What would you do – if you were Bayern boo boy Arjen Robben?
Silence the haters? Avenge that final loss? Or find a new home?
Arjen Robben’s future appeared to have been resolved in early May when he scribbled his name down on a two-year contract extension, then the Champions League final happened.
His one meeting with the Bayern Munich fans since was in the sort of exhibition match usually reserved for FIFA gamers, in which Holland met Bayern and he was jeered relentlessly throughout, an experience he later described as “not easy”.
That reopened the debate into his future, but if he were to seek a move, who would be doing the bidding? Let’s look at what the bookies are saying…
Manchester City (4/1)
Justifiable favourites perhaps as one of the few clubs with the resources to satisfy both Robben and Bayern’s demands. However, Roberto Mancini appears to prefer utilising playmakers out wide like David Silva and Samir Nasri over more conventional wingers, and might feel there are more suitable fits for his system out there than the divisive Dutchman.
This is an intriguing link, as Juventus have strong foundations but are eager to add a bit more star quality into the mix this summer. The problem is that Antonio Conte switched from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 fairly frequently as the previous campaign developed, and it is almost impossible to accommodate Robben in his favoured role in such a formation.
Both parties boast an injury proneness and a vast experience of Champions League football without having quite grabbed hold of the big-eared trophy, though whether Arsene Wenger would allow his employers to finance an expensive deal for a 28-year-old – dangerously close to one-year contract territory – is debatable.
Other Options: AC Milan 14/1, Chelsea 14/1, Inter 14/1, Manchester United 20/1, Tottenham 25/1, Barcelona 33/1, Liverpool 33/1, PSG 33/1
What would The Spoiler do?
If the Bayern fans continue to make playing in Munich uncomfortable during pre-season, the temptation to do a runner will heighten, and given that one of Robben’s party pieces is winning titles in every country he plays in, seeking ownership of a fifth league in Serie A might appeal. AC Milan (14/1) are intriguing outsiders due to their need of a marquee (ugh!) signing or two to compensate for the veteran exodus and potential departure of Thiago Silva to PSG, yet such a transfer would require Max Allegri to rethink his 4-3-1-2.