Bayern's answer to Neymar 'transfer madness' is making the next Muller

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For a third of the price of the PSG forward, the Bavarians have constructed a new youth academy that they hope will produce the stars of tomorrow


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In 2013, Jurgen Klopp infamously attacked Bayern Munich over the way in which they go about strengthening their squad, claiming that the Bavarians were like a James Bond villain, doing as they pleased in trying to take over the world.

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"Our way could never be doing things like them and not think about taxes – and let the next generation pick up our problems," the then Borussia Dortmund coach stated.

It seems, though, that the penny has finally dropped at Bayern; the "next generation" has now become one of their principal concerns.

Even the five-time champions of Europe have realised that they can no longer compete in a market in which Paris Saint-Germain have just paid €222 million to sign Neymar from Barcelona.

Indeed, it was telling that just over a fortnight after the Brazilian's world-record move was finalised, Bayern officially announced the opening of their new youth academy.

Uli Hoeness Bayern Campus PS

"The Bayern Campus is our answer to the current transfer madness and salary explosion," club president Uli Hoeness told reporters on Monday.

"Through skilful tactical manoeuvring and educating young talents, we want to compensate for the financial advancement of other clubs.

"We will have the chance to develop the new [David] Alaba, [Philipp] Lahm, [Thomas] Muller, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Toni] Kroos here.

"But the goal is not only to produce competitive sportsmen: we want to develop humans as well.

"For the youth, it's better to do sports rather than sit in front of the television."

Bayern certainly couldn't have done a much better job on constructing an attractive venue for aspiring footballers.

Built at a cost of €70m (less than a third of the price of Neymar), the complex covers 30 hectares and contains eight pitches and one 2,500-capacity stadium that will host the club's Under-17 and Under-19 sides.

Everything about the campus was meticulously planned, including the location. Not only is it located just four kilometres from the Allianz Arena, the address is Ingolstädter Straße 272, a reference to the fact that the club was founded on February 27, 1900.

"Sabener Strasse, Allianz Arena and Ingolstadter Strasse - that's the new magical triangle of Bayern Munich," enthused Horst Seehofer, Minster-President of Bavaria. "The Bayern Campus is unique in Germany. It's a milestone."

Bayern certainly hope so. The importance of a productive academy has been underlined by Barcelona's sudden struggles.

After a decade of success and scintillating football founded upon a wonderful crop of La Masia graduates, the Catalan club is now counting the cost of its most reliable source of world-class talent being neglected during Luis Enrique's spell as coach.

Unlike Barca, Bayern remain dominant domestically - they have won five successive Bundesliga titles - but Hoeness is pained by the lack of players coming through the youth system, given he believes a core of German players is key to Champions League glory, as it was during the club's heyday.

"In the last few years, the results of our under-age work haven't been good," the three-time European Cup winner acknowledged. "No player has even come close to making the first team since Alaba."

Uli Hoeness Alaba PS

However, according to Hermann Gerland, who is heading the project alongside former Red Bull Salzburg general manager Jochen Sauer, that is about to change.

The former Bayern player and coach insists that the new academy will offer a very clear path to the senior squad.

"We want to be able to bring a talent to the first team every two years," he reveals, "Obviously, every year would be even better!

"The conditions are first class; now we have to produce first-class talents.

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"We need talent with rough edges. Everyone must want the ball. Our motto is: 'Don't give the opponent any time to think.'

"I can promise you this: I will give it everything. And all who don't give it everything have no business here. It's that simple."

Essentially, Bayern remain ruthlessly intent on taking over the world. The only difference is that now they’re hoping to do so with home-grown talent. Perhaps even Klopp would approve.

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