Until only a few weeks ago, it seemed Bayern Munich would only be in the market for two new central defenders this summer after David Alaba and Jerome Boateng depart. Now, though, it appears that Bayern Munich will need to find their next manager too, following Hansi Flick’s public admission that he wants to leave the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.
Bayern Munich have not yet granted Flick’s wish, presumably to protect their claim to any compensation they may be entitled to should their manager replace Joachim Low as Germany boss after Euro 2020, but the point of no return has been passed. The Bavarians must identify a new leader
For many, Julian Nagelsmann is the natural choice to be the next manager of Bayern Munich. Long considered a prodigious coaching talent, the 33-year-old has turned RB Leipzig into a true force at the top of the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. He is a modern manager in the purest sense, implementing new ideas on the pitch – and off it in terms of his touchline attire.
Ironically, Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig might be the only side that can topple Bayern Munich at the top of the German game. Financially, they are still well adrift of the Bavarians, long-standing members of the European elite, but RB Leipzig’s scouting network and recruitment methods have seen them make the most of what they have.
It would therefore make sense for Bayern Munich to poach one of the biggest threats to their supremacy. If they don’t hire Nagelsmann, someone else will, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believed to be a long-time admirer of his. Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with a move following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.
Nagelsmann has been spoken about as a future Bayern Munich boss for some time, even if he doesn’t end up as their next manager. The 33-year-old seems destined to one day take charge at the Allianz Arena, but would now be the right time for him to accept the job? He might look at the problems Flick encountered and the friction between the management team and the Bayern Munich boardroom and have second thoughts.
Indeed, there would be an element of risk for Nagelsmann in accepting an offer from Bayern Munich. As already referenced, one of the key aspects of RB Leipzig’s recent success has been their effectiveness in the transfer market. This, however, is not the case at Bayern Munich. In fact, Flick is leaving the club in part due to his complaints over signings.
What’s more, everything Nagelsmann achieves as Bayern Munich boss will be measured against the success of the guy who came before him, who won a Treble last season. Pep Guardiola found himself in a similar scenario upon taking over from Jupp Heynckes at the Allianz Arena and even as arguably the greatest manager of his generation he struggled to step out from his predecessor’s shadow.
At 33, Nagelsmann doesn’t necessarily have to take this opportunity now. In many ways, the risk in going to Bayern Munich as their next manager is greater than the potential reward. He must make sure no to rush his development as a coach and a manager. Nagelsmann will have more chances to take the next step in his career, whether that’s to Bayern Munich or another super-club. He must plot his route carefully.
Bayern Munich are on the brink of a transition. Alaba and Boateng are already confirmed to be on their way out, with Thiago Alcantara leaving last summer and Flick set to exit this summer. For Nagelsmann, this undoubtedly presents an opportunity, but not necessarily in the way Bayern Munich envisage. Rather than being the one to mask the Bavarians’ weakness, Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig could exploit it.
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