Bayern Munich have already gotten a lot of business done – all of their business in fact, at least if one were to ask Carlo Ancelotti. However, the summer transfer window is bound to bring a few surprises, especially considering Bayern have a new manager arriving in Munich.
The last time a new manager took charge at Bayern, the team saw a significant overhaul. After winning the European treble, Bayern began aiming high in the transfer market to maintain their success. They became less afraid to open the check book to get the players they wanted – whether it was matching buyout clauses or giving young players big contracts.
Here is another look at the 2013 summer transfer window for Bayern and how the ramifications of their transfer policy will affect decisions when the transfer window opens on Friday.
Mario Götze (€37 million, Borussia Dortmund)
The hype around "German Messi" was well known, and Bayern gave him a very high wage to ensure he fulfilled his potential while wearing their crest on his chest. That money appears wasted as Götze’s contract winds down, for the club was probably not too satisfied when Pep Guardiola left the midfielder on the bench in the last three Champions League semifinals. By the same token, his [goals in games statistic] would suggest Götze was worth the leap of faith, and those kinds of leaps are ones Bayern have already shown they are not afraid to make again.
Jan Kirchhoff (free transfer, 1. FSV Mainz 05)
Kirchhoff played with the Germany in the U21 European Championship after he decided to join Bayern. However, that generation of talent – Lewis Holtby, Sebastian Rode – was not star studded to say the least, so the fact Kirchhoff got a mere sniff at Bayern is not all that surprising. His fitness issues did not help his fortune either, but even if he remained fit, the probability of him becoming a significant member of Bayern’s squad was as low as his transfer fee.
Thiago Alcantara (€25 million, Barcelona)
He was the player Guardiola planted his flag on, and his performance-based buyout clause made his move a lot easier. He has fully validated Guardiola’s high regard for him, but his inconsistent fitness has made him effective only in brief stretches. Though his contract extension, several reports suggest he could follow Guardiola again, but the potential he arrived in Munich with may not be at the same level it was when he possibly departs.
Emre Can (€5 million, Bayer Leverkusen)
Can was a 19-year-old looking for playing time in 2013, and Guardiola was not going to guarantee it. He thus move to Leverkusen in a deal Bayern thought they could financially and developmentally benefit from. That was not entirely the case – although the ensuing addition of Michael Reschke as part of Can’s move to Liverpool would suggest otherwise – but Can’s reservations about Bayern were nonetheless confirmed: he may not have been more than a squad player under Guardiola, which could have lead to his ultimate departure regardless.
Mario Gomez (€15.5 million, Fiorentina)
Guardiola and Gomez reportedly met about his future before the striker’s eventual move to Italy. Mario Mandzukic had taken his spot already, so moving to Italy seemed like one of the only directions Gomez could continue his career. Bayern have since moved away from a penalty-area poacher like Gomez, and it seems many top European clubs could be trending in that direction too. His brand of football is still winning him titles though – Lead the Turkish league in goal scoring for champions Besiktas – and it is a style Germany coach Joachim Löw wants to bring back at Euro 2016.
Luiz Gustavo (€16 million, VfL Wolfsburg)
Much like Gomez’s brand of attacking, Luiz Gustavo’s brand of midfield destroying is a style Bayern have also moved away from. The holding midfielders Bayern have acquired since – Xabi Alonso, Joshua Kimmich, Arturo Vidal – are much more well-rounded as midfielders than Luiz Gustavo. Fortunately for him, Klaus Allofs and Dieter Hecking wanted that kind of impetus at Wolfsburg, and the Brazilian has simultaneously improved the Wolves and maintained his place in the Brazilian national team.
Nils Petersen (€3 million, SV Werder Bremen)
With his reputation in the second division, Petersen was an interesting gamble, but he became irrelevant rather quickly when Bayern acquired Mandzukic. If Gomez was not the striker Guardiola was looking for, Petersen surely was not going to be either, and Bayern had no problem letting him go when Bremen came in with their offer. The only second division player Bayern have picked up since Petersen is Joshua Kimmich, who does not really count considering he was still tied with Stuttgart.
Maximilian Reidmüller (free transfer, Holstein Kiel)
Reidmüller was the standard of third goalkeeper Bayern lived with a few years ago, but that standard has since increased astronomically. Bayern had also acquired Lukas Raeder from Schalke the year before, and the club committed to Raeder as their starting goalkeeper in the second team upon Reidmüller’s departure.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (free transfer, Zenit St. Petersburg)
The versatile midfielder/defender was at the point in his career where he needed to find a new place to play. He barely played during Bayern’s treble season after starting the 2012 Champions League final, which made it clear he was on his way out of the club. To his credit, the 37-year-old Tymoshchuk is still playing, currently plying his trade in Kazakhstan, and may also feature in the European Championship with Ukraine.
There was one target above all that Bayern missed on, Barcelona’s Neymar. The Santos teenager decided to go and play alongside Lionel Messi instead of featuring under Guardiola, but the amount of money the Catalan club had to part with – and the trouble they had to also take on – makes Bayern appear the more frugal of the two clubs.
The target they could have acquired though was Robert Lewandowski, who seemed destined for Munich once Götze revealed his plans to join Bayern in the spring of 2013. Rather than pay a transfer fee, Bayern elected instead to wait until Lewandowski was out of contract to secure his signature. Lewandowski got a €5 million pay raise from Dortmund as a result before making the foreseeable move to Bayern.
Guardiola gave Green a strong run in the preseason, and subsequent success with the reserve team earned the American a three-year contract. Green’s popularity skyrocketed from there, and he even made the team the United States brought to the World Cup in Brazil. His accelerated career has not panned out the way he may have wanted to, but the risk Bayern took giving him a pro contract at this point in his career was relatively low.
He was the crown jewel in his generation of academy products, and Bayern rewarded his efforts very early. He was quickly a squad player for Bayern, but his role was very small. The professional contract allowed Højbjerg to get a taste of football at the professional level, and that taste came at the national team level not long afterwards.
He got his contract the same Green did, though he was not the touted prospect the American was. Schöpf did not get the chance in Bayern’s first team like Green and Højbjerg, but he showed his creativity during summer and winter training trips. His skill level was never as high as the young players Bayern were buying from outside the club though, which limited his future in Munich.