nunez. The latest update from Spain suggests that Bayern remains interested in the Spanish defender. According to AS, Bayern remains interested in Nunez and have held talks through Giovanni Branchini. This report insists that Bayern is keen on improving defense in January.
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The Spanish media outlet also insists that West Ham United are ready to activate Nunez’s €30 million release clause next month. Bayern meanwhile could be open to involving Javi Martinez in a swap deal for Nunez. Apart from these two clubs, Nunez has also been linked with Everton, Manchester City, and Arsenal in the past.
Nunez has been part of La Liga’s best defense this season. He has not featured in every game, but still played a decent amount of games for the Spanish club. The 22-year-old central defender was also part of Spain’s U-21 team that won Euros last summer. He is a raw talent but has the potential to become a top defender.
The transfer fee for Nunez is not huge compared to the fees paid by various top clubs for central defenders in the past few years. Moreover, Die Roten can bring the fee further down if they include Martinez in the deal. The Spanish midfielder is unlikely to get a new deal at the club, so he is likely to leave Bavaria next summer.
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Along with Martinez, Boateng will also leave sooner than later, so Die Roten will need a central defender. They can avoid signing a central defender by promoting Lukas Mai to the first team. Another young center-back in the first team squad will complete the overhaul of the defense. It will be interesting to see whether Bayern decides to stick with a youth player or move for Nunez.