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Mark mulls his options

Van Bommel: Not a decision you make overnight

Mark van Bommel is still considering whether to remain at Bayern beyond the end of this season. The 31-year-old club captain has “not set a date” for a decision over an extension to his current deal, he told a news conference on Friday. The Netherlands stalwart is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Van Bommel has yet to accept or decline Bayern’s offer of another year in Munich. An initial end-January deadline for a decision has been extended indefinitely by the club.

Valued and appreciated

“We’re giving him more time so he opts to stay,” stated general manager Uli Hoeneß, “we don’t want him to feel under pressure. And at the end of the day, if he chooses Bayern, we’ll be delighted.” Hoeneß said the board’s objective was to give Van Bommel “the feeling that our top priority is to keep him in Munich."

Coach Jürgen Klinsmann would also like to retain the skipper’s services. “He knows what we feel here at the club, no-one’s valued more highly. We’d be overjoyed if Mark chooses in our favour,” the boss declared, underlining the fact that Van Bommel is under “no pressure” to make a swift response.

Similar to Eindhoven

Van Bommel himself would prefer a two-year extension, “but the situation is as it is. That’s football, and the board is within its rights. Clubs offer contracts and players don’t. All I can do well is play football, nothing else.”

The situation is not new for the experienced pro. Back in 2005 when he was on the books with PSV Eindhoven, “I could also have left on a free, I had a number of offers, and I took time out to think it over. I didn’t make a decision until March.” At the time, Mark opted for Barcelona and came away with a Champions League winners’ medal at the end of the season.

Options open

The player will consult his family in the process of weighing up his options. “I have time before having to make a decision, and I’m going to take my time,” Van Bommel explained, “it’s not a decision you make overnight, you need to think it over. I’m going to look at my options side-by-side and then choose the one that’s best.”

Many observers have surmised that Mark’s considerations will be influenced by the all-but-certain arrival of Ukrainian holding midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk next summer, “although that’s absolutely not a factor in my decision,” the Dutch ace insisted. “It would be great to have Tymoshchuk here, but he can forget taking my place in the team,” he declared.