Bayern Munich players celebrate lifting the Bundesliga trophy (Photo: AFP)
After a disappointing football season with only one title, Bayern Munich have announced they are considering to invest a record over $100 million into new footballers.
Uli Hoeness, President of the German champions, announced that the club will overhaul its investment policy. More than €100 million ($112 million) will be made available to reinforce the current squad in order to attack Europe's top dogs in football such as Real Madrid, Juventus and FC Barcelona.
Hoeness made it clear that a single trophy is not enough to satisfy the club's ambitions. The 65-year-old is well aware that the club will have to go beyond its previous outlay, saying, "to make our squad better, we will have to buy some of the top players in world football", reports Xinhua news agency.
After the retirement of team captain Philipp Lahm, who will be succeeded by keeper Manuel Neuer and Spanish veteran midfielder Xabi Alonso, it will be hard for Bayern to keep the same level of quality.
Having been eliminated in the Champions League as early as in the quarter-finals by Real Madrid and in the German Cup in the semi-final by Borussia Dortmund, Hoeness said the club will be forced to pay sums that it had so far never considered but that are normal on the current transfer market.
The main task will be to find the right mixture of experienced and youth on a top level, Hoeness emphasised.
In addition to Niklas Suele and Sebastian Rudy (TSG Hoffenheim), rumours abound that international stars such as Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain) and FC Schalke's young midfielder Leon Goretzka are Bayern targets. "If Bayern wants a player, we'll definitely invest what is needed," Hoeness said.
Additional investments will increase expectations when it comes to head coach Carlo Ancelotti. The 57-year-old Italian star coach's second season is considered to be his last chance to satisfy the demands of the Bavarian club.
For now, the club's top management of Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are willing to overlook the coach's lenient working style and his preference for experienced players over budding stars like Joshua Kimmich or Renato Sanches.
Insiders are saying that Ancelotti will be required to find a proper assistant to fill the gap left by Paul Clement's departure and that he will have to search for more youngsters.
A lack of game time, combined with the coach's standard training methods that do not help to develop talented young players tactically and technically have resulted in a lost year for the German international Kimmich, as well as for Sanches and Kingsley Coman. Bayern's leading officials want to prevent Kimmich and others from going through another year like the last one.
It is an open secret that Bayern are keeping a close eye on Julian Nagelsmann, the 29-year-old coach of TSG Hoffenheim, who finished a remarkable season as fourth in the table. Rumours seem to suggest that Bayern's management expect Ancelotti to stay with the club for one more year and then depart if he is not willing to accept the demanded changes.
The club also recently opened its youth academy. A sum of €70 million ($78.5 million) have been invested and Hoeness expects results within the next few years.
Since David Alaba, none of the club's youth players have progressed to become a first team regular, said Hoeness. The club will have to catch up and improve, in the future. "The board's demands will increase," he warned.
The coach's name was not mentioned, but Hoeness' statement is a clear message for Ancelotti, because the coach has so far not shown himself to be much of a mentor for young players needing direction and practical advice.
Another underestimated problem is the absence of a sporting director. Hoeness and Rummenigge know it is vital to install a link between the club board and the team in order to identify problems and deal with them before they become public. For a long time, Matthias Sammer was the ideal man to solve conflicts and mediate, but he left the club some months ago.
Just recently, other problems have surfaced like Jerome Boateng's displeasure at being not picked for some games or Kimmich's frustration as he felt neglected by Ancelotti — both of which could have been solved by a sports director.
According to Hoeness, Bayern will strive towards finding a solution within the next months. Both Lahm and Max Eberl, managing director of league rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach, have declined the job, indicating that their decision making powers would be restricted with Hoeness around.
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