Bayern Munich are seemingly on course to lift a record-extending tenth Bundesliga title in a row, while their sights remain firmly set on another Champions League triumph.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men boast a seven-point lead on second-placed Borussia Dortmund and should be able to see out the title run-in across the final eight rounds of fixtures.
Meanwhile, the Bavarians swept Red Bull Salzburg aside with an overwhelming 8-2 aggregate win to earn a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Despite achieving eye-catching results in both competitions, Bayern have performed in patches this season, and the Allianz chiefs will have to address several key issues in the summer.
Lucas Hernandez Draws High-Profile Enquiries
As reported by Fichajes, via Goal, Manchester United have joined Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race to sign Lucas Hernandez in the upcoming transfer window.
The Red Devils are in the market for a new centre-back following another disastrous season from captain Harry Maguire.
Raphael Varane, who completed his long-awaited switch to Old Trafford last summer, has experienced an injury-riddled season so far, but he has reeled off some impressive showings.
Although Bayern look unfazed by rumours linking their star defender with a mega-money summer departure, Hernandez’s potential sale could leave Nagelsmann short of reliable defensive options.
Niklas Sule On His Way to Borussia Dortmund
Bayern have already waved goodbye to Niklas Sule, who will link up with fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund when his contract runs out in the summer.
The 26-year-old defender had turned down several Bavarians’ attempts to tie him down to a new deal before striking an agreement with the Signal Iduna Park outfit over a summer move back in February.
Despite refusing to commit to a new deal, Sule continues to be an omnipresent figure in Nagelsmann’s three-man backline.
Therefore, his imminent departure will likely force Bayern’s hand in the summer transfer window.
Antonio Rudiger Could Be Bayern’s Man
Bayern’s well-document affection for German players has led to speculation about their interest in outgoing Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger.
The former Roma ace is close to severing ties with the reigning Champions League holders after refusing to pledge his future to Stamford Bridge.
With Rudiger’s contract set to expire in the summer, Bayern have emerged as potential suitors, alongside several other top clubs, including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
It remains to be seen whether the perennial Bundesliga champions will make any concrete moves towards luring the 29-year-old back to his homeland.
Right Wing-Back Is a Must
Nagelsmann’s decision to switch from Hansi Flick’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system to a 3-4-3 has not paid dividends due to Bayern’s shortage of options on the flanks.
Alphonso Davies has been a menace on the left-hand side before being diagnosed with a heart disorder, forcing a sporadical introduction of Omar Richards into the starting line-up.
However, the former Reading man has failed to leave up to expectations as Naglesmann started experimenting with a natural winger Kingsley Coman as a wing-back on the left.
The Bayern gaffer has done the same on the opposite flank, where he nailed slightly forgotten Bouna Sarr to the bench at the expense of Serge Gnabry.
Unfortunately, forcing Gnabry to do heavy lifting at the back has blunted the German’s attacking output, restricting him to ‘only’ ten goals this Bundesliga season.
After being deployed out of position for most of the season, the 26-year-old forward has opened the door for a potentially blockbuster return to Arsenal.
Nagelsmann has become aware of the possibility of losing Gnabry at the end of the season, as Bayern have laid their eyes on Nottingham Forest whizz-kid Djed Spence.
According to Sky Sports, the Bavarians are ready to challenge Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for the 21-year-old’s signature following the youngster’s jaw-dropping performances at the City Ground.
Robert Lewandowski Needs Rest
After a record-breaking 2020/21 season, Robert Lewandowski has carried his predatory form into the current campaign as he looks on the verge of winning the Bundesliga top-scorer award for the fifth year running.
The 33-year-old striker has bagged 29 goals this Bundesliga campaign, nine more than his closest challenger Patrik Schick of Bayer Leverkusen, spearheading Munich’s title chase.
However, the veteran goal-getter may need his game time managed more carefully next season as the Bavarians will battle on multiple fronts once again.
With all due respect to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s qualities, Bayern need another proven striker to deputise for Lewandowski, who will turn 34 in August.
How Could Bayern Munich Line Up Next Season?
(3-4-3): Manuel Neuer; Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Antonio Rudiger; Djed Spence, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davies; Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Robert Lewandowski.
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