In a recent episode of Sport1 and Florian Plettenberg’s “Meine Bayern Woche” podcast, Alexander Nübel’s agent, Stefan Backs revealed that Hasan Salihamidzic really didn’t want to let Manuel Neuer’s backup leave Bayern Munich.
As we know, Nübel has gone to AS Monaco on a two-year deal and Sven Ulreich has rejoined Bayern after a one-year spell in the 2. Bundesliga with Hamburg SV.
Backs hade made it clear to Bayern’s front office that he would be pushing for a move away from Bayern due to Nübel’s severe lack of playing time. There was a stipulation in his Bayern contract when he joined from Schalke 04 that said he would get at least 10 matches last season, which didn’t even come close to happening playing second fiddle behind Neuer. Now, at least Bayern has an adequate and familiar backup for Neuer in Ulreich and was able to let Nubel go off and gain valuable experience in Ligue 1 under Niko Kovac, who’s done a fantastic job at AS Monaco.
While Nübel’s departure and Ulreich’s arrival look good on paper, Brazzo was not set on letting Nübel leave. Backs revealed that Bayern’s sporting director was really worried about letting a backup keeper of Nübel’s caliber leave. “That was particularly important to Hasan Salihamidzic. Should Neuer injure himself in the long-term, then Bavaria must have the chance to bring (Nübel) back. That was also the crux of the talks, because Monaco actually didn’t want that,” Backs explained.
Backs explained that it took what he described as “weeks of back and forth” requiring “diplomatic service” to negotiate the proper terms for Nübel’s departure. Before it became clear to Bayern that getting Ulreich back would be an option, they would’ve had a big “toothache” if Neuer suffered a major injury after letting Nübel leave. “They didn’t really want to hand him over. I can understand that if something happens to Manuel Neuer, if he gets injured, then of course it’s them who pay for it have to if they don’t have a strong second,” Backs said.
Ultiamtely, the goal was to get Nübel ample playing time and experience somewhere, and with Monaco, they play a similar style of building from the back to Bayern’s — the keeper is often involved with the ball at his feet. In that sense, it will make his transition from Bayern to Monaco, and then potentially back to Bayern in a few years time a lot smoother. “It was about Nübel’s training. The decisive factor is the playing style of Monaco, which lets football play out from behind. Bayern Munich does that too where the goalkeeper is involved in the game,” Backs said. He also revealed that Nübel had reached out to Kovac several times prior to the deal being struck, saying that the ex-Bayern manager gave Nübel his “game idea, but also made it very clear what he expected from him and that Monaco is a club that may play the Champions League.”