With the January transfer window quickly approaching, we take a look at the business that may be conducted by some of the top clubs in Europe. Here's a look at Bayern Munich..
This Season's Stats
Champions League: Round of 16
DFB-Pokal: Third round
Win %: 77.77%
GF ratio: 2.59
GA ratio: 0.55
Their Season So Far
Bayern Munich have always been the one of the powerhouses of German and European Football. The four-time European champions sit on top of the Bundesligs with a healthy 9 point lead over Bayer Leverkusen and comfortably into the knockout stages of the Champions League where they will face English side Arsenal. They are also in the quarter-finals of the German Cup (DFB-Pokal) where they will be facing Borussia Dortmund.
Jupp Heynckes' side have swept aside opposition teams with remarkable ease whether they are from Germany or from Europe. A shock loss to BATE Borisov on Matchday 2 in the Champions League was a wake-up call for the Bavarians who returned the favour in the return leg at Munich by beating them 4-1.
A defence that was bolstered by the summer arrival of Brazilian Dante from Borussia Monchengladbach, a midfield whose quality was increased two-fold when World Cup and European champion Javi Martinez made his way to FC Hollywood, and the addition of Mario Mandzukic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizzaro to the forward line have made Die Roten one of the favourites to win the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
What They Need
It is hard to pick out a department where Bayern do need reinforcements as the transfer policy of the Bavarians is a healthy mix of financial prudence coupled with their tradition of bringing in players from the youth academy into the first team. Each position has atleast one capped international as a backup.
The attack just oozes class. With an attacking roster that comprises of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Xherdan Shaqiri, Toni Kroos, Claudio Pizzaro, Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez, it is the envy of many a manager in Europe.
Bayern were lacking a backup to Bastian Schweinsteiger in the midfield area last season. They addressed this problem by bringing in Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao for a reported fee of €40 million. The Spaniard will join Luis Gustavo, Schweinsteiger and Emre Can who can slot into the midfield position with utter ease. However Can's inexperience at the top-tier is a factor that can persuade the 22-time Bundesliga champions to look for a midfielder in the January transfer window.
The defensive department is sufficiently stocked for Bayern. Lahm's versatility to play with devastating effect on both the right and left sides of defence is what that makes him such an asset to the Roten. Dante's arrival has solidified a defence that looked suspect at times in the previous season.
However the defence goes into the winter with Dante being the only recognised centre-back for the Champions League. Holger Badstuber has been ruled out with a ligament injury while Jerome Boateng lost his head to get himself sent off in Bayern's last group stage match in the Champions League against BATE Borisov.
With Tom Starke providing sufficient cover for Manuel Neuer in goal, there isn't a doubt on Bayern having one of the most complete squads in Germany and Europe.
Bundesliga clubs are generally quiet during the January transfer window which has seen them make only three signings of Landon Donovan, Breno and Luis Gustavo, in the last five years. The trend is likely to continue for the Bundesliga leaders who are not lacking in any department.
|Will Bender return to Munich?|
The other half of the Bender twins, Lars has been linked with a move to Bayern. The 22-year old was part of the 1860 Munich youth academy from 2003-06. Die Roten's desire to add more depth to the midfield is seen as more of a move for the future as he can thrive in the influence of world class players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez. The versatile Bender, who can also play as a right full-back, was on the scoresheet for the national team in the final group-stage match against Denmark in Euro 2012 as he scored the winner in a tightly fought game.
This trait could serve as an advantage to Bayern who will need to give Lahm some much needed rest. If this move does materialise, it would just be another brick in a solid wall that is Bayern Munich.
|Will Friedrich return to his homeland?|
VIDEO: Bayern may look for a short-term fix to their defensive problems
Who Could Leave
A large squad, especially those filled with players capped at international level, will be hard to maintain as each of those players will be demanding playing time to impress the gaffers in charge of their respective national teams. Manchester City and Paris St. Germain are teams that are prime examples of this. Bayern Munich's squad depth is the stuff of envy for managers around Germany and Europe.
|Who do you think Bayern Munich should sign? Leave your comments below|
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