After a breakdown in his relationship with Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal, and with Bayern Munich unwilling to offer a contract extension beyond the end of the season, captain Mark van Bommel has left the club, for, he hopes, greener pastures. The Dutch midfielder will move to AC Milan on a free transfer and should be available for the match against Catania at the weekend.
van Bommel had an impressive 2010, leading Bayern Munich to the title and the Champions League final before captaining the Netherlands to the final of the World Cup. He now hopes to make his mark on Italy by helping Milan stay the course in their scudetto challenge. Should he succeed, van Bommel will have titles from four countries, having been with winning clubs in Holland (PSV Eindhoven), Spain (Barcelona) and Germany (Bayern Munich).
Before leaving, van Bommel was careful to acknowledge his time spent at FC Bayern and to thank the fans:
"I had four and a half wonderful and successful years here and would like to express my gratitude to the club and the fans," he stated. "FC Bayern will always have a place in my heart."