Julian Nagelsmann insisted it is not time to decide whether Manuel Neuer will continue as Bayern Munich captain.

Neuer is out of action for the remainder of the season after breaking his leg in a freak skiing accident, though has not managed to steer clear of controversy.

The Germany international criticised the club's decision to fire goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic in an interview with The Athletic, saying he felt like his heart was "ripped out" and described it as the "most brutal thing" in his career.

Those comments have attracted vast criticism, including from Nagelsmann, Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic and Lothar Matthaus, the latter believing Neuer should be stripped of the captaincy.

However, Nagelsmann believes now is not the time for such discussions.

"I know that this is a very burning question that is being asked because the interview came out. But it's not a question I want to answer now," he told Bild.

"I now have to answer the question of who will be captain on the field for the next five months – whether it's Thomas [Muller], Joshua [Kimmich] or another player.

"Manuel's task is to get fit and healthy, that's what we're waiting for. And then we'll see. In general, I have the task of finding the right first eleven – and accordingly the captain of the next few weeks."

A 4-2 victory at Wolfsburg's Volkswagen Arena on Sunday brought an end to a three-game winless streak for defending champions Bayern.

It was not plain sailing for Bayern, who lost Kimmich to a red card in the second half, but Nagelsmann lauded a valuable result after their first league victory of 2023.

"The win was very important. We scored three goals from the first three chances, which made it easier for us," he added.

"We were too relaxed after the 3-0 and allowed Wolfsburg back into the game. Jamal's [Musiala] goal was crucial. We take the three points and move forward."

Manuel Neuer can no longer be Bayern Munich captain amid the ongoing saga surrounding the goalkeeper's criticism of the club, says Germany great Lothar Matthaus.

Germany veteran Neuer is out for the rest of the season after a freak skiing injury sustained during a post-World Cup holiday, with Yann Sommer signed from Borussia Monchengladbach as a replacement.

The arrival of Switzerland international Sommer coincided with the dismissal of long-term Bayern goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, a move Neuer criticised in an interview with The Athletic.

His comments have sparked widespread backlash, including from coach Julian Nagelsmann, and Germany's most-capped player Matthaus has added his own voice to the chorus of disapproval.

"Manuel Neuer is no longer acceptable as Bayern captain," he wrote in his Sky Sport Germany column. "He skied negligently and now vehemently attacks the club. Didn't he say a few weeks ago no one was above the club?

"He is an icon of world football, one of the greatest to ever play for Bayern and Germany. I was the biggest fan you can imagine of him, but it is his own fault, the skiing accident and this interview.

"He did his club such a disservice, they have to do without his irreplaceable class for months, maybe even forever, and continue to pay his lavish salary.

"Bayern were more loyal to Neuer than to any other player. Serge Gnabry was publicly thrown at hell and Manuel didn't say a bad word to the outside world.

"Bayern had to sign Yann Sommer for a lot of money and now [they] have to read that they ripped out [Neuer's] heart."

In Neuer's absence, Bayern defeated Wolfsburg on Sunday in a 4-2 victory as Nagelsmann's side leapfrogged unlikely title challengers Union Berlin at the Bundesliga summit.

Julian Nagelsmann expressed disappointment at Manuel Neuer's interview criticising Bayern Munich's decision to fire goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic.

Tapalovic had worked with Neuer and the Bundesliga giants for the past decade but left the club last month amid media claims of a difficult relationship with Nagelsmann.

In an interview with The Athletic this week, Neuer said he felt like his heart was "ripped out" and described it as "the most brutal thing" in his career.

The Bayern captain is out injured for the rest of the season following a skiing accident after the World Cup that prompted the club to sign Yann Sommer.

Ahead of Sunday's clash against Wolfsburg, where Bayern brought an end to a three-match winless streak in the Bundesliga, Nagelsmann explained Neuer's interview did not help the club's situation.

"I wouldn't have given the interview. We have important weeks ahead. It doesn't help calm things down. It keeps the newspapers busy," he told DAZN.

"Oliver Kahn made a very, very good statement. Some time ago I had a good conversation with Manuel in private, where we discussed many things.

"I told him the reasons why the separation happened, I didn't want to make it public, which was the right decision in my opinion.

"My doors are always open, even though I would have chosen a different path [than the interview].

"He's the best goalkeeper in the world, as I emphasised so often, and I hope he comes back healthy."

Bayern's win against Wolfsburg saw the defending champions return to the top of the table, leapfrogging Union Berlin.

Hasan Salihamidzic has accused Manuel Neuer of putting his own interests above those of Bayern Munich amid a row over the sacking of goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic.

Neuer, who is sidelined for the rest of the season after breaking his leg during a skiing trip in December, criticised the club's decision to part ways with Tapalovic in an interview with The Athletic.

The Germany international said his long-term mentor's exit came as a "blow", adding: "It really knocked me down". 

Neuer's comments have attracted criticism from Bayern's hierarchy, with chief executive Oliver Kahn saying they "do not do justice to him as captain or to the values of FC Bayern".

Sporting director Salihamidzic echoed those thoughts in an interview with BILD, saying he expected more from the Bayern skipper and declaring Tapalovic's exit was not the goalkeeper's concern. 

"I understand that Manuel is personally affected. But I would have expected a different behaviour from him, especially as a captain," Salihamidzic said.

"The Tapalovic decision, which was also difficult for us personally, had nothing to do with Manuel in this matter, and we explained that to him."

Asked if any punishment would be handed out to Neuer, Salihamidzic said: "If there are any consequences, we will first talk to Manuel about it himself. 

"The disappointment that he describes about Tapa's release also prevails with us because Manuel has put his personal interests above the interests of the club here.

"We will do it internally, and discuss it reasonably with him. Oliver classified the parts of the interview that are relevant for Bayern correctly. We have to clarify a very important topic with Manuel."

Manuel Neuer may end up leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season after his scathing criticism of the move to dismiss the club's goalkeeping coach, claims Stefan Effenberg.

Bayern captain Neuer said the sacking of Toni Tapalovic was "the most brutal thing I've experienced in my career", and those comments drew a sharp rebuke from club CEO Oliver Kahn.

Kahn, himself a former Bayern goalkeeper, said Neuer's remarks were not befitting of his role as captain and promised the club would directly confront the 36-year-old about the comments.

Tapalovic made his Bayern exit soon after Neuer suffered a broken leg while on a skiing trip in December, after the World Cup.

In an interview with The Athletic, published this week, Neuer said news of his mentor's departure was "a blow – when I was already down on the ground".

Reports claimed Tapalovic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann had become incompatible, with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic saying in a January 23 announcement: "Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways."

Former Germany midfielder Effenberg, who was a key figure at Bayern in two separate playing spells, believes Neuer may have written himself out of Bayern's future with the tone of his remarks.

Effenberg described it as "an interview that will probably go down in football history", saying Neuer should appreciate coaching changes only ever happen for a reason.

"This is the way it is in life and in football," Effenberg wrote in his t-online column. "Sometimes paths separate when certain things have happened.

"Those responsible certainly had their reasons for making a change – and they did. With this, FC Bayern makes decisions for the future of the club.

"A player simply has to accept that, even if he's the captain. Because nothing and nobody is above the club. No player, no coach is bigger than Bayern Munich."

Neuer has 18 months left on his Bayern deal, and he may struggle to displace Yann Sommer, who has been brought in from Borussia Monchengladbach to cover for his absence.

For many years, Neuer was widely regarded as the world's best goalkeeper, but he is in the autumn of his career now.

Effenberg wrote: "He should think about whether it makes any sense for him to still fulfil his contract with FC Bayern, which is valid until 2024, after these allegations, or whether it might be better to leave the club. From the feeling it could well be that it will even come down to that. I wouldn't be surprised if they split up this summer."

A Champions League winner in 2001 with Bayern, Effenberg said the emotional nature of Neuer's comments "are no longer good prerequisites for further good and harmonious cooperation".

"Both sides now have a few months to think about how things should continue beyond the summer – or not," Effenberg added. "With this interview, Neuer certainly made life very difficult, if not impossible, for Bayern for the future."

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn has warned Manuel Neuer his comments on the sacking of the Bundesliga champions' goalkeeping coach do not align with the club's values.

Germany veteran Neuer, speaking in an interview with The Athletic, questioned the dismissal of long-time mentor Toni Tapalovic as he acknowledged the "blow" of the goalkeeping coach's sacking.

The 36-year-old, who is out of action for the season after suffering a season-ending skiing injury, said the decision "came out of nowhere" and "really knocked me down".

Kahn was not impressed with Neuer's public comments, firing back at the Bayern star ahead of a crucial run-in for Julian Nagelsmann's side in February.

"What Manuel said in parts of these two interviews in connection with the release of Toni Tapalovic does not do justice to him as captain or to the values of FC Bayern," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"Moreover, his statements come at an inopportune time because we are facing very important games."

Kahn sympathised with Neuer's situation, having seen his own goalkeeping coach Sepp Maier dismissed by Germany in 2004, but said he cannot understand his motivations.

Kahn added: "He is personally affected, you have to understand that to a certain extent. We were also aware of that when we explained to him that the decision on the question of the goalkeeper coach, which was not taken lightly, was the best thing for our team at that moment. I was faced with a similar situation as an international in 2004.

"Our goalkeeper coach Sepp Maier felt badly treated by the DFB and it came to a separation. I had worked with Sepp for years and we had a friendly and trusting relationship.

"I was also disappointed at the time, and I was angry with the DFB. But the common goals were in the foreground for me.

"They were more important to me than my personal feelings. And for that reason, I decided at the time not to speak out publicly. Manuel has now done the opposite.

"We will talk to him about it very clearly."

Manuel Neuer backed Yann Sommer to succeed at Bayern Munich but questioned the dismissal of their goalkeeping coach after his freak skiing injury.

Germany veteran Neuer suffered a season-ending injury to his lower right leg in a fall in December.

The 36-year-old subsequently underwent surgery, with the setback coming just days after Germany tumbled out of the World Cup in the group stage.

Bayern searched frantically to replace their star goalkeeper in the January transfer window, eventually bringing in Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal Neuer has "no problem at all" with.

He told The Athletic: "I put up a picture in our WhatsApp group and apologised. I also called the people in charge, apologised to them and said I'm sorry.

"I'm not a coward who goes into hiding. I explained everything to them, including the background.

"It created a lot of work for the people who run the club and that I might have harmed the team, yes. I didn't want that. I'm the happiest person when Sven Ulreich does well, as he always has done when he stood in for me.

"When Yann was brought in, I told the bosses I had no problem at all with that. I think it's good we have two great goalkeepers. I'm a team player. It's important to me what happens at Bayern.

"I look at the overall picture I don't just think of me and my pain and so on. I have a vocation, I have a job.

"I'm an important part of the team and also an important part of the club and I want the club and the team to be as successful as possible. That's the most important thing to me.

"I've known Yann for a long time and know that he's a good guy – and a good goalkeeper. The club found a great solution. It was important to me that there's someone there and that I don't have to worry."

While Sommer eased Julian Nagelsmann's goalkeeping fears, Bayern dismissed Neuer's long-time coach Toni Tapalovic.

"That blow hit me extremely hard," Neuer added. "Toni was always a team player with us, everyone saw it that way.

"He wasn't working for me for eleven and a half years, but for the entire goalkeeper group, for the coaching staff and for the club.

"We were always able to separate work and private life. I understand that it might sound like I'm not being objective or not believable, but I can really tell the difference.

"For me, that was a blow – when I was already down on the ground. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. It was the most brutal thing I've experienced in my career. And I've experienced a lot."

Bayern sit a point clear of Union Berlin at the Bundesliga summit ahead of Sunday's visit to Wolfsburg.

Bayern Munich's honorary president Uli Hoeness has urged patience with the club's long-term goalkeeping situation.

Manuel Neuer's leg break forced the Bundesliga leaders to be active in the January market, signing Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach on a two-and-a-half-year deal for a reported €8million.

While that deal solves the goalkeeping conundrum for the remainder of the campaign, it leaves questions for next season and beyond given the ages of both goalkeepers.

Neuer, 36, and Sommer, 34, are both experienced enough to want regular first-team action and the situation is complicated further by Alexander Nubel, who will return from a loan spell with Monaco, while Sven Ulreich is also on the books.

The quartet will give Julian Nagelsmann a selection headache next term but Hoeness believes it is a problem that can be solved further down the line.

"I think it's strange that the problems of June are discussed in January," he told Sport1.

"It was necessary to find the best solution for the next six months. Yann Sommer is the optimal solution at the moment.

 



#RBLFCB 0-0 (20') pic.twitter.com/10zs9vIjOM

— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) January 20, 2023

"Everything else with Nubel and Ulreich will be seen in June when we know more about Manuel's condition.

"Bayern are happy to have a goalkeeper in Yann Sommer who is now solving our problems. I would urge patience."

While there have been questions on whether Neuer could have to pay a penalty due to his injury, which was caused by a skiing accident, Hoeness rebuffed those suggestions with a blunt response.

"Manuel knows he made a mistake. Anything can happen in life. It's an accident. We shouldn't forget what he did for Bayern," he added.

"Bayern's success is also due to the fact that such issues are solved very humanely and socially. A million or two doesn't matter. People come before money."

Julian Nagelsmann is anxious to see Bayern Munich's pursuit of Yann Sommer reach a conclusion as the Bundesliga champions prepare to return to action at RB Leipzig on Friday.

Bayern have been strongly linked with Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Sommer since Manuel Neuer broke his leg during a skiing trip last month.

With Sven Ulreich the only other senior goalkeeper in Bayern's squad and Alexander Nubel reportedly reluctant to return from a loan spell at Monaco, Nagelsmann said the club has "a duty" to sign another shot-stopper last week.

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn has revealed discussions are ongoing regarding a move for Sommer, and Nagelsmann is eager for the transfer saga to reach a resolution. 

"I've been a coach long enough to know it's never easy. There are always more than two parties that need to be satisfied," Nagelsmann said at Wednesday's pre-match press conference.

"We need a decision to happen. I'd like to change the transfer window so it doesn't affect the ongoing matches as much.

"It's normal that at some point you want to have a certain amount of peace and quiet in this position.

"Integrating a new goalkeeper is not rocket science. This usually takes about 15 minutes, it works quickly. It depends on the goalkeeper, generally the behaviour is very similar."

With Sommer having 272 Bundesliga appearances to his name, some have suggested his arrival could mark the end of Neuer's time as Bayern's number one, but Nagelsmann remains focused on the immediate need for reinforcements.

"It's more a matter for the people further up," Nagelsmann said. "I might have some things to say on that, but my business is day-to-day business, winning games.

"I assume that Manuel Neuer, a great goalkeeper, will come back in the summer. We're looking forward to a player of his quality returning."

Meanwhile, Nagelsmann is yet to decide whether Thomas Muller will see off competition from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to start as Bayern's striker against Leipzig, saying he is comfortable using the 33-year-old in a variety of positions.

"Thomas had an injury where he couldn't play as much in the first part of the season. Thomas is an extremely important player for me, I'm always exchanging with him," Nagelsmann said.

"He's aware that Choupo-Moting is doing very well, but he's also intelligent enough to know that he is world-class in several positions.

"It's important that all the players are in top condition and that we see that on Friday. The same goes for Thomas, he's very flexible. He likes to play in attacking midfield but can play in different areas, so he's going to be important for Bayern going forward. 

"I've already decided on six positions out of 11. I won't reveal whether Choupo-Moting is among the six. I'll sleep on it for two more nights."

Bayern Munich "have a duty to get another goalkeeper" in the current transfer window, according to head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

The German giants have been put in a tricky situation after Manuel Neuer suffered a broken leg during a skiing trip, leaving 34-year-old back-up Sven Ulreich as their only experienced option between the sticks.

Behind Ulreich is 19-year-old Johannes Schenk, and Nagelsmann made it clear he is looking for a more established veteran to challenge Ulreich for the number one spot in Neuer's absence.

However, he highlighted to reporters on Thursday why it is such a difficult proposition mid-season.

"In winter it is very, very difficult," he said. "The market situation is complex because other clubs are also looking for certain positions. 

"The goalkeeping market is generally complex – there aren't that many players out there. The situation is not easy.

"We're trying to do something. We have a duty to get another goalkeeper, regardless of whether he becomes number one or number two, because behind [Ulreich] we only have very young players. 

"If [Ulreich] were to get injured, it would be a complex situation for a young player with no professional experience to be between the posts. I'm a friend of always keeping your eyes and ears open."

When asked about Bayern's links to 34-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, Nagelsmann suggested there has been little progress.

"It's like I said before, it's kind of normal the way things are going," he said. "There is no club that likes to give away their goalkeeper. 

"There are few goalkeepers on the market that make sense for us and improve us. Nothing new at the moment."

Matthijs de Ligt is hoping Bayern Munich land their goalkeeper target as they chase Yann Sommer to plug the gap left by injured captain Manuel Neuer.

Defender De Ligt said it "would be nice" to have a new number one in place as 10-in-a-row German champions Bayern prepare for a fresh trophy push in the second half of the season.

Neuer's broken leg, which he suffered during a skiing accident, has thrown a curveball Bayern's way, with the club unexpectedly having to consider the goalkeeping position.

Swiss shot-stopper Sommer, 34, is out of contract at the end of June. He has keen admirers at Bayern, but Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Roland Virkus indicated his club were not willing to negotiate a sale.

Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann hinted that was perhaps posturing on Gladbach's behalf, and three weeks remain in the transfer window to get a deal done.

Asked about the Sommer situation, De Ligt said on Tuesday: "It's difficult for me to say. Manuel is now out for half a year, and of course that's not good for the club.

"But it's not my job to say which goalkeeper we should buy. It would be nice to have a new goalkeeper on the pitch, but I can't influence that."

Bayern have Neuer's understudy Sven Ulreich as an option, but they look certain to bring in a goalkeeper before the window closes, whether that is Sommer or not.

Away with Bayern this week at a Doha training camp, De Ligt is delighted Bayern have brought in his Netherlands team-mate Daley Blind, following the defender's release by Ajax.

Blind arrived on a free transfer last week, in a surprise move that De Ligt is convinced can prove a shrewd piece of business for the Bundesliga leaders.

The 32-year-old Blind played at the World Cup for his country, and De Ligt said: "He's a very good player. With his experience, he can have very good games for us and help us."

Julian Nagelsmann is not worried by Borussia Monchengladbach's declaration that Yann Sommer is not for sale.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich have a goalkeeping conundrum to solve ahead of the season's resumption later this month, after Manuel Neuer suffered a broken leg during a skiing accident.

Sommer, who is out of contract in June, has been touted as a candidate to be drafted in to fill Neuer's void, though Gladbach's sporting director Roland Virkus made it clear that the club were not willing to negotiate a sale.

Nagelsmann is not concerned, however, as he feels the comments are part and parcel of the mid-season window.

"I didn't faint at the headline," he said in a press conference when asked about Virkus' comments.

"If he had said the door was open, his board would also have asked him, 'is everything okay with you?' You have to keep your poker face."

Should a move for Sommer not materialise, another option for Bayern would be to recall Alexander Nubel from his loan at Monaco, though Nagelsmann claimed he has not spoken to the 26-year-old.

"I've never really had contact with him. He was already gone when I came, so he was never really my player," he explained.

"I know him as a goalkeeper, but not as a person. At the very beginning we texted, but that was a long time ago. It wouldn't do him much good if I picked up the phone."

Should a new addition not arrive in January, Nagelsmann is happy to call on long-time back-up goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

Nagelsmann said: "Ulreich played some great games in the first half of the season. He was very solid. That is also the case in training.

"He had a small mistake. Ulle is very relaxed and has known his role for years."

Bayern resume their push for an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title on January 20 against RB Leipzig.

Yann Sommer will not be sold to Bayern Munich, with Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Roland Virkus vowing to keep the Switzerland international despite transfer speculation.

The Bundesliga champions are in the market for a new goalkeeper after first-choice Manuel Neuer sustained a season-ending injury on holiday following the World Cup.

Sommer has been touted as a possible replacement, with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirming their interest earlier this week.

Now though, Virkus has bluntly stressed there will be no exit to the Bavarian giants for the shotstopper – whose contract expires in June – during the January transfer window.

"We will not be giving up Yann Sommer," he said following Borussia's friendly against Oldenburg.

"That is what we told Bayern as well. It is planned that he will be used in the last two friendlies."

Virkus' words strike a sharp contrast to those of Salihamidzic, who confirmed interest in Sommer on Friday, though he walked back his comments to an extent at a subsequent press conference.

Neuer was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after he was involved in a skiing accident in the wake of Germany's dismal World Cup campaign.

It has left Bayern with Sven Ulreich and 19-year-old Johannes Schenk as their goalkeeping options, leading the club to intensify a search for reinforcements.

The champions are top of the Bundesliga, four points ahead of Freiburg, and remain on course to defend their crown when the season restarts later this month.

Finding a mid-season replacement for injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is proving "extremely difficult", according to Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn.

Neuer was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken leg in a skiing accident while on holiday in the wake of Germany's shock group-stage exit at the World Cup.

The 36-year-old's injury has given Bayern a headache between the sticks as they bid for silverware at home and in Europe.

The German champions hold a four-point lead at the Bundesliga summit and are expected to bring in a goalkeeper in January, with Borussia Monchengladbach's Yann Sommer reportedly their top target.

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also suggested they could recall Alexander Nubel from his loan at Monaco, but Nubel himself stated it "doesn't make much sense" for him to return to Bayern and has started both of Monaco's games since Ligue 1 returned after the World Cup.

Kahn says replacing the absent Neuer in the January transfer window is tricky, telling Bild: "We are discussing various options without hesitation.

"But replacing Manuel Neuer during the winter break is of course extremely difficult, especially since not many clubs want to give up their number one goalkeeper."

Neuer is expected to make a full recovery before the start of the 2023-24 season, but Kahn still feels it is necessary to bring in a shot-stopper, even if just for a brief period, explaining: "Football is a short-term business, we have to think about the here and now.

"We know Manuel. He will give everything he can to get back into top form. And a Manuel Neuer in top form is absolutely world-class."

Bayern return to competitive action away at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on January 20, while they will likely already have one eye on their tricky Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain, with the first leg set to take place at the Parc des Princes on February 14.

Bayern Munich are weighing up whether the "obvious solution" of bringing back Alexander Nubel from his loan at Monaco would be the most prudent move, after Manuel Neuer's shock injury blow.

Hasan Salihamidzic, the club's sporting director, has acknowledged Nubel is an option Bayern could turn to after Neuer was ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.

Neuer's regular understudy Sven Ulreich may have the chance to stake a claim, but it would be no surprise if Bayern brought in another goalkeeper in January.

Whether they bring back Nubel from Monaco appears to hinge on the Ligue 1 club accepting a request to cut short his loan and on whether Bayern consider him the smart choice.

Nubel has been a regular for Monaco since joining the team in June 2021 on a two-season arrangement, having previously spent a year mostly confined to the bench with the Bundesliga champions.

Salihamidzic told Sport Bild: "It is important that we find the best solution for our team in the short term.

"Of course, Alexander Nubel would be an obvious solution. In the end, Monaco have the last word."

The injury to club captain Neuer came as he took a holiday following Germany's exit from the World Cup.

Bayern last week ruled out a move for Dinamo Zagreb keeper Dominik Livakovic, who shone at the World Cup for Croatia, with CEO Oliver Kahn saying the 27-year-old was "not within the scope of our interests".

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