Benjamin Pavard is open to leaving Bayern Munich in 2023 for a new challenge as a centre-back.
Pavard played predominantly as a centre-back during his time at Stuttgart, but Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, and Lucas Hernandez are ahead of him in the pecking order in that position at Bayern.
The defender has told Bayern he is open to leaving the club next year, with no talks about a new contract at this time.
Pavard’s contract expires in June 2024, with the player having spent seven years in the Bundesliga, playing for Stuttgart and Bayern.
The Bayern hierarchy sees Noussair Mazraoui as a replacement for Pavard if the right offer arrives in the summer, says Sky’s Florian Plettenberg.
Pavard sees Serie A as his likely destination after hinting at his desire to play with his fellow compatriot Olivier Giroud at AC Milan.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, per Football Italia, Pavard said: “I’ve been playing in Germany for seven years, I have many friends in Stuttgart and I’ve won everything with Bayern.
“I play to win and I am open to considering new projects as a centre-back.
“Olivier [Giroud] always tells me that Italy is a country that 100% lives for football. He has told me about the magic in the derby and the big celebrations for Milan’s title win. I’d like to play with him because he is a good friend of mine, let’s see.
“It is never easy to win, but Serie A is very interesting, not just for a defender like me. It’s very open as my friends Giroud, Theo Hernandez and Adrien Rabiot have always told me.
“Just look at the duel between Napoli and Milan. It was not easy to face Inter in the Champions League and Ivan Perisic has been talking about it [Inter] for a long time. Juventus are rebuilding, and they will soon return to their standards in Europe.”
The 26-year-old defender praised Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, who once played for Milan, and his other role models.
“I like Thiago Silva, who is always at the top despite his age. Lilian Thuram, central defender in the club, full-back in the national team. I’ve always admired Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta and Giorgio Chiellini.
“I still watch them on YouTube – you can always learn something from them.
“I inherited mental strength and daily commitment from my father.”