Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge appeared on Sky Sport’s show, Wontorra - Der Fußball Talk for a conversation with Jörg Wontorra (full episode with select quotes).
Heynckes or bust - or perhaps not?
The first order of business was the question of who would coach Bayern Munich next season. Jupp Heynckes has insisted to the press that he will not discuss an extension. Nonetheless, many people - above all Uli Hoeneß - are holding out hope that Heynckes may be persuaded to say. Rummenigge added his name to that list. He revealed, however, that Heynckes or no, Bayern want a German coach:
There’s this charm offensive by Uli Hoeneß - and to be honest, I support it completely . . . All the young players love him. He’s a peacekeeper. We’d be foolish not give up this man without a fight, a man who is not only a good coach, but also a wonderful person. And we won’t do that. It cannot be ruled out that Jupp Heynckes will still sitting on the coach’s bench on July 1. We’ve decided that we want to have a German coach. Jupp Heynckes would be the most ideal German coach.
Rummenigge described other potential candidates - Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann, Ralph Hasenhüttl, and Jürgen Klopp - all as “highly qualified coaches” without elaborating.
Pressed about Tuchel in particular, Rummenigge described Dortmund under his tutelage as “our toughest adversary.” Rummenigge cryptically continued,
We [i.e. Bayern's leadership] will discuss it and and come to a decision at some point. We all were difficult characters once upon a time.
The Goretzka saga continues
Rummenigge stated that Leon Goretzka will make his decision in the “coming days.” seemingly is particularly attractive to Bayern precisely because he is a German national player.
Our profile is focused heavily on German players. We would be foolish not to take such a player into consideration. Now [Goretzka] must decide. That should happen in the next few days. It would be nice if he decided for Bayern Munich. This player had an extremely high market value. All the top clubs of Europe were after him; it's completely legal and normal, that Bayern Munich is interested in him, too.
Rummenigge's use of the past tense (were after him) seems to corroborate speculation that Goretzka had ruled out clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, but had not yet decided to leave Schalke for Bayern.
Bayern will not break the bank
Rummenigge expressed his confidence that Bayern will weather the current conditions of the transfer market by remaining fiscally responsible:
I'm not worried that Bayern Munich will be irrelevant in the future. No one in England or France is on our level in UEFA's ten-year ratings. The transfer market is what it is. In Germany, we've grown accustomed to criticizing it. But what people forget are the wages. They are often much more difficult to pay than the transfer fees, when Neymar earns over €30 million net or Messi allegedly €100 million. We have to earn our money before we spend it.
He elaborated that the club is prepared to spend upwards of €100 million for a player, but not absurd amounts:
At Bayern Munich, we will not do any Neymar-transfers. Because we don't have the money and also do not want to take the risk. It is nonetheless possible, however, to beat a team like PSG, as we demonstrated. The market is the market; Bayern Munich doesn't dictate it. If you want to have good players, they definitely won't be cheaper. I talked with Uli lately and we are agreed, it may happen that we sign a player in the price range of €80 to €100 million.
Competition in the Bundesliga
Rummenigge reiterated the oft-heard refrain that the Bundesliga is Bayern's “bread and butter” and they will try to defend their title every year. But the dominance of a small circle of teams is troubling:
In principle, we'd all be happy to have a situation a bit more like the Premier League, though ManCity is far in the lead. It's a process across Europe that makes me somewhat concerned. Soccer is emotion; that means that you fight for the title to the end. My best championship was 2001, when we scored the equalizer in the 94th minute. When one club is too far ahead of second, third, and fourth place, the emotions suffer. I'd prefer it if clubs like Borussia Dortmund kept a little closer to us.
In light of German clubs' performance in European competition this season, most would undoubtedly agree.