Alexander Nübel has been heavily reported to be close to a move to Bayern Munich in the summer. Sky reporter Marc Behrenbeck describes it as essentially a done deal in which “nothing can go wrong anymore.”
The current Schalke 04 stopper has already made 35 appearances in the Bundesliga and is regarded as one of the most promising GK prospects worldwide. However, if Nübel indeed moves to Bayern, tensions could arise in regards to playing time with Manuel Neuer.
According to Sky, the negotiating team of Hasan Salihamidzic and co. secured Nübel by telling him that he was their long-term plan to be the number 1 keeper, and that Neuer would share keeping duties with him:
They got Nübel with [the pitch that] “You should become our new number 1, our new Neuer.” But especially with the offer “We’ll do job-sharing.”
Interestingly, Neuer apparently didn’t even know about this deal until talks with Nübel had already concluded. Behrenbeck continues,
We heard that they didn’t talk with Neuer or even mention the whole thing until December. So not until they had already negotiated with Nübel.
And when Brazzo and the front office eventually talked to Neuer about their plans to make himself split minutes with Nübel, he was understandably dissatisfied. In light of Neuer’s seniority and captaincy at Bayern, and the public nature of these negotiations, this creates a problem for Bayern.
He informed the bosses that the job-sharing model is not an option for him. That is a problem for FC Bayern of course, also the fact that the whole thing has become public. If they had gotten it all done after Neuer’s contract extension, it probably would have gone more quietly for FC Bayern.
At the moment, Neuer is still playing at a world-class level. After enduring a tough few seasons, the Germany and Bayern number one has regained his form. At the age of 33, Neuer still has many years of top-level keeping in him. Currently, the revolutionary “sweeper-keeper” is still a top-three GK and is the starting German GK. Therefore, there isn’t much reason to transition from Neuer already — he’s simply too good to be phased out.
Ultimately, Bayern appear to be attempting to correct their mistakes in the past, when it comes to replacing senior players. It’s a smart choice from the Bayern top-brass to be preparing for the future and identifying replacements, yet in Neuer’s case, this has been happening for years. Marc-Andre Ter Stegan and Ralf Fährmann have both been touted as replacements in recent seasons, and now there is Nübel. If Neuer is still maintains his current level for years to come, the signing of Nübel would be useless. Perhaps, Nübel can be loaned out for two or three years and can, only then, become Bayern’s number 1.