Dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool, Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich has accelerated the task of revamping its squad by signing defender Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for $90 million.
The 23-year-old Hernandez, who was part of France’s World Cup winning team last year, will join Bayern on July 1.
The $90 million fee is a record for Bayern, almost doubling the sum paid for Corentin Tolisso, who is also French.
“I’m very happy we’ve been able to sign one of the best defenders in the world, a World Cup winner, in Lucas Hernandez,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told the club’s website.
“Lucas can play both in central defence and at left-back. Moreover, Lucas will continue our great tradition of French footballers and improve our team.”
Hernandez will be the 10th French player over the years to have joined Bayern, who signed another France World Cup winner – Benjamin Pavard – in the January transfer window. Pavard will join Bayern from VfB Stuttgart at the end of the 2018/19 season.
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Bayern top the Bundesliga table on goal difference from Borussia Dortmund, but exited this season’s Champions League in the round of 16 after losing 3-1 on aggregate to Liverpool. It was the first time Bayern had failed to reach the last eight since 2011.
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During Hernandez’s medical it was revealed he had a knee injury that requires surgery.
“During the medical examination we found damage to the medial collateral ligament in the player’s right knee that requires a surgical repair,” said FC Bayern chief medical officer Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.
“Based on experience, Lucas Hernandez will be available for FC Bayern by the start of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season.”
Hernandez, who was born in Marseille in 1996, has been with Atletico for 12 years, making 110 appearances for the first team.
“This is a really important day in my footballing career,” said Hernandez. “FC Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in Europe and the world. I’m proud to be able to fight for all possible titles with Bayern.
“I’d like to thank Atletico, the management, the coaches, my teammates and the fans for 12 wonderful years. Atletico will always remain a part of me. Now I’m looking forward to taking the next step with FC Bayern.”
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Hernandez was part of Atletico’s team that reached the Champions League final in 2016 and won the Europa League in 2018.
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In July 2018, he won the 2018 World Cup with France after Didier Deschamps’ team beat Croatia 4-2 in the final.