Bayern's €40m problem is Manchester United's regret

Bayern Munich have a problem Manchester United can only dream of.

You may think that with Pep Guardiola coming to Bayern Munich, the last player who would have expected to find difficulty would be a Spaniard.

Yet the dilemma over where to fit in Javi Martinez is one which causes much head-scratching in Germany.

It cannot be said that there is concern, for this is Bayern Munich we are talking about after all, with the German press describing the Spaniard's situation as a 'luxury problem'.

Bild report Pep Guardiola as saying: "Is he a central defender or (number) six? He can play both positions."

While the paper go onto write that Martinez finds himself in No Man's Land, who has not yet sewn up a role in either position.

It is in many ways similar to the situation Manchester United find themselves in with Phil Jones, who is comfortable in central defence and central midfield, yet has not become a firm fixture in either.

At Barcelona the situation is slightly different. Central defenders Dante and Jerome Boateng are largely the first choice, while the midfield options are even more crowded.

Martinez must compete with his fellow Spaniard Thiago Alcantara, German talisman Bastian Schweinsteiger, while talent like Xherdan Shaqiri can barely get a look in.

The embarrassment of riches in the Bayern midfield highlights how barren the Manchester United options are. When a player like Javi Martinez - who cost the German champions €40 million 18 months ago finds himself battling for his place, it illustrates how far apart the two sides are - which not so long ago were considered equals.

Martinez was bought from Athletic Bilbao, with Bayern seemingly having no trouble activating the release clause for which United infamously struggled with regard to Ander Herrera this summer.

Had they moved for Martinez last summer, who knows what position the Red Devils would be in now - with a top class midfielder in the ranks.

Martinez' ability to also play in central defence would too offer further knowledge of adequate cover should Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand depart at the end of June when their contracts expire.

While David Moyes is picking up the flak for his own poor transfer dealings this summer, the failing of Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Javi Martinez and solve United's long-standing midfield problem is one which appears to have been largely forgotten.

image: © henrikalexandersen

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