Midnight Raid

Bayern Munich’s signing of Javi Martinez was a smart ploy, sure to have a profound impact. Bilbao should not be too upset; after all, the player activated his $50 million buy-out clause with German cash, something that both Man City and Barca balked at. Their hesitation was Bayern’s gain. Martinez was whisked to Munich in the dark of the night, submitted to a thorough medical exam and sent back to Bilbao with the rescinded contract in hand. Bold move that will look even better if Bayern successfully off-load Timoschuk to Dinamo Moscow, as it has been rumored, for a hefty fee.

In last year’s Euro campaign, the defensive midfield position was the one glaring weakness for Bayern. With Martinez and Gustavo in the middle, Ribery and Robben on the flanks, Mario Gomez and Mandzuric up front, plus Tony Kroos, Muller, Shakiri and Schweinsteiger, Bayern looks truly loaded and deep enough to sustain minor injuries. The only question that remains is for Javi: why did he take a huge salary cut to play in Germany? The answer lies in his desire to exit Bilbao, particularly in the aftermath of its opening season calamities. Llorente is next. Good luck Javi!