Benjamin Pavard admits he could quit Bayern Munich sooner rather than later, amid continued interest from Manchester United.
The Frenchman has consistently been linked with a switch to Old Trafford over recent seasons having fallen out of favor with the German giants. The 26-year-old made 25 Bundesliga appearances last term but is no longer guaranteed his first-team place in Bavaria following the summer arrival of Noussair Mazraoui, who is being increasingly preferred at right-back by Julian Nagelsmann.
With the Frenchman’s contract expiring in the summer of 2024 and a standoff over a new contract at the Allianz Arena, speculation regarding his future has ramped up ahead of the January transfer window. Asked by L’Equipe whether there had been talks over a new deal with Bayern, Pavard this week denied any discussions and suggested that he may be ready for a move.
He said: “No, there were no specific discussions. For now, I’m focused on the World Cup, on being the best I can be at a very big club, one of the best in the world.
“I have immense respect for Bayern, I learned there the requirement of a very high level and it is an honor to wear this shirt.
“Afterwards, I have been in Germany for seven years, I have won everything with the club. I’m not against discovering a new project. Maybe now is the time. Why not discover a new country, a new culture? But the sports project must be interesting.”
Probed specifically about what he sees in the next stage of his career, Pavard replied: “ [I want to] Take up new challenges, discover another football, a new culture… But I put the sporting issue above all else.
“I may have been around here, but I’m at a really big club so I’m not going to leave for nothing. I’m not doing a fictional scenario, we’ll see what the options are and we’ll discuss them with Bayern.”
Pavard’s latest comments are just the latest hint that he is ready to wave goodbye to Munich. Amid links with United in the summer, he previously confirmed talks were held.
Speaking in September, Pavard said: “I questioned myself [in the summer]. I had calls from different clubs with my agent. Afterward, I had the Bayern coach with whom we spoke and with whom we have a good relationship.
“He made me understand that I was in his plans, that I was important for the team. Maybe one day I will go to one of these clubs, you never know what the future holds. I’m still a year at Bayern Munich. Afterward, we have time to project ourselves.”