Germany giants Bayern Munich have confirmed the imminent exit of veteran defender Jerome Boateng.
The 32-year-old centre-back’s contract expires at the end of the season and the reigning European champions have no intention to renew it.
The club has already signed French centre-back Dayot Upamecano from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig for the 2021/22 season. The 22-year-old seems a long term purchase from the club.
“That was a joint decision of the club management and the coach was also involved,” sports director Hasan Salihamidzic told Sky.
“I explained that to Jerome, he understood.”
The announcement comes after Boateng’s blunder cost Bayern on Wednesday night that led to Paris Saint-Germain’s winning goal.
The goal, which handed the French side a 3-2 away win, brought the Bavarians’ 19-match unbeaten run in the Uefa Champions League to an end.
He struggled to contain the fleet-footed PSG forward Kylian Mbappe on his way to scoring his second goal of the night.
Strangely, on Tuesday, head coach Hansi Flick spoke out in favour of keeping the 2014 World Cup winner, saying “everyone knows how I feel about Jerome and what quality he has”.
Although Salihamidzic later said Flick agreed with the decision, Bayern’s coach suggested otherwise in the post-match press conference on Wednesday.
Flick refused to answer when asked if it was the right decision to let Boateng leave, saying: “I have to answer the questions here professionally, but I don’t have to answer everything because I don’t want to.”
The Bayern boss added tersely that he “has to act a little — that is also part of the coaching job”.
Boateng joins David Alaba, another key member of the side which won the Uefa Champions League title in 2020, who will also leave at the end of the season.
While Alaba, 28, repeatedly turned down a contract extension, Boateng was not offered a new deal.
Since joining Bayern in 2011 from Manchester City, Boateng has won the Champions League title twice, anchoring the defence in the treble-winning seasons of 2013 and 2020 and won the Bundesliga title eight times.
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By Mthokozisi Dube