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Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed the Bundesliga giants plan to hold talks with winger Arjen Robben in April about a new contract.
Rummenigge was speaking after Die Roten thrashed Hamburg 6-0 on Saturday. He said talks have been confirmed with both Robben and fellow 34-year-old wide attacker Franck Ribery, per Goal’s Dom Farrell.
Bayern’s chief executive also made it clear both Robben and Ribery would like to stay at the Allianz Arena beyond this season. Despite their ages, the duo remain in stellar form, with Robben helping himself to six goals and as many assists in all competitions, while Ribery has found the net five times.
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Both are still key figures in the Bayern squad, but Robben may be the more important player. The Dutchman can still decide matches at the highest level, thanks to his ability to turn onto his feared left foot.
Robben’s trickery, immaculate close control and shooting power are still assets, despite the emergence of Kingsley Coman. The 21-year-old French attacker is maturing as a player, while Real Madrid loanee James Rodriguez has worked his way into the starting lineup more often recently.
Bayern seem primed for a refresh on the flanks, but Robben is a link to the club’s dominance domestically and in Europe the last few years. He scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, but manager Jupp Heynckes has become more selective about how he uses the former PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid star this season.
Robben started on the bench for Die Roten’s 5-0 first-leg win over Besiktas in last 16 of the Champions League. Rummenigge pointed out how Robben won’t travel to Turkey for Wednesday’s second leg against the Black Eagles “as a precautionary measure. He’s suffered a pinched nerve,” per Farrell.
Bayern may have to manage Robben’s fitness, but the extra effort would be worth it for another season or two. The decorated Netherlands international is still a legitimate match-winner, one whose experience and quality are vital to a squad built on the right mix of know-how and potential.
Keeping the old guard headlined by Robben and Ribery would make perfect sense for a club well-placed to continue dominating the German top flight and pushing for Champions League honours annually.