According to a new report by kicker, Bayern Munich have decided who to rely on for central defense next season. Four players — Niklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, and Tanguy Nianzou — are planned for the immediate future of the club.
What this means is that David Alaba is definitely leaving, but we knew that already. The real big news is that Bayern won’t extend Jerome Boateng’s contract, allowing him to leave for free next summer. In addition, American youngster Chris Richards and Bayern youth prospect Lars Lukas Mai don’t receive any mention in the kicker report, which might mean they’re going to be sold soon. Either that, or kicker simply neglected to mention the youth options.
What does this mean?
This looks like the end of the line for Jerome. He’s been a good servant of the club for many years, but Bayern seems ready to move on to younger players. With his contract expiring, he could look for pastures anew — Chelsea may be an option, with Thomas Tuchel now in charge.
In this current financial climate, an experienced defender like Jerome Boateng could find a ton of suitors looking for a free transfer.
For Lucas and Sule
The main info here is that, despite tonnes of speculation about the future of Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule, the Bayern brass are still planning with the duo in mind. They’re probably going to be starters next summer, or at least enjoying the lion’s share of the rotation. Does this mean that Sule, who’s about to enter the last year of his contract this summer, will be offered an extension? Unlikely, unless he can break into the lineup.
Hansi Flick still has his preferences, and no matter what the bosses are planning, he’s probably going to stick with Alaba and Boateng for the rest of the season. However, the coach is going to have to give Sule and Lucas a look in eventually, because they’ll be the main players next year.
The Dayot Upamecano transfer is still a work in progress, so if kicker says Bayern are counting on him, then it indicates that things are proceeding smoothly. However, kicker also says that Chelsea are making a bid for the Frenchman — we still don’t know how things will develop from here on out. Hopefully, the deal gets done.
For the youngsters
We literally just got a report that Flick rates Richards very highly, so it’s a little bit strange that he’s not mentioned at all in kicker’s report. Maybe the club is waiting to see how he performs at Hoffenheim under Sebastian Hoeness.
Tanguy Nianzou is a question mark as well. He’s undoubtedly talented, but his injury record is concerning. A recurring hamstring injury can easily derail a career, see what happened to Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona. He’s still really young though, so you can bet the club will show him a ton of patience.
For Lars Lukas Mai, once considered the future leader of Bayern’s defense, a departure from the club seems quite likely. Bayern need the funds, and Mai would probably rather establish himself somewhere over sitting on the bench at Bayern once his loan ends. An anticlimactic end for a highly-rated academy player, but if he finds his feet at a Bundesliga-level club, then he has Bayern Munich to thank for his development. For the academy, that’s a job well done.
Who knows — maybe he could pull a Hummels and come back someday.