The winter transfer window is set to be one to watch for Bayern Munich as they are expected to get two players that they failed to do on the deadline day in the summer. Thomas Tuchel is eager to add a defensive/holding midfielder to the squad. Die Roten tried to fulfill his wish by signing Joao Palhinha from Fulham, but the transfer collapsed in the final moments of the window.
It remains to be seen if Die Roten will go back for Palhinha. As things stand, the Bavarian club is also keeping a close eye on other options. According to SportBild’s Christian Falk, Bayern are interested in Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi for the number six position.
Sport1 has also confirmed that Zubimendi is on the list with several other options to strengthen the midfield department. TZ is also reporting Die Roten’s interest in Zubimendi, but they report that the main priority in January is to sign a central defender to replace Benjamin Pavard in the squad.
Zubimendi has been one of the promising midfielders in La Liga over the last two seasons. The Spaniard has a contract until 2027 at Real Sociedad, but he reportedly had a release clause worth €60 million in his contract. It wouldn’t be a big surprise if several big clubs fight for his signature in the summer.
From a long-term point of view, Zubimendi will be a much better signing for Die Roten than someone like Palhinha. The Spaniard is five years younger than Palhinha, and he is much more secure on the ball. However, the Portuguese midfielder is much better defensively, with good accuracy in making tackles and interceptions.
Bayern will not have a big budget available for the winter transfer window since getting primary targets midway through the season is difficult. However, the deal to get Zubimendi will be straightforward as they will have to activate the release clause in his contract. Meanwhile, the transfer fee for Palhinha is likely to be much higher than it was in the summer since he signed a new deal at Fulham a few weeks ago.
Zubimendi will be an exciting option to have in the squad since he is very good on the ball and equally adept out of possession. With the best years of his career ahead of him, Bayern will add quality and longevity to the midfield department with this signing.
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Along with a number six, Bayern will try to sign a versatile defender in January. They failed to replace Pavard in the summer, which has effectively hurt them this season. Tuchel had to use midfielders in defense since there are only three senior central defenders in the squad. The German coach currently has Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae as the only natural options in central defense since Matthijs de Ligt suffered a serious knee injury against Saarbrucken.