Bayern Munich have had a relatively underwhelming 2017/18 season as they are usually expected to win the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal while challenging for the UEFA Champions League. On paper, they finished as Bundesliga Champions, UCL semi-finalists and DFB Pokal runner-ups, which is not as calamitous as it seems on paper.
Yet, it is the manner of how they missed out on the cups that leaves questions to be asked. They were ousted in the UCL by a Real Madrid side which did win the tournament, but not without controversy. Bayern Munich were supposedly the better footballing side, but Real scored more goals, but throughout Bayern looked like lacking something – as if Real knew what to expect. Similarly, in the Pokal, Bayern were beaten by their incoming head coach, Niko Kovac and his hardworking Eintracht Frankfurt side – another loss which they were favourites to win but missed.
These have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Bayern’s hierarchy. They have been there before and have reacted in the transfer market to rectify that in the aftermath of the 2011/12 season, where they finished runner-ups in all three competitions.
Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic is in tune with the upper echelons and agrees with head coach Kovac that the squad is too big, which means there is a significant window coming up.
Here we look at who could be in and out for Bayern this summer.
Goalkeeper– Manuel Neuer is going to Russia and it seems he will be fit for next season, while Sven Ulreich is still a quality understudy.
Potential Ins: None
Potential Outs: None
Defenders: Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle, while a potentially sound pairing, lack pace while dealing with quick counters. Javi Martinez can fill in as well, but he isn’t the quickest either. Add to the fact that Jerome Boateng has itchy feet right now, Kovac will need to invest in the centre of the defence to avoid teams taking advantage of the weakness he used to win the Pokal. Hoffenheim’s Kevin Vogt is touted to be brought in for Boateng, while Lars Lukas Mai is the young academy lad who completes the quartet.
Potential Ins: Kevin Vogt (Hoffenheim)
Potential Outs: Jerome Boateng
Full-backs: Juan Bernat and Rafinha look to be on the end of their Bayern careers. While Rafinha has extended his contract for a year, Bayern’s starting fullbacks are Joshua Kimmich at right-back and David Alaba at left-back. Sebastien Rudy can fill in on the right and Rafinha can play on either flank.
With the potential exit of Bernat, Bayern may look for a left-footed full-back. Chelsea’s Kenedy has been touted in, who can play as a very attacking left-back or an out an out winger, potentially killing two birds with one stone.
Potential Ins: Kenedy (Chelsea)
Potential Outs: Juan Bernat
Midfield: Bayern are heavily stacked in the centre of the park, with Thiago, Arturo Vidal, Rudy, Corentin Tolisso, Martinez, the newly signed Leon Goretzka from Schalke and James Rodriguez who can play on the wing or as an attacking midfielder (number 10).
Looking at the profiles of these players, Bayern could do with a lung-bursting true box to box midfielder, particularly now that offers for Vidal and Thiago will be entertained.
Sporting director Salihamidzic looks to believe in Renato Sanches, who has had a torrid loan in the English Premier League at the now relegated Swansea. Only time will tell if that will be a shrewd and good decision, and whether Sanches can find his form and build on his promise.
Potential Ins: Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Renato Sanches (loan return from Swansea)
Potential Outs: Thiago Alcantara, Arturo Vidal.
Wingers: Let’s face it, even though Arjen Robben has been defying time and Franck Ribery is still good, neither of them are getting any younger. Bayern must look to replace them, and they have Kingsley Coman as a successor to Ribery.
They already possess Serge Gnabry who’s returning from loan at Hoffenheim. Yet, they could sign a potentially young player who can either be a utility on the flank or be loaned out for the season. Enter Chelsea’s Kenedy, while Bordeaux’s Malcolm and Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey are also being considered.
Potential Ins: Serge Gnabry (loan return from Hoffenheim)/Malcolm (Bordeaux)/Leon Bailey (Bayer 04)/ Kenedy (Chelsea)
Potential Outs: Gnabry (Loan)
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski wants out and he wants Real Madrid. His newly appointed agent, Pini Zahavi will do his best to get his client his move. Bayern also see this summer as the time when they can get the most money for him and have slapped a €200 million price tag, which could deter any suitors.
Nevertheless, if Lewandowski does leave it will beg for a replacement. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is touted to come in and Wagner will continue at the club, while certain Spanish reports have also linked unhappy Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata to the Bavarian Giants.
Potential Ins: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)/ Alvaro Morata (Chelsea)
Potential Outs: Robert Lewandowski.