Bayern Munich plot triple steal from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich are mulling over a raid of Bayer Leverkusen’s playing and coaching staff this summer to reestablish their stranglehold over German football, 90min understands.

Thomas Tuchel’s reigning champions have won the Bundesliga in each of the last 11 seasons. However, Bayern had to rely on Borussia Dortmund dropping points on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign to snatch the title and trail Leverkusen this term.

Xabi Alonso, who regally patrolled the base of midfield for three years during Bayern’s unprecedented winning sequence, is at the helm of a Leverkusen side toppling records each week and has caught the eye of his former employers.

Exequiel Palacios struck the only goal against Augsburg in the 94th minute of Leverkusen’s first game of 2024, earning the club’s 14th league win of the season from just 17 games. Alonso’s side are unbeaten across all competitions and boast a four-point lead over Bayern at the top of the table.

Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso won three league titles with Bayern Munich / Alexander Scheuber/GettyImages

Bayern have a game in hand on Leverkusen and boast 41 points from 16 league matches but lack the imperious edge of previous iterations – despite Harry Kane’s prolific start to life in Bavaria.

With their triumphant stretch threatening to come to a close this season, Bayern could poach three key figures from the side that may end their run, as revealed by 90min DE.

Alongside Alonso, Bayern are thought to be keen on Leverkusen’s prodigious playmaker Julian Wirtz and adventurous left-back Alejandro Grimaldo.

Wirtz missed almost nine months of 2022 with a cruciate ligament tear but has managed to largely avoid any subsequent setbacks, rapidly restoring his reputation as one of the most exciting young forwards in European football. Bayern’s Jamal Musiala could also lay claim to that honour and the Bavarian giants are understandably excited by the prospect of lining Wirtz up alongside his fellow 20-year-old.

Grimaldo only joined Leverkusen last summer, arriving on a free transfer after six-and-a-half years at Benfica. The former Barcelona academy player scored seven goals and teed up another six in the first half of the Bundesliga season, including a stunning free kick against Bayern Munich in October.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt - BundesligaBayer 04 Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga

Florian Wirtz has caught the interest of Bayern Munich / Ralf Ibing – firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Bayern are in search of alternative full-backs given the fears over Alphonso Davies’ potential departure. While Premier League clubs have taken a step back in the pursuit, Real Madrid are very much interested in the jet-heeled Canadian international.

Madrid may also hold the key to Bayern’s interest in Alonso. While Carlo Ancelotti’s contractual situation was uncertain, with the Brazil national team unashamedly chasing after the Italian coach, Madrid were thought to be sounding out Alonso for the managerial role. Ancelotti even openly praised Alonso but then signed an extension at Real, crossing off one potential destination for the sought-after Spanish coach.

Leverkusen’s CEO Fernando Carro tied Alonso down to a three-year contract himself at the start of the season but has stressed his willingness to let his manager leave if the right offer emerges.

If Alonso were to join Bayern, he would not only be interested in bringing a pair of Leverkusen players with him. The Basque coach is thought to be keen on Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi. Bayern have sent scouts to watch the 24-year-old this season but are hardly the only club interested, with the likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain all keeping tabs on Zubimendi.


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