Thomas Muller has defended Bayern Munich to Sport Bild for raiding RB Leipzig to sign Liverpool and Tottenham targets Dayot Upamecano and Marcel Sabitzer this summer.
The Bavarian powerhouse strengthened with the French centre-back and Austrian maestro following a record-extending ninth-straight Bundesliga title last season. Leipzig finished the campaign as Bayern Munich’s closest challengers, but were a distant 13-points behind.
Borussia Dortmund were the last side other than Der FCB to win the Bundesliga in 2011/12 under Jurgen Klopp. The German, now in charge at Liverpool, along with Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, explored signing Upamecano this summer, per The Guardian. But ultimately missed out when Bayern triggered a €42.5m (£36.5m) release clause in his contract with Leipzig.
Bayern returned to Saxony to raid Leipzig again when they agreed a €16m (£13.5m) deal for Sabitzer last month. Tottenham were among Sabitzer’s many admirers, with Fabrizio Romano noting the board retained their interest after sacking Jose Mourinho.
Muller has now defended Bayern Munich for beating clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham to signing Leipzig’s stars like Upamecano and Sabitzer. Noting clubs do not have to sell their key players, as Paris Saint-Germain showed with Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid.
“No way,” Muller said, when asked if Bayern’s transfer strategy hinders Leipzig’s chances of rivalling for the Bundesliga this season. “No club has an obligation to sell. Look at PSG and Mbappe. Like every club, we’re on the lookout for quality that fits into our budget.
“It’s normal to look around for options in the same league. There have always been transfers that are hotly debated, and that’s a good thing.”
Have Bayern further monopolised the Bundesliga by signing Liverpool and Tottenham targets Upamecano and Sabitzer this summer, despite Muller’s remarks?
Bayern Munich have opened their latest Bundesliga title defence with two wins and a draw from three games. Wolfsburg are the only side to still boast a 100% record in the top-flight, while RB Leipzig have won once.
Sabitzer is yet to feature for Bayern since the Tottenham target left Leipzig for the Allianz Arena. Upamecano has started each Bundesliga game since the Liverpool target left Saxony to follow ex-Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann to Bavaria.
Bayern will hope the arrivals of Sabitzer and Upamecano will help clinch a 10th-straight title this season. While Liverpool ultimately strengthened Klopp’s defence with another Leipzig defender in £36m centre-back Ibrahima Konate. Tottenham, meanwhile, added to their midfield with Pape Matar Sarr but loaned the €18m (£15.5m) ace back to Metz.