According to his own statement, Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic had to change his mind about the Robert Lewandowski cause.
“He thinks we’ve done a good job with this conversion, but of course he’s someone who needs to be convinced first,” said Salihamidzic in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “I had to convince him that you can have a different opinion. But the good thing about Uli is that if you have good arguments, he can be convinced. He just wants you to be brave enough to put your head down.”
Hoeneß had long campaigned publicly for Lewandowski to remain. But after signing Sadio Mane, Bayern finally let Lewandowski move to FC Barcelona.
Salihamidzic did not want the deal with the Senegalese attacking star to be understood as his own image policy. “But of course I’m pleased with how things have developed. I love Munich, it’s my city, my children were born here, my family lives here. The part of the criticism that was irrelevant and personally motivated hurt.”
The transfer offensive with Mane, Matthijs de Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Mathys Tel, for which FCB invested a total of 137.5 million euros in transfer fees, also has an impact on the public perception of Salihamidzic, who in the past was responsible for costly transfers and Departures of top performers like Niklas Süle and David Alaba had to take massive criticism. “Until then, I was often the bad guy when it came to rebuilding the team: Robben and Ribery gone, Hummels gone, Boateng gone, Alaba gone,” said the 45-year-old: “All of a sudden we don’t have a good picture anymore The mood has changed after we managed to make these transfers. We are very happy about that.”
The topic of Lewandowski has been closed. He ruled out another signing for the position of striker. “We could substitute four players of almost the same quality for four positions. So much offensive quality is rare in Europe. It’s now the job of the coach and his team to moderate that,” emphasized Salihamidzic.
Harry Kane to Bayern? “These are rumours”
When asked whether Harry Kane would come on a free transfer next summer, the FCB sporting director said: “These are rumours. We’re going a different way for now. Manchester City and Liverpool have been successful for years without a nine.”
Salihamidzic described his relationship with Lewandowski’s advisor Pini Zahavi, whom Hoeneß once called a “piranha”, as intact. “I have nothing against Pini. He does his job. We have a good relationship with each other. Of course, every negotiation is tough, but sometimes you can talk to him better than to others.”
After five years as an FCB official, Salihamidzic was also self-critical. “I’ve burned my fingers here and there and made mistakes and suffered for them,” he said. FC Bayern is a special club, “you can’t just manage it overnight. Although I knew the club well, I realized that it takes some time to grow into this role. It takes time to feel confident becomes.”
Salihamidzic: “Everything is okay” with Flick
In addition, Salihamidzic reported on a discussion with national coach Hansi Flick on the sidelines of the Supercup. They “chatted relaxedly,” said the FCB sports director. “I would say everything is okay there.”
In the 2020/21 season, there was a quarrel between the then Bayern coach Flick and Salihamidzic after Flick had publicly called for new signings, but the transfer requests were not fulfilled. “The situation was different then. The pandemic was new for everyone, nobody knew when we would play again, how long we would play without spectators when we played. The climate at the club was not very investment-friendly then, that’s how I would put it to say.”
Bayern bosses want to comment more on critical issues
He also announced that the management team around him and CEO Oliver Kahn would be more public in the future. “In recent years we have often not commented on allegations, we have not intervened in debates, we have explained our point of view too seldom. That was a mistake, maybe we underestimated this topic. We do it completely differently now. We will counter when we feel misunderstood and openly explain our decisions,” said Salihamidzic.
In the pre-season, coach Julian Nagelsmann often had to comment on critical issues such as Qatar sponsorship or corona vaccination, while the bosses tended to remain silent. “We will definitely change something and sit down in the press conferences on special topics. Simply to relieve the coach of the burden,” emphasized Salihamidzic.
Salihamidzic, whose contract expires in 2023, was relaxed about his own future. “I notice how the respect towards me is changing,” said Salihamidzic. “I do believe that with Oliver Kahn and Herbert Hainer I now form a very good team.” Noisy sports picture should he be about to extend his contract.