Bayern Munich forward Serge Gnabry, who just joined the club last month, hopes to leave on loan to gain more playing experience, and 2016 big-money signing Renato Sanches could be allowed a similar move, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Monday.
The 21-year-old Gnabry, who signed a three-year deal after joining from Werder Bremen, informed Bayern personally — and through his agent — of his desire to leave, Rummenigge said of the Germany forward.
Gnabry spent one season at Bremen after joining from Arsenal last summer. He scored 11 goals and set up two more in 27 Bundesliga games for the club, as well as a hat trick on his Germany debut against San Marino last November.
“It’s well known Serge actually would like to spend another year on loan. He has personally requested this and his agent too,” said Rummenigge, who spoke on a range of issues affecting the club.
Hoffenheim are the reported front runners for Gnabry’s services as they could offer Champions League football.
“We’re appraising the situation calmly, and will wait to see what we still do in the transfer market,” he said.
And Rummenigge confirmed the club could allow Sanches to leave for a year on loan after what was a disappointing debut season for the 19-year-old Portugal midfielder.
“We’ll decide when we’ve completed our shopping whether to keep him here or loan him out for a year. He really needs playing minutes after the last half-year, which was unsatisfactory for both sides,” Rummenigge said.
He refused to comment on potential new signings — including reported links to James Rodriguez — saying instead the club was keeping “all options open” to the end of the transfer period.
“I ask for understanding that I cannot reveal our plans,” he said. “I do not want to talk about any rumour because it gets us nowhere. In cases of doubt it makes things more complicated and expensive.
“We will keep all options open until the last day and we will continue to keep an eye on what is going on and discuss options internally.
“We will also look at what is happening in the squad, like in 2014 when Javi Martinez’s injury meant we had to act.”
The Bayern chief also said Brazilian winger Douglas Costa was on the verge of joining Juventus, though negotiations were ongoing.
“The player has communicated to us he would like to leave. We started negotiations at his request,” Rummenigge said.
He added: “There’s an amount, if reached, where we’ll be ready to let him go. But I can’t yet report a deal today.”
Leon Goretzka, whose contract with Schalke ends in 2018, is reportedly a target, but Rummenigge said: “The player has to decide if he’s staying at Schalke or wants to switch, and if then, where. Nothing is decided.”
Rummenigge also defended the club’s summer tour to Asia, despite the strain it may put on players, and he said he spoke with Robert Lewandowski’s agent over his unhappiness due to a perceived lack of support from teammates in the last game of the season. Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pipped the Poland striker to the Bundesliga’s top-scorer award.
“I don’t share this opinion at all,” Rummenigge said. “He got a few good chances from his teammates. They wanted him to be top-scorer but it didn’t work out. So I don’t think it’s a problem.”
He added: “Incidentally the coach told me that he pointed out before the game that the team should support Robert.”
ESPN FC’s Mark Lovell contributed to this report.