The Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will not be signing Erling Haaland but would welcome another prolific forward onto their books, but a raid on Borussia Dortmund remains unlikely
Bayern Munich will not be joining the clamour for Erling Haaland because they simply cannot afford to put a deal in place, says Markus Babbel, with a transfer package required to land the Borussia Dortmund striker expected to cost any suitor up to €600 million (£517m/$733m).
That figure includes any fee required to prise the prolific frontman from his current surroundings, payments to ‘super agent’ Mino Raiola and the lucrative salary that would accompany a long-term contract.
With all of that taken into account, despite their standing as a dominant force in German football, Babbel cannot see those at the Allianz Arena making an effort to replace current number nine Robert Lewandowski with another performer lured away from arch-rivals BVB.
“There is no chance that Bayern could get him because you would have to spend between €140m and €180m. Bayern can’t do it. The whole package is too expensive. Raiola, he is not the cheapest agent in the world, he wants to have good money as well. If you pay so much money, he has to be the best-paid player in the squad. The whole package is like €500-600m and Bayern is not in the situation at the moment to do it.
“Bayern is so happy with Robert Lewandowski. Haaland is a massive talent but there are 12 years in between and Lewandowski has more experience and is still 100 per cent fit. He knows the club, he knows the pressure and he can handle it. I can’t believe that Bayern would change Lewandowski with Haaland.”
Why would Bayern change?
A ninth successive Bundesliga title has been secured by Bayern this season, with Lewandowski very much leading the charge once more as he maintains remarkable standards at 32 years of age.
His last outing saw him match Gerd Muller’s all-time record in the German top flight of 40 goals in a single domestic season, with Babbel left in awe of a man that now stands shoulder to shoulder with a fellow club legend.
The ex-Germany international said of Lewandowski: “I never thought that anyone could catch this unbelievable record from Gerd Muller. Now both of the biggest strikers that have played for Bayern Munich have 40 goals.
“I really cross my fingers [against Augsburg on Saturday] that Lewandowski doesn’t score. If these two guys end on 40-40 goals, that would be fantastic. I am a football romantic. Without Gerd Muller, Bayern Munich wouldn’t be this club that it is now. He was so important for this club. If you have a goalscorer like him, then you win titles.
“Now Lewandowski is a fantastic striker and for me the best number nine in the world. He’s a bit different to Messi or Ronaldo but for me he is the best number nine. It would be fantastic if both of the best strikers that Bayern have ever had end on 40 goals and share the record.”
The bigger picture
He is expected to form part of Julian Nagelsmann’s plans in 2021-22, with a change in the dugout being readied in Munich as the reins prepare to be passed from treble-winning Hansi Flick to the highly-rated 33-year-old currently calling the shots at RB Leipzig.
Babbel said of that appointment: “It is a big job. He is still young, he is 33, but he started coaching in his 20s. He has a lot of experience for someone so young. At the moment he is one of the biggest talents in Germany.
“He was working for Hoffenheim and brought the whole club in a different space. Also now with Leipzig. He is doing a fantastic job there. He made the players better. Also, he can work with young players.
“That is important now for Bayern Munich because they have the same problem as many other big clubs in that they can’t buy two or three big names, it is too expensive and they can’t pay it. They have many good young ones but no-one is working with that. He can do that. He will bring two or three players in that he wants but the rest he has to work with the young ones.
“They will have a strong side again next year but it is a big change now for Bayern Munich. They have brought a new coach in, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will retire, Miro Klose is leaving, another assistant [Hermann Gerland] that has worked with the club for 25 years is leaving. There is big change in the club and I am really looking forward to seeing how he can handle it. But he has a five-year contract so for the first one or two years he can be safe.”