The winter transfer window is seven weeks away as teams look to strengthen areas of the squad that they failed to do in the summer. Bayern Munich are not known for doing significant business in winter windows, but they are expected to be active this time around.
The record Bundesliga champions have endured difficulties this season when it comes to injury and management of the squad after the poor end to the summer. Bayern sold Benjamin Pavard and Ryan Gravenberch in the final week of the summer transfer window but couldn’t get deals over the line for their replacements.
Thomas Tuchel was left with a thin squad for the first half of the season. The German coach publicly expressed his disappointment after the club failed to sign Joao Palhinha and Pavard’s replacement on the deadline.
Bayern have done fairly well in Hinrunde apart from one abysmal evening in Saarbrucken that saw them exiting DFB Pokal in the second round. Tuchel is hopeful that he will get the necessary reinforcements in January to compete for Bundesliga and Champions League titles. While talking to SportBild over the weekend, Bayern’s sporting director, Christoph Freund, revealed areas of the squad that the German club may look to strengthen in January.
"“The topic is complex. If we were to bring in a player at right back, Konny Laimer – who played there several times recently and did well – would be free again for the defensive midfield position. I wouldn’t commit to something yet, but we’re looking at centre-backs, right-backs and #6’s – Especially since the Africa Cup and the Asian Cup are coming up, where we will be missing Noussair Mazraoui and Min-jae Kim plus possibly Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.”"
Tuchel has been pushing for a number six throughout the summer transfer window, so it is not surprising to see Freund name-dropping this position to address in the summer. Joao Palhinha is reportedly open to joining Die Roten in January, but it remains to be seen whether the Bavarian club still holds significant interest in him.
Palhinha is likely to be more expensive in the winter transfer window since he signed a new deal at Fulham after his move to Bayern collapsed on the deadline day in the summer. Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi has reportedly emerged as one of the numerous targets Die Roten are considering for the number six role.
Bayern will have to identify transfer targets that will solve their short-term and long-term problems. In an ideal scenario, a defensive midfielder and a versatile defender will be enough for Rekordmeister in the winter transfer window.
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A versatile defender will help them to add depth and quality in the right-back and center-back positions. Meanwhile, a defensive midfielder will allow Tuchel to improve the team’s defensive structure and make them a more solid team in Germany and Europe. Freund, Tuchel, and Bayern have identified the right positions to strengthen in January. It remains to be seen if they will find the right players for these positions midway through the season.