It was all smiles in the Bayern Munich front office as they successfully sealed the deal on Sadio Mane’s transfer from Liverpool FC. Sporting director “Brazzo” Hasan Salihamidzic looked pleased with himself leaving Munich airport on Friday evening with Sadio Mane’s agent Björn Bezemer.
Needless to say, Brazzo has not only secured the future of the squad but also his own future with the club and can be very proud of himself. This transfer is a significant endorsement of his abilities. On Friday morning he flew to Liverpool with a delegation to bag Sadio Mane’s transfer and the final negotiations were successful, as Liverpool FC accepted the third Bayern offer of just under 40 million euros including bonuses.
Sky reporter Torben Hoffmann had nothing but praise for Brazzo, saying, “40 million for such a player who is on the market and also had other interested parties. Hasan Salihamidzic has great negotiating skills. He’s had enough of a beating in the last transfer period. But what he’s delivered so far is really, really good.”
Brazzo’s work in Bayern has often been at the receiving end of criticism. The signings of Bouna Sarr, Michael Cuisance, and Fiete Arp were particularly disappointing. Sarr and Cuisance only played a handful of Bundesliga games, while Arp was never used in a first division game and his contract with the club has been terminated. Bayern however spent only around €20m on this trio. The fact that Salihamidzic also brought top talents like Jamal Musiala or Alphonso Davies to Munich almost went unnoticed in the face of such mistakes.
Herbert Hainer recently emphasized that internal doubts about Salihamidzic were “completely removed from reality.”
“We are discussing with Hasan, not about him. There is no question that he is very important for Bayern,” the Bayern President said in May, but talks about extending his contract beyond June 30, 2023 had been put on hold. With the Mane deal, Salihamidzic has now gathered strong arguments for a new contract.
When Brazzo was publicly photographed at a party in Mallorca in May, the media pelted him with insults and jabs, often questioning his professionalism. It later turned out that the trip was for talks with Mane’s advisor Bezemer. Brazzo also convinced Mane himself early on to move to Munich. Other top clubs were also interested in the 30-year-old, but his conviction ensured that the Senegalese star only wanted to move to Bayern.
Brazzo has also received praise from fans on social media, which is crucial considering his relationship with them was rock bottom following Hansi Flick’s exit. The Sporting Director and his family were at times exposed to malice from the fans, in the form of hatred and abuse on social media.
A conflict with the manager with regard to Mane’s role in the lineup is not a cause of worry, since Brazzo maintains a professional relationship with Julian Nagelsmann. The coach was involved in the implementation of the Mane transfer from the start and even called the attacker and asked for his desired position. With his strengths, the Senegalese fits well into Nagelsmann’s pressing system, just like Mazraoui and Gravenberch.
With all that working in his favor, maybe the next major announcement by FC Bayern will be Hasan Salihamidzic’s contract extension.