Five-star Flick raises the bar for next Bayern coach Nagelsmann


Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) – Hansi Flick landed a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title for Bayern Munich on Saturday, but his youthful replacement Julian Nagelsmann has already been warned what to expect as head coach of next season’s new-look squad.

Bayern secured the Bundesliga title before they even kicked a ball on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 win over second-placed Leipzig sent the title back to Munich ahead of Bayern’s evening home game against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Flick will sign off with the 56-year-old the hot favourite to succeed Joachim Loew as Germany’s next head coach after this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.

He won seven honours in his 18 months in charge, including two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League. 

Flick also became the first Bayern coach to win all six available titles available from one season in 2019/20.

Bayern have lost just eight matches under Flick in all competitions.

His record raises the bar high for Nagelsmann, who at 33 has forged a reputation as one of Germany’s best young coaches.

It will cost Bayern 25 million euros ($30 million) to buy Nagelsmann out of his contract at RB Leipzig, who he steered to last season’s Champions League semi-finals.

Nagelsmann stands to reportedly earn around eight million euros ($9.7 million) for each year of his Bayern contract, which runs until 2026.

However, his first task next season will be to win over stars like captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is two years older than his new head coach.

– Beckenbauer warning –

Even top scorer Robert Lewandowski is only a year younger than Nagelsmann, who has already received a blessing from a Bayern legend. 

“Bayern have made a good choice there. Definitely,” said the club’s honorary president Franz Beckenbauer.

However, the 75-year-old warned, “It’s clear that the team will test him. That’s just the way it is. He knows that. He has to be prepared for that.”

From next season, Bayern can wear a fifth star on their shirts having now won 30 titles since the Bundesliga started in 1963/64.

The Bavarian giants have been German champions 31 times, but their first title win, in 1932, came in the pre-Bundesliga era.

As well as a new star above their badge, there will be a new coach at the helm.

At 1.90m (6ft 3ins), Nagelsmann makes his presence felt on the sidelines and will not be afraid of ruffling the egos of Bayern’s stars.

During matches played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nagelsmann’s voice can often be heard barking instructions at his players or remonstrating with the referee.

– Squad clearout –

He has reportedly already begun preparing next season’s Bayern squad and, according to Sport Bild magazine, has proposed signings across the board.

However, club president Herbert Hainer has ruled out any new big-money transfers this summer and a clearout is likely.

Winger Douglas Costa, 30, will return to Juventus when his loan deals expires.

Veterans Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng, both 32, have not been offered contract extensions, while David Alaba, 28, has rebuffed Bayern’s attempts to keep him and is expected to sign for Real Madrid.

Along with Nagelsmann, French centre-back Dayot Upamecano, 22, will come from Leipzig for 42.5 million euros and 23-year-old left-back Omar Richards has been signed from English second-tier club Reading on a free transfer.

Apart from that, there will be little spare cash for more transfers with Hainer forecasting loses of 150 million euros as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic.

While there is little sign that Lewandowski’s phenomenal goal rate is dropping, the Poland star turns 33 when the next season starts.

Nagelsmann will be expected to nurture a replacement striker as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Lewandowski’s 32-year-old understudy, is out of contract this summer.

However, part of Nagelsmann’s skill is developing players and he stamped his mark on previous clubs Hoffenheim and Leipzig.

Nagelsmann’s “team performance” is “usually above expectations, above the sum of the quality of the individual players”, as Lewandowski recently pointed out.

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