Bayer Leverkusen are preparing a sensational move for unwanted Bayern Munich defender Dante before the end of the summer transfer window.
Dante, who has spent the last three seasons at the German champions since moving from league rivals, Borussia Mönchengladbach for £3.3 million in 2012, is understood to be surplus to demands at the club.
The 31-year-old, who has scored five goals in 132 appearances for the Bavarian giants in all competitions, had to watch Bayern’s 5-0 demolition of Hamburg in the league last Friday from the stands as he was axed from Pep Guardiola’s squad.
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With Guardiola favouring the partnership of Jerome Boateng and Mehdi Benatia at the core of Bayern’s defence, Dante, who helped guide the 25 times Bundesliga champions to an historic treble in 2013 has been told by the Spaniard that he is free to find a new club.
Indeed, this news has come as some relief for Leverkusen, who are keen to bolster their defensive choices before the German summer transfer window ends August 31, following injuries to two key central defenders.
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Omer Toprak has been ruled out with a torn tendon until the end of the year, whilst Croatian youngster, Tin Jedvaj is set to miss up to four weeks with a thigh injury.
With Leverkusen keen to improve on their disappointing fourth place finish last season, whilst also competing with the likes of Bayern, Schalke 04 and VFL Wolfsburg for the DFB Pokal, the BayArena outfit are keen to wrap up a deal before the end of the transfer window.
Leverkusen also face a battle to qualify for European football following a slim 1-0 defeat to Lazio in the first-leg of their Champions League qualification double bill, therefore the BayArena outfit are keen to conclude a deal before the return fixture on Wednesday.
However, Bayern are only open to listening to offers for the Brazil international in the region of £6.5 million, with Leverkusen reported to only be interested in offering £4 million for the Salvador-born defender.
Champions League or bust
Leverkusen’s proclaimed Sport Director, Rudi Völler insists that any move for Dante would depend on the club having the money to fund the move, a transfer which would ultimately come down to if the Lions are able to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Lazio in a return qualification fixture on Wednesday for a place in the Champions League.
The 55-year-old told online German newspaper Bild.de: “We can wait until the 31st August before making a move. There will be no decision before the Lazio game on Wednesday. Our inability to qualify will determine if there is enough money.”
Indeed, if Leverkusen were unfortunate to beat their Italian counterparts on Wednesday, it is also understood that Everton are interested in acquiring the services of Dante, with the reports suggesting that the Toffees are already in contact with Bayern.