Despite solid showings in his favoured CAM position, Recently, Thomas Müller has dropped down the pecking order at Bayern Munich. The Bayern legend is now firmly behind Phillipe Coutinho in the battle for the 10 position and did not start any of Bayern’s last five games. Bayern coach, Niko Kovac, all but confirmed that Muller was no longer a starter with this statement after Bayern’s home defeat to Hoffenheim:
When there’s need, he’ll definitely get his minutes
Things now look even worse for Muller fans. Bild has just released an article reporting that, according to their information, Müller wants out of Bayern as soon as possible. While it’s clear that Muller is increasingly unhappy over his standing within in the team, a winter move would be a very unexpected development, since one would expect Müller to play a full final season.
Müller’s current problems of being a bench player or being played out of position are oddly reminiscent of his struggles under Carlo Ancelotti. At that time, Muller was also unhappy at his playing time and how he was utilized. In addition to talking about himself having a “possible” future exit, he said then that his “qualities ... seem not to be one hundred percent in demand.”
The quote from 2017 exemplifies the scenario in which Müller finds himself today: his qualities are not in demand.
Bild’s speculation that Müller might leave in January almost certainly won’t come to fruition. Müller still plays a valuable role for the club on the bench, on the pitch and as a team leader. I also doubt Müller himself would want to leave in January, given that his potential suitors will likely not be among the footballing elite, and therefore this season could be his last chance at Champions League glory. Finally, there would be outrage from the fans if the scenario is not handled sensitively. A summer exit would thus be much higher in the probability chain.
Sky Germany completely contradicts the Bild story! Sky claims that Müller has no current desire to leave as while he’s frustrated, he’s not someone that runs away from a challenge or is ready to hang up his boots for Bayern anytime soon. Behrenbeck, the sky reporter, describes Muller as an,
...identification-figure, as a good guy, as a leader on the team, and as the backup for three positions: Coutinho, Lewandowski, and on the wing.
In addition, Behrenbeck claims that Bayern doesn’t want Müller to leave, but actually wants to extend his contract this summer. However, the Sky report also suggests that relations between Kovac and Müller are becoming more tense, albeit fortunately still not near the boiling point at which Müller and his agents might request a transfer. Behrenbeck stated,
There reportedly have already been conversations between Müller and the coach that had not been so intense previously. But Müller and his agent approaching Salihamidzic — that’s still a long way away!
Reinforcing the belief that Müller leaving in January won’t happen, Behrenbeck describes such a scenario as “utopian.”
Given that Bild and Sky have such differences in their respective stories, it’s unclear as to which one is closer to the truth. These two journalists have different assessments, potentially from different sources, yet neither has greater access to the “truth” than the other. Therefore, it’s believable that elements of both stories are no more than educated guesses.