Bundesliga transfers: Why Bayern Munich want a new goalkeeper

Bayern Munich may have signed a big money new striker in the shape of Harry Kane but they still have a significant problem at the other end of the pitch. With long-serving number one Manuel Neuer injured, options are currently very limited in goal which is the main reason why Bayern Munich want a new goalkeeper.

Boss Thomas Tuchel has described the situation as “extremely complex”. Manuel Neuer is now 37 but is so highly thought of in Bavaria that he’s still likely to regain his position when he eventually returns from injury.

Therefore any new arrival, while most likely becoming the starting keeper in the short-term, may ultimately have to accept a back-up role and be patient for at least the remainder of this season with Neuer’s contract running until June 2024 and the veteran goalkeeper hungry to be Germany’s number one again when the Euros come to the country next summer.

Neuer’s comeback still on hold

Manuel Neuer had a freak skiing accident in December 2022, resulting in a broken leg and other complications that ruled him out for the remainder for the 2022/23 season as Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga in dramatic fashion on the final weekend.

Nine months on and Neuer has still not returned to action. Indeed, only earlier this month he had surgery again to remove metal plates from his leg. With the 2014 World Cup winner still going through rehab and unable to do much ball work, there remains no clear timeline as to when we can expect Neuer to be back out on the pitch.

Given Neuer’s legendary status as one of the all-time great German and Bayern goalkeepers, the club are clearly happy to be patient and wait for the 37 year old to get fit and healthy again. 

However, unquestionably this is now a huge concern that so long on from the accident, Neuer is still some way off a full recovery. That’s making it difficult for the club to act in the transfer market with any potential new signing also going to want some assurances about the amount of game-time they’d likely get in Munich.

Given the Neuer uncertainty and doubts about just how good he'll be when he does finally get fit, it’s unclear whether Bayern truly need a new long-term number one or just a stop-gap option for a few weeks or months.

Sommer’s departure leaves options limited

What is for certain, is that they are currently very short on options in goal and need to bring a new goalkeeper in before the transfer window closes. Swiss international Yann Sommer joined Inter Milan on a three year deal earlier this month, while Alexander Nübel has been loaned out, meaning 35 year old Sven Ulreich is now the only fit senior keeper in the Bayern squad.

Ulreich is an experienced option having started more than 200 Bundesliga games, but Tuchel’s plan for the season will not revolve around the former Stuttgart man being his starting goalkeeper. He’s currently the only choice for Tuchel though and Ulreich was in goal for the 3-0 Super Cup defeat against RB Leipzig at the weekend as Dani Olmo’s hat-trick made it a bad start to the season for the German champions.

Bayern have Bundesliga games against Werder Bremen and Augsburg before the end of August. They’d ideally like to have a new man in goal by the time of the potentially tricky trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach on September 2nd with Manchester City’s German-born keeper Stefan Ortega the latest man to be linked with a move to the Allianz Arena.

Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.