German champions Bayern Munich had a stellar domestic season under former manager Hansi Flick as the Bavarians won the German league for the ninth consecutive time, scoring a whopping 99 times over the course of 34 games.
Die Roten amassed 78 points – 13 more than second-placed RB Leipzig -, but had to bid goodbye to Flick at the end of last season.
Julian Nagelsmann has taken the job at the helm at the Allianz Arena at a time when veterans such as Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Javi Martinez have departed. As such, the German manager knows that reinforcements might be needed to strengthen the squad before the next season gets underway.
FootTheBall takes a look at the players that could fit perfectly in Bavaria as Die Roten start the defence of their league title next month.
BAYERN MUNICH PRIORITY NO.1 – CENTRE-BACK
IDEAL OPTION – PAU TORRES
The Villarreal defender won the Europa League and represented Spain in this summer’s European Championships with former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique at the helm for La Roja.
The 24-year old formed a seemingly watertight partnership with veteran Raul Albiol for the Yellow Submarine as they won their first ever European competition.
For Spain too, he was impressive as they reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020. losing out to eventual champions Italy in a penalty shootout showdown.
Manchester United had shown an interest in signing him as Harry Maguire’s defensive partner ahead of Victor Lindelof before the start of Euro 2020.
If he does come to the Allianz Arena, he will partner up with 22-year old Dayot Upamecano in the heart of defence for Die Roten – something that could signal the start of a new era for the Bavarian giants.
If he does indeed make the trip from Villarreal to Munich, then Nagelsmann will surely breathe a sigh of relief as he gears up for next season in Germany.
BUDGET OPTION – GIORGIO CHIELLINI
If anyone had any doubts regarding Chiellini’s skill when it comes to defending, all of them would surely have been erased after this summer’s European Championships.
His imposing presence will be enough to deal with attacking players in the opposition team it seems, even though he will be turning 37 next month, he hasn’t lost his physicality and seemingly towering presence in the heart of defence.
He is currently a free agent after being released by Juventus upon the expiration of his contract with the Italian giants, and will be the perfect fit given that Bayern would not have to pay his release clause now.
And if he does arrive in Bavaria, then he will surely be writing the script of another adventure after his exploits in Italy.
FTB’s QUIRKY OPTION – JASON DENAYER
The Belgian was the fulcrum of Lyon’s defence as the French club finished in the top four of Ligue 1. Les Gones were ahead of Marseille (who were in fifth place) by a whopping margin of 16 points last season.
Denayer was also part of the Belgium squad called up by Roberto Martinez for Euro 2020 and played the quarter-final against eventual champions Italy.
Bayern Munich, despite the pandemic-induced financial stress, have the ability to shell out money for Denayer and a good enough offer might be impossible for Lyon to ignore at this time of year.
His partnership with Dayot Upamecano at the back could see the dawn of a new era in Munich after the departure of veterans like Alaba and Boateng, and the fact he is only 26 years old means that he can go on to cement his legacy in Bavaria in what would surely be a fairytale adventure for him.
Denayer has the right mix of experience and youth to lead the defence just in front of club captain Manuel Neuer as Bayern ready the defence of their league title in Germany.
BAYERN MUNICH PRIORITY NO.2 – DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER
IDEAL OPTION – KALVIN PHILLIPS
The Englishman has drawn comparisons to legendary Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo, but it is not fair to categorise him in a debate with being Pirlo’s equal in the role of a deep-lying playmaker. Both of them have different attributes and mentality when it comes to the beautiful game.
— Kalvin Phillips (@Kalvinphillips) May 18, 2021
Phillips, alongside former Irish international Declan Rice, was one of only two players to have played at Euro 2020, including the final, without ever having played a minute of Champions League football for his club.
He was phenomenal as part of a double pivot for the Three Lions at Euro 2020 as Gareth Southgate’s charges did not concede even a single goal from open play in the quadrennial tournament.
Phillips’ arrival in Munich would give license to Leon Goretzka to participate in attacking build-ups and provide more options up front while Kimmich and Phillips hold the fort in midfield.
BUDGET OPTION – LEANDRO PAREDES
The Argentine has never been counted as one of the stars in Paris-Saint Germain, but his work ethic is excellent for Les Parisiens in Ligue 1 because whenever he plays and sits deep, it gives Verratti the opportunity to be more adventurous going forward.
Paredes is good at getting the job done sitting just in front of the defence for Paris-Saint Germain and this quality will not have been neglected by the scouts at the Allianz Arena.
He was an integral part of the Argentina team that won the country’s first major international honour in almost three decades this summer in Brazil
But it is ironic though that a player who received such high praise and recognition from pundits during the season, isn’t on the radar of any major European club during the transfer window.
Bayern Munich can certainly take advantage of this situation to prise him from Ligue 1 before any other club gets wind of it.
FTB’s QUIRKY OPTION – RUBEN NEVES
The Portuguese has been in the news recently for his links to Manchester United in case they are not able to acquire West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer.
On the other hand, Bayern Munich have a good chance of bringing him to Bavaria after the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo to Tottenham Hotspur.
Neves possesses excellent passing ability and vision and has experience of playing in a double pivot in front of the defence that can come handy in Munich.
The 24-year old can thrive at the Allianz Stadium given that he adapts quickly to his surroundings in Germany after the relatively faster pace of the Premier League.
His price tag of £60million can play to the advantage of the Bavarians, who could land a player of sublime understanding of the game who could even help Joshua Kimmich in his role.
The Portuguese can seamlessly link the defenders to the attackers during the passage of play and given his reading and understanding of the game he can become a mainstay in Munich.
To top it all, he has a penchant for scoring long-range stunners when the opposition defence is plucky and difficult to break down by normal attacking moves.
Therefore, the above options can be considered by Bayern Munich in the transfer market to reinforce their squad before the next season gets underway in Germany.