According to a new article by Bild, Manuel Neuer is making some seriously pricey demands to extend his contract with Bayern Munich. The German world cup winning goalkeeper wants a full 5 year contract, with a salary of 20m euros a year, which would make him the highest paid player on the team alongside Robert Lewandowski. This is naturally a point of contention for the club, as Neuer is already 34 years old, and his understudy Alexander Nubel is set to join the club next season.
What has prompted this aggressive negotiating strategy from the Bayern captain? Well, the report alleges that there is speculation in the dressing room about the high salaries of players coming in from Spain. Lucas Hernandez and Philippe Coutinho are both rumored to earn over 20m euros a year, and this may be a source of discontent. Having been acquired from Barcelona, Coutinho’s salary is said to be especially high — even higher than Lewandowski’s.
Bayern, meanwhile, want to give Neuer a shorter contract with a lower fixed salary — which means an extension until 2023 with an option to stay until 2024, and performance-based bonuses based on the number of fixtures played. The issue is that Neuer fears he will miss out on the performance bonuses due to the acquisition of Nubel, who is expected to start sharing games with the Bayern veteran starting next season. Hence the current standoff between the two parties.
With Thomas Muller and Hansi Flick already having committed to new contracts, things were looking up on the extension front for Bayern Munich. This news puts a downer on all that. There’s a possibility that Bild may be making things up to drive clicks (the story is behind their paywall, after all) but they’ve been spot-on in their reporting on the extension sagas of Flick and Muller. This implies that the paper has an inside track on negotiations, and there is something brewing behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, there have been reports of other clubs interested in Neuer’s services, chief among them being Chelsea. The Blues are looking to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been a dud — but given what we know now, would they offer a salary as big as 20m a year to Neuer? They certainly need a goalkeeper, but it’s doubtful that any team will be handing out huge pay packages like that at the moment, especially with the coronavirus ravaging the football world. That puts Neuer’s negotiating power into question — and it also means the Bavarians are in a strong position to reject his demands.
Whatever the truth is, we hope it’s nothing more than a bump in the road. Bayern Munich still needs Neuer, and we hope to see him stay with the club for many years to come.