After a trophy-laden five-year spell at Bayern, Brazil captain Lucio is leaving Munich to join Italian champions Inter Milan. On Thursday, the centre-half and the FCB board of directors agreed to cancel the player’s contract ahead of its scheduled expiry on 30 June 2010. The 31-year-old, who will sign a three-year deal with the north Italian club coached by Jose Mourinho, moves for an undisclosed fee.
“The clubs have struck a deal, and the player has agreed terms with Milan,” announced Bayern general manager Uli Hoeneß ahead of the squad’s departure for a summer training camp in Donaueschingen. Lucio is due in Milan for a medical in the next few days, “and if that’s fine, he’ll sign his new contract,” Hoeneß continued.
Three domestic doubles
“After the Confed Cup, it was his express wish to leave Bayern if a major club came in for him,” reported Hoeneß. On receiving an offer from Inter, FCB endorsed the defender’s request to be released early from his contract and seek a new challenge in the Italian Serie A.
“Naturally, we’re sad he’s leaving the club. Lucio has put in outstanding work here,” Hoeneß stated. The defender switched to Bayern from Bayer Leverkusen in summer 2004. In the last five seasons, the Brazilian scored seven goals in 144 Bundesliga appearances for Munich. He was part of the league and cup double-winning sides in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
More departures a possibility
On the other hand, the general manager pointed out, Bayern are “relatively well-staffed, especially when it comes to centre-halves. We have five candidates for two places in the team.” New FCB boss Louis van Gaal has stated on more than one occasion that the current 27-strong squad was “much too large”.
“We understand that Louis would ideally like to work with a squad of 22, 23, or 24, so we’re prepared to sit down and talk with certain players if they were to approach us,” commented Hoeneß, hinting at potential further departures before the transfer deadline on 31 August. However, the board director said, any changes required the agreement of three parties: “Bayern Munich, the player, and a club which wants the player. Once these three factors come together, we’ll concern ourselves with the matter.”