Bayern Munich appear intent on getting their summer transfer work wrapped up early, with Reading’s Omar Richards the latest player close to the European champions.
Dayot Upamecano’s move from RB Leipzig has already been confirmed, and though David Alaba is set to move on, Bayern are nearing the completion of a move for the Championship star.
Multiple reports suggest he has already completed a medical and as agreed a four-year deal on a pre-contract basis.
Richards is, on the face of it, not exactly the type of player associated with such a stellar club. Playing in the second tier of English football, he is 23 and generally past the age bracket such an enormous leap in standard would be overlooked.
While his performances for Reading in the Championship have been solid, they have not been mind blowing. Typically deployed on the left of defence, he does not have a goal or an assist in 30 appearances in all competitions this season.
He does, however, have impressive success in duels, winning 63% of those he competes for, while he also posts nearly six recoveries per match and has created three big chances.
Out of contract at the end of the season, he represents a cheap pick up. With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging and the financial implications still being felt, this is wise management.
Omar Richards snapshot
What position will Omar Richards play at Bayern Munich?
A once-capped England Under-21 international Richards will not go to the Allianz Arena with the idea that he will feature regularly. Instead, a backup role is envisage for him.
Indeed, he is poised to become Alphonso Davies understudy on the left. This will free up Lucas Hernandez to move into the centre of defence and fill the void created by Alaba’s departure.
Richards is also capable of playing a more advanced role, but it is thought that he has been signed as defensive cover.
The deal echoes the surprise move that Bayern made for Marseille full-back Bouna Sarr in the summer. Generally considered to be a tidy Ligue 1 player but little more, Sarr proved a surprise target for the European champions and has largely performed adequately in the 11 games he has played.
Should Richards’ move to Bayern be confirmed, he will have aspirations of a similar integration.