It will not necessarily be disappointing because of who the club buys, but more because of who the club cannot get — and what fans are under the impression might happen.
Expectations are likely out of control and Bayern Munich — being the fiscally responsible entity that it is — probably will not be engaging in any type of tomfoolery that less smart clubs often indulge in.
Let’s take a look at who Bayern Munich probably won’t be getting:
- Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: This was always a pipe dream. A fun pipe dream, but a pipe dream nonetheless.
- Declan Rice, West Ham: Thomas Tuchel wanted England’s best defensive midfielder during the prime of his career when at least three other powerhouse English clubs want him. Bayern Munich has already bowed out of the race as Arsenal FC looks ready to get the transfer done.
- Victor Osimhen, Napoli: A slight center-forward who operates best in wide areas for a team that needs a target man fighting for headers and battling hulking center-backs in tight spaces. Oh yeah, and Napoli wants somewhere between €120 million and €150 million for a player, who might not give you exactly what you need. For that price at a club like Bayern Munich...you have to be 100% sure. Osimhen is a tremendous talent, but is Bayern Munich “sure” about him and how he would fit?
- Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt: The attacker is bigger than Osimhen, but the Frenchman is also someone who works best out wide — to the point that Bayern Munich might actually see him as a winger. Oh, and with Kylian Mbappe most likely forcing his way out of a Paris Saint-Germain in favor of Real Madrid, the Ligue1 power will be far more likely to splurge on Kolo Muani than first thought.
- Dušan Vlahović, Juventus: Thomas Tuchel — allegedly — likes him, but maybe no one else at the club does, given the reports we’ve seen. Chelsea FC is reportedly the leader in the clubhouse for the Serb now.
There is a legitimate possibility that Bayern Munich could go for 0 for 5 in those pursuits and the club might be perfectly fine with that. Maybe fans should be, too?
Hear me out: This is still a great team.
Good enough to win the Champions League? Probably not, but football is changing and Bayern Munich is trending more toward the “have nots” rather than the “haves.” It will take a truly special group to overcome the modern ownership entities in the sport.
It’s not impossible to win a UCL crown, but it sure as hell won’t be getting any easier.
Regardless, the team has a strong roster, good depth, and exceptional talent. Only a few tweaks are needed to have a team that is capable of winning a double, while also competing for the Champions League.
Bayern Munich needs a striker...and a center-back.
That’s it. A defensive midfielder — especially a world class player — would be welcomed, but the market is dry on that front.
I’m also not giving up on a midfield group of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Konrad Laimer. If Marcel Sabitzer and Ryan Gravenberch opt to stay (though very doubtful), well, it’s just a bigger party. Getting Rice would have been nothing short of incredible, but it was always a bit unrealistic. For now, this is the group that Tuchel has to play with — and they can be a good unit.
What about the the striker position? You might not like it, but we could be two more Kai Havertz goals during this international session away from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness convincing themselves that Havertz as a striker can work. We already know Thomas Tuchel would approve of it.
As for center-back, it does become a little more tricky. It seems safe to assume that both Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez will leave during the summer transfer window. Dayot Upamecano might also be unhappy, but he will have to suck it up...the Bavarians can’t afford to lose three great defenders during this offseason. Upamecano is not at risk of walking away on a free transfer in the summer of 2024 like his countrymen, so it is imperative that he remains on the squad.
Bayern Munich will, however, go out and get another starting-caliber player who can be the third part of what will ideally be a terrific trio of center-backs. But who will it be?
There are a few possibilities:
- Josko Gvardiol, RB Leipzig: Extremely expensive and with an ownership group that will likely be reluctant to sell him within the league, Gvardiol is a nine-figure defender. Bayern Munich would seemingly have a lot of trouble grinding Leipzig down to a figure that is palatable. This is an extreme longshot, but if Bayern Munich gets to the end of August without making a big splash, it might enhance the chances for a deal like this to happen. Gvardiol is also left-footed, which fills a need.
- Andreas Christensen, FC Barcelona: After an uneventful season in Catalonia, Christensen is said to be available — and we know that Bayern Munich likes him. Could he benefit from a move to a more stable environment with a team that would actually have a plan for him? It seems so. Moreover, his price might not be all that high. Barca, however, has him under contract through 2026, which could make it complicated.
- Alessandro Bastoni, Inter Milan: This one would be tough, but money talks and Bayern Munich will have plenty to throw around on a player, who they have been linked to in the past. Like Gvardiol, it would likely be the kind of move Bayern Munich would make as the end of the window comes careening toward the club. Bastoni also fits the profile that Bayern Munich is seeking as he is a left-footer with a contract expiring in 2024.
- Pau Torres, Villarreal: Another player who was linked to Bayern Munich in the past, Torres is left-footed and has done well for himself in big games. With a contract expiring in 2024, now is the time to act.
Who else might Bayern Munich get for depth? Well, there is one name that stands out because of the “Three P’s: Performance, Potential, and Price” — Juventus winger Federico Chiesa.
Reportedly available for just €35 million, Chiesa might need another half of a season to whip himself into top form, but he is electric when healthy and has shown that he is capable of being disruptive to the opposition on the biggest stages.
If Bayern Munich can unload Sadio Mané, Chiesa is a no-brainer acquisition that could help elevate the winger group to new heights. If Bayern Munich truly isn’t sure about the respective futures of Mané, Sané, and Gnabry (and it is debatable if those reports are true), then Chiesa is an absolute steal...a value buy...an intelligent acquisition.
With recent rumors indicating that Sané might want to move on next summer after the Euros, proactively getting Chiesa could prove to be a deft move.
Avoiding the impulse
With a fiscally conservative mindset in this type of competitive marketplace, it will not be easy to convince players to make the jump to Bavaria. Continuing to stiff-arm pressure away and keep true to limiting the splurges to “sure things” is probably the best way to operate for the non-oil funded Bavarians.
Splashing cash just because you have it often results in impulsive buys and poorly targeted players. Fit — maybe more than anything else right now — matters.
For every Erling Haaland, who is worth all the millions being throw his way, there are 50 Eden Hazards or Romelu Lukakus who just do not live up to the hype surrounding them or who do not provide the production expected of them after being big transfers.
Sometimes, it is just better to get what you need rather than what you want…and Bayern Munich could be in that position this summer.
Looking for more thoughts on this upcoming transfer window, check out our most recent Flagship Show below or on Spotify:
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