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'He's the right man for Bayern Munich'

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'He's the right man for Bayern Munich'

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:30 pm

27.08.2006 <div class="abstand_unten_20"> </div> The final whistle in Saturday's home fixture with Nuremberg had hardly sounded before Roy Makaay was racing to the dressing room to collect his mobile phone. The Bayern striker surveyed his handset and found the text message he had been hoping for, confirmation that Mark van Bommel would be leaving Barcelona and joining Makaay at Bayern.

"He sent me a text saying it was all done and dusted. It hasn't come as a surprise, as I knew all about it a couple of days ago," the striker revealed. Van Bommel and Makaay first met on U-21 duty for the Netherlands, and both went on to appear together for the senior Dutch side. They also share the same agent, but it will be the first time they have played at the same club.

<b>Deal sealed an hour before kick-off</b>

The deal bringing Van Bommel to Munich seemed highly unlikely a week ago, despite Munich's previous attempts to sign the midfielder in summer 2005 and spring 2006. However, the Bavarians' trip to Barcelona on Tuesday to contest the Joan Gamper Trophy suddenly reawakened Bayern's interest in the Dutch ace.

"We heard last Tuesday that Mark van Bommel now wanted to leave Barcelona for personal reasons, and we were in a position to react at once," coach Felix Magath explained. The boss and the board of directors rapidly agreed on a course of action. "We took an on-the-spot decision to pursue our interest. We stepped up negotiations at the end of the week, and we agreed a deal with Barcelona over the phone at half-past two this afternoon," general manager Uli Hoeneß reported on Saturday.

<b>Three-year contract</b>

According to news reports, the clubs have agreed a fee of around €6 million for the player, who will be handed a three-year contract in Munich. Van Bommel is expected in the Bavarian capital at the beginning of the new week for a medical before putting his name to the deal. "It's the best career move for me," the player stated in a first reaction, "I have to be thinking of my future."

The 29-year-old Netherlands international never truly earned regular status at the superstar-studded Catalan club after arriving from PSV Eindhoven a year ago. He appeared on 24 occasions in the Spanish league, 17 of those from the start, and made nine Champions League appearances, starting seven matches including the final.

<b>Leader and playmaker</b>

The two-time Dutch Footballer of the Year (2001 and 2005) will be asked to take on a pivotal role at his new club, both as a player and as a leader. "Our young team needs a little support," Hoeneß explained. "Van Bommel showed unbelievable leadership qualities at PSV Eindhoven. We've found exactly the right man."

The star signing's tactical duty will be to fill the gap in midfield left by Michael Ballack's departure for Chelsea. "We had the feeling the hole behind the front two was fairly substantial, but Van Bommel can solve the problem. He can keep possession, play the final ball, he scores goals and he's good in the air," Hoeneß enthused.

<b>New Dutch dream team for Reds</b>

Makaay is delighted at the prospect of playing alongside his talented fellow-countryman. "He desperately wanted to come here," the goal-getter explained, revealing he had spent a substantial amount of time informing van Bommel about Bayern over the preceding days. The midfielder is in any case well up to speed on events in the Bundesliga via his father-in-law, Dortmund coach Bert van Marwijk.

"His German is almost as good as mine," Makaay reported, adding his intention to help the player and his wife Andra settle in Munich "as much as I possibly can. We don't have a game for two weeks." However, Roy can hardly wait for the next match: "We've known each other for ages, and he knows exactly how I like the ball played," the striker smiled. "The fans can expect a good return from both of us."
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