Bayern Munich’s first friendly of the second half of the season against Red Bull Salzburg had wings...and a whole lot more.
The two teams played a fun match with reckless abandon that saw a 4-4 ending, which was appropriate. Here are some quick hitters:
- Bayern Munich went a bit heavy on attacking midfielders in this match by featuring Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, and Ryan Gravenberch, but Julian Nagelsmann made it all work. Gravenberch slid into Leon Goretzka’s spot, while Müller featured at striker:
- Leroy Sané’s 9th minute goal was pretty spectacular and the feed from Gravenberch was extremely nice as well.
- Red Bull Salzburg’s Sékou Koïta, however, dusted Bayern Munich’s backline to knot the game at 1-1 in the 17th minute. One of the things I was hoping not to see from Bayern Munich’s defenders was a breakdown in responsibility or being susceptible to quick counterattacks. Unfortunately, there were a few of those instances over the course of the game.
- From there, the wheels fell off for Bayern Munich. Red Bull Salzburg’s Karim Konaté and Noah Okafor added tallies to give Red Bull Salzburg a shocking 3-1 advantage.
- Color me at least a little bit concerned that Thomas Müller cannot play striker at anywhere near the level needed for this squad.
- One of the guys sitting on the end of the Bayern Munich bench looked like Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtain.
- I kind of expected Bayern Munich to come out firing in the second half, but they looked wholly unmotivated and were outplayed early on.
- In the 63rd minute, Julian Nagelsmann made wholesale changes by taking off his rather apathetic veterans in favor of some hungry youngsters and it paid off in a big way.
- Arijon Ibrahimović entered the match and immediately ripped off a goal-worthy shot that was saved.
- Just a few minutes later, Ibrahimović unleashed another rocket and scored. Uh, yeah, this kid is pretty good.
- Two minutes after Ibrahimović, Kingsley Coman perfectly placed a shot off of a nice pass from Mathys Tel to knot the game.
- Tel has some serious talent, but I think I concur with Nagelsmann and agree that Tel works better as a wide player. He seems to have a great knack for making something out of nothing. I think he could a dynamic presence on the offensive flank if the team has some turnover at the position (which it could as soon as this summer).
- Ibrahimović catching Okafor from behind with a perfect slide tackle was incredible. Unbelievable energy from that kid during his appearance. If this play did not win you over, then you have no heart! He was not perfect by any means, but it was a great showing.
- Coman hit the post in the 87th minute with a terrific shot. He had a great showing for a player who some are expecting to be a bench player in the Rückrunde.
- Just seconds after that, Tel used some fantastic footwork to unleash an improbable shot that went in and won Bayern Munich the game in the 88th minute — or so it seemed. Red Bull Salzburg tied it seconds later on a goal from Okafor. It was an insane — yet extremely exciting — sequence
- Why did Joshua Kimmich play the full 90 minutes (you knew this was coming from me)?
- If you want to take away some major positives, just look at the play of Ibrahimović and Tel. Both injected energy into the game. As for the other youngsters, well, they were unsteady (even Paul Wanner), but we did see some glimpses of their promise, which was nice to see.
- Overall, this was not good for the Bayern Munich starting XI. Granted it was just a friendly and the squad might not have approached it the same way as it would a real game, but it was very flat and uninspired. The subs, however, lit a fire into the game and made it a thriller.
Bayern Munich might not be out on Dusan Vlahović after all. At least one source in Italy thinks Bayern Munich could test the waters with the Serbian striker this summer:
Juventus continue to battle with interest in its star man Dusan Vlahovic even though the Bianconeri is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Vlahovic joined them a year ago after banging in goals repeatedly at Fiorentina and Juve wanted him to lead their line in the long term.
The striker remains on the radar of top European clubs and the latest side to show an interest in him is Bayern Munich, according to a report on Tuttojuve. The Bavarians have not replaced Robert Lewandowski since he left them and could make an approach for Vlahovic at the end of this season.
This seems preposterous given David de Gea’s monstrous salary, but could Bayern Munich be interested in the Manchester United goalkeeper? There are some connections being made, but I do not buy it:
Bayern Munich are interested in Manchester United’s David de Gea as a potential replacement for the injured Manuel Neuer. The German icon suffered a broken leg in December, leaving the Bavarian giants in need of a new goalkeeper to see out the season. Given the extent of the injury, there are also concerns as to the condition in which Neuer will return to action.
This has led to Bayern casting their net wide in order to secure a quality replacement, and De Gea is among their options, according to rumours.
With De Gea’s contract expiring in June, the goalkeeper position looks relatively chaotic at Old Trafford, and with the club unlikely to renew the Spaniard’s colossal £375,000-a-week deal at anywhere near its current value, alternatives have been sought.
With De Gea’s contract situation and recent form attracting attention from Europe’s elite, it is becoming increasingly likely that he may choose to leave United rather than accept a reduced salary.
Of course, a likely scenario is that De Gea does plan to stay at Old Trafford but is simply delaying taking a pay cut.
Bayern Munich is nearing its return to real action (non-friendlies) and there is plenty to yack about after the team broke its training camp in Doha.
With a tough test against RB Leipzig waiting next week, Bayern Munich had some things to work out at training camp and it seems like the team is settling into form. All of that combined with the general craziness surrounding the club leaves for a lot to be discussed.
Let’s take a look at what’s on tap for this week’s episode:
- A look at the takeaways from Bayern Munich’s training camp in Doha, including the winners and losers.
- Thomas Müller’s role on the squad moving forward...does he have one?
- A loan for Lovro Zvonarek during the summer transfer window?
- An update on Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper situation, including some doubt on whether or not Manuel Neuer can return to his top form.
- Getting excited for the second half of the season.
For now, Borussia Mönchengladbach attacker Marcus Thuram is reportedly off of Bayern Munich’s transfer radar, but Chelsea FC is still interested in the Frenchman:
João Félix deal will not change Chelsea plans as negotiations will continue for Marcus Thuram as revealed last week and also other targes — in different positions. #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 11, 2023
Again, Christopher Nkunku deal 100% sealed for June — can be considered Chelsea player. pic.twitter.com/Pubp4GcelB
The contract negotiations between Borussia Dortmund and Germany international Youssoufa Moukoko have hit a turning point in a good way for both parties:
News #Moukoko: Positive talks between his management and the bosses in Marbella. Tendency now: A contract extension until 2027! But no final agreements.— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) January 12, 2023
The interest of Chelsea has cooled! #CFC has other plans: #Thuram now! @westsven @SkySportDE pic.twitter.com/FIO6NxnPBG
Now, the big questions revolve around how much money Moukoko wants, how much BVB is willing to pay, and can close they can get for both parties to feel comfortable.
Moukoko has attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Newcastle United, with a switch to Camp Nou believed to be the striker’s preferred move if he does leave Germany in 2023.
Having seen a number of initial offers knocked back, sources have confirmed to 90min Dortmund have submitted a renewed offer to Moukoko that comes significantly closer to meeting the teenager’s demands.
While an agreement has not yet been struck, Dortmund are optimistic their latest proposal, around €10m per year including bonuses, is enough to get the job done.
FC Barcelona is reportedly thinking about bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the club from Chelsea FC. Does anyone really have a plan at Barca? I think not:
Barcelona would be interested in bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the club just six months after leaving for Chelsea. However, they would prefer the Blues to waive a transfer fee or sanction a loan, while Memphis Depay would have to leave the club to make space on the wage bill.