Football

Bayern Munich draw criticism after signing Ivan Perisic on loan

German champions Bayern Munich signed Croatia winger Ivan Perisic on a season-long loan from Inter Milan yesterday, with an option to buy the 30-year-old next season.

But the deal, which came after Bayern's much-publicised move for Manchester City's Leroy Sane fell through, has drawn criticism from certain quarters.

Critics feel that Perisic is not of the same calibre as the club's initial targets, which included Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Bayern coach Niko Kovac insisted otherwise.

Speaking after their 3-1 German Cup win over Energie Cottbus yesterday morning (Singapore time), Kovac said: "This debate is basically wrong. Every player deserves some respect. It is too easy to always criticise someone.

"Stefan Effenberg joined Bayern at the age of 30 and won the Champions League with the club.

"We have to get away from looking at the age, look at what they have achieved so far and see how they can help us now."

Perisic, a key part of the Croatia team that made a fairy-tale run to last year's World Cup final, played for Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga between 2011 and 2015.

He will reinforce Bayern's wings, along with Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, following the departures of veterans Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Coman has also been plagued by injuries since joining the Bavarians two years ago.

"Ivan will instantly help us with his top-level experience," said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic in a statement.

"I am certain he will quickly integrate because he knows the Bundesliga and also our coach Niko Kovac."

Bayern were keen on City winger Sane, but the Germany international, 23, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Community Shield win over Liverpool two weeks ago and will be out for six months. - REUTERS

Football