A period of transition: What lies ahead for Bayern Munich this summer?
It will be a summer with a big upheaval at Bayern, and the club has already started investing in new players. French world cup winners Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard have been signed by the club on pre-season deals from Atletico Madrid and Stuttgart which clearly shows the intent of the club as they move into the transition period.
Players who are leaving:
Club legends Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben will be leaving the club after over a decade of service which has made them fan favorites over the years. Versatile fullback Rafinha will also be leaving after spending 8 seasons in Munich colours. Niko Kovac and James Rodriguez are not the best of combinations and Spanish media houses are reporting that the Colombian will not be in Munich next season. It’s rumored that Jerome Boateng will be sold while Mats Hummels is unsure about his future at the club as the management are aiming to give the team a younger and more dynamic outlook. Renato Sanches is not getting minutes under Niko Kovac despite having a bright start to the season and he might be seeking a loan move or permanent transfer this summer.
The transition period has already started and the club is linked to a huge number of players this summer. The primary target of the club is to give the wings more stability and Callum Hudson Odoi and Jota are primary targets for the club. French outlets have been linking the club to Nicolas Pepe for a long time but apparently the Bayern board are not sure whether he’s the right man for the club.
Hakim Ziyech is another name doing the rounds ever since his game against Real Madrid, but there has been no contact from Bayern to Ajax about the player. Dutch starlet Matthijs de Ligt would also be interested in a move to Bayern but the move is not feasible for Bayern right until both Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng leave this summer. Timo Werner is also on the radar but Leipzig are asking close to €50 million and that might put Bayern off the pursuit to sign the German striker. The signing of a defensive midfielder will also be there on the cards should Javi Martinez decide to leave the club this summer.
The future of Niko Kovac:
Niko Kovac has to deliver the domestic double this season to guarantee his position as a manager next season. Uli Hoeness has publicly backed him, while Rummenigge has insisted that whoever is at the helm must deliver.
The domestic dominance has come under threat and there have been very inconsistent performances under the Croat. There have been multiple instances when the team just scraped past to get a result which is so unlike Bayern in Germany. The CEO has been vocal about not being impressed with the performance against Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16 and the domestic slump earlier this season which raises doubts whether Kovac is the right person to lead the transition.
One more point is that James Rodriguez is a huge favourite of Rummenigge and the unimpressive displays of the Colombian under Kovac could also be a point of difference between the manager and the CEO. Rummenigge has repeatedly iterated to the media that he would like to see James in Bayern colours in the years to come.
Coaches linked to Bayern:
There have been rumors surfacing of Bayern looking for a new manager as Niko Kovac’s performance has not been consistent and convincing enough at the club. Former Bayern Reserves manager Erik ten Hag has been on the radar for his performances with Ajax who are now one step away from reaching the Champions League final this season.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was pursued by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic last summer who rejected the offer but it is being circulated that Bayern might approach him once again this summer to get his services.
It will be a very busy summer for Bayern this summer as they look to start next season on full throttle and perform in a manner to cement themselves amongst the elites of Europe once again.