Shaqiri, Dante, Pizarro & Starke signed; Dzeko & Javi Martinez on the radar: Bayern plan for 2012-13 mega-squad

Die Roten have already made several acquisitions this summer, but their dealings have only just begun. reviews their moves thus far and previews the rest of their campaign
By Nikolai Mende

After a second consecutive season without earning silverware, Bayern Munich are set to splash the cash to improve their squad this summer. The German giants have already added several reinforcements, but are far from finished with their activity in the transfer market.

In the most critical spells last season, Bayern's lack of depth proved critical. The bench had hardly any quality, and talents Takashi Usami and Nils Petersen played almost no part. The management realised months ago that improvement to squad depth is their most important task this summer, and have already made significant changes with the signings of Xherdan Shaqiri, Dante, Tom Starke, and Claudio Pizarro.

Shaqiri's capture was the Bavarians' first confirmed signing of the summer transfer window. The Switzerland international will serve as back-up for wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, a role that this season exclusively belonged to Thomas Muller.

1) Back-up goalkeeper  
2) Back-up striker 
3) Back-up winger  
4) Centre-back  

5) Central midfielder   x
6) Left-back   x
7) Second back-up striker x

In defence, Dante will compete primarily with Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber for playing time. Daniel van Buyten is now in the twilight of his career and will only be a bit-part player, while Breno is set to depart Munich, most likely for Lazio. The addition of Dante means that even in the event of an injured or suspended starter, Jupp Heynckes will have an established centre-back in reserve. Previously, midfielders Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Luiz Gustavo were forced to play as makeshift defenders.

With Hans-Jorg Butt retiring, Bayern were once again in the market for a goalkeeper, whom they found in the form of Tom Starke. The ex-Hoffenheim man will serve as Manuel Neuer's deputy.

Thus far, the most significant transfer rumours have concerned possible centre forward reinforcements. Bayern finally decided on veteran Claudio Pizarro, who will replace the Wolfsburg-bound Ivica Olic.

But with the marginalised Petersen eager to leave Munich, Bayern need another option in attack. Edin Dzeko is their first choice, and is available after Manchester City have decided to put him up for sale. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international would not come on the cheap, however, and an agreement is still far from decided. As a less expensive alternative, Twente's Luuk de Jong is on the Bavarians' radar: can confirm that Bayern have been in touch with the player's agent, and that the Netherlands international is enthusiastic about the prospect of transferring to one of the world's top clubs.


JAVI MARTINEZ (Midfielder)

Read more on Martinez
Age: 23

Club: Athletic Bilbao

International caps: 7 for Spain (0 goals)

Offer:  Unknown

Asking price: €40m

Contract until: 2016

Probability of transfer: 30%
Alternatives: -

On several occasions, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes has called for substantial reinforcements to resolve problems in the build-up play. The former Athletic coach has been monitoring his former club, and has specified versatile midfielder Javi Martinez as his preferred starter alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Spaniard is better on the ball than pure destroyer Luiz Gustavo, and can be used both in midfield and defence. Die Roten's defensive midfield was occasionally too slow and short of ideas last season, and struggled against strong teams. can confirm that for quite some time Bayern have been in touch with Martinez's agent. Just as in the case of Fabio Coentrao a year ago, the sticking point that could derail a deal is money. The player's €40m buy-out clause only applies to Spanish clubs, but Bilbao have no reason to sell their star, while coach Marcelo Bielsa is thought to have only extended his contract with the club if they keep hold of Martinez and Fernando Llorente. Bayern are willing to push for a transfer, but if Bilbao demand more than €25m, if they are open to offers at all, it is unlikely that the German giants will complete the transfer.

EDIN DZEKO (Striker)

Read more on Dzeko
Age: 26

Club: Manchester City

International caps: 42 for Bosnia & Herzegovina (20 goals)

Offer: Unknown

Asking price: €30m

Contract until: 2015

Probability of transfer: 60%
Alternative: Luuk de Jong

In attack, Bayern's planning is in full swing. For months, many candidates from Europe's top leagues have been mentioned. Olivier Giroud was long considered a top candidate, but the Bavarians have called off their pursuit of the Montpellier man, whom they feel plays too similarly to Mario Gomez. After the addition of Claudio Pizarro, Bayern are still interested in adding another top striker, and have turned to Dzeko as an option. With the ex-Wolfsburg man having fallen in the pecking order in Roberto Mancini's squad, he is expected to leave Manchester City this summer.

The Bosnian was recently offered to die Roten by his agent, and there were reports of an agreement between Dzeko and and Heynckes' side. According to a source, the club and player have not yet reached an agreement, although chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a fan of the attacker. The greatest potential barrier to a deal is financial, with City demanding a €30m transfer fee, while Dzeko would have to accept a wage cut. As in the case of Martinez, negotiations will likely go on throughout the summer.


Read more on Mathieu
Age: 28

Club: Valencia

International caps: 1 for France (0 goals)

Offer: Unknown

Asking price: €10m

Contract until: 2014

Probability of transfer: 55%
Alternatives: -

There is also an open spot in defence. Back-up Diego Contento has expressed his desire to leave the club to finally get match practice after David Alaba emerged as first-choice left-back, who can also push up to midfield. Assuming the 22-year-old leaves, Bayern will need a replacement. Valencia's Jeremy Mathieu is on their radar, and would be available for around €10m.