Football: Sarpreet Singh signs three-year deal with giants Bayern Munich

Singh in is his new colours.
Singh in is his new colours. Photo credit: Supplied

New Zealand's Sarpreet Singh is officially a Bayern Munich player, after signing a three-year deal with the European footballing giants. 

The All Whites midfielder spent a week in Germany being wooed by Bayern, before he committed the next stage of his career to the club.

The 20-year-old will play for the reserve team in the third tier of German football next season, but the club wants him to vie for first-team football in 12 months time. 

Singh, who has been on Bayern's radar for close to a decade, told Newshub the German champions decided to make a play for his talents, after he starred for New Zealand at the recent U20 Football World Cup. 

"I was on holiday in Australia, and my agent rang and said they were interested in signing me," Singh said.

"They wanted to bring me to the club and show me around, and make sure it was where I wanted to be for the next three years, before we started to negotiate a deal.

"My agent said they were keeping a close eye on me at the World Cup, so that was pretty humbling to be scouted by such a big club."

Sarpreet Singhis on his way to Munich.
Sarpreet Singhis on his way to Munich. Photo credit: Supplied

If all goes to plan for the 20-year-old, he could end up playing alongside European stars, including Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez and Thomas Mueller.

"If I can do well and do my job in the first year, I might get a chance in the first team.

"But they want me to be pushing for a first-team spot in year two, so the opportunity will be there, if I can be the best player I can be.

"It's pretty cool, because when we start training, my team will be training alongside the first team, so I'm sure there will be quite a few encounters there.

"I'm so happy to be here and I want to make the most of this every day, because you never know what the future holds."

Singh has been at the Wellington Phoenix for four years, firstly as part of their development academy, before graduating to the first team two seasons ago.

The attacking midfielder starred for Mark Rudan's side last season, scoring nine goals and assisting many more. He led the U20 national side to unprecedented success in Poland and has also earned four caps for the All Whites since his debut in 2018.

His time at the Phoenix has been crucial in his development as a footballer - a fact Singh was keen to acknowledge. 

"I am so grateful toward the Wellington Phoenix," Singh told Newshub. "I spent four years of development down there and I owe them a lot.

"This is the right time for me to make this move and I thank them for all they have done for me. I wish them all the best for the future."

Phoenix general manager David Dome said that the transfer of Singh to Bayern Munich was testament to the significant investment the club had made into its academy and youth programmes.  

"The owners of the club have invested many thousands of dollars into the club's academy and it has been a strategic priority for the club since 2011, when Welnix took over," he said.

"We were the first of all the A-League clubs to set up a full academy system with the move of APFA from Christchurch. The owners have persisted with the academy and it has produced some fine footballers over the years, even if this generated little direct financial return. 

"If the pathway to professional football and potentially the very highest levels was not clear before, it is now.

"It is vital for a young players' development that they can play quality football on a regular basis and in the New Zealand context. Only the Phoenix can provide the direct pathway from the academy level all the way to the professional game. 

"We are thrilled for Sarpreet and his family and are extremely proud of what he has achieved to get to this stage of his career.

"We wish him all the best in Germany and look forward to seeing him progress all the way through to Bayern’s first team, as he continues his development as a professional footballer.’"

Singh has already taken up residence at the Bayern Munich academy, before he finds permanent accommodation in Munich.