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The background story behind Jerome Boateng's decline at Bayern

By Rune Gjerulff

Jerome Boateng's relationship with Niko Kovac and Hasan Salihamidzic grew increasingly worse over the course of the 2018/19 season.

Jerome Boateng.
Jerome Boateng.Photo: Rufus46/CC-by-SA 3.0
It's safe to say the 2018/19 season hasn't been a campaign to remember for Jerome Boateng. Not only was the 30-year-old informed by Germany coach Joachim Löw that he is no longer part of his plans for the national team - the 30-year-old also lost his place in Bayern München's line-up.

But how did it all go so wrong for Boateng at Allianz Arena? In an interview with Sport Bild, Bayern München CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reveals that the relationship between Boateng and Niko Kovac got off to a bad start, because the Bayern coach didn't want to let the centre-back leave to join Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

"On 28 August 2018, there was an offer from PSG which we wanted to accept. But the coach vetoed. Niko asked Jerome for his understanding. He couldn't let him go, because he needed three players for the central defence. Jerome didn't like that, I could sense that back then. But we understood Niko's point of view," Rummenigge explained.

According to Sport Bild, Bayern already attempted to sign Benjamin Pavard back then, but the French international wasn't allowed to leave Stuttgart at the time. Therefore, Boateng had to stay against his will - and that had a negative influence on his motivation.

And, of course, it didn't help that it eventually became clear to Boateng that Kovac preferred Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels to him in central defence.

As the season progressed, Boateng was involved in a number of altercations - not only with Kovac, but also with Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic.

The relationship between them became more and more strained, particularly after a heated argument in the wake of a Champions League game in Athens in October.

Kovac wasn't happy with Boateng's attitude on the bench and confronted him with it. When Salihamidzic walked into the room, Boateng reportedly said, "You have nothing to say to me, you wanted to get rid of me in the summer".

Towards the end of the season, Boateng didn't celebrate winning the Bundesliga title or the DFB-Pokal with his teammates, but walked straight down the tunnel after Bayern secured each of their trophies.

Everything now indicates that the 30-year-old will leave Bayern during the summer - the only question seems to be where he will go. According to Sport Bild, Bayern price him at around €15 million.

"I think we need to find a respectable and fair solution for both sides. I basically think that's possible," Rummenigge told Sport Bild.

Boateng has made 286 appearances for Bayern with eight goals and 22 assists to his name since he joined the Bavarians from Manchester City in 2011.

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