FC Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer's Return Could Trigger Chain Reaction
The return of Manuel Neuer to FC Bayern Munich is drawing closer and is expected to have far-reaching consequences. Two goalkeepers could leave the club, while the German record champions are already considering the signing of another goalkeeper.
Manuel Neuer is recharging for the new season during his vacation in Costa Rica. He hasn't lost his ambition. The 37-year-old posted a photo on the beach with the caption, "We have big goals ahead of us."
Following his leg fracture, which he sustained while skiing in December, his comeback is now getting closer. Neuer resumed training in May. Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel commented, "It's great to see how Manuel is working, rewarding himself step by step, and getting back on the field."
FC Bayern seems to be doing everything to make Neuer's return as pleasant as possible. According to a report from "Sport Bild," even his goalkeeper coach, Toni Tapalovic, who is a close confidant of Neuer and was released earlier this year, is set to return to the record champions.
Tuchel fully supports Neuer: "A great, great, great personality."
Back in May, Tuchel didn't want to provide a timetable for Neuer's comeback and simply said, "He's already burning with desire and would love to be on the field tomorrow." However, it's clear that Tuchel highly values Neuer's qualities. "He is our captain and the captain of the German national team. We're talking about a great, great, great personality in German sports and FC Bayern."
It's quite possible that Neuer will be back in goal for the Bundesliga opener against Werder Bremen on August 18. This raises the question of what will happen to the other goalkeepers. As of now, FC Bayern has five goalkeepers under contract: Neuer, Yann Sommer, Sven Ulreich, loan returnee Alexander Nübel, and young talent Johannes Schenk. That's too many.
Yann Sommer is said to have a release clause.
Several goalkeeper transfers seem to be on the horizon. Sommer only joined FC Bayern from Borussia Mönchengladbach in January to deputize for Neuer. While his contract is valid until summer 2025, "Bild" football chief Christian Falk reported in the "Bayern Insider" podcast that there is a release clause. However, this clause would only come into effect if Neuer regains the number one spot at FC Bayern, and the Munich club would have to pay the nine to ten million euros that they transferred to Gladbach in the winter.
Sommer vaguely commented on his plans at the end of the season, saying, "That's all too far away; I'll focus on my future after the holidays." As the Swiss national goalkeeper who aims to be in goal for the European Championship in the summer of 2024, he is unlikely to settle for the role of second choice at the club. If Neuer returns to his old form, Sommer's departure is probable. According to the "Bayern Insider," a move to VfB Stuttgart could be an option.
Nubel's agent is looking for a new club for his protege.
Nübel, who spent the past two seasons on loan at French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, where he was the number one goalkeeper, also does not want to be a backup. However, his contract in Munich runs until summer 2025.
"We've always said that it doesn't make sense for Alex to return to Bayern as long as Manuel Neuer is there. He's fit again," said his agent Stefan Backs to the "t-online.de" portal, adding, "That's why I'm looking for a new club for Alex, one that can further his development as much as possible."
If Sommer and Nübel do leave FC Bayern, the club would still be well-positioned with Neuer, the reliable backup Ulreich, and Schenk as the third choice. However, there are indications that the club wouldn't settle for that and would seek further reinforcements.
Is FC Bayern Munich Signing the Georgian National Goalkeeper?
According to reports from "Sport Bild," TV channel Sky, and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano on Tuesday, FC Bayern Munich is said to be interested in signing Georgian national goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili. The club has reportedly scouted him multiple times and has also made contact with his management.
This potential signing would indeed make sense as Mamardashvili, at the age of 22, could be a long-term successor to Manuel Neuer. Currently playing for Spanish La Liga club Valencia CF (contract until summer 2027), Mamardashvili's market value is estimated at €25 million by "transfermarkt.de." A portion of this value could be recouped through potential transfer fees for Sommer and Nübel.
All signs point to significant developments in FC Bayern's goalkeeper position in the coming weeks.