Per a report from the Sport Bild’s print edition (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich is debating internally how to best replace center-back Niklas Süle should he decide to leave the club this summer.
At least one option being kicked around is sliding right-back Benjamin Pavard inside to play as a center-back, but manager Hansi Flick is resistant to the idea as he does not see Pavard’s build-up play as a strength:
Should Niklas Süle leave Bayern this summer, the club's plan is to move Benjamin Pavard to centre-back and sign a new right-back. However, Hansi Flick is opposed to this plan as he sees weaknesses in Pavard's buildup play [@SPORTBILD]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 24, 2021
Bayern Munich will not be hurting for defensive options next season, but are they the right cogs to work in Hansi Flick’s complex high-line set-up?
Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, and part-time center-back Javi Martinez are all expected to leave Bavaria this summer and there is no word on what Bayern Munich’s plans are for highly-regarded, but loaned out defensive prospects Lars Lukas Mai (Darmstadt) or Chris Richards (Hoffenheim) at this stage.
What we know is that Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Alphonso Davies, Tanguy Nianzou, and presumably Bouna Sarr will be back on Säbener Straße, while Süle’s future seems questionable right now. If Süle does not extend his contract with the club this summer, he will be sold to ensure the club does not lose him for free during the summer of 2022. Chelsea is among the clubs rumored to be interested in Süle.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich has already announced the signing of RB Leipzig center-back Dayot Upamecano and has reportedly inked Reading FC left-back Omar Richards to a deal. New reports also emerged stating that Bayern Munich is in discussions with Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez to potentially play a role as a reserve right-back, which would allow the Bavarians to part with Sarr or slide Pavard inside to center-back regardless of what happens with Süle.
Should Süle leave, though, the situation gets a little more complex, even with the new signings. One important factor that should be considered is that Upamecano allegedly prefers to play on the left-side of the defense, where Hernandez is expected to take over next season. One of Süle’s strengths is that he can seamlessly play on either side of the central defense and has also proven to be a valuable back-up to Pavard at right-back.
Aside of all that, Sport Bild also seems to think — if true — that this is yet another instance where Hansi Flick and sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic are not aligned on a strategy regarding personnel.