Boateng wants clear-the-air talks with Bayern bosses

AFP, Wednesday 19 Sep 2018

Germany defender Jerome Boateng (AFP)
Germany defender Jerome Boateng (AFP)

Germany defender Jerome Boateng wants clear-the-air talks with Bayern Munich bosses Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness after his off-season transfer to Paris Saint-Germain fell through.

"I think we should talk again in the near future - that's what we have set out to do - it's important for me to make it clear once again that I'm fully focused on FC Bayern," Boateng told the Munich-based newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

"And on the other hand, I don't think it's nice when things are said about me everywhere and then you do not get any public support from the club."

In the off season, both Rummenigge and Hoeness said Boateng could leave for the right price.

The burly centre-back was annoyed when Bayern chairman Rummenigge first fuelled rumours of a possible switch to PSG on the eve of the World Cup, where Germany crashed out after the group stages.

The defender admits a switch to Paris was "a concrete option" and even talked with PSG's head coach Thomas Tuchel about a move, but the deal reportedly collapsed because of Bayern's asking price for Boateng, who has a market value of around 45 million euros ($52.6m).

Instead, PSG last month signed Germany Under-21 centre-back Thilo Kehrer from Schalke for a reported 37m euros.

The 30-year-old, set to play at Benfica on Wednesday in Bayern's opening Champions League group match, has also bemoaned a lack of support from the club's senior bosses in the wake of Germany's World Cup disaster.

In 2016, Rummenigge publically accused Boateng, who was voted man of the year in Germany by magazine GQ that year, of focusing more on fashion on his football.

Like many of his senior Germany team-mates, Boateng was heavily criticised following Germany's disastrous World Cup campaign.

Negative comments were even made because he wore sunglasses in the stands while suspended for the defeat to South Korea, which sent Germany home early from Russia, and he would have welcomed support from Rummenigge and Hoeness, Bayern's president.

"What really bothered me were some of the statements right after the World Cup," said Boateng.

"That was almost funny.

"It was said that I was not fully focused, because I wear earrings and wore sunglasses during the South Korea match when the sun was shining.

"In 2014 (at the World Cup in Brazil), I also wore sunglasses and earrings, but I didn't read anything about that.

"It's incomprehensible to me.

"As a player you would sometimes want a bit more public backing."

He says he has the backing of Bayern head coach Niko Kovac, but does not feel the same support from Rummenigge and Hoeness.

"I do not know where the problem lies," he said.

"Perhaps because I have a different image and different interests to the others, that is legitimate, I think."

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