We’ve got a variety of updates on Bayern Munich’s fast-moving goalkeeper situation. Though there’s still a month to go before the club’s next competitive fixture, sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić wants to waste little time in securing a solution.
It starts, fittingly, with club loanee Alexander Nübel, currently at AS Monaco. The 26-year-old has comfort in his situation there and none of the same in Munich, which makes the prospects of a deal here cloudy indeed — but the Bavarians are doing right by at least offering their loanee the first chance to fill the vacancy left by Manuel Neuer’s ski accident.
But the transfer market will move fast. Accordingly, kicker reports there’s a deadline in place for the upcoming week:
Bayern want to wait until the middle of this week to see if they can reach an agreement with Nübel and Monaco, otherwise they will move on to other options [@kicker]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 18, 2022
Also via @iMiaSanMia, Tz reports that Nübel’s return to Bayern will be “extremely unlikely” even with the upcoming talks scheduled. Again it is Toni Tapalović’s status as goalkeeping coach at Säbener Straße that seems to be an issue — as well as the future. Nübel reportedly wants an open competition for the #1 spot even after Neuer’s return from injury, while the club might view such accommodations — starting with banishing Neuer’s confidant Tapalović — as extremely uncharitable behavior towards their long-time No. 1.
As has been covered already, Sevilla keeper and Morocco No. 1 Yassine “Bono” Bounou is an alternative, and so is Gladbach’s Yann Sommer. Both are keepers over the age of 30 with solid international credentials — including at this month’s Men’s World Cup — and might serve as either a stopgap or a future backup. Sommer’s contract expires this summer, while Bono will likely cost serious funds.
If Bayern can’t get their loanee back and balk at bringing in a pricey but top-tier replacement, they might instead simply stock up the back end of the roster and entrust Sven Ulreich with the reigns. This was reported a few days ago by Bild:
Going with Sven Ulreich as #1 for the second half of the season is also an option for Bayern. The club know they can rely on him as he's done well every time he replaced Neuer. Ulreich is relaxed and is waiting for the club's decision [Bayern-Insider, @altobelli13, @cfbayern] pic.twitter.com/C09epqB82T— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 15, 2022
Who might that No. 2 be? Perhaps a younger prospect still lurking on Bayern’s radar that might be cheap — in both the transfer and wages sense. Per Bild, it may even be a familiar name: former Bayern backup Christian Früchtl, who is 22 and now at Austria Wien.
Christian Früchtl's name was also discussed. Bayern have a buy-back clause. However, he would only be an option behind Sven Ulreich instead of just relying on the inexperienced Johannes Schenk as #2 [Podcast Bayern-Insider, @altobelli13, @cfbayern] pic.twitter.com/NaQ8iNkYgb— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 15, 2022
In summary, then, Bayern have three paths before them:
- Bring back their loanee Nübel, which in costs and sporting terms is ideal, but the player may want to sever ties instead;
- Sign a medium-range starting-quality keeper who may be content to backup Neuer in the future, but this may hit the wallet hard;
- Turn it over the Ulreich for the rest of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League campaign while softening the drop-off behind him.
Which way do you think Bayern will go?