Hoeness - Swap was never on
Uli Hoeness insists that Bayern Munich were never prepared to swap Franck Ribery for Arjen Robben.
By Thomas Zocher
Last Updated: 28/08/09 10:34am
Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness insists that the club were never prepared to swap Franck Ribery for Arjen Robben.
The Dutch winger is expected to complete his £22million move from Real Madrid on Friday with the 25-year-old pencilled in to make his debut against Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Hoeness urged that it was always the club's plan to pair Robben with Ribery despite Real's public courting of the Frenchman this summer.
The former Chelsea ace will sign a four-year deal at the Allianz Arena and Hoeness believes the club have signed one of the best wide men in Europe.
"We never thought to swap Ribery for Robben. If this deal goes through now, we will play a trick as we will then possess both players," he said.
"It did not take long to agree a deal with Real Madrid, we had intensive talks and moved closer all the way in those chats.
"Still four days ago we had not thought we would sign the player. We regard Arjen as a right-sided midfielder. We want him to play on the right side.
"He has always been one of our ideal signatures, he belongs to the top class in terms of attacking midfielders in Europe.
"Probably if everything works, Arjen Robben will feature for us on Saturday in the Bundesliga.
"Potentially together with Franck Ribery, who also looks fit enough to take part. This could be a great motivation for our team."
Defending the deal
Hoeness defended the signing despite suggestions that the money would have been better spent strengthening the team's defence after a winless opening three games in the league.
"All experts around know we do not have any shortage at the back, we have one up front," he added.
"We regard Breno a very good player and Holger Badstuber has already shown he is a good lad, too.
"We are not looking to make a transfer for the defence that would take up to £20million.
"We also do not force one of our players to leave the club now. However if one comes in asking for a move, we will be certainly discussing this."