Shortly before the start of the second half of the season, FC Bayern Munich signed Yann Sommer as a replacement for the injured regular keeper Manuel Neuer. While the parties directly involved can feel like winners, there are also three losers. A comment.
First and foremost, Yann Sommer’s move from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Bayern Munich is a win-win-win situation. At 34, Sommer can quite unexpectedly play for big titles. With him, FC Bayern has a better chance of winning it. And Gladbach positioned themselves more promisingly in the goalkeeping position without financial losses.
Sommer’s contract would have expired next summer, then he could have left Gladbach free of charge. Instead, Borussia reportedly collected eight million euros plus possible bonuses of 1.5 million six months beforehand, thus financing the commitment of Jonas Omlins from HSC Montpellier. Sommer’s compatriot, who is five years his junior, signs a long-term contract.
Gladbach remained firm in the week-long negotiations and took advantage of the plight of the Munich rival, who initially only wanted to pay about half. The transfer fee that has now been agreed is unusually high in view of Sommer’s age and contract term. For FC Bayern, however, the few million more should not play a major role. Especially considering the sums at stake in the Champions League.
In addition to these winners, there are also losers in the summer deal – namely three keepers from FC Bayern.
Summer transfer: Manuel Neuer is the big loser
The biggest loser is Manuel Neuer, who had brought his club into the now resolved emergency: Despite poor snow conditions, the 36-year-old captain was skiing off-piste shortly before Christmas, fell and broke his lower leg. He’ll be out for at least the rest of the season, possibly longer.
The fact that FC Bayern signed such a top-class replacement with Sommer should also be seen as a return carriage from the club management for Neuer’s quite irresponsible behavior. His new rival has signed until 2025. As one of the best keepers in the Bundesliga and Switzerland international goalkeeper, Sommer will not voluntarily vacate his place after Neuer’s recovery. It will be an open duel.
After ten and a half years, Neuer’s status as Bayern’s undisputed number one is gone. If he loses the competition with Sommer in Munich, he is threatened with a reserve role at the home European Championship in 2024 in Germany. With Kevin Trapp and Marc-André ter Stegen, top-class alternatives are available.
FC Bayern: Nübel and Ulreich are also losers
Actually, Neuer at FC Bayern should be inherited by Alexander Nübel at some point: With this perspective, Nübel moved from FC Schalke 04 to Munich free of charge in 2020. In order to gain match practice, FC Bayern parked him at AS Monaco until 2023. After Neuer’s injury, the Munich team considered an early return campaign.
Monaco did not want to give up Nübel, but the now 26-year-old himself was not particularly impressed by this idea. “I’m very happy to be developing here,” he said recently. By not taking this chance, Nübel’s future at Bayern should finally be blocked. Sommer is two years younger than Neuer, so the Munich goal is now presumably occupied for even longer.
It is quite possible that Nübel will finally leave FC Bayern next summer after the Monaco loan has expired, despite the contract until 2025. Neuer’s previous substitute Sven Ulreich, who the Munich officials did not trust to play the role of regular keeper in the second half of the season, could also go. The 34-year-old is also a loser of the summer commitment.
As a long-term solution after Neuer and Sommer, another current Bundesliga keeper could be considered at FC Bayern, Sommer’s substitute with the national team: Gregor Kobel (25) from Borussia Dortmund. Incidentally, the third keeper in Switzerland is currently a certain Jonas Omlin.