There’s no questioning the success and incomparable imprint midfielders Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, and Philipp Lahm have had with Bayern Munich over the last half decade, but if recent reports are correct, the three-time defending Bundesliga champions are trying to revamp their midfield this summer.
Ribery is still dealing with a serious ankle injury, Robben has been hobbled by injuries in recent years, and Lahm recently relinquished his role as Germany’s captain, a hint he will be less counted on to play a full 90 minutes.
The most recent report comes straight from Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Douglas Costa, whose play for Brazil during the Copa America didn’t exactly boost his global rating. The 24-year-old told Bild that talks between Shakhtar and Munich have indeed taken place.
“Discussions have been held between my club and Bayern. But as we speak I know of nothing more than an interest from Bayern,” he said.
Over the last five years Costa’s scored 29 goals in 140 appearances for the Ukrainian club, four of which came last term when Shakhtar finished second on the table.
Munich and manager Pep Guardiola are already set in the attack with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, and as long as Costa’s comfortable working as a facilitator he could be worth his current market value of £16 million.
The move might come as surprising to some, as Munich were also one of a myriad clubs reported to be in the Paul Pogba sweepstakes, but they could be preparing for the departure of midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as well.
The 30-year-old newly dubbed German captain has one year remaining on his current contract, but Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reportedly listed Schweinsteiger as one of his top transfer targets this summer.
As of now, Schweinsteiger, who has totaled 45 goals over 342 appearances since moving up to Munich’s first team in 2002, said most of his motivation and perhaps reason to stay in Munich comes from the need to make history.
"We've won the Bundesliga for three consecutive times, no team ever has managed to win it four times. That's a motivation,” he said to Sport1. "I feel good and I'm ready to play the next three years at the top level. That's my goal."
The latest speculation surrounding Schweinsteiger came after Guardiola set his sights on one of United’s most expensive players, midfielder Angel Di Maria. According to Sky Deutschland, The Argentine is Guardiola’s No. 1 transfer target this summer even after his poor overall performance in Premier League last term, and Munich are presently scouting him while Argentina contends for the Copa America title.
However, United and Van Gaal aren’t interested in dealing Di Maria less than a year after paying Real Madrid £59.7 million for his rights. The 27-year-old netted four goals last season, three which came in his first five matches and his play took a nosedive from there.
Sky also reported that Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is considered Munich’s second choice if Di Maria remains unattainable. The French international registered 25 goals in 46 appearances for Madrid last year as one of their top strikers.
The move might seem impossible given the 24-year-old is under contract until 2020, but his almost £25 million price tag would be much cheaper than Di Maria’s.