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Did Bayern really 'manipulate' Serge Gnabry into leaving Arsenal?

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Arsene Wenger recently accused Bayern München of 'manipulating' Serge Gnabry into leaving Arsenal back in 2016. But did the Bavarians really do so?
Serge Gnabry.
Serge Gnabry.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently alleged that Bayern München 'manipulated' Serge Gnabry into leaving Arsenal for Werder Bremen in 2016 so that the winger would eventually end up at Allianz Arena.

"We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after," Wenger told beIN Sports.

Speaking in an interview with Sport Bild, Gnabry acknowledges that the Bavarians wanted him back then, but claims he preferred joining Werder, because he didn't feel ready for a move to Bayern.

"I knew that Bayern were also interested. But the step to Munich would have been too big. My goal, however, was always to make it happen," Gnabry said.

According to Sport Bild, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge knew that he wanted Gnabry to end up in Munich after watching him play at the Olympics in 2016.

Together with Bayern's squad planner at the time, Michael Reschke, he then drew up a plan to sign Gnabry via an intermediate step.

The idea was that a smaller club would probably be able to sign Gnabry for a lower fee than Bayern would, and an intermediate step would give him the chance to develop further before joining the Bavarians.

Werder Bremen then came in to land the winger in a €5 million deal, and he ended up moving to Bayern for €8 million just a year later - a quite modest transfer fee, all things considered.

However, both Werder and Bayern have previously denied that they made an agremeent when Gnabry was brought to Germany.

When asked by Sport Bild, Bayern didn't want to comment on the matter at this time while Werder boss Frank Baumann insists there was no agreement with Bayern in 2016.

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