Liverpool sweating over Bayern's 'relentless strategy' as Klopp's transfer plans threatened
Liverpool’s efforts to sign Serge Gnabry could be hampered by Bayern Munich’s tough approach to the German striker’s plight. The Reds are among clubs keen to sign Gnabry amid a contract stalemate with Bayern but may not get what they want given the Bavarian giants’ stance.
Gnabry has one more year on his contract with Bayern and is looking to commit to his future with the club. His situation is very similar to that of teammate Robert Lewandowski, who has stated that he will not sign a new contract to attempt an exit this summer.
Liverpool and Real Madrid are eyeing Gnabry, according to Spanish publication Sport. The report claims that Jurgen Klopp sees the 26-year-old as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, who joined Bayern for £34m, and Divock Origi, who left on a free transfer to Milan.
That could be tough because Kicker says Bayern are ready to be tough on Gnabry. Instead of selling him this summer for around £34m (€40m), the German side are ready to pursue a “ruthless strategy” leaving the striker out of the squad for an entire year just to teach him a lesson.
Understandably, Gnabry is unhappy with this stance, with a place in Germany’s World Cup squad at stake, and that can only increase his desire to leave. Sport reports that Liverpool have already spoken to their representatives Bjorn Bezemer and Daniel Delonga of agency ROOF to test the waters over a summer transfer.
Liverpool know the agency because they also represent Mane, while they have also recently been in regular contact with the Bayern hierarchy following the Mane negotiations. Bayern have made their position perfectly clear: they have offered Gnabry a contract and expect him to sign it.
Bayern boss Hasan Salihamidzic described the club’s position recently. “I’m very clear on that, he’s a great guy,” Salihamidzic said. “We really want to keep it. We’d love to extend it with him. I think we showed him the necessary appreciation. I hope he chooses FC Bayern. We will intensify negotiations in the coming weeks. But if a player doesn’t want to decide for the club, it’s fair to tell us so we can find a solution that makes everyone happy.”
Real Madrid reportedly see Gnabry as a good replacement for Marco Asensio, who looks set to leave the club this summer. Asensio has been linked with Liverpool, Chelsea, Milan and Manchester United after Real made it clear he will not renew his contract, which is set to expire next summer.
Gnabry has been with Bayern since a transfer from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2017. After a spell on loan at Hoffenheim, he established himself in the squad and contributed 64 goals and 40 assists in 171 appearances for the club.