The need for a defensive midfielder for Bayern Munich was highlighted against Galatasaray on Tuesday. The Bavarian club had to be on the receiving end of an attacking onslaught from the Turkish club. Die Roten needed someone in the midfield who would provide steel and a calming presence on the ball.
Nevertheless, Bayern still managed to get through the difficult game in Turkey with a victory. The unbeaten start to the campaign continues for Thomas Tuchel and Die Roten. The German coach has been very vocal about transfers and what the squad needs in the media. He will definitely push for a defensive midfielder and versatile defender in January.
Bayern came very close to fulfilling Tuchel’s midfield wish in the summer when they agreed a fee with Fulham for Joao Palhinha. The Portuguese midfielder was spotted at Sabner Strasse to complete the formalities of the transfer. However, Fulham had to abandon the transfer due to a lack of viable replacement on the deadline day.
Palhinha was distraught after the transfer collapsed in the final hours of the transfer window. Bayern appreciated the midfielder’s willingness to seal the transfer. Few reports after the transfer window suggested that Die Roten would revisit the deal in January, but things are not as straightforward as they seem for this move to happen.
According to SportBild’s Christian Falk and Tobi Altschaffl (via iMiaSanMia), Bayern have no plans to bid close to the €65 million fee that they had agreed with Fulham in the summer. The Bavarian club agreed to pay such a big fee since the move was taking place late in the transfer window.
Thomas Tuchel remains determined to add a new number six to the squad. Christoph Freund also agrees with Tuchel’s assessment of the midfield, but the club chiefs are reluctant to spend big in January. Uli Hoeness has previously insisted that Die Roten will not spend heavily in the winter transfer window.
Palhinha is reportedly interested in a move to Bavaria midway through the season. Fulham will have more leverage to ask for a big fee since the Portuguese midfielder signed a new deal a few weeks ago. Since Palhinha will be 29 next season, Bayern being hesitant to pay a big fee makes sense.
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The Bavarian club should explore other defensive midfield options in the market. A younger midfielder will be better suited for their long-term plans. Along with finding the right profile, the onus will be on Freund to make sure that the deal is financially viable for Die Roten. Since Bayern need at least two signings in January, it will be intriguing to see who they sign to solve the midfield conundrum.