Bayern Munich are facing a summer that could define the club’s long-term future.
With talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski pushing to leave the German side, the pressure is on to replace the prolific Polish international and shore up other weaknesses. Serge Gnabry is thought to possibly be leaving as well, and if both depart, it will mean significant turnover up front for the reigning Bundesliga champs.
Bayern struggled this season in the back, and the defensive unit appears just as much in transition as the attack. Niklas Sule is leaving the club on a free transfer for rivals Borussia Dortmund, and Dayot Upamecano has struggled to recapture his best form since joining Bayern. That leaves the club in need of a new central defender, and depending on evaluations of Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, an additional defender could be required as well.
There are plenty of talented players on the open market this summer, and Bayern will look to throw around its might as the Bavarian giants hope to challenge for a Champions League title next season after this past year’s disappointing quarterfinal exit.
The Sporting News is rounding up the key updates — all day, every day — below.
Latest Bayern Munich transfer news
Last update: June 16, 2022
Southampton ‘target Bayern’s Chris Richards’
Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards is a target for Southampton, according to The Athletic. Crystal Palace are also interested in the 22-year-old USA international.
Frenkie de Jong tips Robert Lewandowski for Barcelona move
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has hinted at his delight over links between Robert Lewandowski and the Catalan giants.
De Jong was interviewed at the Netherlands 2-2 UEFA Nations League draw with Poland in Rotterdam and the 25-year-old was asked about the possibility of Lewandowski heading to the Camp Nou this summer.
“He’s an amazing player, one of the best in the world,” as per quotes from the Daily Mirror.
“It’s up to him [whether he joins Barcelona]. Of course I would like to have Lewandowski in my team.”
Lewandowski was rested for the draw against de Jong’s hosts with crunch future talks planned at the Allianz Arena next week.
Report: Ryan Gravenberch signs deal through 2027
Bayern have captured another Ajax talent, according to multiple reports from Germany which indicate that midfielder Ryan Gravenberch traveled to Munich to pen a five-year deal.
The budding Dutch international (10 caps) will arrive in the Bundesliga on a reported $19.5 million transfer fee from Ajax. He made 30 appearances for the Eredivisie champions last season (two goals, five assists) and all eight of the club’s UEFA Champions League matches.
He will join former Ajax teammate Noussair Mazraoui who joined on a free transfer in May and will play right back for the Bundesliga champions in competition with Benjamin Pavard and Josip Stanisic.
— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) June 11, 2022
In an interview after travelling to Germany to seal the deal for £21m, including a 7.5 percent sell-on clause for Ajax, Gravenberch told Bild: “Bayern is a big club.
“You have to win big titles here — and that’s also what I expect. I’m happy to be here in Munich now.”
Sadio Mane to arrive from Liverpool?
The Champions League final to Real Madrid felt very much like a swansong for well-liked Reds attacker Sadio Mane. Out of contract with Liverpool in 2023, the Senegal captain reportedly wants out of Liverpool to pursue a new adventure.
While the Reds won’t back down on their valuation of the player, forcing Mane to stay an additional year against his wishes could be detrimental to all involved.
Mane would be a much-needed addition to a Bayern attack that could lose both Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry this summer if things go poorly.
UPDATE (Jun 16): As Mane’s Anfield departure appears to be moving closer, reports from Teamtalk claim the Reds have given their word over allowing him to leave.
The Senegalese international has now jetted off on a two week holiday with the two clubs still locked in talks over a fee.
UPDATE (Jun 15): Mane has reached a verbal agreement with Bayern on personal terms, reports Fabrizio Romano. A three-year contract has been prepared, with Bayern now set to make a new bid for the winger ahead of further talks with Liverpool.
UPDATE (Jun 13): Mane has been backed to join Bayern by his national team boss Aliou Cisse who believes the deal is the best option for him.
“I heard about Sadio at Bayern. For me, it’s a club of high standing. Bayern is intense, pressing football with a German coach”, as per reports from Sky Sports.
“Sadio played for Salzburg in Austria, which is a border country, and that means he is not going into unknown territory.
“For me, the club where he will feel the best is Bayern.”
However, despite Cisse’s comments, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic claimed the club are ‘working on several options in attack’ with finances the main factor in any potential deal.
“Generally speaking, we’re trying to strengthen our team. Of course we can’t rely on one option to strengthen our attack. We must have several options”, as per quotes from the Daily Mail.
“The transfer market is never easy, it depends on the financial possibilities of the club. I don’t want to talk about players from other clubs.”
Jun 10: Liverpool are confident of third time lucky in their talks with Bayern over Mane. Two rejected bids for the Senegalese hotshot have not dampened the Bavarians interest and they will apparently increase their offer in the coming days. As per reports from the Daily Telegraph, a third bid of £40m (€46.9m/$49.9m), plus add-ons, will be accepted, and Mane’s exit will trigger Liverpool’s swoop for Benfica star Darwin Nunez.
June 7: It was widely reported that Bayern saw an initial bid for Mane of €24.5 million (£21m / $26m) plus €5 million of add-ons turned down just days ago, but it appears the German side will try a second time. According to German publication Sport1, Bayern will come back to Liverpool with a second bid worth €35 million (£30m / $37.5m) with an additional €5 million of add-ons. The Sport1 report states this would meet Liverpool’s evaluation and complete the deal.
Will Robert Lewandowski leave?
While striker Robert Lewandowski has embarked on a public war of words with Bayern Munich, saying “my story at Bayern is over,” there’s no guarantee the Polish international will leave the club.
His contract doesn’t expire until summer of 2023, and if Bayern wish, they could keep him another season before leaving on a free transfer. Still, Barcelona are lurking in the shadows, heavily linked with a move for Lewandowski.
Given how Lewandowski has torpedoed Bayern’s leverage in transfer negotiations and thus his market value, the prolific striker, now 33 years old, could be more valuable to Bayern on the field than he would be in the transfer market.
UPDATE (June 8): Lewandowski has continued his focused drive to leave the Allianz Arena this summer after claiming on June 6 “something has died in me, I want to leave Bayern to have more emotions in my life.”
He expanded on those quotes in an interview with Polish outlet Onet in which the 33-year-old confirmed the only offer he is considering is from Barcelona.
Fabrizio Romano reported that Lewandowski has a verbal agreement for a three-year deal at Barcelona, but that could still present problems according to La Liga chief Javier Tebas’s comments that cash-strapped Barcelona must raise new funds for a Lewandowski deal.
It doesn’t seem like a foregone conclusion that the Polish international will move to the Camp Nou this summer.
Serge Gnabry departure?
While the spotlight is focused on Robert Lewandowski, there are also rumors regarding the status of Serge Gnabry. The German has, like Lewandowski, just one more year left on his Bayern contract. At 26 years old, he will be a wanted man should he decide to pursue other ventures outside Bavaria.
The former Arsenal man has called the Gunners “a top club” in the past, but it’s hard to imagine he would give up his spot as a critical player for Bayern Munich for a team not playing in the Champions League.
UPDATE (June 5): According to The Sun in early June (passed on by Football London), Bayern would seek about €39 million ($41m / £33m) for Gnabry, but chatter about a move to Arsenal at this point is just speculation given his previous time in London.
Those figures seem to have spooked Real Madrid, who according to Spanish publication Marca have pulled out of the running for Gnabry.
Bayern interest in Konrad Laimer
With injury-riddled Corentin Tolisso leaving and Joshua Kimmich the only truly established midfielder left in the Bayern squad, there’s need for reinforcements even after the signing of Gravenberch on June 11.
Enter RB Leipzig central midfielder Konrad Laimer, who worked under Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann at the club previously before the boss left for Bavaria.
Laimer is a product of the Red Bull system, first at Salzburg and then at Leipzig, and the 25-year-old has developed into an excellent two-way player. His RB Leipzig contract expires in summer 2023.
UPDATE (June 7): Bild linked the two back in early May and stated that Laimer has a release clause of €35 million ($37m / £30m). Still, RB Leipzig may be willing to let him go for less.
Bild then reported in late May that the Bundesliga club wants €20-25 million for the midfielder ($21-26m / £17-21m) but Bayern still don’t want to pay that much. Ronan Murphy of Transfers.com states that the two sides are close to an agreement for the low end of that range.
However, it appears there is competition for Laimer’s signature. The Daily Mail reports that Man United sent scouts to watch Austria vs. Denmark on June 6, in part to watch both Christian Eriksen (Denmark) and Konrad Laimer (Austria).
Bayern Munich Transfers: Summer 2022 transfer window
|May 24||Noussair Mazraoui||RB||24||Ajax||Free transfer|
|June 30||Corentin Tolisso||CM||27||TBD (Out of contract)||Free transfer|
|June 30||Niklas Sule||CB||26||Borussia Dortmund||Free transfer|
Below is the updated Bayern Munich first-team roster. New additions during the summer 2022 window are noted in bold:
Goalkeepers (3): Christian Fruchtl, Manuel Neuer, Sven Ulreich
Defenders (9): Alphonso Davies (LB), Lucas Hernandez (CB), Noussair Mazraoui (RB), Tanguy Nianzou (CB), Benjamin Pavard (RB/CB), Chris Richards (CB), Omar Richards (LB), Josip Stanisic (RB), Dayot Upamecano (CB).
Midfielders (7): Leon Goretzka (CM), Joshua Kimmich (CM), Jamal Musiala (CAM), Marc Roca (CM), Marcel Sabitzer (CAM), Malik Tillman (CAM), Paul Wanner (CAM).
Forwards (6): Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (CF), Kingsley Coman (RW), Serge Gnabry (RW), Robert Lewandowski (CF), Thomas Muller (CF/RW), Leroy Sane (LW).
CB = center back; LB = left back; RB = right back; CM = central midfielder; CAM = attacking midfielder; CF = center forward; LW = left wing; RW = right wing
The current Bayern Munich projected first-choice starting lineup, when completely healthy, currently looks like:
Bayern Munich projected starting XI (4-2-3-1): Neuer (GK) — Davies, Upamecano, Hernandez, Mazraoui (Pavard) — Kimmich, Goretzka — Sane, Muller, Gnabry — Lewandowski.