It is one of the biggest rumours of the winter that FC Bayern Munich are trying to get rid of their captain Mark van Bommel whose current contract expires at the end of the season. The Dutch international Mark van Bommel wants to continue playing football at the highest level until summer 2012 as he plans to play for the Netherlands at Euro2012 in Poland and the Ukraine, and thereafter end his international career.
But rumours surrounding van Bommel's name seem to suggest that Bayern Munich have already found a suitable replacement in versatile 23 year old Brazilian Luis Gustavo, who plays for 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, and it is only an issue of transfer fee and what the Bavarians can offer Hoffenheim. And there is a rumour that suggests Bayern are offering striker Miroslav Klose plus 10 Million Euros for Luis Gustavo and if the Brazilian joins then van Bommel's place in the starting eleven could be in danger.
Meanwhile 33 year old van Bommel himself is already being linked with a number of clubs across Europe. In Germany rumours say that VfL Wolfsburg are interested to sign the Dutchman to strengthen their fragile midfield and Bayern Munich might do a deal with them to have the first right to sign Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko. Meanwhile out of England there is interest from Premier League duo Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City, who both could do with a player of the calibre of Mark van Bommel.
Talking to the German newspaper Die Welt Mark van Bommel said, "Anything is possible in football, but it would certainly be something extraordinary if the captain left during the winter break. I do not have to leave Bayern, I am very happy as captain of the club."
But he added, "If the club says that I must remain here for six months, then I have to stay. If the club says, we talk about a new contract in the spring, then I can't do anything about it. I can't leave without the club's consent."
It sounds like a difficult situation for Mark van Bommel as he surely would like to extend his contract until 2012 and not worry where he is playing up to 2012. But Bayern Munich over the last few weeks have been working to ensure their future by extending contracts of Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger up to 2015 & 2016. So signing someone like Luis Gustavo would make complete strategic sense.