“Julian Nagelsmann wants one thing above all: more flexibility,” said Sky reporter Marc Behrenbeck.
By flexibility, Nagelsmann allegedly means he wants more versatile players to fit into a back-three or back-five formation “in order to be more offensive and flexible with the high full-backs.”
Per the report, Nagelsmann does not feel that Bayern Munich has the requisite depth along the back-line (center-backs, full-backs/wing-backs) to implement his system most effectively.
Specifically, Nagelsmann (allegedly) thinks that Bayern Munich needs better depth behind both Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard.
Sky reporter Max Bielefeld thinks Pavard is more comfortable in a back-four, rather than in a back-three or back-five based formation.
“He’s already played that (back three/back five) in the national team, but he’s more of a defender for a back four,” Bielefeld said.
Sky also noted that the primary issue driving Nagelsmann’s desire for more back-line depth is that Bouna Sarr has not proven himself and that Davies’ back-up on the left-side would be Lucas Hernandez, who figures to be one of the team’s starting center-backs.
Interestingly, Sky referenced the reported — but not officially announced — signing of Reading FC left-back Omar Richards, which Nagelsmann reportedly still thinks will not provide enough depth.
So...who are the players that Nagelsmann could potentially bring in? That remains unclear, but Sky put together a list of three candidates: VfB Stuttgart’s Bourna Sosa, Real Betis’ Emerson, and Manchester City’s Pedro Porro (which is currently on loan with Sporting).
It should be noted that the aforementioned players are Sky’s recommendations and not Nagelsmann’s official list.
Sosa was linked to Bayern Munich over the winter, while Royal and Porro have no history with being associated with the Bavarians. Sosa is 23 and has a contract with Stuttgart through 2025, so it could be an issue to bring in the left-back, especially with Omar Richards already allegedly on his way to Munich.
Royal is 22 and plays both right-back and center-back, but would seem to be redundant to Chris Richards, should the USMNT prospect return to Bayern Munich after his loan stint at Hoffenheim ends. Royal is valued at €18 million.
Porro, meanwhile, is 22-years-old and is an offensive-minded right-back, who is valued at €12 million.
It seems doubtful that Bayern Munich would be spending anything north of €10 million for any “bench” players during this window.