Can Chelsea, Arsenal or Spurs get the best of Jerome Boateng?

A fashionista who is never far from controversy and doesn’t shy away from a training ground scrap… Jerome Boateng is set for a Premier League return when his Bayern deal ends, but can Arsenal, Spurs or Chelsea get the best from the Manchester City flop?

  • Veteran German defender Jerome Boateng looks set for a move next summer 
  • Boateng is in the final year of his deal with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich 
  • The Bavarians have not signalled intent to offer the 32-year-old a new contract
  • Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have each been put on alert as a result
  • From training fights to car crashes, Boateng is one of football’s big characters 

The time is ticking on the Bayern Munich contract of veteran defender Jerome Boateng, and all signs point to an emotion-tinged departure at the end of the season.

In the modern era Boateng has been synonymous with Bayern and the rise of the German giants, though all good things must come to an end.

That end, it appears, is coming sooner than perhaps Boateng himself may have wished for. The defender recently expressed his willingness to remain in Bavaria and continue to perform under the ‘exciting’ Hansi Flick.

Jerome Boateng looks set to bring his Bayern Munich era to an end following this season

Reports in Germany however are now strongly pushing the idea that Bayern feel the time is ripe for change, with new defensive personnel on the horizon.

This, therefore, means Boateng will be walking out of the Allianz for the final time at the end of the season, leaving Bayern with his head held high as a free agent.

At 32 the player’s stock remains high, with a spate of elite Premier League clubs clambering for his signature.

So, with links to Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea growing stronger by the day, are we about to witness a Premier League redemption shot for the man who failed quite emphatically at Manchester City in the not too distant past?

The arrival of Boateng would signal not just the recruiting of World Cup winning talent, but also a character who is larger than life and doesn’t care who knows it. Sportsmail investigates further… 

Why are Bayern letting him go?

After rescuing him from his Manchester City nightmare in 2011, Bayern took Boateng under their wing and cultivated him into one of the most versatile and imposing defenders on the continent.

Since, the Berlin-born defender has become an integral part of a successful era for both club and country, collecting a host of silverware along the way.

Boateng has played under several managers in Bavaria, in Bayern teams which have dominated in Europe and also, at times, in sides which have looked disjointed and searching for identity.

Boateng crafted himself as a powerful Bundesliga enforcer and a cornerstone for Bayern

Now, with Bayern freshly crowned champions of Europe and at the peak of their powers once more, it appears a parting of ways has been decided.

It makes sense, on the face of it. The Bundesliga giants are desperately trying to avoid a situation similar to that which Barcelona find themselves in, with an ageing team of big names being overly relied upon.

Conclusions seem to have been made that a summer exit for Boateng represents a good business decision.

The defender is one of the top earning stars at the Allianz, reported to be pocketing in the region of an eye-watering £180,000 a week.

Boateng has been a model servant for Bayern, though such lavish earnings sure take their toll on the club wage bill. While it is likely that the player would accept a financial reduction to secure a new deal, the fact that he is in the twilight of his career signals to Bayern that it is time for something new.

RB Leipzig sensation Dayot Upamecano is said to be firmly in Bayern’s sights, with the club preparing to rival the likes of Manchester United in triggering the youngster’s release clause in the summer.

For Boateng, such a move would spell the end. 

Bayern have their eye on Dayot Upamecano as Boateng’s long-term successor at the Allianz

Why is he in demand?

For someone who is 32 and been defending at the pinnacle of European football for a decade, Boateng still has plenty left in the tank.

Earlier in the year Boateng found himself in and out of the Bayern team, as the squad was chopped and changed following the departure of Niko Kovac.

The end looked to be in sight for Boateng, who had also found himself retired from the Germany international team by manager Joachim Low.

Keen to promote youth, Low put all sentimentality to one side by relieving Boateng, Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels of their national service.

Boateng celebrates with his daughter and the World Cup trophy after the famous 2014 victory

Yet for Boateng this seems to have stoked the inner flames of resilience and determination.

With more time free from travelling and training with Die Mannschaft, Boateng has been able to focus purely on domestic matters and getting himself in the right head space to give his all for Bayern.

Using all his experience and putting in the hard work behind the scenes, Boateng has returned to the Bayern fold with reignited passion this season.

So far Boateng has played in nine of the side’s matches, including six of seven in the Bundesliga.

His tall frame was a consistent deterrent in the recent Klassiker derby with bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, as Bayern took a crucial 3-2 victory at the Signal Iduna Park and climbed back to the top of the table as a result. 

Boateng has much still to offer, it is just that Bayern now realise they can proceed without him. Squeezing the best from their defensive general in one final season before shifting him off the wage bill makes plenty of sense.

Such an experienced head would provide a tantalising option for Premier League sides, who will feel he can add a solid presence to the ranks. The biggest question mark, however, will hang over whether he still has the legs.

So, what went wrong for him at City?

Boateng joined the City revolution at the most exciting of times, with Roberto Mancini as manager and endless supplies of cash being thrown around.

As a young, fresh faced defender, Boateng sat alongside the esteemed company of David Silva and Yaya Toure while holding the sky blue shirt up for a collective unveiling.

Huge hopes were held at the Etihad, yet Boateng never really delivered.

Pressure was immediately piled upon the German and Boateng simply couldn’t respond.

Boateng was signed alongside some huge names under the reign of Roberto Mancini

City, it must be remembered, were going through a period of transition and trying to punch above their weight to claw in the likes of illustrious neighbours Manchester United.

With a bottomless bank account, City chiefs knew they could continue to spend until they got the perfect fit in every position, and there was little time to wait.

As a result, patience was not available in bountiful quantities and Boateng paid the price.

Aged just 21, Boateng was still trying to adjust himself to a new country, climate and culture when he was whisked back out of the City starting XI following a series of under-par performances. From that point onward, his card was marked,

Reflecting on his time in English football some years later during an interview with Sport Bild magazine, Boateng admitted: ‘In England, you have to operate immediately.

City didn’t have the time to be patient with Boateng and he was soon shipped to Germany

‘You actually need a period of settling in, because on the island, different football is played.

‘But the English press does not give you any time for it, immediately raising it. This is not easy for a player.

‘Some can handle criticism a bit better, but others say: “What am I doing here?” Everything is terrible, even the weather.’

Being an individual confident in his own abilities, Boateng wasted little time before telling City he wanted out. Feeling he could break into the Germany national ranks, the centre back pushed for a move to Bayern.

The Bavarians clearly thought there was something they could extract which City could not. A £12.1million (€13.5m) four-year deal was agreed and the rest, as they say, was history.

What sort of character would the Premier League be getting?

Bold, powerful, domineering, self-assured. All things which well describe the man that is Boateng. 

It’s no coincidence that Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea are preparing to fall over each other to acquire Boateng, especially on a free deal.

Players of this stature don’t become available often, and in almost all cases represent solid coups.

Boateng has experience at the highest level and brings both confidence and composure

Chelsea swooped for Thiago Silva last summer for similar reasons, and over at Liverpool James Milner has shown what a vital asset he is to Jurgen Klopp’s red machine.

Experienced stars who have seen it all and played in the biggest games are highly useful commodities, and Boateng would bring a personality that fills every room he enters.

Over the past 18 months Boateng has emerged as one of the biggest voices in football’s constant battle against racism and discrimination.

Born to a German mother and a Ghanaian father, Boateng regularly uses his standing and status in world football to speak out on injustices and unsettling the powers that be in football to bring about change.

Never afraid to speak out, Boateng brings his authority from the pitch into every walk of life. He’s not afraid to show others who’s boss, as team-mate Leon Goretzka found out during a training ground bust-up with the defender in January.

Taking exception to a high-studded tackle, images showed how Boateng turned on the midfielder before planting a hand into his face. The pair would later make up and post a conciliatory photo on social media, but Goretzka’s lesson was learned. 

In the months that followed Boateng would again make the headlines, this time after crashing his car in April after driving back from visiting his ill son. 

Boateng was driving home to Munich near Selbitz in northern Bavaria, when it was claimed he was caught off-guard in a hailstorm, and without winter tyres on his car lost traction and skidded into the motorway barrier.

Local police claim Boateng, who was reportedly not speeding, was not injured in the crash but did cause £22,000 worth of damage to his Mercedes. Bayern later opted to fine their defender after he left the city unauthorised during the coronavirus pandemic, but Boateng took this in his stride and insisted any other father would have acted the same. 

Boateng’s passion comes across as genuine in everything he puts his hand to, and this extends well beyond the football sphere.

The 32-year-old is rapidly making a name for himself in the world of fashion and design, having launched his own clothing label and fashion magazine… both named ‘BOA’, after him.

Boateng is fast making a name for himself in the world of high-end fashion and design

Making his first venture into the world of style the German put his name to a range of designer glasses called JB by Jerome Boateng, before then expanding into clothing.

A brief flick down the Instagram feed of Boateng shows a lifestyle unlike that of many other athletes. Extensive effort is put into every image, as the Bayern man carefully curates his image and his fashion choices. 

Now, after winning everything on offer to him in football so far, Boateng looks set to create one final collection of his own.

Perhaps this one will be labelled Premier League: a redemption story?

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