Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery set for summer exit amid ‘year of changes’

Bayern Munich, Clubs, Franck Ribéry, German Bundesliga, Kingsley Coman, Story, Transfers
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Franck Ribery will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic indicated on Tuesday.

It comes after Arjen Robben said earlier this month that he would leave when his contract expires in the summer after a decade of success with the German champions.

Robben, 34, joined in 2009 and formed a formidable attacking partnership with 35-year-old Ribery, whose deal also runs out at the end of the campaign.

“The president [Uli Hoeness] talked about it [the possibility of Ribery leaving], and I think it will be like that. It’s a year of changes,” Salihamidzic told reporters.

Former France international Ribery has made 406 competitive appearances for Bayern, scoring 119 goals, and has featured in 19 games this season.

“I am pleased that Franck is still playing that well,” Salihamidzic said. “He’s one of our key players.”

For large parts of the first half of this season, Ribery has replaced his fellow Frenchman Kingsley Coman, who suffered an ankle injury in August.

Speaking to Telefoot, 22-year-old Coman said a disappointing year in which he missed the World Cup with a similar injury had made him think about his future despite a return to the Bayern squad this month.

“Perhaps my foot isn’t up to it,” he told Telefoot. “When I got injured, it was really the end of the world. I had put everything in order in my life because I was aiming for the World Cup.

“I hope I don’t have to go through that again. I don’t think I’d have a third operation. Even if I protect myself and I try to be careful, if I get injured again it would be too much.

“Enough is enough. Perhaps my foot isn’t up to it, and I’ll go and get on with my life.”

Salihamidzic, however, said he believed Coman may have allowed his emotions to get the better of him. “Rehab is no fun,” he said.

“I’ll talk to him. I tore my ACL twice in one year and had similar thoughts. I think the world of Kingsley. He’s got a great future.”

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