Bundesliga News

Kicker Report:
Bayern busy themselves with "Keeper X" whilst eyeing Kobel long-term

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Georg Holzner of Germany's preeminent footballing publication reports that league-leaders FC Bayern München are currently busying themselves with the pursuit of a concrete target in their goalkeeping search; an unnamed figure known simply as "Keeper X". 

Meanwhile, the club's long-term lens turns to league rivals Borussia Dortmund for an eventual #1 to replace 37-year-old net-minder Manuel Neuer. 
At a press conference last week, FCB trainer Julian Nagelsmann publicly affirmed that his squad required another goalkeeping acquisition before the current January transfer period concludes. Even if - contrary to previous reports - the record champions opt to rely upon Sven Ulreich as the regular between the sticks for the duration of the season, an extra backup must be procured.

"Hypothetically speaking, what if 'Ulle' (Ulreich) tears his inner ligament next week? What do we do then?," Nagelsmann said at the presser, "Then a very young goalkeeper (either 20-year-old Johannes Schenk or 18-year-old Tom Ritzy Hülmann) has to play in the Champions League and in the Bundesliga."

Georg Holzner of Germany's preeminent footballing publication reports that, with attempts to recall Alexander Nübel from Monaco and acquire Yann Sommer from Gladbach rebuffed, Bayern do have a target in mind. The so-called "Keeper X" may very well be a back-up for Ulreich. The unnamed target could also be Sommer, for whom it it said negotiations have resumed.

Irrespective of what happens over the course of the next couple of weeks, Bayern's longer-term plans for the position have received a great deal of coverage in the German press recently. The 37-year-old Neuer, after battling a number of injuries earlier this year, now must come back from another major surgery should he wish to continue his career.

Neuer will be out-of-contract after next season. Many in German footballing circles feel that, even before his recent accident, Neuer's best form lies way behind him. As pertains to both club and country, the discussions over the 2014 World Champion's successor have begun.

Holzner cites his own sources to claim that Bayern have cast their eyes on current BVB backstop Gregor Kobel. The 25-year-old Swiss international obviously wouldn't serve as a target yet, but could become a topic from next season onwards. Nagelsmann actually coached Kobel during his time in charge of the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim U19 squad and - per Holzner - "soft contact" has already been initiated.

Kobel still remains a prospective long-term solution. Regarding Bayern's pursuit of Sommer - Kobel's Swiss compatriot - a report appearing in Switzerland's "Blick" newspaper over the weekend suggests that the record champions are considering upping their offer to the €8-10 million requested by Gladbach. The foals could then use those funds to acquire Jonas Olin as a replacement for a similar price. 

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