The goalkeeping depth situation at Bayern Munich is still not entirely certain. What is certain is that Manuel Neuer is expected to soon sign a contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond next summer, when his current contract is set to expire and he would remain Bayern’s number one keeper. Sven Ulreich’s future at the club is uncertain and Alexander Nubel has made it clear that he wants to find a permanent solution somewhere after his loan spell with AS Monaco is up, and he knows that likely won’t be at Bayern if he’s just to serve as a backup to Neuer. He wants to be starting somewhere.
Bayern had been linked with Arminia Bielefeld’s Stefan Ortega, who has been a fantastic force in between the sticks for Die Arminen in recent seasons. Months ago, he had said that if he were to leave Bielefeld at some point, it would only be for Bayern, let alone staying in the Bundesliga. Per a new report from kicker, though, Bayer Leverkusen is seriously considering making a move for Ortega this summer. His current contract with Bielefeld is set to expire at the end of this season.
For Leverkusen, it’s widely considered that Ortega would be an upgrade to current, Finnish keeper Lukas Hradecky, who was named club captain over the summer. For Die Werkself, Ortega could be a cheap solution to make an upgrade at the goalkeeping position, but it remains to be seen whether or not that is, in fact, what they want to do. Some reports have suggested that the club is prepared to offer Hradecky a contract extension, keeping him at the club beyond the summer of 2023. However, if that were to be as a backup to Ortega if they were to acquire the latter from Bielefeld, Hradecky would likely reconsider his options elsewhere to be starter.
Both Bayern or Leverkusen would be an upgrade for Ortega, but a lot of his decision will likely hinge on what, specifically, the goalkeeping situations are at both clubs. On paper, he has a more realistic opportunity to become a starter at Leverkusen quicker, but Bayern would still be in need of a viable backup, especially if Ulreich winds up leaving this summer. For both Bayern and Leverkusen, they’ll have to bring out all the stops at the negotiating table if they seriously want to sign Ortega.
Per Sky’s Florian Plettenberg, the talks between Ortega and Leverkusen are serious, and the keeper wants to ensure that he is the number one goalkeeper at whatever club he winds up going to. He also has ambitions of wanting to become an international player for the German national team.
Update #Ortega: As reported last week. The interest of Leverkusen is serious. Talks have taken place with his management. Ortega wants to be the No. 1 in his new club. He wants to play international. @SkySportsNews https://t.co/NX5M2yHnxw— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) March 14, 2022