Bayern seek Javi Martinez replacement
Bayern Munich are set to enter the transfer market again with the Bundesliga champions after a replacement for injured Spain international Javi Martinez.
Only a few days ago, the Bayern squad for the upcoming season seemed set in stone -- but following Javi Martinez' ACL injury in the German Supercup last Wednesday, the Bavarians announced a change of their transfer philosophy.
"Javi is a special player, because we have a variety of tactical options with him in the team," coach Pep Guardiola told reporters ahead of the DFB-Pokal match at Preussen Munster, which the title holders won 4-1. "It's just a great shame. We'll miss him. He was running into outstanding form after the summer break."
Martinez' long-term absence from first-team football limits the Catalan's options in defence, with Germany international Jerome Boateng the only right-sided centre-back in the squad.
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"We'll never get through a whole season only with Jerome," Guardiola continued. "We need a new player. We only have 15 days left [until the transfer window closes]. It will not be easy to find someone."
Guardiola added that club officials are even more concerned over recruiting a replacement for Martinez, saying: "They by all means want a new player."
On Monday, Munich-based tz reported that the club's new technical director Michael Reschke travelled to Rome to discuss a potential move for Medhi Benatia. While other media outlets like Suddeutsche Zeitung and kicker later rejected those reports, it is believed that Bayern are indeed after the 27-year-old Morocco international, who has also been linked with a switch to Manchester United and Chelsea.
However, Benatia is rated at some 30 million euros, and is under contract at Rome until 2018, with the Serie A side's CEO Italo Zanzi telling Gazzetta dello Sport: "Medhi is one of our players. He has already been sold according to some media reports, but he continues to work very professionally here."
A host of other names have been linked with Bayern: Bild reports that the German champions are interested in Fiorentina's Stefan Savic and Liverpool's Daniel Agger, though the Denmark international is not thought to be Bayern's first choice.