Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer might be out of action, but his name has been prominent in the headlines during recent weeks.
Most recently, there has been speculation that Joshua Kimmich is being positioned to take over the captain’s armband next season — a move that would be considered to be a shot fired at Neuer from the coaching staff.
Even with that news, there is no heat between Neuer and his potential successor per Sport1:
The relationship between the two national players is intact, they have no problem with each other and have not had a hierarchy debate to date - not even with Thomas Müller, the actual new deputy.
However, Neuer felt left out by his coach last season and his authority weakened - not primarily because of the excellent relationship between Nagelsmann and Kimmich, but rather because of Toni Tapalovic’s dwindling power.
Tapalovic’s sacking is a consistent theme of nearly every Neuer vs. Bayern Munich story, but manager Julian Nagelsmann might have been planning to bring in his “own guy” all along:
According to SPORT1 information, Nagelsmann already had the idea of hiring a new goalkeeping coach just a few months after his arrival – at the latest at the start of his second season as Bayern coach. But Neuer, with whom those responsible were negotiating a new contract at the time, did not want that.
The dynamics of the Neuer-Nagelsmann relationship are another storyline. When throwing in how Nagelsmann works more with Kimmich than anyone else on the squad, many were assuming that was a major point of contention. Sport1, however, says that is not the case:
As SPORT1 found out, Nagelsmann even explained to Neuer in a one-on-one interview that he had to communicate in more detail with midfield strategist Kimmich for team tactical reasons — and that he had more points of contact in training anyway than with Neuer, who mostly worked specifically with Tapalovic and the other keepers outside the group.
In this context, Nagelsmann also asked Neuer whether he had a problem with communicating more with Kimmich than with him. The keeper is said to have clearly denied that. The main trigger for the spat was the relationship between Nagelsmann and Tapalovic, which had been strained for months and ultimately irreparable.
Things need to settle between all parties to get the focus back on football. After all, a Champions League match-up with Paris Saint-Germain is on the horizon and that tie might hold the key to the future for more than a few members on the squad and coaching staff alike.