“I was also the second choice and we won the double.” Niko Kovac knows what it’s like being Bayern Munich’s Plan B. Germany’s record champions wanted Thomas Tuchel but ended up with the Croatian at the helm last season. Despite this, they still won the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal.
This summer, Bayern have also ended up with Plan B in their search for a new winger. Manchester City wideman Leroy Sane (£2.25) was their number one marquee target but an injury in the Community Shield ruled the 23-year-old out for the rest of the year, leaving Bayern looking elsewhere.
Ivan Perisic (£0.71) is that Plan B after Bayern turned their attentions to a player they had previously ruled out. Perisic is seven years older than Sane and is a short-term solution on the wing, but as short-term solutions go, he’s a very good one. The World Cup runner-up brings plenty of experience and has already played in Germany, having lined out for Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg before moving to Inter.
Perisic will likely be involved in around 20 league goals for Bayern this summer, feeding the ball into Robert Lewandowski (£1.30) who can find the net from any angle. He also averages almost a goal every three games, and scored 10 or more Serie A goals in two of the past three seasons at Inter.
Of course, the Bundesliga already knows what Perisic can do 😎pic.twitter.com/AiMJI6zRKV
— Goal Nigeria (@GoalcomNigeria) August 13, 2019
Even with their new loan signing, heading into the season Bayern’s squad is too small to dominate as they usually do in the league. Last season, Borussia Dortmund pushed them until the last day and Lucien Favre’s side have much better depth than Bayern as things stand.
As a result, another attacking player is needed at the Allianz Arena as well as a defensive midfielder. Espanyol’s Marc Roca (£0.73) is earmarked as the player to anchor the midfield after Rodri decided to join Man City instead of Bayern, but could cost €40 million as the Spanish club are unwilling to negotiate for lower than his release clause.
An attacking player could prove more difficult to sign. Bayern have a shortlist of targets but Philippe Coutinho (£2.00) has gone to the top of that list. However, the prolonged Neymar saga means that the two Brazilians could be involved in a swap deal between PSG and Barcelona and Bayern may miss out on their man.
Timo Werner (£1.97) is always in the mix for a move to Bayern, but like Roca, the Bavarians are not willing to pay €40m right now as they think they can get the RB Leipzig attacker for a reduced rate this summer or even on a free transfer in 2020.
Hakim Ziyech (£1.58) was on the list but has committed his future to Ajax, while Steven Bergwijn (£1.28) is considering extending his stay at PSV as Bayern wait on Coutinho. Mario Mandzukic (£0.47) has regularly been linked with a return to Bayern, but would be a backup for Lewandowski and still leave a lack of depth out wide.
Perisic is a good signing, but Bayern are still short of squad depth for the 2019-20 season. The Bundesliga transfer window closes in two weeks, so expect a lot more speculation between now and then as Bayern continue to wait and wait before making new signings.