World Cup winner Jerome Boateng will be on the market this summer, with the 32-year-old confirmed to be leaving Bayern Munich on a free transfer.
Boateng, who had a year at Manchester City between 2010 and 2011, has spent the past 10 seasons in Bavaria where he’s won eight Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues across 354 appearances.
“That was a joint decision of the club’s management and the coach was also involved in it,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told Sky Germany ahead of the side’s Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
“I explained it to Jerome, and he was very understanding.”
Where Boateng ends up now will remain to be seen, but whoever brings him in will be adding an experienced defender who, on his day, has been up there with the best centre-backs in the world.
His qualities caught the attention of Jose Mourinho, then Manchester United manager, back in the summer of 2018, when the Portuguese was desperate to sign a new centre-back for the club.
United were also being strongly linked with Toby Alderweireld, who ironically is now managed by Mourinho at Tottenham, but they ended up empty handed much to the annoyance of Mourinho.
Having decided to stay at Bayern, Boateng made it very clear why he didn’t want the move to Old Trafford.
“I had enquiries from Paris-Saint Germain and Manchester United and I considered them,” he said.
“Not because I wanted to leave Bayern Munich, by all means. It was no escape, but rather the thrill of a new challenge. I feel completely contented at Bayern – one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I phoned Jose Mourinho and told him that his interest honoured me and thanked him. I explained to him my reasons for not joining. It’s difficult to leave FC Bayern. Everything has to fall in place to top this club, if I do it.
“Niko Kovac gave me the feeling that I’m very important for him and the club.”
Mourinho’s disappointment at failing to sign a new centre-back rolled into the season, and he was sacked in the December following a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.