The tug-of-war over Benjamin Pavard is over: The 2020 treble winner is leaving FC Bayern after all and moving to the Italian Serie A.
After four years at FC Bayern, Benjamin Pavard has opted for a new challenge at another top European club and is moving to Inter Milan. The 27-year-old’s contract with the German record champions would have expired in the summer of 2024, and the Frenchman had already decided against the contract extension Bayern officials were hoping for some time ago.
“Merci Benji! We thank you very much for four extremely successful years together. Not least in our historic six-title year, he was a very important part of the team, especially as he scored the goal of the evening in the final of the Club World Cup,” said Jan-Christian Dreesen, chairman of the board of FC Bayern, bidding farewell to the defender with warm words: “We respect his desire for a new challenge and have therefore agreed on a move to Inter Milan. “
Mazraoui the last FCB right-back
Actually, the German champions wanted to keep the Frenchman after the failed transfer of Kyle Walker (Manchester City), especially since Josip Stanisic has also left FCB on loan for Bayer Leverkusen. Only Noussair Mazraoui is currently in the squad at right back – too few for three competitions.
But in order to generate a transfer fee for the defender who is willing to leave, the FCB ultimately had to agree to Pavard’s transfer request, which was made at the end of May. No details were given on the duration of the contract or the amount of the transfer fee. Pavard is to receive a five-year contract at Inter and, according to reports, the transfer fee will cost 30 million euros plus further bonuses. Part of this sum is now likely to be reinvested in a replacement player.
Pavard at FC Bayern: Four-time champion and triple winner
In the summer of 2019, the Munich club put 35 million euros on the table to lure Pavard from VfB Stuttgart to the Bavarian capital via an exit clause. He went on to win the German championship four times in a row, and in 2020 he was part of the triple team as Bayern secured the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League titles.
Last season, the 2018 World Cup winner featured in a total of 43 competitive matches for FCB (seven goals, one assist), mostly on the right side of defence or in central defence.
Pavard also played in the Bayern kit in the 3-0 defeat against RB Leipzig in the Supercup in mid-August, the first competitive match of the new season. He was on the bench for 90 minutes in the 4-0 win in Bremen at the start of the league, and was not in the squad on matchday 2 against Augsburg (3-1) due to back problems.
Tuchel made a strong case for Pavard
Future coach Thomas Tuchel will no longer be able to call on the services of the Frenchman. The 50-year-old, with whom Pavard enjoys a good relationship, had still made a strong case for the Frenchman shortly after taking up his post at the beginning of April. “He immediately gained my trust,” Tuchel confirmed at the time. Pavard is a “player who is perhaps sometimes underestimated from the outside” who can “adapt and be decisive at an extremely high level”.
Despite the coach’s words of praise, Pavard has decided against a future at FC Bayern. The attraction of a new task in another top European league was too great. In recent months, Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool FC are also said to have been interested.