Analysing Bayern Munich’s summer strategy

Bayern Munich pipped Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title last weekend after BVB drew with Mainz 05. The Bavarians beat FC Koln to clinch their 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.

However, minutes after the title triumph, the club announced the departure of sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and CEO Oliver Kahn.

It was a ruthless move from Die Rekordmeister, but it showed that they had done their introspection and knew something had to change.

Bayern won the title due to BVB’s ineptness and not due to Bayern’s brilliance. They staggered to the finish line.

Apart from their Bundesliga showing, they were dire in the Champions League quarter-final loss to Manchester City.

Also, they crashed out of the DFB-Pokal and have failed to win the title since 2020. They need a reset.

Bayern replaced Kahn with the vice-chairman of the board Jan-Christian Dreesen. They are still looking for a new sporting director and have some top directors on their radar.

However, they have a lot of work to do this summer to set them back on their path to dominance. Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have returned to the club to help the process.

They will form a transfer committee alongside Michael Diederich, Dreesen, and head coach Thomas Tuchel. They have several issues to deal with, and we analyse them.

Replacing Benjamin Pavard

France international Benjamin Pavard wants to leave the club this summer and has interest from top clubs.

Die Rekordmeister don’t want to let the versatile defender leave, but they don’t have a choice with 12 months remaining on his deal. They don’t want to lose him for free.

Pavard covers centre-back and right-back for Bayern, and they must find someone that can do the same.

They might have to sign two players to replace the former Stuttgart man if they don’t find an equally versatile option.

Pavard has been one of Bayern’s most consistent performers this season, but with his departure likely, they must start pushing for a replacement.

Renewing contracts

Upon the news that Kahn and Salihamidzic left the club, Alphonso Davies’ agent, Nedal Huoseh, said that contract talks had halted.

Salihamidzic played a crucial role in bringing Davies to Bayern and was in talks with the left-back’s camp over a renewal. But with the Bosnian leaving, things have gone mute.

Huoseh said they have to stop those talks now to understand the situation at the club. Davies’ contract runs till 2025.

Bayern need to act quickly, with Real Madrid sniffing around the Canadian international. Los Blancos are searching for a new left-back and have their eyes on him.

Bayern will want to avoid losing him for free the way they lost David Alaba to the 14-time Champions League winners.

Also, Bayern must sign Joshua Kimmich up to a new contract soon. Like Davies, he has two years left on his deal, and Barcelona are lurking.

They are reportedly considering a move for the German international this summer. A deal is unlikely now due to their financial problems.

However, they could return for him next summer. If he has not signed a new deal by then, he’ll have only 12 months left, forcing Bayern’s hands.

Kimmich is a crucial player for Bayern, and they would hate to lose him at the peak of his powers.

Free/Smart signings

Bayern have a reputation for making savvy signings. They know how to find good deals in the markets. They will need to dip into their old playbook for tricks.

One of their oldest tricks is preying on rival players with ending contracts. Enter Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, who is leaving BVB this summer after seven years.

The Portugal international will be a free agent this summer, and Bayern are considering an offer to sign him. He will compete with Davies for the left-back spot.

Also, they are looking at Adrien Rabiot, another who becomes a free agent this summer. He could give the Bundesliga champions cover in midfield.

The Frenchman will leave Juventus this summer after having arguably his best season. Several clubs will be vying for his signature.

Big money signings

There are still massive gaps in the Bayern squad that they will need money to rectify.

First, they need a centre-forward to lead their line. One reason for their struggles this season was the lack of a dynamic world-class striker.

While Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting did his best and scored a lot of goals, Bayern require a striker of a higher calibre.

£45 million signing Sadio Mane has not impressed as a striker since arriving this summer to replace Robert Lewandowski.

Mane could even be sold this summer, especially after his physical assault on Leroy Sane. Bayern need to fill that hole up top.

All their options are expensive. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), and Victor Osimhen (Napoli) will cost upwards of €100 million.

Bayern must decide which of these strikers they are ready to bet on and pull the trigger. It is a position of need and one they need to address immediately.

They prefer Kolo Muani, but asides from preliminary talks, they have not pushed to close the deal.

Additionally, Bayern need a defensive midfielder who will give Joshua Kimmich the license to push forward. They are trying to sign Declan Rice, who will likely cost a lot.

The West Ham United star is one of the best at breaking up opposition play and keeping things ticking. He is also an expensive option. The Hammers are demanding over £100 million to let him go.

Nevertheless, Arsenal are ahead of the German side in the race. If the Gunners pip Bayern to Rice’s signing, they must find other likely expensive signings.

What to do with Thomas Muller and Sadio Mane

This season, Thomas Muller started only 21 Bundesliga games. At 33 and without his partner in crime, Lewandowski, he has looked like a superhero without his powers.

Muller still managed seven goals and eight assists in the league, but his influence is waning. He will likely see less and less game time going forward. He has to be okay with that.

As for Mane, the club wants to sell him, but he does not want to leave. He wants to fight for his place.

However, the Bavarians continue to hope for interest from the Premier League so they can move him on. English clubs are the only ones that can afford his high wages.

Too many goalkeepers

Bayern Munich first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer suffered an accident on a skiing tour that ruled him out since the 2022 FIFA World Cup ended.

Bayern tried to bring Alexander Nubel back from his loan spell at AS Monaco to replace Neuer, but he refused to return. Bayern went and signed Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Neuer is back from his injury, Nubel will return from his loan spell, and Sommer has a relatively new contract. The club has to sell one of them.

They are leaning towards Sommer, who has not impressed since joining in the January transfer window. Bayern will be hoping to find a suitor for the Switzerland international.

New sporting director

Bayern must install a new sporting director quickly to help them construct a sporting vision. They are looking at RB Leipzig’s Max Eberl and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Markus Krosche.

However, Eberl joined Leipzig recently and may not be looking to leave so soon, while Frankfurt will be unwilling to let Krosche go.

Krosche has a contract until 2025, and with head coach Oliver Glasner leaving, he has a lot of work to do this summer.

It is unclear who they will move for, but they will explore the market for options.

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