HOW BAYERN MUNICH TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN TO TIE DOWN THEIR KEY MEN.

Even in the midst of a global crisis, Bayern Munich have proven themselves to be the definition of efficiency. 

Since their last game – a 2-0 home win over Augsburg on March 8 – three key members of the club have been tied down to new contracts.  

It was announced on Thursday that manager Hansi Flick had put pen to paper on a deal until 2023, a reward for his efforts in turning the club around since he took over from Niko Kovac.

Bayern boss Hansi Flick signed a new contract to 2023.

In keeping with social distancing measures, Flick posed for a customary photograph with the club’s hierarchy while ensuring they were stood well apart. 

Flick, Oliver Kahn and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were protected with their face masks on at their Sabener Strase base as they celebrated securing the future of their manager for the foreseeable future.

It was announced on May 7 that legendary German striker Miroslav Klose had been appointed the new assistant manager.

Klose, the World Cup’s record goalscorer, was appointed as the club’s Under 17s coach in May 2018 and led them to the South/Southwest league title last season. 

A look back at the key events that led to the indefinite suspension of the Bundesliga being lifted

As well as the World Cup, Klose also won two Bundesliga titles, two German Cups and the Coppa Italia. His influence can only have a positive impact on the current squad.

But the renewals have also been extended to the pitch. Rising star Alphonso Davies has committed until 2025 and veteran Thomas Muller was given a contract extension until 2023.   

Miroslav Klose signed a one-year deal to become Bayern’s assistant manager.
Thomas Muller also signed a three year contract

Flick, it is believed, was particularly important in convincing Muller to stay put. The German was cast aside by Kovac and found himself disillusioned last autumn.

Yet Flick quickly thrust him back into centre stage upon his arrival and both player and club quickly returned to their brilliant best.  

But while Muller has signed what could be his last big contract, securing the long-term future of Davies is perhaps the best piece of business they have managed in the past few months.

Almost from nowhere the Canadian has exploded onto the scene and is already one of the most talked about left-backs in world football.

He is the definition of a modern full-back with explosive pace and attacking instincts that offer Bayern a different threat, as well as a long-term replacement for David Alaba. 

Davies joined Bayern from Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019 and last season was involved with the senior side but also featured for the reserve team. Those days are long behind him now. 

Bayern are back training again and preparing to restart the Bundesliga behind closed doors when they are given the green light. Contract discussions cannot stall though with a number of first-team stars up for renewal soon.

Alphonso Davies also committed his future to the Bavarians.

Perhaps the most intriguing is goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. He was another to struggle for form under Kovac and the impending arrival of Alexander Nubel from Schalke could spell trouble.

Neuer, largely considered the best goalkeeper in the world for the best part of a decade, will become a free agent in the summer of 2021 unless Bayern offer him a deal to stay put.

Discussions are already ongoing but the World Cup winner was left furious last week when details regarding talks were leaked, and fuelled speculation that the 34-year-old would leave.

A resolution is yet to be found but sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic did confirm that the situation that left the 92-time capped Germany international fuming has been internally resolved. 

Neuer is not the only player Bayern are vulnerable to losing for nothing in 18 months’ time. Thiago, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng will all be available for nothing at the end of next season.

Those five players combine for an average age of 30.4 years old. Maybe it is the time for Bayern to move on from the squad that has served them so well and look to the future.

The coronavirus pandemic has also not halted Bayern’s pursuit of new players. Leroy Sane is one of those on their radar and, it has been claimed, Flick has been leading a charm offensive on the Manchester City star. 

Sane has been their maintarget since last summer but a knee ligament injury picked up in the season-opening Community Shield ended any hopes of a transfer. He is fit again and Bayern are still keen.

German outlet SportBild have claimed Flick has been persuaded to go ahead with a transfer after a 30-minute phone call with the winger.

More raids on their Bundesliga rivals are also expected with RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz on their radar.  

The coronavirus outbreak may have halted Bayern’s pursuit of another Bundesliga title but be in no doubt, off the field they are as efficient as ever.