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Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich’s right-back options are clearing up, but all have issues; Is Kai Havertz Germany’s future at striker?; Throwing it back to The Slits; and MORE!

Are you ready for the weekend?

AFC Ajax v SL Benfica: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

According to a report from Sport Bild’s Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl via their Bayern Insider Podcast (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), Bayern Munich’s options to man the right side of the defense next season are clearing up — but each possible solution presents an issue or obstacle that could leave Bayern Munich emptyhanded.

Whoever the player is, he will be tasked with playing as a wing-back in Julian Nagelsmann’s back three-based formation, so the Bavarians will have to nail the profile of the position with whoever they ultimately decide to sign — all while ensuring they do no break the bank.

Let’s take a look at the candidates mentioned by the Sport Bild duo, along with some others that we have seen listed as options over the past few months:

  • Noussair Mazraoui, Ajax: Mazraoui is the favorite, but has also also been closely linked to FC Barcelona. Bayern Munich is so interested in Mazraoui that manager Julian Nagelsmann is now involved in the recruitment. Mazraoui would be a free transfer, but would have to bypass FC Barcelona’s interest and could command a bigger salary than Bayern might be comfortable with.
Europa League round of 16”Galatasaray AS v FC Barcelona”
Could Sergino Dest become a hot topic for Bayern Munich again?
Photo by ANP via Getty Images
  • Djed Spence, Nottingham Forest (via Middlesbrough): Spence is considered a contingency plan at this point and not much more than developmental player, who would really only be a back-up on the current squad — similar to Omar Richards’ role for Bayern Munich.
  • Pedro Porro, Sporting CP: Porro’s name had a lot of momentum associated with it earlier this week, but the Spaniard is too expensive and Sporting CP is unwilling to let him go at this point unless someone is willing to massively overpay.
  • Sergino Dest, FC Barcelona: Dest has been linked to Bayern Munich consistently for almost two years, but Bayern Munich would seemingly have to hand FC Barcelona over a chunk of cash to get the USMNT player. That scenario does not seem likely at this stage.
  • Chris Richards, Hoffenheim: Many fans are clamoring for Bayern Munich to recall Richards and hand him the job. The USMNT defender, however, projects to being a center-back and while he might be able to play as a right wing-back, ultimately Richards’ future lies centrally.
  • Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich: Hey...we know this guy! Could the Bayern Munich brass convince Coman to move permanently to the position? Coman certainly has the requisite skillset needed to play there. It is an intriguing option for the Bavarians, but Coman’s willingness to play the role for France might supersede his desire to play as a right wing-back for his club.

Admittedly, those options are not exactly thrilling. For a squad like Bayern Munich, it would have been easier to process all of this, if at least one of the options was a proven player at the position from a Top 5 league. Aside of a positional change for Coman, Dest might be the closest to fitting that profile, but he is far from a proven commodity at this point.

Meanwhile, French website But! Football Club (Butt! Football Club is reserved for Arsenal FC, I guess), Bouna Sarr could finally be ready to pull the trigger on a move away from Bayern Munich. Olympique Marseille is keeping an eye on its old charge:

Confined to the end of the Bayern Munich bench (59 minutes played this season in the Bundesliga), Bouna Sarr, 30, is getting ever closer to the exit. With this in mind, Bouna Sarr - who is under contract until June 2024 - can notably count on the interest of certain Italian and Turkish clubs, but a possible return to Ligue 1 cannot be ruled out, Bordeaux and Lille having already considered his case during the last period of transfers.

According to our information, OM are keeping a very close eye on the situation of their ex-protégé (2015-2020). In search of a specialist to compete with Pol Lirola, the Phocaeans would welcome a return from the native of Lyon, who has the advantage of knowing the Olympian house perfectly. The various parties involved will have to make efforts, but the track is active today.

Whatever the case, it does appear that the right side of Bayern Munich’s defense is going to look a lot different next season. Who do you want to see manning the right defensive flank next season in Bavaria?

Poll

Who is your choice to take over at right-back/ right wing-back next season with Bayern Munich?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Noussair Mazraoui, Ajax
    (268 votes)
  • 4%
    Pedro Porro, Sporting CP
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    Djed Spence, Nottingham Forest (via Middlesbrough)
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    Sergino Dest, FC Barcelona
    (53 votes)
  • 8%
    Jeremie Frimpong, Bayer Leverkusen
    (50 votes)
  • 6%
    Chris Richards, Hoffenheim
    (36 votes)
  • 11%
    Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich
    (69 votes)
  • 2%
    Bouna Sarr, Bayern Munich (keep him Brazzo!)
    (13 votes)
  • 11%
    These options are not good, reboot your laptop Brazzo!
    (69 votes)
592 votes total Vote Now

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 42

After Bayern Munich trounced Union Berlin 4-0 last weekend, the squad headed off for an international break. While some players reported to their respective countries for duty, some others are working to get healthy for the stretch run of the season.

This break could not have come at a better time for the Bavarians — especially because there was ample for us to discuss, even without a game on the docket. Here is what we have on tap for this week’s podcast:

  • The good timing of the international break for Bayern Munich, Germany’s slate of games, and why it will still be interesting to watch.
  • Why Oliver Kahn’s new hands-on approach was needed and why a cup of coffee or a pint of beer are always a god way to strengthen relationships.
  • Liverpool and FC Barcelona’s interest in Robert Lewandowski and why Bayern Munich should be wary of what Jurgen Klopp can offer (not just a big salary).
  • Marcel Sabitzer’s uncertain future and why it might make sense for both sides to move on.
  • Why Bayern Munich should pass on Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch and start pushing money toward positions that the club has a more pertinent need for next season.

Is Havertz Germany’s future at striker?

Kai Havertz has seemed to turn the corner at Chelsea FC and just a year after some fans were lamenting the club’s acquisition of the former Bayer Leverkusen star, the 22-year-old is slowly becoming a fan favorite in London.

One of Havertz’s best assets as a player is the versatility he has to play anywhere across the front line. Need an attacking midfielder? He can do that. A wing? Put him on both sides and he’ll get the job done. How about a striker?

Germany Training Session And Press Conference
Kai Havertz might evolve into Germany’s secret weapon.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Now you have piqued everyone’s interest.

There is some thought that Havertz could be a player who is an option to slide into the 9 role as early as this year’s World Cup.

What formation Hansi Flick rolls out could change, but players like Havertz, Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane, Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, and even Chelsea’s Timo Werner will allow Flick to be nimble and fluid with how he aligns his personnel.

Ultimately, though, we could start to see Havertz emerge from the pack as Germany’s best option at center-forward.


Song of the Week: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by The Slits

Admittedly, I can be a sucker for a good cover and when watching Eastbound & Down quite a few years ago (I’ve said this many times before, just a FANTASTIC comedy), this song caught my attention in the closing credits.

Somehow, despite the sing coming out in 1979, I had never heard this version by The Slits and I just thought it was cool. The song itself has been record a million times, by a million different artists, but if you ever wanted a punk version of the song, here you go:


Prediction Records

I don’t want to talk about last week...

Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 3-6

Overall Bundesliga record: 127-115

DFB-Pokal record: 1-1

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

Champions League record: 7-1

Overall record: 136-117