Niklas Süle is leaving FC Bayern at the end of the season. Who will replace him? Internal and external possibilities come into question.
The possible departure of their employee Niklas Süle (26) has been very well calculated by the personnel planners of FC Bayern. They analysed the professional’s playing time, performance and condition and based their offer for further cooperation on these findings. And so the club’s ideas were not compatible with those of the 37-time international.
Süle, who is said to have earned around eight million euros since his move from Hoffenheim in 2017 – or so it was said at the time – reportedly demanded roughly double his previous annual fee. However, the FCB decision-makers did not want to pay that much under any circumstances, certainly not for five years. They stuck to their offer submitted in autumn 2021 with the clear message: Either Süle would accept or he would have to leave.
Süle leaves at the end of the season. His future employer is Borussia Dortmund. So the Bayern bosses have to close a gap that Süle is very much leaving behind, even if he did not fully realise his great talent in Munich. There are internal and external solutions for the defender.
Pavard prefers the centre – Upamecano still unfamiliar
A first candidate also discussed at Bayern’s decision-maker level is Benjamin Pavard (25). The 2018 French World Cup winner is usually deployed on the right in a four- or three-man defence at FC Bayern, but he himself prefers the position in the middle. In this case, a new right-back would have to be hired. Josip Stanisic (21) is considered a viable deputy for this job. However, the market for these specialists on the outside right is extremely complicated. It would be easier to find a centre-back, Munich know, since they have been dealing with established specialists for this position.
The other professionals already employed by Munich for the centre of defence are Dayot Upamecano (23), Lucas Hernandez (25) and Tanguy Nianzou (19). Upamecano came from Leipzig at the beginning of the season for 42.5 million euros and is still a stranger. Süle – interestingly – seems more stable and reliable at the moment. Record-buyer Hernandez (80 million euros) also has potential for improvement, despite visible improvements in his game. And with the supposed top talent Nianzou, even after one and a half years, no definite value judgement and a clear prognosis are possible. The Frenchman drops out too often and plays too erratically.
So can Julian Nagelsmann rely on the Upamecano/Hernandez duo in the centre of defence in a back four, supplemented by Pavard if the head coach opts for a three-man line? And is Nianzou already a viable backup?
Rüdiger probably demands a huge fee – With Ginter & Co. the conviction is missing
Logically, those responsible at Bayern are also looking for external answers to these questions. Antonio Rüdiger (28), who can leave Chelsea FC on a free transfer at the end of the season, meets the top international criteria set by the Bayern bosses with his bite and relentless style of play. However, the 49-time international is said to demand too huge a fee.
His teammate at the reigning Champions League winners, Andreas Christensen (25), is also out of contract at the end of the season. The Dane (54 international caps) appeals to the FCB with his solid style and good technique, but is just as much to be forgotten as a new arrival as the Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt (22, contract with Juventus Turin until 2024), it is said.
There is a lack of unanimous conviction in Munich regarding German candidates such as Matthias Ginter (28), who will leave Borussia Mönchengladbach on a free transfer on 1 July, or Nico Schlotterbeck (22), who is tied to SC Freiburg until 2023 and could also become an issue at Borussia Dortmund. The basic rule is that money should only be invested if a player promises to strengthen the squad with a high degree of probability. They should not be followers. And that is where the problem begins: Top quality is hard to come by and costs a hell of a lot of money.