Lucas Hernandez was only one of several subjects at the press conference held today after his formal announcement as a Bayern Munich player. CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also spoke at length on the current state of the club’s search for new players to bolster the roster and fill the gaps left by the departure of several players, most notably winger-duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery (comments below taken from Bild).
The media has speculated endlessly over the lack of action at Säbener Strasse. For all the reports circulating around targets Leroy Sané, Dembélé, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Bayern has yet to complete a blockbuster transfer to add an offensive player, much to the frustration of many fans.
Rummenigge, for his part, urged patience. Bayern is waiting for the first dominoes to fall on the transfer market, before it can spring into action. He said,
Impatience is a great virtue of the public. But permit me to recall that the transfer window is open until September 2. We, especially Hasan, are working intensively. But a transfer that we would call a domino effect has yet to happen. When it does, many transfers will follow. We’re in position. We have enough patience.
Rummenigge then addressed concerns that the team might not be competitive in the coming season, concerns recently amplified by the critical remarks of team captain Manuel Neuer’s agent Thomas Kroth. Rummenigge said,
We have to act with clear thoughts and a cool heart. After the conversations that we had internally today, we are not nervous in the least. We will go into all three competitions with a team that is competitive. We gave up one regular starter from last year. Otherwise, no other regular starters will leave us. I can only say to the fans that they should not waste any thought on the idea that we don’t have a team that be champion for the eight time in a row and play a good part in all the other competitions.
As for Neuer’s agent, Rummenigge carefully separated the captain’s opinions from the supposedly private opinions of his agent. He said,
I had a telephone conversation with Manuel Neuer this morning. His agent is not his mouthpiece. That was purely the opinion of Thomas Kroth. I have taken note of it, but I thought it was rather idiosyncratic.
The main piece of the puzzle, which has held up everything else, is Manchester City’s Leroy Sané. He is obviously Bayern’s primary target, but he has yet to announce whether he would like to return to Bavaria as the heir of Robben and Ribery or stay in Manchester under Pep Guardiola. Rummenigge summarized his situation as follows:
With Leroy Sané, the current state of affairs is that he comes back from vacation this week and did not want to conduct negotiations during his vacation. he wanted to think about his future. He undoubtedly has done so. Now we have to calmly wait whether something to that end has moved. It’s well known that we are still searching for a player for the wing. We’re on the ball.
Rummenigge also gently criticized club president Uli Hoeness for his earlier declaration about players the club had “already” supposedly signed. Rummenigge remarked,
It is perhaps good when we talk about our operations somewhat less publicly in the future. That creates expectations that impatience does not exactly diminish.
Finally, Rummenigge also gave a rather cold assessment of Jerome Boateng’s situation at the club:
He still has two years on his contract. We will calmly wait to see how things develop. The most important reason why Mats left FC Bayern is that the coach plans primarily to use Niklas [Süle], Lucas [Hernández], and Benjamin [Pavard]. That also applies to Jerome. He most take a position now and decide.
That seems to be as frank a recommendation to transfer elsewhere as one could expect.