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Bayern Munich World Cup Radar: Who is Croatia’s Dominik Livaković?

The Dinamo Zagreb keeper will be one to watch.

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Croatia v Brazil: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Saving Rodrygo’s first penalty from Croatia - Brazil
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn was spotted in the stands of Croatia’s quarter-final penalty shootout victory over Brazil at the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Likely he was there just to enjoy a spectacular showdown — and maybe to catch a glimpse of Bayern defender Josip Stanišić — but if he had business on his mind at all, then he’d have done well to get the number of the representatives of Croatia’s brilliant goalkeeper, Dominik Livaković.

The 27-year-old stars at home for Dinamo Zagreb and has already iced Japan in a round of 16 penalty shootout. He’s no stranger to the spotlight, either — having helped Dinamo beat Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC in the Champions League in recent years, not long before the dismissals of José Mourinho and Thomas Tuchel, respectively.

Livaković is rounding into his prime and it’s probably past time for a high-profile move, if he wants it. Could the timing be right, soon, for Bayern Munich to reconsider their Manuel Neuer succession plan? Current No. 1-in-waiting Alexander Nübel may be entering a decision point, and the younger German has many reasons to desire a permanent move — one of them being he’s already been placed on loan at AS Monaco for two seasons.

Should Nübel choose to move away, Bayern need to secure another succession plan, and fast. They’ve already passed on the likes of Stefan Ortega (30), who last summer became Manchester City’s backup. And they missed the chance to sign 18-year-old prospect Gabriel Slonina as well, a $15m American wonderkid who signed for Chelsea FC.

Livaković isn’t the youngest prospect anymore, but he would find Bayern his first big step up into the top leagues. Should Bayern identify a fit, they may be able to place him at another top-5 league club for a season or two until Manuel Neuer, 36, is ready to hang it up.

Livaković has a contract that currently runs through June 2024. That means he could be a hot topic in this summer’s transfer window. At the rate this World Cup is going, though, he might fast become too hot for Bayern to touch — as he’s now turned in two straight heroic penalty shootout performances to help lift his Croatia team into the semis.

Ready for a tune-up for the weekend? We’ve got you covered with World Cup musings, more thoughts on Germany’s flameout, Bayern Munich positional battles talk, and reflections on some silly transfer rumors. Listen below or on Spotify:

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