According to the latest edition of Sport Bild (as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich will reportedly send United States international Chris Richards back to Hoffenheim for another one-year loan.
The Bavarians, however, are firmly committing to Richards eventually playing at the Allianz Arena.
Given the current depth at center-back (Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Süle, Dayot Upamecano, Tanguy Nianzou, and Benjamin Pavard can all adeptly man the position), the Bavarians can afford to let Richards spend another year honing his skills under a coach that Bayern Munich trusts (Sebastian Hoeneß):
Although he will start preseason at FC Bayern, Chris Richards is very likely to rejoin Hoffenheim on loan. Bayern are very convinced by Richards' qualities and are planning with him on the long term. The defender is under contract until 2023 [@SPORTBILD] pic.twitter.com/3FnpGTGhWp— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) July 6, 2021
So, why exactly does Bayern Munich want to show more flexibility than it might have in the past? CEO Oliver Kahn reportedly wants to avoid another situation like Bayern Munich had with defensive midfielder Angelo Stiller, who just left for Hoffenheim on a free transfer.
Stiller was considered one of the campus gems and very a good prospect, but could never really push his way through midfield logjam at Säbener Straße. Sensing he had no opportunity, Stiller moved on via a free transfer — something that Kahn is determined to not let happen with Richards.
At a minimum, Kahn either wants players to make the first-team or the club to at least sell them for a fee.