“If you knew all of the players we are going to bring in, you’d be surprised,” Uli Hoeness blurted out during a talkshow appearance on German television in the spring. In the end, though, nobody seems to be too impressed by Bayern’s transfer window so far.
Indeed, the big guns still hadn’t arrived come the start of the season. Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez were both solid signings, but hardly the stuff that dreams are made of in the minds of demanding Bayern fans.
There’s little doubt that the recent arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Michael Cuisance have put Bayern’s transfer dealings in a better light, but there’s also no getting away from the fact that the barnstorming influx of world-class talent that Hoeness had seemed to promise never really materialised.
Add in the facts that none of the players signed are German and that BVB actually scooped up the best homegrown talent during the transfer window, and one does start to wonder what has happened to the club that always wants to be the go-to place for the finest German players.
There were only five Germans in Bayern’s starting XI for the season opener against Hertha, and the likes of goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, defender Jerome Boateng and forward Jann-Fiete Arp are all very much on the fringes of the first-team set-up.
2020 – The year of the Bayern makeover?
Having added three players who can compete for starting places in Niko Kovac’s line-up and one for the future isn’t necessarily a bad result, given the overall strength within Bayern’s squad. While there’s little doubt that BVB have gotten stronger, Bayern are still favourites to win the title.
However, given that the team appears to be a little lacking in terms of high-profile German players at the moment, there might well be a desire within Bayern to start planning for some big signings for next season. And four candidates in particular seem to stand out.
Leroy Sane – The one that got away
Much of the summer has been dominated by Bayern’s quest to secure the services of the former Schalke player. While Manchester City were reluctant to let Sane go, in the end both clubs were reportedly on the verge of agreeing a transfer, only for Sane to suffer a long-term injury during the Community Shield game.
Next season, though, Sane will only have one year left on his contact, which might give Bayern a chance to push his price down a little. So it seems very likely that Bayern will make a second attempt to bring Sane to the club.
Alexander Nübel – Successor for Neuer?
The young German goalie managed to get in front of the experienced Ralf Fährmann – now out on loan at Norwich City – in the pecking order last season and has since been made team captain by new Schalke coach David Wagner.
These are very impressive achievements for a 22-year-old keeper and with Nübel’s contract due to expire at the end of the season, many clubs would love to get their hands on Germany’s brightest goalkeeping talent. Schalke have repeatedly tried to extend their new captain’s contract, but to no avail so far.
As Manuel Neuer will have turned 34 come the start of next season, signing this youngster would clearly make sense for Bayern.
Timo Werner – The never-ending saga
Stick or twist? A lot has been written about Timo Werner this summer. RB Leipzig want to extend the forward’s deal beyond 2020, but they haven’t succeeded in doing so. Moreover, several reports from Germany have indicated that Werner is happy to sit out his contract.
Given that the 23-year-old is already a regular in the national team and a prolific Bundesliga goalscorer, it would make sense to sign him on a free transfer. However, Bayern do already have considerable quality on the wings and Robert Lewandowski remains a formidably talented central striker.
So, much would seem to depend on whether Bayern see a clear fit for Werner in their side. If he comes and then gets put on the bench, he might not be the happiest of players to have around Säbener Strasse.
Kai Havertz – The 100 million Euro man
There’s no doubt that Bayern are keen on Leverkusen’s wonder boy. However, pretty much all of Europe wants Havertz, too. Real, Barca, Liverpool, Manchester City or PSG? Havertz can seemingly have his pick of where he wants to go next season.
Seeing that he might be the first German player to be sold for more than €100 million, this deal could hinge upon a few different factors.
In particular, it seems unlikely that Bayern would sign Coutinho, Sane and Havertz all at once. However, if either Sane or Coutinho isn’t signed, Bayern might very well make a full-hearted attempt to bring Havertz to the club.
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