‘Always at home here’ — Ribery set for Bayern return after career ends

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Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are both leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season. (Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery shoots at goal against Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena in Munich.(Reuters)
Updated 07 May 2019

‘Always at home here’ — Ribery set for Bayern return after career ends

  • Ribery, 36, confirmed last weekend that he would not extend his current contract beyond 2019 at Bayern
  • At an emotional press conference in Munich, the Frenchman said he would continue playing for another one or two years before returning to Bayern in another capacity

BERLIN: Franck Ribery said Tuesday he will return to Bayern Munich once his playing career is over, as he prepares to end 12 years at the club at the end of this season.
Ribery, 36, confirmed last weekend that he would not extend his current contract beyond 2019 at Bayern, ending a record-breaking career at the Bundesliga giants.
At an emotional press conference in Munich on Tuesday, the Frenchman said he would continue playing for another one or two years before returning to Bayern in another capacity after retirement.
“I still don’t know what I will do next season, there are a few options,” he said.
“I will play for one or two more years and then I am 100% sure I will come back to Munich. We have already discussed a job in the club.”
“We still have a lot of time, but the important thing is I am always at home here.”
Ribery said that it would be difficult for him to leave Bayern after 12 years of service.
“It is not easy, I have experienced and won so much with Bayern. It was a fantastic time for me and my family, and I will never forget it,” he said.
Ribery, who has won 22 titles with Bayern and could claim a record ninth Bundesliga title this season, is expected to be given a roaring send-off when Bayern face Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena on the last day of the season.
“I am excited to see what the fans do. I always had an unbelievable relationship with them and they always stood by me, even in the most difficult times.”
Ribery, whose fellow Bayern stalwart Arjen Robben will also leave at the end of this season, said that the highlight of his Bayern career was winning the Champions League in 2013.
“There are so many memories and great games, but the Champions League Final at Wembley was the best. What we did there was crazy, a dream.”
He also ranked treble-winning boss Jupp Heynckes above Pep Guardiola as the most important coach of his Bayern career.
“There were lots of good coaches, but Jupp was a very important person for my life and my career,” he said.


Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

Updated 23 August 2019

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

  • Paris club said to turn down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million plus Coutinho and Rakitic

PARIS: Neymar remains no closer to getting his desired move away from Paris Saint-Germain amid reports Thursday the French club have rejected an offer from Real Madrid of €100 million($111 million) plus players.

French sports daily L’Equipe said Real had offered cash plus Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but PSG turned it down because “the overall value of the offer did not match their expectations.” 

Paris paid €222 million to sign Neymar from Barcelona two years ago and their sporting director Leonardo is understood to be determined to only sell the forward for a deal considered to be of the same value.

Real have spent the summer trying to offload Bale, while James is unwanted after returning from a loan at Bayern Munich and Navas is no longer the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Barcelona remain hopeful of bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou, but Catalan daily Sport claims an attempt to sign the player on loan with an obligation to buy for €160 million at the end of the season has been firmly rejected in Paris.

Sport claims Barcelona feel “it is very clear that PSG are trying to prevent the Brazilian from returning to the Camp Nou in any scenario.” 

PSG had previously reportedly turned down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million  plus Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic. Coutinho has since joined Bayern on loan.

Juventus are also believed to have stated an interest in signing the 27-year-old, who has not featured in any of PSG’s matches so far this season having been frozen out amid the uncertainty over his future. The transfer window closes in France, Spain and Italy on Sept. 2, meaning time is fast running out for a deal to be done.

Watford loan Sweden winger Sema to Udinese

Watford winger Ken Sema has completed a season-long loan move to Udinese, the Serie A side confirmed on Thursday.

The six-times capped Sweden international only moved to Vicarage Road last summer from Ostersunds FK and made 22 appearances for the English club.

The 25-year-old's departure follows the arrival of Senegal international Ismaila Sarr to the Premier League outfit on a club record transfer of €35 million   ($38 million) from Rennes. The northeastern Italian club and Watford are both owned by the Pozzo family.

Udinese host AC Milan in their opening match of the Serie A season on Saturday.