Mats Hummels is no fan of his former coach Thomas Tuchel. The two overlapped for just one season, 2015/16. That was all it took before Hummels stunned the Yellow and Black faithful by laying down his office as captain and transferring to hated rival Bayern Munich. Now that none other than Thomas Tuchel is the favorite to succeed Jupp Heynckes next season, kicker (via WAZ) speculates that Hummels could flee yet again.
The destination? Borussia Dortmund. “What remains utopian today could become an issue, if Thomas Tuchel should succeed Jupp Heynckes,” the magazine wrote in its Monday edition. Despite the departure of Marc Bartra and the signing of Manuel Akanji, Dortmund allegedly could improve their defense. What better reinforcement than an old friend who also happens to have virtually deposed Jerome Boateng at Bayern?
Hummels and Tuchel: an icy relationship
That Hummels would actually return to Dortmund—now that both he and his family are firmly settled in Munich—is obviously far-fetched. But his icy relationship with Thomas Tuchel is real. According to kicker,
In Dortmund, Tuchel and Hummels felt mutual antipathy toward one another. The prospect that they find common ground in Munich may be effectively ruled out.
Bayern's leadership, president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge apparently even asked Hummels for his opinion of Tuchel. Without revealing what he told them, Hummels made it clear to Sky UK that it was anything but a glowing recommendation:
They spoke with me and asked me something. I gave them my opinion. I don't know whether [Tuchel] is the right candidate for the job or whether there are one or two others.
Otherwise, Hummels has been very tight-lipped with respect to Tuchel. Asked about Tuchel by Bild, he said, “I’ll comment on that when things get that far.”
Since the question who will coach Bayern Munich next season remains open, neither Hummels nor anyone needs to comment yet. But the poor relationship between the two men seems to feed into the abiding reservations felt toward Tuchel by Bayern’s front office, and by Hoeness in particular.
While it is highly unlikely that Hummels would seek to leave if Tuchel became coach—and still less likely that Bayern would let him go (he is under contract until 2021), and least of all to Dortmund!—the antipathy of Bayern’s most consistent center-back, an important player who has established himself as a team leader in just a year and a half, might tip the scales against Tuchel.
Bayern indeed may be especially cautious about their next choice of coach, after a sour relationship between Carlo Ancelotti and several key players, allegedly including Hummels, torpedoed his tenure at Bayern.