The veteran French winger has been told that he would be a welcome addition to the ranks Down Under, but a move to Asia is considered more likely
Franck Ribery has been told to consider a move to Australia if he departs Bayern Munich this summer, with Alexander Baumjohann telling the Frenchman he could “eat his gold steak in peace” as part of the A-League ranks.
At 36 years of age, a veteran winger is approaching a crossroads late in his career.
Ribery’s contract at the Allianz Arena is running down and fresh terms are unlikely as Bayern prepare to freshen up an ageing squad with new additions.
As a result, a modern-day icon will be freed to take on a new challenge.
It has been suggested that former Bayern defender Markus Babbel would like to add a proven performer to his books at Western Sydney Wanderers.
Baumjohann has already taken that path, having previously turned out for Bayern and Borussia Monchengladbach.
He admits Ribery, who sparked controversy in January when paying a visit to Salt Bae’s restaurant, would be a welcome addition to the A-League, with the German countering Babbel’s claims that the former France international could be “a rock star” Down Under.
“Actually, it’s exactly the other way around,” the 32-year-old told Transfermarkt.
“If he wants his peace, he should come. In Australia, you can live your life as a footballer in peace.
“Of course, fans from time to time talk to you on the street, but this is not comparable to Europe or South America. I think even a Franck Ribery could eat his gold steak here in peace.”
While talking up the positives of a move to Australia, Baumjohann believes Ribery will head elsewhere, adding: “I cannot really imagine it.
“Especially in recent years, top stars like [Fernando] Torres or [Andres] Iniesta have been associated with Australian clubs again and again, but I do not think the money is enough for such players.
“They are probably more oriented towards China or Japan, where more is paid. So it would be a huge surprise if Ribery came.”
Baumjohann could also be treading a path to Asia in the near future, with his contract at Wanderers due to expire at the end of the current campaign.
“I would definitely like to play in Asia again,” he said.
“Not necessarily in Saudi Arabia, but something like Japan or South Korea, I could definitely imagine very well.
“There, the level is even higher than here in Australia.”
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