Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has suggested that 2018/19 will be the final season at the club for both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
The veteran stars are into the last year of their deals, having signed extensions with the club this summer. However, given their ages, the Bayern chief is keen to see them give way to younger talent next year.
Rummenigge, who accompanied the side on their tour of the United States, sat down to discuss Bayern’s Die Roten’s affairs with heads of NBA and NFL teams recently and spoke to the futures of the aforementioned pair.
“No, we have not extended their contracts by chance,” he explained in quotes cited by TZ. “We had also discussed whether we would extend one year with a 34 and a 35-year-old.
“Against Juventus and Manchester City you have seen what quality they still have. The second goal against City was prepared by Franck and executed by Arjen – for this goal, there is only one predicate: World class!
“I’m sure the two of them might want to use this last year to show everyone what top quality they have. One joined us in 2007, the other in 2009 – it is no coincidence that we have made a national and international leap ever since.”
Rummenigge also commented on the speculation regarding Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who has emerged as a target for the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea. The 62-year-old noted that Ribery was faced with a similar situation some years back but found immense happiness at the Bavarian club despite initially having his head turned.
“We have a completely different philosophy than other clubs,” he said. “With Franck we once had this little problem when Chelsea and Real were after him.
“Franck also showed cravings, but we told him that we would not sell him. And now he is one of the happiest footballers in the world, because he has found his home in Bavaria and Munich. I think he too is glad that we made that decision that way. With players one must show clear attitude.”