In the wake of Toni Tapalovic’s sacking from Bayern Munich, the club’s front office has not been thrilled with the long interview Manuel Neuer gave to The Athletic, questioning the club’s reasons for getting rid of Toni.
It’s no secret that Neuer and Tapalovic have a long-standing, tight relationship on and off the pitch, but it’s come out that there were a number of different reasons why the club wanted him gone. Julian Nagelsmann was one of the people that had already wanted to get rid of him.
New information from Sport1’s Kerry Hau highlights the fact that Nagelsmann had actually already been considering getting a new goalkeeping coach as early as last season. However, Neuer made it a point to request that Tapalovic stay on board when the club was negotiating his contact extension to extend until 2024, so Nagelsmann’s hands were essentially tied on that issue. He was not able to pursue a new goalkeeping coach as he had wished.
How well aware Neuer was of Nagelsmann’s desire remains in question, but how shocked he described he was in the interview seems to suggest that he really wasn’t aware of the fact that Nagelsmann had other ideas.
The writing on the wall and the timing of the Tapalovic decision
This poses a question for Bayern fans, though. Why would Bayern offer the contract extension for Neuer if they knew Nagelsmann wanted to move on from Tapalovic? Subsequently, did his leg break threw a spanner in the works of their long-term plan since they had to scramble to bring in a solution in the form of Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach?
Or, was the communication between Nagelsmann and the front office not abundantly clear as far as his thoughts on wanting to replace Tapalovic? Either way, it seems like there might have been some sort of disconnect between some of the parties involved, especially considering the way Neuer reacted in his interview.
Neuer’s leg injury on a ski holiday certainly seems like it’s been a catalytic accelerator in the whole evolution of replacing Tapalovic and it’s really interesting to ponder the idea of whether or not Bayern would’ve sacked him had Neuer not gotten hurt. With Nagelsmann’s desire, you could say that it would’ve happened regardless, but the timing seems to suggest otherwise. Neuer still plans on coming back and fighting with Sommer for the number one spot once he’s fully recovered, but from Bayern’s standpoint, why wouldn’t they just have waited until the summer, or made the Tapalovic decision earlier in some sort of direct consultation with Neuer?