Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are two of the most gifted wingers of the 21st century. But the fact that they are still crucial to Bayern Munich, at the age of 34 and 35 respectively, is indicative of the Bavarians’ failure to rejuvenate an ageing squad.
Try as they might, Bayern just do not seem able to lessen their over-reliance on two players who have spent over a decade at the Allianz Arena.
With Ribery’s fitness proving erratic in recent seasons, and with Robben looking notably exhausted during a dreadful recent run which has piled the pressure on head coach Niko Kovac, the Bundesliga champions appear to be stepping up their pursuit of a man capable of succeeding the legendary Dutchman or the peerless Frenchman.
According to Telefoot, Bayern are stepping up their interest in the £30 million-rated Lille star Nicolas Pepe, whose six goals and six assists in nine games this season has caught the eye of many European sides.
But could Everton ruin Bayern’s best laid plans? As reported by the Mirror, the Toffees are also keen on Ivory Coast international Pepe and, with Farhad Moshiri at the helm, the Merseysiders have shown they are willing to spend big.
With Bundesliga revenues merely a drop in the ocean compared to the Premier League, do not bet against Everton being able to outbid a Bayern side whose record signing remains the £42 million Corentin Tolisso.
But, if the Bundesliga giants are to finally add some fresh faces to a side over-reliant on the same old players, they simply cannot lose out to Everton.