Julian Nagelsmann is “generally very satisfied” with the training camp in Qatar. In Munich, RB Salzburg is now being tested for the top start in Leipzig. A Bayern problem remains unsolved.
Julian Nagelsmann and his exhausted football stars around Qatar permanent guest Thomas Müller were in a hurry. After the final training session on the Aspire facility, the charter plane from sponsor Qatar Airways was ready at Hamad International Airport on Thursday to take the Bayern entourage to Munich, which is 16 degrees cooler.
The muezzin had just called for midday prayer when the head coach in the team hotel was quickly summarizing the eleventh winter camp of the Munich team in Doha at a bar table. “I’m generally very satisfied,” said Nagelsmann, even if there were some battered players towards the end.
The burden was high. But only defender Matthijs de Ligt will be out due to a swollen ankle on Friday (6 p.m.) in the important form test a week before the Bundesliga continues at pursuer RB Leipzig.
Further no new replacement
Of course, Bayern’s biggest problem didn’t go away during the desert week. Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic is still without a goalkeeper replacement for Manuel Neuer (broken leg). And that strains Nagelsmann’s patience, as he admitted. “The market situation is complex,” said the coach, who would like to see a real new replacement. “We have a duty to get another goalkeeper, regardless of the number one,” Nagelsmann said clearly.
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s word of power that they do not want to give up Swiss Yann Sommer in the winter has endured. The 34-year-old was in the Gladbach goal in the 4-0 test against Arminia Bielefeld on Wednesday. An exciting Mister X is said to be moving up the list of candidates in Bavaria. The transfer period ends on January 31st. At the latest, the Munich goalkeeper solution must be available.
As of now, the league leaders with Sven Ulreich (34) should continue the Bundesliga season in Leipzig. At the winter camp, everyone made polite, positive comments about the popular Neuer representative. “We’ve played number one with Ulle on one or two occasions in recent years. We all trust him completely. He’s already played a few games this season and he’s been exceptionally good at it,” said national player Joshua Kimmich – and nevertheless warned in the aftermath like Nagelsmann: “Nevertheless, there is no question that we still need a goalkeeper.”
Ulreich did his job professionally as usual in the preparatory camp. Behind him there is only the completely inexperienced Johannes Schenk (19). The 18-year-old Tom Ritzy Hülsmann was the third goalkeeper in Doha.
Ulreich will also be in goal against Salzburg. Captain Neuer is out for this season, the 36-year-old wants to return to goal in the summer. A project with a question mark. The healthy teammates currently want to build on the ten-victory phase before the world championship. “We have to work this run again. That’s the goal,” said midfield boss Kimmich.
Mane is making progress
He was one of the conspicuous figures in the public training sessions, just like Kingsley Coman, Alphonso Davies and the young Mathys Tel. Thomas Müller has to fight for his place on the offensive. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was still accurate in training, Nagelsmann would welcome a contract extension with the 33-year-old. New signing Daley Blind fitted in well and will play against Salzburg for the first time. And Dayot Upamecano took his World Cup boost with him. The 24-year-old Frenchman is now head of the defense department.
Last but not least, Nagelsmann also announced positive news: Star striker Sadio Mané is making such good progress after suffering a tendon injury on his fibula head before the World Cup that he may be back in the Champions League round of 16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain on February 14th could be. “If everything is going well,” as Nagelsmann emphasized.
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