All White's dream move to Bayern Munich set to be confirmed

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Football,
Publish Date
Friday, 28 June 2019, 4:31PM
Sarpreet Singh of the Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Photosport
Sarpreet Singh of the Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Photosport

Sarpreet Singh will be confirmed as a Bayern Munich player over the next 24 hours.

It's a life-changing move for the Wellington Phoenix midfielder, who will get his chance to impress at one of the biggest clubs in the world.

The Herald understands that the deal is close to being concluded, and will result in Singh being signed to a three year contract.

The 20-year-old has completed his medical and other tests, and is currently training with Bayern's under-23 team at their pre-season camp in Austria.

From this side of the world, it's difficult to comprehend the scale of the deal.

Bayern Munich are genuine members of the world footballing elite.

They have been European champions five times, and been in five other UEFA Champions League finals.

They've also won the German league a record 29 times, the UEFA Cup (once), Cup Winners Cup (twice) and have been club world club champions on three separate occasions.

They are the fourth highest earning football outfit in the world — only behind Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United — with annual revenues regularly topping 630 million euros ($NZ 1.068 billion).

They have almost 300,000 members across Germany and more than 4,000 fan clubs across the world.

Singh won't be part of the first team set up initially, and will spend at least the first season in the reserve team.

But the length of his contract indicates that the Bavarian club is confident Singh could be a long term prospect for their top team.

Bayern's reserve side play in the third tier of German football, which is still an impressive level.

That squad has a market value of around six million Euros (NZ$10.18 million), which is roughly comparable to some lower level A-League clubs, and has players from seven different countries.

"We are thrilled for Sarpreet," said Phoenix general manager David Dome. "This gives him every possible opportunity to continue to develop his football. We accept that the A-League is not going to be the end destination for some players, and they will use it as a stepping stone.

"Especially young New Zealand players. The fact that Bayern Munich has come in for Sarpreet is amazing ... we are thrilled for him, thrilled for the academy and those coaches who have worked with him. Sarpreet is obviously buzzing about it and we couldn't be happier."

Singh made his Phoenix debut in February 2017, and scored a goal on his first A-League start against Perth Glory a year later.

His potential was obvious in the second half of last season, and he came to the fore in the most recent campaign under Mark Rudan, with several spellbinding displays, though his week-to-week consistency was sometimes an issue.

The Onehunga FC product was already on the radar of several clubs, before his displays at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland for the Junior All Whites put him firmly in the spotlight.

Singh is not the first young Kiwi hopeful to try his luck in Germany in recent years, and has a long, long way to go, as shown by Marco Rojas' experience.

The All Whites forward arrived at Stuttgart in July 2013 as the best player in the A-League (having won the Johnny Warren medal in the preceding season) but couldn't make the breakthrough into the Bundesliga.

Rojas was unfortunate to suffer injuries during his first season, before successive loan spells at SpVgg Greuther Fürth and FC Thun.

Singh will realise the path remains steep, but he has put himself in the best possible position to succeed.