Finding a replacement for Manuel Neuer seems like it is way harder than Bayern Munich ever expected. Let’s take a look at the recently discussed options:
- Alexander Nübel: The Bayern Munich loanee is playing hardball with the club and seemingly trying to force their hand into either handing him the starting job on a permanent basis or letting him walk away altogether. It is unclear if he — or his host club, AS Monaco — will okay a move back to Bavaria in January.
- Dominik Livaković: It seems like Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper is now off of Bayern Munich’s radar, even though he is supposedly open to a move.
- Keylor Navas: The Paris Saint-Germain backup is considered too old for Bayern Munich and it is doubtful that PSG would help its Champions League opponent.
- Tom Ritzy Hulsmann: The Bayern Munich U-19 goalkeeping giant (2 meters tall!) is traveling with the team for training camp, but it would be a stretch (no pun intended) to think he is ready for first team action at this point.
How about another familiar face: Austria Wien’s Christian Früchtl.
That’s right...the Prodigal Son could return!
Probably? Maybe? Who knows, but this is what Sport Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) had to report on the topic:
Even the name of Christian Früchtl was briefly discussed after Neuer’s injury. Früchtl joined Austria Vienna last summer & was the best goalkeeper in the Austrian Bundesliga in the first half of the season. Bayern have a buy-back clause. The priority though, is Nübel.
Früchtl is having a decent season for Austria Wien as he has allowed 45 goals and kept six clean sheets in 26 games across all competitions. The 22-year-old, of course, left Bayern Munich because of a lack of opportunity to advance into a first team role.
If Bayern Munich fails to convince Nübel, will the club try to exercise its buy-back clause on Früchtl?
Things could get very interesting.