After enjoying some great results in the first two weeks of March, Bayern Munich went into the international break on a poor note due to the defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. Courtesy of a 2-1 defeat at Bay Arena on Sunday, Bayern slipped to the second spot in the Bundesliga points table.
Despite the shock defeat against Leverkusen, the last few weeks have been great for Bayern and Julian Nagelsmann. They gained much-needed momentum in the Bundesliga after a slow start to 2023. The Bavarian club also knocked PSG out of the Champions League with a 3-0 win on aggregate across two legs.
Benjamin Pavard has been one of the big reasons behind Die Roten’s recent upturn in form. The French international has been moved into the heart of defense as Nagelsmann has switched to a back three. Pavard has excelled in this role and helped the team to get crucial results across different competitions.
The consistent playing time in central defense has definitely changed the dynamics of Pavard’s future at Bayern. While talking to Tuttomercato, Pavard’s agent confirmed that talks with Die Roten would take place after the Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester City. He also insisted that Benjamin Pavard has an excellent relationship with Julian Nagelsmann.
"“A lot has changed since Nagelsmann moved him from right-back to his original position at centre-back. In his position, he has rediscovered serenity and is happy.”“I can say that after the two important matches in the Champions League, we’ll meet and talk about it, but the relationship with coach Nagelsmann is excellent. Benjamin himself has confirmed it.”"
Benjamin Pavard has always preferred playing in central defense, but Bayern consistently used him in the right-back position over the last three seasons. The departure of Niklas Sule and the arrival of Noussair Mazraoui provided hope for Pavard to play in central defense. However, Die Roten completed a deal for Matthijs de Ligt to replace Sule, which sparked speculation about Pavard’s future.
Nagelsmann has always appreciated Pavard, so the German coach convinced him to stay at the club last summer. The French defender continued to play in the right-back position this season. During an interview in December, Pavard admitted that he would be open to leaving Bavaria at the end of the campaign.
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Inter Milan made a bid for Pavard during the winter transfer window, but Bayern had no plans to part ways with him midway through the season. The record Bundesliga champions want to keep Pavard beyond his current deal, which expires in June 2024.
Nagelsmann’s tactical switch to back three may lead to a contract extension for Pavard. If the German coach sticks with this system in the long term, Benjamin Pavard may decide to sign an extension before the end of the season.