Remember way back in the beginning of the transfer period Bayern was supposedly gunning for anyone who has played defensive midfield ever? Most rumors, as it turns out, are complete rubbish, (I know you're surprised!) and I've never been one to engage in unnecessary speculation. While reports of Sahin, de Jong and Pirlo circled as possibilities, Bayern only approached Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender and the oft-mentioned Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao. Bender- who scored the match winner against Denmark- along with Neverkusen rebuffed Munich's advances, and Javi emerged as the only contender.
Martinez' agent, Antonio Sanz, contradicted himself, and press, time-and-time-again- stating, "[he] wants to go to Bayern", "[he] wants to stay with Bilbao", and as recently as a couple of days ago: "No offer has been made". Rubbish. Perhaps we can glean information from more, errrr... reliable sources?
Javi and Juventus target Fernando Llorente were both left out of Bilbao's squad to face Betis in the season opener this weekend. The official word from the Basque club is that the move was for "player protection". Perhaps necessary after team practice on Friday, in Bilbao, where both players got the business from supporters?
But, besides the nonsense, "business" and contradictory statements, the only thing that is holding back this signing is a 6-8 million euro tax fee being levied against Javi Martinez in the deal as it stands right now. And both parties are trying, in Munich this weekend, to find a solution.
Can I state the painfully obvious and say: I am not a tax expert, in either Germany or Spain, and have no sound knowledge of how this all works. So, as I see it, the money that Martinez would be paying in to cancel his Bilbao contract is essentially in proxy because it is money he hasn't officially earned yet (2 million euro a year- over five years). And what little I know about the legality of everything is: 1) Bilbao is requiring Martinez to pay the buy-out. 2) The buy-out is paid direct to the league. 3) Martinez is Spanish so must pay taxes on it.
Capish? Not really?! Me either.
And contrary to English-speaking press, Athletico trainer Marcelo Bielsa in a recent press conference stated, “I never said that I would leave if Llorente or Javi were sold, I am satisfied with the team with or without Llorente. It is a difficult situation, because all the positions are understandable. Llorente is exercising his rights, while the club and the fans are understandable too, aside from the method of the protest which I do not share."
"If [the Javi transfer is] convenient or inconvenient, or expensive or cheap, [it] exceeds my analysis. Bayern know what they are doing at each step. They're an example of how to do things. If money is raised, I'm not thinking about doing more signings. I do not put conditions [on anything}."
It's not really a matter of "if". It's a matter of "when". I'm pegging the post-match conference against Regensburg, or the following morning as the official introduction. And as I've said before, Willkommen zu Bayern Muenchen, Javi Martinez!
You can (and should) follow Susie on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/fussballsusie