October 2, 2019 | News | No Comments
The teenage talent looks set to remain at Stamford Bridge for the time being, but Bayern Munich “nearly fell in love” with the young winger
Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was the “only” player Bayern Munich wanted to sign in January, according to club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Bayern made no secret of their desire to sign Hudson-Odoi, with the 18-year-old winger reportedly frustrated by a lack of opportunities for Chelsea in the Premier League.
An Under-17 World Cup winner with England in 2017, Hudson-Odoi is very highly rated by Chelsea and they are said to have rebuffed several bids for him from Bayern.
The final offer Bayern are reported to have lodged was worth around £35 million ($46m), but Chelsea have dug their heels in regarding any deal, adamant he will not be leaving.
Maurizio Sarri said he had been assured the club would not approve a sale of Hudson-Odoi, and as such Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has been left disappointed.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Rummenigge said: “The only one Hasan would have liked to buy was this player [Hudson-Odoi] from Chelsea.
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“I have to say that he nearly fell in love with this player and his qualities. All the other things [stories about transfer links with other players] were rumours.
“We don’t have any demand on these positions for the second half of the season. This is a topic for the future. We’ll handle it in the next months and will decide.
“I won’t deny that they [Chelsea] didn’t like this so much [Bayern’s open pursuit of Hudson-Odoi], but don’t forget that you have to give a signal to the young player [that you want him].
“There was no personal contact with the player because this is not permitted. I think that was noticed. The player had to have a signal that Bayern is standing completely behind him.”
Rummenigge added that with the United Kingdom’s messy exit from the European Union to come, that political context could have more implication for the nation’s players.
“I think the English are just finding out that the young players like Sancho in Dortmund or Reiss Nelson in Hoffenheim certainly have qualities that you can use in your own country,” he explained.
“Now you have to wait and see how the Brexit affects English football. There are still transfers to be expected. So I think the English are more likely to try and close the door. “
And the CEO was ambiguous on the future of James Rodriguez, while making clear his admiration for the unsettled Colombian.
“Basically, this is a super player with perhaps the best left foot in the entire Bundesliga. He proved that, especially in the last year in the second half of the season under Jupp Heynckes. We all wish James regularly on the pitch, but that’s what the coach has to decide whom to trust,” Rummenigge said.
“I have to say honestly, I really like the player. We all know in the club what he has for qualities. However, at the end of the day it is also important that this is the best decision for him and for us. As stated, I come out as a big fan of James.”
Earlier on Thursday, the club chief had revealed that with their interest in Hudson-Odoi thwarted, Bayern would not be making any further moves in the January window.
“I spoke to Hasan [Salihamidzic] at 15.30, to ask if we will do anything. He answered ‘no’,” he stated.
“Even without Hudson-Odoi we now have five wingers, so we can get through to the end of the season.”