Bayern Munich could potentially face a tricky goalkeeping conundrum next season with the amount of depth they’ll have in that particular position. They’ve already signed Alexander Nübel from Schalke to groom him as Manuel Neuer’s eventual successor, but in a new report by Bild (Wednesday print edition), Hansi Flick declared Neuer the undisputed number one keeper for Bayern moving forward, praised backup keeper Sven Ulreich highly, and revealed he was not involved in Nübel’s signing.
It was, of course, speculation about guaranteed matches for Nübel that Neuer wasn’t entirely on board with. When he was asked about Nübel, Flick said that he had nothing to do with his transfer to Bayern:
No, I was not asked. I knew, of course, that he’d be signed. That was a subject that concerned next season, a move for the future in which I did not necessarily have to be involved.
Flick went on to say that he still thinks Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world and thus should be the bonafide number one for Bayern, regardless of the competition he may face from Nübel:
Competition for Manuel Neuer? What’s clear is that everyone knows what I think of Manuel. He is by far the best goalkeeper in the world for me; I don’t have the slightest doubt about it. That’s why there is no alternative for me. Manuel leads the team, gives it the necessary security.
Current backup keeper Sven Ulreich said earlier this season that if he doesn’t receive attractive starting offers from other clubs, he would be willing to stay at Bayern and fight for his place to be Neuer’s go-to backup, even after Nübel’s arrival. Flick had high praise for Ulreich’s work ethic, especially with the understanding that Ulreich realizes there’s a clear goalkeeping hierarchy at the club. Flick said,
We have a clear hierarchy among the goalkeepers. It will be the same way next year. I have emphasized this often enough: I think that Sven Ulreich is doing a magnificent job here. He has the best goalkeeper in the world in front of him, yet he still musters his own quality day in, day out in training.
The goalkeeping situation is also contingent on Bayern’s managerial situation next season. It’s only assumed at this point that Hansi Flick will still be coach next season, though talks over a new contract have not technically begun. If Flick does not put pen to paper, whoever manages the team next could decide to have Neuer and Nübel rotate minutes often, which surely wouldn’t go down well with Neuer. Still, though, Flick is the odds-on favorite to be the manager, at least for next season.