Hoeness, Bayern looking to add an influx of German talent

Uli Hoeness has been back in the hierarchy less than a month but already the newly elected president's vision of Bayern Munich parading a team jam-packed with German internationals is taking shape.

It was Thomas Muller who revealed last year that "it was always Hoeness' dream to have FC Deutschland representing FC Bayern."

So it came as no surprise when Bild reported at the weekend that German internationals Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy are set to join the Bundesliga champions from Hoffenheim in a double-deal in the summer.

Hoffenheim's skipper, Rudy, 26, is an energetic right-sided player, equally comfortable in midfield or at right back. He's seen by many as a potential replacement for Philipp Lahm, who could call it a day as early as next summer. As a free transfer coming to the end of his contract in Hoffenheim, it's also a sound spot of business for Bayern.

On the other hand, Niklas Sule, 21, who made his Germany debut in Bastian Schweinsteiger's farewell game against Finland, is likely to cost a huge chunk of change. Also strongly linked to Chelsea, the robust central defender may cost anything up to €30m. His arrival could signal the end for the injury-prone Holger Badstuber, but it promises to keep World Cup winning duo Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng on their toes.

Boateng, of course, has endured his own injury woe this season, only starting five league games and featuring in all three Bayern defeats this season - at Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Rostov. Boateng, as we know, is an ex-Manchester City defender, so with his old boss Pep Guardiola now in charge at the Etihad and desperately in need of defensive reinforcements, be on your guard for spurious "Boateng returns to Blues" headlines appearing in the January transfer window.

Both Sule and Rudy enjoyed impressive "auditions" in Hoffenheim's 1-1 draw in Munich last month. Their capture would not only see Bayern add two top talents to their squad, it would also seriously weaken unbeaten Hoffenheim, who have snuck up to third spot under their progressive 29-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann. Of course, Bayern have been known to employ this "modus operandi" in the past, plundering Borussia Dortmund for Hummels, Robert Lewandowski and, less successfully, Mario Gotze.

Ahead of the showdown with RB Leipzig, it's worth remembering that Bayern also snatched Joshua Kimmich away from Wednesday's opponents, having spent two seasons in east Germany on loan from VfB Stuttgart.

Tellingly, Bayern currently have the oldest squad in the Bundesliga, with a ripe old average age of 27.8 years. With Hoeness calling the shots again, bolstering their ranks with some younger German talent seems to be the approach.

With that in mind, Serge Gnabry (21, Werder Bremen) is another interesting possibility.

Remember, it was originally reported that the ex-Arsenal winger, who starred for Germany at the Olympic Games, was set to return to his homeland with Bayern to be farmed out straight away on loan to the Northern German side.

The player's father, former Ivory Coast international Jean-Hermann Gnabry, even confirmed to Stuttgarter Zeitung: "Yes, that's what happened."

He later told local radio station SWR, "I would have preferred it if Serge had made a breakthrough at Arsenal. He's still under contract until 2017, but in his mind he has left already. Bayern are just like Arsenal."

However, Bremen officially announced Gnabry's signing the following day and with his father also backtracking, continue to vehemently deny any Bayern involvement.

General manager Frank Baumann said: "There aren't any agreements with other clubs. Serge Gnabry is our player. We have bought him."

But German publication Kicker maintained that the Bundesliga champions are paying the €5-6m fee on behalf of Bremen and have also secured a buyout clause after a year.

Don't expect Bayern to comment on the speculation, but there's no smoke without fire, as the saying goes.

Bayer Leverkusen duo Julian Brandt (20) and Benjamin Henrichs (19), have also been linked with Bayern in the German press as Bayern distance themselves from the Spanish revolution initiated by Pep Guardiola with Spanish speaking players such as Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal, Thiago, and Juan Bernat.

Instead they have put their faith in youngsters like Kimmich (21), Golden Boy Renato Sanches (19) and French winger Kingsley Coman (20).

Add to the mix the existing Bayern block, with Lewandowski the latest in a long line of fully fledged "Project 2021" members --joining the likes of David Alaba and Javi Martinez in committing their long-term future to the Bundesliga champions, while Hoeness's dream of "FC Bayern Deutschland" is already locked with World Cup winners Muller, Hummels, Boateng and Manuel Neuer signed on the dotted line.