Karl-Heinz Rummenigge with Karl Hopfner as the latter is awarded the Federal Cross of Merit at the Department of the Interior, June 12, 2018. The club is prepared to entertain offers for the veteran center-back—but not for Robert Lewandowski. Thiago Alcantara might also find himself crowded out of Bayern’s roster.

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p id=”IZ8P2F”>Executive board member and president of Bayern Munich e.V. Karl Hopfner was awarded one of Germany’s highest honors today: the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz). Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was naturally in attendance at the ceremony, after which he spoke with the press. The bombshell of the day: Bayern Munich are prepared to negotiate for Jerome Boateng.

Bayern Munich open to bids for Boateng

Rummenigge acknowledged Boateng’s recent reflections about transferring abroad:

Basically, those thoughts are not out of this world. His agent [Christian Nerlinger] has also informed me of them. So we know that the topic may potentially come up for us. If a club comes and announces that he’d like to transfer to that club, we will take the issue up.

Asked whether the club has a “pain threshold” for entertaining a transfer, Rummenigge stated,

Yes, there is. I make no bones about it. It also definitely not be low.

At the moment, however, no formal offers have been made for the center-back:

At the moment it’s all speculation. I know, though, that Jerome is considering the subject.

Like most core players on Bayern’s roster, Boateng is under contract through 2021. Bayern thus are under no real pressure to sell him for less than he is worth.

Lewandowski going nowhere

While Boateng may pursue his options abroad, Robert Lewandowski will remain in Munich for the foreseeable future. Rummenigge declared,

I said weeks ago that I’ll take bets over Lewandowski’s staying with us—and I’ll still take those bets today.

A transfer to Real Madrid, which some regarded as a possibility again after the sudden departure of Zinedine Zidane, would also not interest Bayern. Rummenigge repeated the story that Lewandowski’s name had not come up even once when the two club’s front offices lunched together in April. He added,

One time we had a player that he [Real Madrid President Florentino Perez] was very interested in. We quickly shut the door on it. From this story, I know he’d say so openly [if he were interested] . But it wouldn’t interest us, if he asked about Lewandowski. We have made a clear decision in the club—and that decisions stands.

No bids for Thiago, but no guarantees either

Another hot topic lately is the future of Thiago Alcantara, who many speculate FC Barcelona are targeting for a return to his home club, now that he has become an established fixture of the Spanish national team. Rummenigge opened the door to a transfer indirectly:

I know nothing about that [interest from Barcelona] . No club has inquired with us, nor has Thiago himself. We are still including him in our plans. Although I have to say that we have a large number of midfielders on the roster. Depending on the system, we have three to four positions to give to nine players. The roster, as it stands now, is tops. If we were to give up players, I won’t rule out that we’ll still do something.

Zero interest in Hoffenheim’s Kevin Vogt

And incidentally, Rummenigge also ruled out Kevin Vogt as follows:

You shouldn’t always believe what people say. You can scratch him off the list.

This is one transfer rumor that clearly carries no water.

Prayers for Manuel Neuer

No, Bayern’s front office is not praying for Neuer anymore, but Rummenigge jokingly said they had during his recovery:

What makes me happiest is that Manuel is there, too [at the World Cup]! He had this incredibly long miserable time for over eight months. I almost have to say: all of us at FC Bayern prayed that he’d be fit for the World Cup!

Rummenigge is impressed by Neuer’s form:

Only at the first game, against Austria, did I look very closely at how he moved. I was very satisfied! Manuel moved completely normally. I think he’s not absolutely ready for the World Cup! Germany will have some more quality on the team with Manuel.