Bayern Munich have been spending heavily on central defenders in the last four summer transfer window. The big spending on center-backs started in 2019 when Bayern signed Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for then club record fee (€80 million). They followed Hernandez’s signing by activating the release clause of Benjamin Pavard at VfB Stuttgart.
The French defensive duo fared well for Die Roten for four seasons. They both left Bavaria in the last summer transfer, much to the disappointment of fans and the club. Hernandez was the first one to leave as he sealed a move to Paris Saint-Germain early in the summer transfer window.
Bayern were eager to extend Hernandez’s contract and keep him at the club for the remainder of the peak years of his career. The talks were progressing well in the second half of the season when Hernandez was recovering from a serious knee injury. However, the intervention of Paris Saint-Germain led to an impasse in talks between Die Roten and Lucas Hernandez.
The French defender told Die Roten clearly at the end of the season that he wants to join PSG. Bayern quickly resolved the situation by the end of June and agreed on a fee with the French club. Hernandez became Bayern’s record sale as he was sold for €50 million.
While talking to Le Parisien this week (via iMiaSanMia), Hernandez explained the process of deciding to leave Die Roten. The French defender is grateful for the way Bayern helped him to get through the recovery period from a serious knee injury.
"“After my injury at the World Cup, Bayern stood by me and did everything to make sure I came back as best as possible. It was the moment when I asked myself: am I feeling good here? Do I see myself staying four more years? Or do I try a new challenge in a country where I have never played but which I know well?”“I also thought about Bayern because with this big injury, they trusted me and offered me a new contract. I put everything on the table and since I’m someone who is spontaneous, who likes challenges, I said to myself that it was time to change and move to Paris, a very ambitious club.”"
Bayern were certainly disappointed with Hernandez’s decision as they were planning with him for the new season. Thomas Tuchel was also excited by the prospect of working with Hernandez. The French defender has delivered quality performances for Die Roten whenever he was fit during the last four seasons.
The record Bundesliga champions had no other option but to sell Hernandez since he had entered the final year of the contract. They did well to get a good fee for the French defender. From Bayern’s point of view, they should be proactive with contract talks for key players instead of allowing them to enter the final year of the deal.
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Bayern went on to replace Hernandez with Kim Min-jae. The South Korean defender has enjoyed a good start to life in Munich. The Bavarian club failed to replace Pavard, so there is work to do for Christoph Freund and Bayern to get Tuchel a good replacement for the French defender.