Manuel Neuer has gotten old. It’s a fact I cannot comprehend as somebody who has never known a Bayern Munich without Neuer. He may still play like a timeless legend of the game, but his body is catching up to him. Either that or his mind is, because one of the two is the reason he’s out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg while skiing, leaving Bayern with no clear plan going forward for the rest of the season, most notably a Champions League round of 16 match against the best attack in the world, a match for which we will also be missing Lucas Hernández — the only Bayern defender who is experienced at halting PSG — and Sadio Mané, a player who always shows up in big games no matter his form. This is the emergest of encies, and Bayern need a panic button in January. Look, Sven Ulreich is fine for a cup game or two or if Neuer picks up a short term knock, but I cannot bring myself to trust him with the business end of the season.
Note that this is not a long-term replacement. I’ve already written an article on potential long-term options, which you can find here. This is only for the rest of the half-season, and potentially the season after as a backup. As is tradition for Mannschaft Planen, I will avoid rumours, so do not expect to see Alexander Nübel, Yassine Bounou, Yann Sommer, Keylor Navas or Dominik Livaković on this list.
This one is kind of cheating because this is not a transfer but rather a loan. I think André Onana is the perfect man for the job, but I don’t think Internazionale would let him go permanently.
Samir Handanović is in the twilight years of his career, and it seems Inter believe in Onana as his replacement, but at the moment they are sharing game-time. I think the promise of consistent games at such a high level would be very tempting for both Inter and Onana, especially since he’d return to Italy at the end of the season. Onana’s shot-stopping is good but where I think he truly shines is his comfortability on the ball. He is basically an eleventh outfield player in build-up, which is especially important for Bayern since Mazraoui and Davies tend to be pretty advanced even when the team is building from deep.
Player Quality: 7/10
Potential Price: 9/10
TOTAL: 20/30 (66.67%)
Jonas Omlin is very much the anti-Onana.
Whereas Onana would be a loan deal, I think Omlin would be the perfect man to play second fiddle to Neuer even after Neuer returns to the team, and he would be perfect as an inter-generational player, bridging the gap between Neuer and Bayern’s inevitable attempt at a young keeper with the potential to match Neuer’s legacy.
Omlin is pretty comfortable on the ball but nothing special. However, his shot-stopping is extraordinary. I have never been more impressed by a goalkeeper’s sheer doggedness the way I have been with Omlin while watching him play for Montpellier HSC. Yes, he’s the Yann Sommer of France. Omlin would be relatively cheap, I don’t think he would cost anything more than €8-10m. It is more than Bayern would like to spend for sure, but we are in a desperate situation, and his wage package shouldn’t be anything too exotic.
Player Quality: 8/10
Potential Price: 8/10
TOTAL: 18/30 (60%)
Not the Sevilla keeper you were expecting, eh?
Marko Dmitrović is one of the best shot-stoppers in Spain. He’s struggling for game-time at Sevilla due to the presence of Yassine Bounou in the starting XI, but Dmitrović is no slouch. He is not as comfortable on the ball as Omlin or as young, but he is much cheaper, in the range of €5m. I think Bayern would massively benefit from his presence between the sticks, his ability to get just anything behind the ball is a kind of keeping style Bayern hasn’t seen in a while and would be welcome.
At 31 years of age, he seems happy to be a benchwarmer at Sevilla so I do not see why after Neuer’s return he would not accept his backup role in the shadow of the greatest keeper of all time. A great pick-up in my opinion.
Player Quality: 7/10
Potential Price: 9/10
TOTAL: 17/30 (56.67%)
I would like most to see Bayern go for Omlin, but the other two are intriguing options in similar ways. What do you think of my picks? Who is your personal favourite? Is there somebody else you would have included? Let us know in the discussion below.