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Explosive mind games: does Gnabry have to go to the stands?

In addition to Robert Lewandowski’s future, Serge Gnabry’s is still in question. There are three options: extend the contract beyond 2023 this summer; a change also this summer; or remain under the current conditions. The latter could have consequences.

Serge Gnabry’s future in Munich is still uncertain.

IMAGO/Claus Bergmann

At the moment he is still on vacation, switching off from the long season with FC Bayern and the national team. Serge Gnabry should come back to Munich next week. So there is still a little time left to think about his future, which has not yet been clarified. Will the 26-year-old extend his contract, which expires in 2023? Is he moving this summer? Or will it remain under the current conditions?

The club bosses are reluctant to do the latter, i.e. another year with the record champions without a contract extension. Because the FCB can then generate no money – i.e. a high transfer fee – with the player. That’s why, as kicker learned, there are explosive mind games in the club: If Gnabry decides against an extension and against a change this summer, he could possibly end up in the stands – and not receive any assignments for the time being.

Manni Schwabl has already used this remedy in Unterhaching

This procedure would come as a surprise for a player of this size. It is questionable to what extent such a sanction could be implemented at all. There was a comparable example recently in the regional league at SpVgg Unterhaching. Felix Göttlicher, who did not want to extend his contract, had to go to the stands. President Manni Schwabl said: “We are open with the players, and Felix Göttlicher knew that too. If they don’t extend, then they won’t play with us anymore.” Because the club relies on it to “financially survive”, as Schwabl emphasized, to train and sell players.

With pressure, little can be achieved at Gnabry

At FC Bayern, who of course also have to pay close attention to their finances in times like these, this consequence would have a completely different scope. Gnabry in the stands? A national player in a Bundesliga hind series shortly before the World Cup? Difficult to imagine. The outcry if Munich lost a game and Gnabry had to watch from the stands would be great. That’s why the player is largely relaxed in the face of it. Putting pressure on Gnabry is a means – but according to kicker information, the professional himself is little impressed. Also because he knows his importance. When it comes to the question of the future, he is concerned with other parameters: for example league, country, position, esteem, life.

Gnabry should make a decision about his future in the foreseeable future

Gnabry has an offer from those responsible. One with which he is basically satisfied. He also likes the location in Munich. What had been missing in the past few months was emotionality. According to kicker information, the timing of the bosses, when and how they approached him, could have been better from the player’s point of view. This message is said to have reached the club and the talks have been more positive since then. A decision by Gnabry when he is back from his vacation should follow in the foreseeable future. Knowing full well that the offensive all-rounder in the prime of footballing age is about what is perhaps the biggest contract of his career.

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