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Hansi Flick underscores “veto power” as Bayern Munich plans transfers at three positions

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Bayern Munich’s interim head coach has clear ideas about what a successful head coach needs: a clear playing philosophy and veto power in squad planning.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In a full-length interview with Sport Bild (Wednesday print edition), interim head coach Hansi Flick discussed his vision of squad planning in conjunction with Bayern Munich’s front office should the club decide to reward him with a permanent contract in the near future. Among other things, Flick argued that it was essential for a coach to have “veto power” regarding incoming transfers.

Flick was vague about what the club would need to offer him to persuade him to accept a permanent position, but he emphasized two things: the playing philosophy of the club and the coach’s right to veto transfers. Flick said,

There are two points that are important in my view: a club must have a philosophy as to what kind of soccer it wants to see played, and what we stand for. Hence, a coach is brought in who is trusted to implement this philosophy. Then there are the players who are supposed to supplement or reinforce the existing squad. Concerning new signees and reinforcements, a coach has to have veto power in my view.

Flick went on to explain that it is normal for a club to propose various targets for the coming years, and that it is also normal for a club not to make plans entirely contingent on the head coach. “Otherwise, a coach wants five players whose employment is controversial, and with whom his successor and the front office doesn’t know what to do,” he added.

Pressed by Bild about his definition of a “veto power,” Flick explained that it actually cuts both ways — the coach might actively propose transfers or veto proposals of the club. “It includes both,” he said, adding,

But that is fine at Bayern Munich anyway. We can talk about everything in open dialogue. Of course the coaching team has ideas in their heads. So it’s crucial that we communicate and discuss things.

Flick then explained how Bayern might go about its squad planning using the current roster as an example — albeit without naming names. He said,

We have a scouting division that keeps an eye on the squad at all times. There are eleven position, at eight of which, for example, are we currently have two players. We need to make additions at three positions. For those, there are solutions A, B, and C. Then you look at the players and decided together which way you go. It is important to have the right eye for it — and also even the possibility of rejecting proposals.

Two of those positions are presumably right-back — i.e. a backup for Benjamin Pavard — and a winger to complement Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and probably Ivan Perisic (Leroy Sané? Timo Werner?).

And the third? One could be a backup for Robert Lewandowski, although Flick spoke very highly of Joshua Zirkzee, who has replaced the striker lately. Another possibility is a central defensive midfielder to backup Joshua Kimmich (should Javi Martinez be on his way out, as is likely), or perhaps a new competitor for Thomas Müller, should Coutinho return to Barcelona at the end of the season, as also seems likely, although Flick also spoke very highly of Coutinho.

Flick discussed two players he admires, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, with Bild, but was careful not to say anything too much. He described Havertz as “a player who can make the difference in the final third” and said of Werner, “Let me formulate it this way: Timo can play for many top teams.”

If Bayern ultimately decides to reward Flick with a permanent contract after he turned around the club’s season, he will undoubtedly have something to say — behind closed doors.