Mehdi Benatia's arrival at Bayern Munich is likely to push Holger Badstuber out of first-team contention at the Allianz Arena after the Bundesliga agreed to sign the centre-back for an undisclosed fee from AS Roma.
Badstuber made his return for Bayern in pre-season after a 19 month lay-off, sidelined with a torn cruciate ligament. He captained the side in a friendly against his home town club, Red Baroons Dietmannsried e.V.
The defender then made his competitive return in the first round of the DFB Pokal before making his Bundesliga comeback against Wolfsburg last Friday, 629 days after initially being stretchered off.
Following the 25 year-old’s return, team mate and Captain, Philipp Lahm expressed his relief to see him back on the pitch almost a two year absence.
“Sensational!” declared Philipp Lahm, “it's just great seeing him back on the pitch. He's been working towards it a long time.”
Winger, Arjen Robben added: “My friend Holger. He’s back! I'm proud of him. He deserves huge respect!”
After the final whistle of their 2-1 opening day win, Badstuber outlined his ambitions for the future as he hopes to fight for a place back in the German squad after watching many of club team mates triumph in Brazil.
Unfortunately, the arrival of the Benatia could dampen those hopes.
Benatia is Bayern bound:
The two clubs agreed a fee for the player on Tuesday afternoon and now the Moroccan is subject to a medical this week. According to Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Bayern are believed to have made a bid of €24m and are then likely to pay €6m in add-ons. Benatia will sign a five-year contract when he travels to the Allianz Arena.
Roma have quickly found a replacement for their star man as it is believed that the Serie A side have secured the services of Olympiakos centre back, Koastas Manolas. The Greek defender is reportedly travelling to Italy to talk terms and potentially receive a medical.
What will the Bayern defence look like?
It is unknown whether Pep Guardiola will opt for a more natural three man line up or a four man unit at the back. On the opening day of the season, the Spaniard started with a defensive three with Badstuber playing on the right, Dante in the centre and Alaba on the left.
Also in that team was Spanish left back, Juan Bernat, who signed from Valencia this summer, and he was pushed up to the right side of midfield.
Benatia looks to be the clear first team choice and he will be able to fit into either of the systems that Guardiola chooses as he is a natural centre half. Of course if Benatia is to be partnered in defence it is likely that Jerome Boateng will come in ahead of Badstuber.
For Badstuber perhaps he will be accustomed to a new role in the three man line up as he coped with the position well last Friday although he was relatively untroubled.
The German will face stiff competition for the starting spot with both Rafinha and Dante who were both typical starters last season.
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