Sadio Mane and De Ligt are not world-class players, says Bayern former CEO Rummenigge

Sadio Mane Liverpool
Sadio Mane Liverpool

Former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has criticised the summer transfer business of his former side this summer.

The Bavarian outfit have made two marquee additions this summer in the form of Sadio Mane from Liverpool and Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus. Mane cost Bayern €32m (£27m/$34m) and he is reportedly set to earn a salary of around €15m a year, making him one of the highest earners at the Allianz Arena.

De Ligt was bought for an initial fee of €67m (£57m/$69m), with an extra €10m in add-ons if certain performance and commercial-related clauses are met.

According to Rummenigge, the Bavarians have overpaid for both players. In his column for Sportbuzzer via GOAL, the 66-year-old said that both Mane and de Ligt are not world-class players.

“Why has Hasan Salihamidzic & Co. been praised recently for their summer transfers? Honestly, I can’t join in this chorus of jubilation,” he said.

“With all due respect for Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt – both of them are not world-class players for me. Of course, Mane will do the Bundesliga good and score his goals, but at the age of 30, I don’t see him at the absolute top level.”

Rummenigge also stated that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would not have let his star forward leave Anfield so easily if he was at the top of his game.

“Had it been otherwise, Jurgen Klopp would have certainly fought harder to keep the striker at Liverpool,” Rummenigge added.

According to Rummenigge, De Ligt does not come as an upgrade to Niklas Sule, who was sold to domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund.

“I’m even more skeptical about De Ligt. Sure, he’s only 22 years old. But the last three seasons at Juventus were lost time for him,” he said.

“He should have been able to develop further after his furious start to his career at Ajax. I think it is very daring to declare him Bayern’s chief of defence. You could have kept Niklas Süle.”

Meanwhile, Bayern managed to bring in Moroccan defender Noussair Mazraoui, on a free transfer from Ajax. The 24-year-old who made 130 senior appearances for Ajax signed a four-year deal at the Allianz Arena. 

Rummenigge has been impressed by the right back’s performances and has compared him to PSG’s Achraf Hakimi.

“In the shadow of de Ligt and Mane, Noussair Mazraoui could develop into a real king transfer from Munich,” he said.

“He reminds me a little of the former Dortmund Achraf Hakimi, who now plays for Paris St. Germain. Mazraoui will help Bayern a lot on the defensive right flank.”

Mane, De Ligt and Mazraoui are not the only additions this summer though. The six-time Champions League winners have also brought in centre-forward Mathys Tel and midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, while star forward Robert Lewandowski also left for Barcelona this summer.