Luca Toni was officially unveiled as a Bayern player in Munich on Thursday at the news conference which also introduced Franck Ribery to the German media. “We’re delighted Luca Toni is coming to us, as we’re convinced he’s one of the best strikers in the world,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge observed, reiterating the club’s satisfaction at the Italian World Cup winner’s decision to go for goal in a Bayern shirt as of next term.
Germany’s most successful club is not stopping there, as the Bavarians are already looking forward to adding another world-class goal-getter to their ranks. “I’m certain we’ll see Miroslav Klose come to Bayern on a free transfer by 2008 at the latest,” Rummenigge told the respected dpa news agency. The player himself confirmed his intentions after Germany's Euro 2008 qualifier against Slovakia in Hamburg on Wednesday: "The facts are that I've decided to play for Bayern Munich from 2008."
Dispute over fee?
The Germany hitman has a contract with Werder Bremen running until 30 June 2008, but Bayern have not ruled out bringing in the player this summer. "We've made Werder Bremen a formal offer for Miro Klose, a generous offer too. The final decision is now entirely up to Werder," general manager Uli Hoeneß reported on Thursday.
Rummenigge laid down one strict condition, however. “Naturally, it should be clear to everyone that Bayern will not accept demands for €15 or €20 million for a player who only has a year left on his contract.” Klose, the leading scorer at last summer's World Cup, appears relaxed about the situation: "If it does come about that I end up playing for Bayern next season, I'd obviously be delighted about that as well."
Chairman backs Podolski
With Toni’s arrival confirmed and Klose in the offing, the press have speculated on what the future holds for Lukas Podolski and Roy Makaay. Rummenigge confirmed a number of enquiries for Makaay, Munich’s top scorer last season with 16 goals, “but the situation today is that he’ll be seeing out his contract with us until 30 June 2008,” the chairman remarked. Hoeneß added a qualification to that statement after talking to the 32-year-old Netherlands international: "Roy's not packed his suitcase yet, but he does see a problem in staying put if we bring in Klose immediately."
Rummenigge categorically ruled out Podolski potentially moving on at this stage. “We signed Poldi until 30 June 2010, and there’s no way he’s leaving Bayern. He won’t be sold, and he won’t be sent out on loan. We believe totally in his ability, because we’re convinced he’s one of the most talented players in German football.” Added Hoeneß: "Lukas is staying here, no matter what happens."