Sport Bild’s report of — alleged — discontent growing between the front office and coaching staff at Bayern Munich came as a surprise to some. Now, however, one more reason has come to light that the two sides might be at odds: The future of the backline.
Per Sport Bild, the Bayern Munich front office feels like the back-line is settled with Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, and Tanguy Nianzou as its top four options at center-back, Alphonso Davies and Omar Richards at left-back, and reported signing Noussair Mazraoui and Josip Stanisic as options at right-back.
For a back four-based formation, that would be a decent — but not great — depth chart.
Nagelsmann, however, seems to be planning to run a back three-based formation, which would likely require one more center-back. Sport Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), thinks this could be an issue, especially because the coaching staff does not “trust” Nianzou yet:
Due to the signing of Mazraoui, Bayern bosses are relaxed when it comes to the centre-back situation, with Pavard, Hernández, Upamecano and Nianzou. Meanwhile, Nagelsmann wants a new CB especially because the coaching staff doesn’t fully trust Nianzou yet.
Within last night’s report, we saw that the coaching staff and front office were not in agreement on a potential formation for next season, so squad planning without alignment on this could prove to be...difficult.
We can also surmise that there could be a level of disagreement surrounding Nianzou. While Nagelsmann has recently praised the youngster, it was just a couple of weeks back where the manager harshly criticized the defender. In addition, there was a report last month stating that how Nagelsmann has used Nianzou this season — and how the coach feels about the center-back — could be a primary source of angst between Salihamidzic and Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann seems to be dropping hints via the media about what he wants and where things stand. As kicker captured earlier this week, the manager is “worried” about his defense.
“We give up far too many chances to score,” Nagelsmann said. “Our counter-pressing is what worries me more. We need to get a better handle on that.”
This would like-up with Nagelsmann’s alleged desire to add a center-back and a player like RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer.
Just a day after that quote came up, kicker issued another report (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) which stated that Bayern Munich was looking for one more center-back:
Bayern’s center-back plans for next season include Pavard, Upamecano, Hernández, Nianzou plus a new leader with ability to organize the backline. In addition, the club is also looking for a defensive midfielder
A real conspiracy theorist would say that the kicker’s information originated from the coaching staff (wanting another center-back and a defensive midfielder) and Sport Bild’s information came from the front office (the club being content with its backline).
Whatever the case, the two internal factions will need to be aligned to ensure the squad is properly set up to run whatever formation Nagelsmann formally opts to implement next season.