Interview with sports director: Salihamidzic talks about Bayern’s transfer plans – FC BAYERN MUNICH

SPORT BILD: Mr. Salihamidzic, did the serious injury to Manuel Neuer, who broke his tibia and fibula on a ski tour, spoil your mood during your vacation in the USA?

Hasan Salihamidzic (45): I was shocked when I heard that. The time difference woke me up with this bad news: The doctor called me from the operating room, I just couldn’t believe it. Then the work mode was immediately turned on, the vacation was over at that moment. There was a lot to organize, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind. There wasn’t a minute’s rest. So there was no question for me that I would end my vacation and return. It’s all about FC Bayern.

There is speculation about a return from Alexander Nübel. However, problems could arise in the summer when Neuer returns.

It is important that we find the best solution for our team in the short term. We then have to manage what is in the summer. We want to play for every title this season. We are examining different scenarios. But of course Alexander Nübel would be an obvious solution. In the end, AS Monaco has the last word.


Discussion about new replacement
nubel? “Oh, stop it!”

Source: IMAGE

Basically, things were going extremely well for you and FC Bayern before that. Would you say about yourself that you have reinvented yourself as a manager in 2022?

You are certainly alluding to the transfer market in particular. I don’t think the pandemic has made working in the transfer market any more attractive. It was difficult, whether it was buying or selling, to make decisions that were well received by the public. I think it was important not to get Bayern into financial difficulties. It was a very intense time for us, knowing that we couldn’t buy big names. Nevertheless, we celebrated great successes, won the treble, the Club World Cup. To return to your question: If we succeed in further strengthening our attractive team in the summer of 2023, as we did this summer, then September 1st will be a very nice day.

As the sporting director of FC Bayern, you didn’t always have it easy in Munich. When did you notice that many of the fans’ reservations suddenly turned into open expressions of sympathy?

During the pandemic, we had to make decisions that weren’t popular – some of that was very much projected onto me: It left its mark, there was also a kind of criticism that I won’t forget. But that time is behind me. On the street today I notice a difference in how people approach me. And I’m happy about that.

They laugh a lot more in public today – they are more open, almost like they were when they were players. You once seemed very serious in your roles as sports director and now as a board member. Did your opening come naturally or was it a conscious decision?

Anyone who knows me knows that I haven’t changed. There were times when it was difficult to show that ease and zest for life – as mentioned during the pandemic: the dreary games without spectators, the financial concerns. You don’t walk around laughing. We handled this difficult situation well: we are one of the few clubs that have continued to post positive numbers. In the summer we acted early. There was strong support from the board of directors and a consensus in the board of directors. That’s why we were able to implement our ideas early on – and in the end we all had more to laugh about.

A year ago today, would you have thought that Sadio Mané and Matthijs de Ligt would one day wear the Bayern dress? And which transfer was more complicated?

Every transfer in the area of ​​​​these top-class players is interesting and complicated in itself. I’m a positive person, there are always three or four ways to achieve optimal implementation during a Transfermarkt period. The names Mané and de Ligt have been at the top of our list of respective positions from the start.

You made the move from Ryan Gravenberch perfect very early on. How do you keep a talent with little playing time happy at the moment? In interviews back home, he emphasizes his ambitions, but also his dissatisfaction.

Ryan was well received in Munich and did a great job preparing. He didn’t get that much playing time then. But we have full confidence in the boy. I’m sure he’ll be making more games in the coming months.

Noussair Mazraoui was one of Bayern’s positive surprises at the World Cup with Morocco. Can he also play left-back in Munich in the future after Lucas Hernández has been out for a long time with a cruciate ligament tear?

What happened to Lucas at the World Cup is tragic. I’m very sorry, we need him. Lucas would have been very important in the second half of the season. Nous did the tasks on the left very well at the World Cup. This gives Julian Nagelsmann an additional option. That calms us. But his regular position is that of right-back.


Tactical masterpiece
This free kick goal is just perfect!


What is the status of the talks with Hernández?

The talks continue. The exchange with the management of Lucas is very good. He carries the Bayern gene and lives this club. In my opinion, Lucas’ future lies with FC Bayern, there’s no doubt about that!

Benjamin Pavard’s contract expires in 2024. Can Bayern afford to let him go into the coming season without extra time?

We have big goals and will try to solve this issue at an early stage – no matter in which direction. We have to see what is best for both sides.

Does FC Bayern already have right-backs in mind for the summer?

We would be doing something wrong if we didn’t keep a very close eye on the market with such a contractual situation. As always, we keep our eyes open.

The name Josko Gvardiol keeps coming up…

We’re well-manned in defense with Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernández, that’s three rockets. We also have Josip Stanisic, who has to make appearances. Therefore, no purchase of another central defender is planned.

Does that also apply if Pavard leaves in the summer and Bayern would collect a fee?

Again: First we will talk to Benji.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has flourished since the departure of Robert Lewandowski. Your striker will be 34 in March and his contract is up. Does the club stick to its philosophy of not extending more than a year with players of this age?

I am in contact with his management. We will meet for dinner in the next few weeks and start the talks. Choupo was incredibly good for the team, especially in the second half of the first half of the season. He performed well and made everyone happy.

Joshua Kimmich feared falling into a hole after the early World Cup exit. Did you contact him to set him up?

I contacted all of our German national players after the end. What happened does not correspond to their thinking, their nature. Everyone has to gain some distance first. But the players know that they will return to a stable structure here at Bayern.


Honest words on TV
Matthäus reveals why he is missing in the DFB-Soko!

Source: IMAGE

How was Kimmich when they spoke?

We got in touch a few days after the Costa Rica game. It’s important for him now to have family around him. So the break is good. He’s now doing running training like the other guys, after New Year’s Eve he’s going full throttle on the pitch.

At FC Bayern there was a phase in the preliminary round in which it was not foreseeable that you would start the new year as the leaders of the table. At that time you tried to talk to coach Julian Nagelsmann several times. How crucial were these talks to the subsequent upswing?

During this phase, I perceived Julian as very calm and analytical. We talked a lot, he had several good ideas. These ideas were then implemented excellently. I therefore believe that our already very good relationship has further strengthened during this phase.

What were the most important measures that Nagelsmann took?

Julian let the players play in the same positions for a long time, changed the system less often and always used the same pressing. And of course the center forward Choupo looked good on us, that helped us: we played more stable and easier. The strengths of the individual players came into their own. In addition, and this is the most important thing for me, the boys understood that we can only be successful with a top attitude and an outstanding mentality!

In the Champions League, FC Bayern meets Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 for the third time in three years. Would you now describe it as a duel between arch-rivals? The models of the clubs could not be more different.

They are two totally different clubs. What everyone can look forward to: It will be very attractive, emotional and exciting duels. There will be many world-class players fighting each other.

In Qatar, Mbappé shone for France, Messi for Argentina, Neymar for Brazil – they were all the superstars of their teams. Didn’t you think during the World Cup games: It’s crazy that this trio should be in one team in Paris?

That’s so. Nevertheless: If I let Sané, Mané, Musiala, Gnabry, Coman, Choupo-Moting or Müller melt in my mouth, I look forward to these duels. PSG have these three exceptional players, but I have great confidence in the quality and character of our guys!

Your colleague Fredi Bobic is a hot candidate to succeed Oliver Bierhoff at the DFB. Would you like to see Bobic in this role?

There is a working group that deals with this. The Commission will do a good job. If Fredi is a candidate, he has to decide for himself whether he wants to do it or not. What I can state: It is important that FC Bayern is strongly represented on the committee by Oliver Kahn and has an important say in the new appointment.

Bayern is looking at the goalkeeping position for the winter. Is it impossible that something will happen in other positions?

As you know, I’m not a fan of the winter transfer window. But a lot happened during the World Cup break, so I’m not ruling anything out. We try to do what is best for our team. We will examine all options. Especially in the goalkeeping position, but not only there. There will be no quick shots.



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