Bayern Munich: Oliver Kahn gives clarity on goalkeeping situation
The last few weeks have seen significant changes in the goalkeeping department at Bayern Munich. The Bavarian club was planning to recall Alexander Nubel from Monaco after Manuel Neuer was ruled out for the rest of the season. However, Nubel was eager to complete his loan spell in Ligue 1, and Monaco had no plans to part ways with him in January.
Die Roten was linked with several goalkeepers during the past three weeks, but they eventually identified Yann Sommer as their top target. The negotiations with Borussia Monchengladbach, but Bayern found a breakthrough just before the resumption of the Bundesliga on January 20.
Sommer made his debut against RB Leipzig last Friday, 24 hours after completing a move to Bavaria. The Swiss goalkeeper is expected to play a significant number of games during Ruckrunde, while Sven Ulreich will be the second-choice goalkeeper.
The arrival of Sommer does raise concerns over the long-term futures of Neuer and Nubel at Bayern. While speaking to SportBild (via iMiaSanMia), Bayern president Oliver Kahn gave a breakdown of the goalkeeping situation. He has backed Sommer to successfully fill the Neuer-shaped void during the second half of the season.
“Manuel Neuer is a world class goalkeeper. We’ll give him time and calm until he comes back. When he’s in top form, he’s still one of the best in the world. It’s legitimate that Nubel wants to come back under conditions of game time. That’s exactly what I told him: You’ll only get better if you play. We’ll see after his loan ends. We’ll observe Yann Sommer’s performances and wait for Neuer’s recovery process.”
Die Roten has also been linked with Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregory Kobel. The Swiss goalkeeper is reportedly considered a future transfer target to become a long-term successor of Neuer. However, Kahn has dismissed reports linking Kobel to Bayern.
Neuer is expected to complete his recovery by the start of pre-season training in July. The German international will be eased back into action due to the severe nature of the injury. Sommer could start next season as Die Roten’s number-one until Neuer is completely fit to start games.
Meanwhile, Nubel may have to go out on loan again in the summer to get regular game time. The former Schalke goalkeeper has no plans to be number two at Die Roten, so he will be open to a temporary or permanent move in the summer. His contract with Rekordmeister expires in 2025, but the Bavarian club may offer him a new deal before sending him out on loan.
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The record Bundesliga champions currently have quality goalkeepers on their books. They will not be able to keep all four of them together at the same time, so a decision on their futures could be taken before the start of next season. For now, Die Roten and the Bavarian faithful will be hoping that Sommer emulates his incredible form with Gladbach in Munich.