SINGAPORE - Bayern Munich's record signing Corentin Tolisso visited German Microbrewery and restaurant Paulaner Brauhaus at Millenia Walk yesterday with the German champions in town for the International Champions Cup (ICC).
22-year-old Tolisso is the Bundesliga giant's record signing, with Bayern paying a hefty €41.5 million (S$64 million) to lure the highly-rated midfielder away from French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais.
Their previous transfer record was the €40 million fee for Spanish defender Javi Martinez in 2012.
"I'm don't really think about the price tag, I just want to concentrate on my football, focus and train hard with my team-mates. Of course, I also hope to repay the trust they (the club) have put in me." said Tolisso.
The midfielder had been earmarked by manager Carlo Ancelotti to bolster their midfield, which had been depleted with the recent retirements of captain Philippe Lahm and Spanish World Cup winner Xabi Alonso.
Assistant manager Wily Sagnol, who was crucial in ensuring Tolisso would ply his trade at the Allianz Arena this season, as well as fellow French players Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman, have been instrumental in helping the young midfielder adapt to a foreign country.
"Ribery and Coman have helped me (with adaptation), the coaches like Willy Sagnol also speak to me in French so it's been okay. I'm also taking lessons to learn German and improve my English as soon as possible."
Competition for starting spots will be tough, with Chile international Arturo Vidal and Spanish deep-lying midfielder Thiago Alcantara first-choice picks, but the young starlet is unfazed.
"When I signed the contract, I was already aware of the strong competition, but I will give it my best. I didn't come to Bayern to be a bench player, I came to play."
"I think it is very important for me play in the Champions League this season (as it is a World Cup year), which unfortunately would not have been possible at Lyon. I came to Bayern to play in big games in order to show up on the radar of (France national team coach Didier) Deschamps." he added.
Despite the high expectations, he has the faith of many of Bayern's legends, including club ambassador Hasan Salihamidzic.
"He played really good in the last games in the Telekom Cup before we came to China. He's a really good midfielder, a good box-to-box player. He can do everything, score goals and is also a presence in midfield, I think we'll have some fun with him," he said.
Fellow Bayern icon Giovane Elber echoed his thoughts: "He will be a big and important player for Bayern I'm sure. He is very talented and very young so he has a long future ahead of him. But of course he must work hard and keep his head down to fulfil his potential."
Bayern Munich play their first game of the International Champions Cup against Chelsea on Tuesday at 7.30pm at the National Stadium.