Bayern Keep or Dump: Coman and Sule could go as Nagelsmann rebuilds

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Former Bayern Munich and Germany defender Philipp Lahm opens up about the Bundesliga's 50+1 club ownership rule. (1:40)

Bayern Munich picked up their ninth straight Bundesliga title this season but, despite their domestic dominance, it feels they are entering a transitional phase. With Julian Nagelsmann replacing manager Hansi Flick, the backroom staff getting a shake-up with Miroslav Klose and Hermann Gerland leaving, and well-loved figures like Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Jerome Boateng departing on free transfers, Bayern will have plenty of new faces next term.

The German champions traditionally identify targets well in advance and secure them before the madness of the last few days of the transfer window. Last season was different: they signed players late and they haven't paid off. This time, they have already landed highly rated young centre-back Dayot Upamecano from Leipzig for €42.5m, and there are other moves afoot.

Legendary Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is in the process of taking over as CEO but he has already sounded a note of caution against a big-spending summer, with Bayern bracing themselves for a heavy drop in revenue this season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The club's priority will be extending contracts of key players at their peak -- Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry -- while Bayern's transfer budget has already got a Nagelsmann-sized dent in it, after spending a record €25m to bring him in from RB Leipzig.

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With that in mind, here's a player-by-player analysis of the existing Bayern Munich squad. Where a player is simply marked "Keep," the decision was beyond any reasonable doubt.

Various factors are taken into consideration including age, wages, character and contract length (we went with Transfermarkt for contract expiry dates for consistency). And there will be moving parts, too: departures or arrivals that cause chain reactions, sometimes unexpected.

Jump to: Defenders | Midfielders | Forwards | Overall assessment


Manuel Neuer (Age 35, contract expires in 2023)

RAE: You don't sell the world's best. Neuer remains Bayern's lynchpin and I've lost count of the number of times he has rescued them this season. Untransferable.

HAMILTON: He's still comfortably one of the best goalkeepers in the world and could keep going until he's 40. The club should also look to add another year to his contract.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Alexander Nubel (24, 2025)

RAE: Needs a loan move and his agent Stefan Backs has been trying to make it happen for a while. Bayern can't give him enough game time but still want to be able monitor their keeper of the future. Nubel is said to favour a move abroad but there will be plenty of interest around the Bundesliga.

HAMILTON: This may be down to Nubel. He's still seen as the long-term successor to Neuer, but if he is getting itchy feet, he may push for a move this summer. If he's got his heart set on first-team football, a loan deal looks a smart option for both parties with Lille, Monaco and Union Berlin all interested.

Verdict: Keep and assess (Send on loan)

Ron-Thorben Hofmann (22, 2022)

RAE: Fine young keeper who serves the reserve team well and has the potential to improve. Bayern have already exercised their option on him for next term.

HAMILTON: With Nubel likely to go out on loan, he could take the No. 2 spot behind Neuer, especially if Fruchtl leaves too.

Verdict: Keep and extend again

Christian Fruchtl (21, 2022)

RAE: After a wasted year on loan (he failed to make a single appearance) at Nurnberg in the 2. Bundesliga, Fruchtl's next move will be crucial. I don't see Bayern being ready to let another of their goalkeeping talents go permanently yet.

HAMILTON: Fruchtl hasn't lived up to his huge promise, so with the goalkeeping pathway blocked it's time for him to move on. But it's worth putting a buy-back clause into his contract.

Verdict: Keep, extend and loan / Dump (Estimated fee: €1m)


David Alaba (28, 2021)

RAE: He wouldn't agree a new deal so Bayern's hands were tied. Real Madrid is his likely destination and Bayern moved quickly to land Upamecano as his replacement in defence.

Verdict: Dump (End of contract - free transfer)

Niklas Sule (25, 2022)

RAE: His contract is up in 2022 and there is interest from England, with Chelsea linked. At 25, this is the time to cash in and Bayern could put any fee received to good use in the rest of the squad.

HAMILTON: Agreed, there's not going to be a place for him in the side going forward with Upamecano arriving.

Verdict: Dump (Estimated fee: €30m)

Tanguy Nianzou (18, 2024)

RAE: He has been unlucky with injuries, but his potential is huge so deserves a chance.

HAMILTON: Bayern have introduced him slowly into the first team this season and, despite his late-season red card against Borussia Monchengladbach, expect him to get more game time next term.

Verdict: Keep

Jerome Boateng (32, 2021)

RAE: He will leave, but I would have preferred to see him stay for one more year as a senior professional and respected figure in the dressing room.

HAMILTON: He will not be short of suitors, with Monaco and Tottenham both monitoring him.

Verdict: Dump (End of contract - free transfer)

Josip Stanisic (21, 2021)

RAE: He is a versatile young defender but there have been no indications yet that he is heading for the big time. Worth extending to see how he develops.

HAMILTON: Stanisic looks set to get an extension to his contract but will need to move out on loan for more playing time.

Verdict: Keep and extend (Send on loan)

Alphonso Davies (20, 2025)

RAE: Davies hasn't performed nearly as well as he did last campaign, but his pace on the left gives him an edge over most opponents. Bayern certainly won't let him leave.

Verdict: Keep

Lucas Hernandez (25, 2024)

RAE: Next season is the one where he has to prove he was worth the €80m outlay from Atletico Madrid in 2019. So far he has been adequate but not outstanding when he has played. He should be given an extended run as the left sided centre-back alongside Upamecano.

HAMILTON: He has recovered from an injury-laden start to his career and expect him to get even more game time under Nagelsmann. No contract extension needed yet though.

Verdict: Keep

Benjamin Pavard (25, 2024)

RAE: Keep but needs to up his game next season.

HAMILTON: He's wonderfully versatile at the back, able to play right-back or in the centre, and looks a classic Nagelsmann player. He should also impress at Euro 2020 this summer for France.

Verdict: Keep

Bouna Sarr (29, 2024)

RAE: As signings go, Sarr was a very disappointing one. Bayern spent €10m to get him from Marseille late in the October window but should cut their losses and find a better fit for cover at right-back.

HAMILTON: He has made just 15 appearances and, with the benefit of hindsight, it looks like a panic signing. They should move him on his summer.

Verdict: Dump (Estimated fee: €5m)

Lars Mai (21, 2023)

RAE: Doesn't appear destined for the first team, having spent the season on loan at Darmstadt in the 2. Bundesliga. Loan or dump, but don't extend yet.

Verdict: Loan and assess or Dump (Estimated fee for permanent move: €2m)

Chris Richards (21, 2023)

RAE: Another loan season at Hoffenheim would be beneficial. Richards is definitely Bundesliga standard but only with a longer look will we know if he's truly Bayern standard. There just seems little point in the United States international returning to Bayern if he's hardly going to play.

HAMILTON: He's been superb at Hoffenheim and the Bundesliga club are keen to keep him for another season. Richards has a long-term future at Bayern, but it makes sense to let him blossom at Hoffenheim for now.

Verdict: Keep and extend (Send on loan)


Joshua Kimmich (26, 2023)

RAE: Best in the world in his defensive midfield position. A future captain who could well stay at Bayern for the rest of his career and deserves a new long-term contract.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Marc Roca (24, 2025)

RAE: Similar to Sarr, Roca was a Hasan Salihamidzic signing that just didn't come off. Flick had little to no confidence in him as a midfield fill in. Best to move him on and find someone who can contribute more off the bench.

HAMILTON: With Nagelsmann favouring depth in every position, Roca could yet have a future at Bayern after a slow start. He hasn't yet established himself in the first team but if the club bring in further depth in the middle of the park, he should be loaned out. If the purse strings are tighter than we thought, Roca could stay.

Verdict: Dump / Keep and loan (Estimated fee: €10m)

Javi Martinez (32, 2021)

HAMILTON: He's already confirmed he's leaving at the end of the season on a free transfer, with old club Athletic Bilbao a potential destination.

Verdict: Dump (End of contract - free transfer)

Leon Goretzka (26, 2022)

RAE: The midfielder has improved dramatically in the last two seasons and is now one of the most formidable midfielders in the world, but Bayern need to get him to sign a new deal.

HAMILTON: One of Nagelsmann's first priorities should be to extend Goretzka's contract.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Corentin Tolisso (26, 2022)

RAE: This past season ended early due to a thigh injury but, at 26, Bayern should look to move him on and bring in someone else.

HAMILTON: Tolisso has never lived up to his potential at Bayern due to a horribly unfortunate run of injuries. Nagelsmann may offer him a new chance, but with his contract running down the likelihood is Bayern will listen to offers for him this summer.

Verdict: Dump (Estimated value: €15m)

Jamal Musiala (18, 2026)

RAE: Recently signed a five-year contract and is going nowhere.

HAMILTON: His potential is frightening and he should go on to be a Bayern great.

Verdict: Keep

Christopher Scott (18, 2022)

RAE: Has pace but too early to say if he has a real Bayern future.

HAMILTON: He's highly thought of at Bayern and will become part of their first-team squad next season.

Verdict: Keep and extend if he impresses next season

Torben Rhein (18, 2022)

HAMILTON: Rhein was awarded a new contract in January and should be part of the first team next season.

Verdict: Keep and extend again if he impresses next season

Michael Cuisance (21, 2024)

RAE: There's a maverick quality about Cuisance that doesn't make him a great fit at Bayern. If they can get €15m from Marseille, where he has been on loan, that is good business.

HAMILTON: Cuisance never settled at Bayern and has openly said he wants to stay at Marseille. Bayern are open to letting him go, if they can get a decent fee.

Verdict: Dump (Estimated fee: €15m)

Adrian Fein (22, 2023) PSV

HAMILTON: The defensive midfielder has hardly set the world alight at PSV on loan, but it's unlikely the club will offer him a new deal so they should move him on now.

Verdict: Dump (Estimated fee: €5m)


Kingsley Coman (24, 2023)

RAE: This is a hard call. Coman is one of Bayern's most important attacking players and scored the winner in last season's Champions League final, but indications are that he's reluctant to extend his contract beyond 2023. Letting Coman leave if they get an offer of around €50m would allow Bayern to improve the squad. Plus if you don't want to be at Bayern, leave it to players who do.

HAMILTON: Coman has been frequently linked with a move to the Premier League but Bayern will be keen to keep him. He would only be permitted to leave if Bayern had a ready-made replacement lined up.

Verdict: Split: Dump / Keep (Estimated fee: €50m)

Serge Gnabry (25, 2023)

RAE: If Coman goes, you have to keep Gnabry. It's that simple. They will. And they will start talking about an extension too.

HAMILTON: Gnabry hasn't had his best season for Bayern, but he'll be there next season.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Leroy Sane (25, 2025)

RAE: His form improved after a few teething problems at Bayern and he represents the club's present and the future.

HAMILTON: Sane is yet to fully live up to the €45m fee Bayern paid to sign him last summer, but he's going nowhere and expect him to push on next term.

Verdict: Keep

Thomas Muller (31, 2023)

RAE: Untransferable. Muller will be at Bayern in some capacity long after his playing days are over. He is Mr. Bayern.

HAMILTON: The ageless Raumdeuter is showing no signs of slowing down. He'll be at Bayern next season and remains one of their most important players. Having signed up in 2020, the club will be thinking of an extension too.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Robert Lewandowski (32, 2023)

RAE: You don't lose the crown jewels. There's no chance of Bayern will consider letting him go after he matched Gerd Muller's single-season scoring record of 40. But they have a decision to make over an extension next year.

HAMILTON: Lewandowski is attracting interest from the Premier League -- with sources telling ESPN that Chelsea and Man City would need to offer €60m to start talks -- but Bayern will be desperate to keep hold of him. His value won't fall too much even in the final year of his contract, but they need to start thinking about a long-term replacement up front.

Verdict: Keep

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (32, 2021)

RAE: He is an invaluable team player and while not a prolific scorer, he helps when called upon. Extend his deal as there's little risk in having him back for one last season.

HAMILTON: His contract is up in June, but Bayern should extend it. He's a great squad option and will also suit Nagelsmann's pressing style.

Verdict: Keep and extend

Joshua Zirkzee (19, 2023)

RAE: At this stage of his career, Zirkzee needs to play and I don't see him being a regular starter at Bayern.

HAMILTON: He joined Serie A side Parma in February but made just four appearances in the league until a knee injury ended his season. He's worth persevering with, but Bayern should look to loan him out for another campaign and assess his contract situation alongside Lewandowski's so they aren't left short.

Verdict: Dump / Loan out (Estimated fee for permanent deal: €7m)

Overall assessment

Bayern will be keen to avoid another last-minute panic like they had last October when they brought in Douglas Costa, Roca and Sarr, but they do need to add further depth to the squad as a number of big players -- namely Boateng, Martinez and Alaba -- will leave.

With the budget already heavily depleted with the outlay on Nagelsmann and Upamecano, expect the club to look to the loan market again, with fans hoping they pull another Ivan Perisic out of the hat rather than a Douglas Costa. They have also reportedly agreed terms to sign Reading left-back Omar Richards on a free transfer this summer.

Bayern have a batch of players whose contracts are up in 2022 and 2023, so expect that to be a priority over the next few months, but based on our assessment they will in the market for another centre-back, cover at right-back, central midfield, a wide player and, in a dream world, the long-term successor to Lewandowski. They have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland up front, but that's near impossible in the current financial climate, so expect a summer of wheeling and dealing.

The big call will be around Coman and if he departs then the search for another winger will start. Previous targets Julian Draxler (PSG) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) are more settled at their clubs so it'll be someone new, while if they manage to move on Tolisso and Cuisance, then Bayern may spend on a new central midfielder -- with Rennes' Eduardo Camavinga or Gladbach's Florian Neuhaus the ideal targets.

In defence, with Upamecano already secure, Bayern could look to bolster their ranks with another centre-back with both Boateng and Alaba (and possibly Sule) leaving, but this would likely be a loan signing as they still have some fine options to rely on.

There will also be movement behind the scenes with new manager Nagelsmann bringing in some of his own coaching staff and new ideas, so both on the pitch and in the backroom staff, Bayern will be a different proposition next season.