Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness ‘blocked’ Manchester United’s approach for Benjamin Pavard to ‘protect the German club’s image,’ according to reports.
The France international has just one year remaining on his contract at the Allianz Stadium and is pushing for a move away from Bayern.
Erik ten Hag is keen to add another quality defender to his squad before the transfer window closes. Pavard has the ability to play as a centre-back or right-back, so could provide cover in several positions for Man Utd.
The 27-year-old signed for Bayern in 2019. He has since made 163 appearances across all competitions, scoring 12 goals and making 12 assists in the process.
A proven winner, the defender has helped his team to win four Bundesliga titles, as well as the Champions League in 2020. He also scored the winning goal in the 2018 World Cup final for France.
Nevertheless, Man Utd have so far failed to sign Pavard, and this is reportedly down to Hoeness’ transfer strategy.
Pavard tells Bayern CEO he wants out
According to German outlet SportBILD, Bayern’s president Hoeness blocked Pavard’s move to Man Utd after the German club were left embarrassed when Robert Lewandowski joined Barcelona.
Hoeness returned to Bayern this summer after the departure of Hasan Salihamidzic as director of football. He now forms part of the club’s ‘transfer committee.’
As per the report, Hoeness exercises his power ‘more directly’ than his predecessor, which was a key factor in Man Utd missing out on Pavard.
As mentioned, the defender is desperate to leave Bayern this summer. If he doesn’t, it’s very likely that the German club will lose him on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Bayern ‘initially blocked offers’ for Pavard as they wanted to ‘preserve their self-image’ after Lewandowski ‘forced through a move to Barcelona’ – something they don’t want to see happen again.
Pavard is said to be ‘very upset’ by this decision and has bypassed Hoeness by complaining directly to Bayern’s CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen.
Whether or not Pavard gets a move to Man Utd or Inter Milan as a result of this remains to be seen. What’s certain, though, is that the Frenchman is doing everything his power to leave the Bundesliga champions.