Manchester United and Chelsea will be keeping tabs on the situation of Benjamin Pavard amid claims Bayern Munich are trying to sort out a new contract for the defender.
Pavard has played for Bayern since 2019, when he joined the German giants in a €35million (£31m) transfer from Stuttgart. The right-back, who can also play as a central defender, has made 140 appearances for Bayern and scored on nine occasions.
During his time at the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians have won three straight Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, DFB-Pokal (German cup), FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Ligapokal (German league cup).
But the Frenchman could leave Bayern this year. He is in the final 18 months of his contract with the club. And if he decides not to renew, then Bayern may have to sell him for a slightly reduced price in the summer.
Pavard has suggested on a couple of occasions that this is what he might want. During an interview with L’Equipe in November, he said: “There’ve been no concrete talks over new contract. I’ve immense respect for Bayern — I’m not against discovering a new project.
“Maybe now is the time. Why not discover new country? The sporting project has to be interesting.”
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano then added fuel to the fire by saying Pavard ‘would love’ to try himself out in the Premier League. Chelsea officials have ‘discussed’ his potential signing, while Man Utd are known suitors as well.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has now issued an update on the 26-year-old’s future, revealing that contract talks are in the works. He said (via Fabrizio Romano): “We will have talks with Pavard on [a] new deal as Benji is a very important player for us and we still have big plans together.
Benjamin Pavard ‘comfortable’ at Bayern – but exit still a possibility
“As he told me, Pavard now feels very comfortable at Bayern.”
Man Utd and Chelsea will be watching developments closely, just in case the contract negotiations stall. And if they do, then one or both of the English giants may pounce.
Pavard has a big decision to make on his future. Salihamidzic reckons he is happy to stay in Germany, but this conflicts with what the full-back himself said in late 2022.
He has already won pretty much all there is to win while at Bayern. So it might be good for the 47-cap international to try out a new experience in a different league.
Joining Man Utd or Chelsea would certainly represent more of a challenge. At Bayern, Pavard is almost guaranteed to win at least one trophy per season. They have lifted the Bundesliga title in every campaign since 2011-12.
Man Utd are in a period of change under Erik ten Hag, while Graham Potter is in charge of his own project at Chelsea. Due to these factors, it might be some time before Man Utd or Chelsea become as successful as Bayern are currently. But it would be an exciting journey for Pavard to take part in.
It makes sense that Man Utd are looking into signing him. Ten Hag is on the hunt for a new right-back as he is set to axe Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Therefore, Pavard could move to Old Trafford as a competitor for Diogo Dalot.
Chelsea’s interest is also understandable. Reece James is Potter’s first-choice right wing-back, but he has been badly affected by a knee injury this term. Chelsea do have Cesar Azpilicueta as an alternative, but as he is 33 years old they cannot rely on him forever.
Pavard would be a good long-term replacement for Azpilicueta. He would be able to provide James with competition and backup for years to come. Plus, the Bayern star can also operate in central defence if needed, so he would help Potter there too.
Meanwhile, Man Utd have ‘concrete’ interest in one of Pavard’s more attacking Bayern team-mates, according to a journalist.
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