Bayern defender search 'at standstill'
Bayern Munich's chase for a new defender has come to a halt, German paper Bild has reported, quoting CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as saying he would not talk about a potential deal for Roma centre-back Medhi Benatia because "every word could drive up the price."
Bundesliga champions Bayern began their new campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Wolfsburg on Friday, a game in which coach Pep Guardiola largely played four at the back despite having experimented with a three-man backline in preseason.
But the ligament tear suffered by Javi Martinez in the German Super Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund earlier this month has limited his options in central defence, and Bayern have been on the lookout for a new right-footed centre-back.
Roma's Benatia, 27, has emerged as the favourite in the past couple of days, and a Gazzetta dello Sport report on Sunday claimed a 30 million euro deal had been agreed for the Morocco international.
However, on Monday Bild reported that no agreement had been reached, with negotiations deadlocked. "Please understand that I will not comment on it, because every word could drive up the price," the paper quoted Rummenigge as saying.
The Bild report was backed by football weekly kicker, which also said no deal had been done and that Bayern were not willing to meet the asking price.
"The Italians want to cash in on their defender," the paper said. "But the question is -- where?"