It is no secret that Bayern Munich are looking to sign a defender in the winter transfer window. The Bavarian club will be without Kim Min-jae for weeks due to South Korea’s participation in the Asian Cup. Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano will be the only senior center-backs available for selection in January, so Die Roten must sign a center-back.
Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo has emerged as the top target for Bayern. The Spanish club has no plans to sell the Uruguayan defender, but Rekordmeister will still monitor his situation in the summer. For now, Bayern have also been linked with Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet. The Bavarian club could face competition from Italy to sign the French defender.
According to Mundo Deportivo, AC Milan are also interested in signing Lenglet from Barcelona in January. The French defender is currently on loan at Aston Villa, but he has struggled to get consistent playing time under Unai Emery. A move away from Villa Park could be on the cards for Lenglet in January to get consistent playing time.
After excelling at Sevilla, Lenglet failed to emulate the same form at Barcelona. He was on loan at Tottenham Hotspur last season. The North London side decided against signing him permanently. Barcelona and Xavi didn’t have Lenglet in their plans for this season, so he went out on loan to Aston Villa in the summer.
Lenglet is a decent defender, but he shouldn’t be the first-choice option for Die Roten in January. The move for the French defender will only make sense if it is a loan move, which will allow Bayern to get their prime target for central defense in the summer.
In terms of long-term options in defense, Bayern also have concrete interest in Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Japanese defender is likely to be a target for the summer since he will also miss games in January due to the Asian Cup. Arsenal wants to extend his contract, but Die Roten may try to make a move for him if they fail to sign Araujo.
The winter break begins in a week, so there will be more clarity on Die Roten’s transfer targets for January. Christoph Freund expects a busy window as the Bavarian club wants to sign a defender and defensive midfielder.
Bayern has received positive news on the injury front in the central defense. Matthijs de Ligt took part in first-team training on Thursday for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury against Saarbrucken. It remains to be seen if he will be available for selection in next weekend’s game against Wolfsburg. Tuchel needs Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, and De Ligt for the rest of the season if he gets a stop-gap defensive cover in January.