Bayern Munich just narrowly missed out on signing Fulham FC midfielder João Palhinha in the final hours of the German summer transfer window in what was one of the more disappointing transfer sagas of recent memory for the Rekordmeister. He was right there in Bayern’s grasp, but Fulham was unable to secure an ample replacement midfielder on time and have since given the Portuguese international a contract extension, which could make it even more difficult for Bayern to try to make a move for him in this January’s transfer window. His deal at Fulham now runs through June 2028.
For Bayern, there could even be more roadblocks standing in the way of Thomas Tuchel trying to sign the defensive midfielder this winter. He has already made it clear that a defensive midfielder is what he wants in addition to another right back to make Bayern’s squad more complete, but he might have to look elsewhere for his No. 6 midfielder.
Per information from Sport Bild’s Tobi Altschäffl and Christian Falk (via @iMiaSanMia), former Bayern club president and supervisory board member Uli Hoeneß has said that there will be no “major transfer offensive” in the January window. He has said this despite club CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen and sporting director Christoph Freund agreeing with Tuchel that the club needs to try to sign a defensive midfielder. Dreesen was very much a part of the club’s efforts in trying to complete the signing of Palhinha at the end of the summer window as one of several members of the club’s self-proclaimed ‘transfer committee.’
Max Eberl could even be in the picture for Bayern as a board member of sport on the club’s executive board by the time the January transfer window roles around, so he could, in theory, play a vital role in that transfer window. There has been no official offer from Bayern to the former RB Leipzig director of sport, but Bayern is still interested in bringing him in; they are just waiting to see how Freund handles contract negotiations with a few key players in the squad first.
To back track just a bit, Hoeneß did not appreciate Tuchel’s public demands for Bayern to sign a defensive midfielder and the honorary president does not exactly see eye to eye with Tuchel and the rest of the club’s front office on the matter. He feels that Bayern really does not need to sign a #6, which is part of the reason he took so much issue with Tuchel’s public demands to the press. It is clear, though, that Tuchel does have the backing of most of the front office, so while it might not be Palhinha, it is hard to see Bayern not signing a No. 6 in January, or at least making a strong push to do so.