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RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff doesn’t blame Julian Nagelsmann for Bayern Munich’s predatory instincts

There’s a food chain in the footballing world and the Bavarians sit near the top.

Julian Nagelsmann, right, shakes hands with RB Leipzig defender Willi Orban, left, after the February Bundesliga match between the two clubs.
Keeping tabs on his old team
Photo by Markus Gilliar/GES-Sportfoto via Getty Images

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff gave a wide-ranging interview for BILD+ and we’ve got you covered with all the nuggets. Among the more light-hearted: an observation that Bayern Munich are doing a thorough scavenging of the Red Bull talent machine. For Mintzlaff’s part, he considers it an honor:

“No, I don’t blame Julian for that,” Mintzlaff stated when asked whether he held it against his team’s former head coach. “That’s the business. Julian and I still have a very good relationship. I understand Bayern: We’ve just discovered very good players who have developed really well with us and are therefore in demand.”

Bayern, of course, paid a record fee to hire Nagelsmann in the first place, a deal which hit complications when he also wanted to bring his assistant. Prized center-back Dayot Upamecano’s signature had already been secured prior to Nagelsmann’s hiring, and attack-minded midfielder Marcel Sabitzer would follow late in last summer’s transfer window. And now the Rekordmeister are apparently closing in on defensive midfielder Konrad Laimer.

Nagelsmann had initially quipped that he wouldn’t rent a Volkswagen T6 to ship personnel out of Leipzig, but then, he originally wasn’t going to bring coaching staff over either — and now Xaver Zembrod and Dino Toppmöller are both working out of Säbener Straße.

Mintzlaff is right, though — that’s the business. It’s a credit to his organization that they have cultivated such eye-catching talent in recent years. And they’ve turned a fair profit this way, too, having also sent the likes of Timo Werner to Chelsea FC and Ibrahima Konaté to Liverpool.

Bayern are certainly under no obligation, though it would be generous, to refrain from continually getting distracted by every shiny —

Hey, who’s this Christopher Nkunku kid with twenty goals and thirteen assists? Young, clinical, plays through the middle? He looks intr— what’s that? Joško Gvardiol can play a defensive left-back, plus he’s Croatian? Hmmm...

VW Buzz Production at The Volkswagen AG Hannover Plant
Oh, nothing, just checking how many T6s are rolling off the assembly line these days.

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