Have you noticed a trend? Behind every Bayern Munich action this transfer window, there is a new team behind the Rekordmeister’s pitch: it’s the head coach and sporting director!
In the past, the task of convincing top talent to make the move to Bavaria fell to the club’s top brass: then-president Uli Hoeneß and then-chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Now, as Bild reports, the job is moving closer to the sporting side of the operation. Running point: a team of sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić, head coach Julian Nagelsmann, and technical director Marco Neppe.
Bayern’s three musketeers galloped into Liverpool to secure Sadio Mané, as we’ve previously seen. It’s the same story elsewhere: former Ajax men Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui, Juventus superstar Matthijs de Ligt, RB Leipzig stalwart Konrad Laimer, and Stade Rennais wonderkid Mathys Tel have all been won over by the direct appeals of the Bayern head coach and his close-working partners.
Concordance by design
Bayern Munich has always prided itself on running a tight ship, structurally and fiscally sound. When it comes to squad building, the strategy has meant sticking to a core philosophy while bringing in coaches to execute that plan. It helps steady the boat amid the rise and fall of individual managers, or so the thinking goes.
There are drawbacks to such insulation, however. Hansi Flick didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Brazzo and it led to an elite coach’s departure. Such frustration is clearly not productive. Nor is it useful when a coach’s design fits awkwardly with his available personnel. Years can be wasted this way.
Now, the club seems to have found a sound middle ground. One half of the team represents the board, while the coach also gets a very direct say. It calls for extra work for Nagelsmann to hash things out with Brazzo — but getting on the same page is worth it. Negotiations between the coach’s vision and the board’s constraints surely do arise, but are fully settled by the time a transfer pursuit is launched.
Any frictions are therefore welcomed and tackled early. No one party has absolute latitude to impose, but all execution ultimately falls under the rubric of a single, unified vision. The result is that it’s the right three men in the room making the pitch — those closest to the sporting side.
An emerging modus operandi
Of course, it also helps that the dream team is apparently really, really good at what they do: not only at identifying opportunities, but also in convincing targeted players.
And so far, Bayern have been successful at negotiating lower fees. It’s not easy to keep a player whose head has been turned; as much as the shoe is sometimes on the other foot, Bayern have fully pressed the advantage every time they are able.
For all the criticism, this is a crew that works fast and decisively. The result is a club operating in sync on and off the pitch, notching big wins but still within their own disciplined framework. Nothing but good portents here so far, folks — and it’s fantastic to see.