ÄJust as confidently as with the balls flying towards his goal, Yann Sommer deals with the questions that are shouted at him everywhere these winter days. Even immediately after losing 6-1 to Portugal in the round of 16 at the World Cup, the Swiss was asked about his future when he sadly appeared in the mixed zone for a conversation.
“Please don’t ask this question now,” he replies in a friendly manner, and most of the audience can understand both the 34-year-old keeper and the curious reporters, who are now even more interested in asking. Because Sommer, whose contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach expires on June 30, is no longer only associated with Manchester United, but also with FC Bayern Munich.
Summer as a new replacement?
After Manuel Neuer suffered a broken leg while ski touring and was out until the end of the season, the Bundesliga leaders are looking for a replacement, and Sommer is the most interesting candidate for the temporarily vacant position: experienced, strong hands and feet, stable personality, good in shape and tested at the highest international level.
And possibly available on attractive terms. After all, an immediate change offers Borussia Mönchengladbach the last chance to earn a transfer fee with the goalkeeper.
However, the way to such a change of club is quite confusing, because many arguments have to be weighed. So Sommer also said after his return to Germany last week: “I don’t want to say anything, there is no new status.” However, his considerations are obvious.
Gladbach sell-off threatened
One possibility is to extend the contract with Borussia, there are “open talks with the club, we will resume them in the coming days as agreed,” said the goalkeeper on Borussia’s website. However, a new adventure in the career fall seems more appealing.
If Manchester United manager Erik ten Hak has actually offered Sommer a place as a first-choice keeper in the Premier League next season, that would be a tempting option. In Munich, on the other hand, Sommer would have the prospect of becoming German champions in May in order to play for the Champions League title and maybe even win the DFB Cup. But what happens when Neuer comes back healthy? With the record champions, Sommer is in danger of ending up on the substitute bench.
The estimated five million euros that FC Bayern would have to invest in such a transfer would be welcome on the Lower Rhine, after considerably less money has been generated from player sales than hoped since the outbreak of the pandemic. The squad was actually supposed to be rebuilt in the summer of 2021, but there were no buyers for stars willing to change.
Through transfers from Denis Zakaria (to Juventus Turin) and Breel Embolo (AS Monaco), at least around 20 million euros flowed to Mönchengladbach during the following transfer periods, but with Matthias Ginter a national player also went to SC Freiburg on a free transfer. There is a similar threat at the end of the current season with Marcus Thuram, Ramy Bensebaini and Sommer, which would not only weaken the squad, but also increase a dangerous feeling: Will Borussia continue to bleed out?
Sports director Roland Virkus vehemently combats this impression. “Nobody has to worry about us, we are very well prepared,” he told the “Bild” newspaper. “We scouted out a long time ago, for everything an if-then scenario and can react at any time.”
That may be true, and the 21-year-old substitute goalkeeper Jan Olschowski, who stepped onto the Bundesliga stage with his splendid performance in the 4-2 win against Dortmund in November, could also be considered for the position in goal. But the gap Sommer would leave would be huge, on the pitch and in the dressing room.