Israel goalkeeper Daniel Peretz expected to sign for Germany’s Bayern Munich

Player who shot to stardom during Israel’s run at U-21 Euro semifinal set to play final game for Maccabi Tel Aviv before flying to Munich in $5.4 million deal

Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Daniel Peretz tries to keep the ball inside during the first leg playoff Conference League soccer match between PSV and Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Philips stadium in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Daniel Peretz tries to keep the ball inside during the first leg playoff Conference League soccer match between PSV and Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Philips stadium in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

German soccer team Bayern Munich has agreed to sign Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz from Maccabi Tel Aviv, for an initial fee of at least 5 million euros ($5.4 million), international media reported Wednesday.

The transfer is one of the most high-profile moves for an Israeli player in recent years and comes on the back of Peretz’s starring role in the Israel Under-21 team’s recent dream run to the semifinals of the European Championship.

According to noted soccer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Peretz, 23, will sign a five-year deal with the German champions.

The deal has not been officially announced by the clubs as Peretz is set to play a final game for Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, taking on Celje of Slovenia in a European Conference League qualifier.

He will then fly to Munich to complete a medical test and the paperwork. Peretz also holds German citizenship, ensuring that a work permit won’t be an issue.

Channel 12 news reported that Maccabi Tel Aviv is planning a sendoff ceremony for Peretz after the Celje game.

Peretz has played for Maccabi since 2019 and shot to international prominence during the Under-21 Championship, where in the opening game against defending champions Germany he saved two penalty kicks.

He also saved a penalty as Israel defeated host Georgia to qualify for the semifinals, where it lost to eventual champion England.

Signing Peretz may bring to an end Bayern’s summer-long search for a goalkeeper, with the future of long-time keeper and captain Manuel Neuer unclear.

Earlier this month, Neuer underwent an operation to remove metal implants from the leg he broke while skiing last season. Bayern said the operation was planned as part of Neuer’s treatment.

“The FC Bayern captain immediately resumed his rehabilitative training,” Bayern said without specifying a timeline for Neuer’s possible return to the squad.

Nice’s Algerian forward Andy Delort (R) fights for the ball with Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz during the UEFA Conference League play-off second leg football match between OGC Nice and Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice on August 25, 2022. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Bayern kicked off its Bundesliga title defense on August 18 with a 4-0 win at Werder Bremen.

The 37-year-old Neuer hasn’t played since the World Cup last year after he broke his leg in a ski accident in December. He wasn’t on Bayern’s pre-season tour of Japan and Singapore as Swiss keeper Yann Sommer — signed in January as a replacement during Neuer’s injury — and longtime backup Sven Ulreich split the goalkeeping duties.

But Sommer has now also left, signing for Champions League runner-up Inter Milan, and another Bayern goalkeeper, Alexander Nübel, has already been sent to Stuttgart on loan.

Bayern has been repeatedly linked with other goalkeepers during the German transfer window, alongside the club’s pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane. Given the uncertainty over Neuer’s return to fitness, it is hard to assess how much playing time Peretz will get.

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