07.06.2007: Ribery leaves Marseille for Bayern Munich

German Football
By German Football June 8, 2007 15:46

07.06.2007: Ribery leaves Marseille for Bayern Munich

France midfielder Franck Ribery has joined Bayern Munich on a four-year deal, Olympique Marseille chairman Pape Diouf said on Thursday.

‘We have helped Franck to get where he is today and we are not really happy to let him go,’ Diouf told the club’s website.

Bayern will have to pay a 26.0 million euro ($35.09 million) transfer fee and then an additional 4.0 million if the German club qualify for the Champions League at the end of next season, sources close to the matter said.

‘It’s a good financial operation for the club, which proves Marseille can adapt to a market that is not easy,’ Diouf said.

Ribery, 24, had joined Marseille in 2005. One of the revelations of last year’s World Cup, he has played 18 matches for France, scoring two goals.

Other leading European clubs, including Arsenal and Real Madrid, had also expressed an interest in him.

The player was expected to pass a medical on Thursday in Munich and to hold a news conference there later in the day.

Ribery is the latest piece in a significant rebuilding process at Bayern after they finished the Bundesliga season in fourth place, missing out on a place in the Champions League.

The club have already signed Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni, who was presented as a Bayern player on Thursday, Turkish midfielder Hamit Altontop, Germany internationals Marcell Jansen and Jan Schlaudraff, and Argentine midfielder Jose Ernesto Sosa.

Bayern also want to bring in Miroslav Klose before the new season, although they may have to wait until 2008, when his contract is up, if they cannot agree a fee for the Germany striker with his current club, Werder Bremen.

The signing of Ribery has been financed by the sale of England midfielder Owen Hargreaves to Manchester United for a reported fee of 25 million euros.

Claudio Pizarro has left to join Chelsea on a free transfer, Hasan Salihamidzic is joining Juventus and Ali Karimi has been told he can leave.

German Football
By German Football June 8, 2007 15:46
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