Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić has not always had the best people skills.
Rumored to have had issues with Niko Kovac, Hansi Flick, and even with new boss Julian Nagelsmann, there were many who began to think Salihamidžić might be too abrasive and dismissive to be a collaborative partner within the walls of Säbener Straße.
Despite some rumors that Nagelsmann was not always thrilled with the sporting director, it seems that the duo is now in alignment. Did that occur naturally? Did Salihamidžić seek out advice on how to establish better relationships? Or maybe Salihamidžić just simply decided to listen more.
Whatever the case, Salihamidžić has seemed to unlock the some sort of magic touch in his recent business dealings. Like any sporting director, Salihamidžić has had his hits and his misses, but now he is seemingly making deals happen primarily on being...genuine.
Whether it was how the Ryan Gravenberch deal nearly fell apart (and the subsequent lengths many people went to eventually make it happen) or the recruitment of Matthijs de Ligt, which saw the Dutchman essentially eschew every other club (neutering some of Juventus’ bargaining power in the process), we are seeing Salihamidžić win over his transfer targets by selling them on the club — and the plan plan the club has for each player.
According to Sport Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), Salihamidžić is deploying a strategy where he is somehow able to convince players that Bayern Munich is the only choice for them, which in turn, applies massive pressure on their current clubs to make a deal with the Bavarians. As Sport Bild pointed out, Liverpool were demanding approximately €60 million for Sadio Mané, but ultimately sold the Senegalese attacker to Bayern Munich for €32 million plus bonuses. Moreover, while Ajax initially demanded €35 million for Gravenberch, but then made a deal with the Rekordmeister for €18.5 million plus add-ons.
Gravenberch’s father even remarked that Bayern Munich’s targeted game plan for transfers, which focuses on quality over quantity, was one of the most appealing aspects of the club for his son.
Clearly, it is not as simple as just having a few attractive PowerPoint decks (though it probably does not hurt).
If you saw the Amazon documentary on Bayern Munich, you saw Salihamidžić unfiltered and giving the appearance that he was very thoughtful and open. The stories we had seen over the years did not always convey that type of personality, but it is possible that Salihamidžić is evolving as a person — and as a sporting director.
Or maybe, he has perfected a sales pitch so convincing that almost no one can turn it down.
Whatever the case, Salihamidžić should be given credit for the work he is doing. It is very easy to make mistakes, but it is not always a smooth process in learning from them. It seems that ol’ Brazzo has made some changes and developed a new trick or two for the transfer market.
However he is making it work, things are going well for Bayern Munich — and not a moment too soon. As the club embarks on a slow transition to its next generation, it will take a collaborative, communicative, and personable leader to pave the way.
Right now, Salihamidžić is looking more and more like the exact man to see that vision fulfilled.
What do you think Bayern Munich fans...is the Salihamidžić-Nagelsmann combo the right foundation to lead Bayern Munich into the future?
Is the Hasan "Brazzo" Salihamidžić-Julian Nagelsmann duo the right foundation to lead Bayern Munich into the future?
This poll is closed
Yes - They are both helping the club evolve.
Yes - It’s not perfect, but they are the best fit for this transition.
No - Not together, I don’t buy into Nagelsmann.
No - Not together, I don’t buy into Brazzo.
No - They both have flaws.
Song of the Week: “Kickstart My Heart” by Mötley Crüe
Okay...after taking some heat for my selection last week, I went back to my roots: 80s hair bands. You wanna get the blood pumping, I defy you to listen to this and not get all charged up (and if you want the true 80s feel, I guess blow a couple rails, too....I kid, I kid).
Anyway, this gem was released in 1989 and is guaranteed to have me ready to run through a wall any time I hear it:
Time for De Ligt deal to get done
The signs are all pointing to a deal getting done, but as Tom Petty once sang (much to the chagrin of Markopolo), “The waiting is hardest part.”
Bayern Munich wants a deal done.
Matthijs de Ligt wants a deal done.
Juventus — seemingly — wants a deal done.
So...why has it not happened yet?
There are several factors at play. At the top of the list though, is Bayern Munich’s reluctance to meet Juve’s demands so far. Bayern Munich is reportedly close to making it happen, but Juventus is also trying to ensure that once it does receive payment, it can parlay the funds into another center-back.
Once Kalidou Koulibaly made the jump from Napoli to Chelsea FC, Juventus lost their top replacement target. Now, however, The Old Lady of Turin has turned its focus to Torino’s Gleison Bremer, who was previously linked to Bayern Munich.
If Bayern Munich improves its offers a bit and Bremer verbally commits to Juventus, we should see things progress quickly.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 2
If you thought HUGE news would drop in the early part of this week, you were probably a little disappointed. Fear not, though, there was still plenty to talk about when it comes to Bayern Munich.
Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A look at the ongoing (festering?) situation between Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, and FC Barcelona.
- The latest on Matthijs de Ligt. Can Bayern Munich get the deal done soon?
- Serge Gnabry looks like he will ink a new deal...where does he fit?
- An exit for Chris Richards seems more and more likely.
- Is a kinder, gentler Brazzo getting deals done — and what if he was playing the long game with Erling Haaland?
- Some quick takes on the season finale of The Boys and the second half premier of Better Call Saul.
Help support BFW’s quest to be the best, by checking out this link and giving us a vote (or INNN will hunt you down): World Soccer Talk Awards — Best Club Podcast
A little programming note as well, Samrin will be filling in for more on Episode 3 as I am out on vacation. I fear I might be Wally Pipp’d!
The Boys: What...a...season. As always, the show brought a perfect combination of absurdity, comedy, suspense, intrigue, and entertainment. While there were a number of superior performances, Antony Starr deserves an award for his portrayal of the narcissistic, insane, megalomaniacal, confused, omnipotent, and severely damaged “supe”, Homelander. We saw a lot of plot developments and the ending of the season left many open-ended storylines, which could make the show go in a million different directions. I could not recommend this season more. It was a great third season for the show overall. I could go on and on, but I like to keep these as spoiler-free as possible.
Better Call Saul: The first episode of the second half of the final season (got all of that?), was extremely eye-opening. For anyone wondering how things might start to unravel to the point where we first see Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, I think we are starting to get that movement. The obvious question is why is Kim Wexler not in Breaking Bad — and how does she exit the plot of the show without Saul being a total mess by the time we meet him in Breaking Bad? More than anything, that is what I most want to see.
I’m also still working on Peaky Blinders, so I’ll hit you with thoughts on that season as soon as I finish up.
RIP Tony Sirico: In sadder news, Tony Sirico, who was bets known as Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri from The Sopranos passed away last weekend. Paulie Walnuts was easily my favorite character in The Sopranos and one of the reason why the show was so great. While he plenty of other acting jobs (catch him in Goodfellas for one), he will always be most well-known for his time on the HBO drama.
RIP Tony Sirico. I hope he and James Gandolfini are hunting interior decorators in the next life. pic.twitter.com/C0ttKNdA85— Jake Elman (@JakeElman97) July 8, 2022
You could pick out a number of excellent Paulie moments, but that one above was just...awesome. What a character...RIP Tony Sirico.
Gnabry coming back? How does the attacking group look?
With the most recent news pointing toward a return for Serge Gnabry, let’s just take a quick look at Bayern Munich’s current attacking group:
- Robert Lewandowski (linked to FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Paris Saint-Germain)
- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
- Joshua Zirkzee (linked to loan or transfer)
Attacking midfielders/second strikers
- Thomas Müller
- Gabriel Vidovic (linked to loan move)
- Paul Wanner (the club sees him as an #8 long-term, but has toyed with using him as a #10 until he gets stronger)
- Malik Tillman (linked to loan or transfer with Rangers FC and several English clubs)
- Sadio Mané
- Kingsley Coman
- Serge Gnabry (linked to Chelsea FC, but most reports say he is going to ink a new deal with Bayern Munich)
- Leroy Sané
- Jamal Musiala (can play as an attacking midfielder or wing)
Assuming (a big assumption really) that Julian Nagelsmann will use a back four-based formation with four attackers, how will the manager cram all of these players into four spots? Let’s take a look:
- Right off the bat, let’s remove Choupo-Moting (back-up), Zirkzee, Tillman, Wanner, and Vidovic from serious contention. That will leave us with seven options for those four spots — assuming Lewandowski and Gnabry both remain with the club.
- Knowing that...let’s take a look at how I think they will line up:
- Admittedly, I’d start Musiala at wing, but I don’t think Nagelsmann will make that leap. Anyway, this group — assuming Lewandowski has to stay in Bavaria this season — means the Champagne XI will have both Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané on the bench (and maybe not even the top options as a super-sub because of Musiala).
Of course, you can roll a grenade into this if Lewandowski leaves, but Nagelsmann looks like he will have tough decisions to make every week.