Munich (dpa) – FC Bayern struck again strongly in the turbulent closing hours on the transfer market.
The former Munich Douglas Costa (30) is returning to the German record champions three years after moving to Juventus Turin. Champions League final opponent Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31), U21 European champion Marc Roca (23) and Frenchman Bouna Sarr (28) are new to the squad of the last somewhat shaky winner. Michaël Cuisance is leaving the series champion for the time being.
After four goals by the phenomenal Robert Lewandowski in the crazy 4: 3 against Hertha BSC, coach Hansi Flick was happy that he got the wish for new staff with the next four-pack. Head buyer Hasan Salihamidzic was very satisfied with his deals shortly before the store closed.
The sports director emphasized the “international experience” of Choupo-Moting and a “great added value” through the young Roca. After the arrival of Costa, who already played for Bayern from 2015 to 2017, Salihamidzic pointed to the “top occupied” wing positions. Sarr bring “experience and stability” with him.
“Super, super happy” makes Flick the longed-for end of the 83-day long second transfer period. At last he has “an overview” of his refreshed star ensemble, and from Tuesday on he can “concentrate on the things that are important”. After a tricky start to the season, Flick plans to restart with his champions.
“After the international break, it’s about playing the beautiful football that we all want again, so we still have to work on it a bit,” said the 55-year-old after the tremendous win against Berlin in stoppage time. “The way we play football is not Bavaria-like.”
Acting on the transfer market in challenging Corona times was also unusual for Bayern. Successful engagements at the last minute such as those of Mark van Bommel (2006), Arjen Robben (2009), Javi Martínez (2012), Xabi Alonso (2014) or Kingsley Coman (2015) have happened again and again. But a large number of last-minute deals like this year are new.
The Brazilian Costa, who moved to Turin for 40 million euros at the time, is back as a substitute for the wing for a year as a loan player behind Robben and Franck Ribéry at Bayern. However, after the unsuccessful move from Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea FC), he is not the top solution. Costa was once described by Uli Hoeneß as “quite a mercenary”. He himself thinks back to a “wonderful time” – and wants to “achieve another title”.
The German-Cameroonian Choupo-Moting is presumably a complaint-free Lewandowski backup. After signing a one-year contract, he felt “a good feeling”. Despite his decisive goal for Paris on the way to the final against Bayern, he no longer had a future at PSG. FC Bayern is the fifth professional station of the Hamburg native in Germany.
Much longer than with Choupo-Moting, the Munich-based company is planning with Roca, which was signed by Espanyol Barcelona for an estimated nine million euros. With the five-year contract with Bayern, “a dream comes true”, as he said. After the departure of Thiago (Liverpool), the 23-year-old should close a squad gap in defensive midfield.
Sarr (Olympique Marseille) received a four-year contract. The Munich team has long been looking for a right-back as a backup behind French world champion and compatriot Benjamin Pavard. He wants to be the next Bayern Frenchman to help “continue the successful history of this club”. In return, Cuisance will move to Marseille on loan for a year, where he can also gain experience in the Champions League.
Flick wants to integrate the newcomers as quickly as possible. The debut attracts on October 15th in the postponed first cup round against fifth division 1. FC Düren, two days later the league game at Arminia Bielefeld follows. At the Champions League opener against Atlético Madrid on October 21, Bayern are challenged much harder.
“Even if you are tired and not at 100 percent, you can perform. Robert Lewandowski is also not at 100 percent and scores four goals,” said Flick after the goal show of the Munich “life insurance”. Flick didn’t like nine goals in a week, but he was impressed by the mentality of his stars. The title heroes of this year were critical of themselves. Leon Goretzka complained that after the many celebrated successes one now “takes one’s foot off the accelerator too early” during a tour.
The completed refreshment of the squad after the long-standing additions of Leroy Sané (24), Alexander Nübel (24) and Tanguy Nianzou (18) could provide new momentum. “We have world-class players here who also have their goals, just like the coach. We want to win games and titles,” said Flick.