Training and hot games await the Bayern pros in Tokyo and Singapore. The strenuous trip should bring coach Tuchel important insights. Confidence in a transfer coup is growing.
After the 12-hour flight to the sweltering hot Tokyo, Joshua Kimmich and his colleagues in Munich had to take a short breather at the team hotel to brave the jetlag and go to the national stadium for training.
The football professionals of FC Bayern a lot is demanded on the marketing trip to Asia, including three top-class friendlies.
“I’m fine, we’re fine. We’re flying comfortably. So I’m ready to go through with it,” said Captain Kimmich before the practice session in the Olympic Stadium in 2021. Several thousand fans were already following, at the end of the exactly one-hour session there was grateful applause. The heat conditions in Japan’s Kimmich called the capital “special – and exhausting”.
The night flight off Munich was “relatively quiet”, Kimmich noted with reference to entertainers Thomas Müller. He was absent due to injury, as was the captain Manuel Neuer, newcomer Raphaël Guerreiro and also Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on board the Qatar Airways aircraft. “You definitely noticed that,” said Kimmich. In addition to the Müller joke, the international made a clear commitment to FC Bayern at his press conference in the stadium, after there had recently been rumors of a change.
“No Other Plans”
“Transfer period is transfer period,” said Kimmich, picking up on a statement by coach Thomas Tuchel about possible changes in the summer. But after a short artistic break, he added: “No, fun! I assume and I’m very sure that I’ll play here at Bayern next season. At least I don’t have any other plans personally.” Kimmich’s highly paid contract in Munich runs for two more years.
Only 32 hours after arriving in Japan, on Wednesday (12.30 p.m. / RTL and Sky) against Champions League winners Manchester City with full-back Kyle Walker courted by FC Bayern, the first of three test games is coming up. “We want to keep him. We will fight for him, just like Bayern will do,” announced city coach Pep Guardiola before the game, describing Walker as an “incredibly important player”. According to reports, Walker has already informed the English about his desire to move. Accordingly, the English international in Munich beckons a two-year contract until 2025.
Other opponents are again in Tokyo on Saturday the Japanese first division team Kawasaki Frontale and at the end of the Asia trip on Wednesday next week in Singapore Liverpool FC. “At the beginning of the season you do the work, which is a bit difficult,” said Matthijs de Ligt about the strenuous program. Like Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry, the Dutch national player had previously delighted the Asian Bayern fans with autographs and selfies upon arrival at the team hotel.
Farewell trip for Mané and Sommer?
Exhausting, but at the same time financially lucrative overseas advertising tours have long been an accepted part of working for a top European club for an internationally experienced coach like Tuchel. “The best will be made of it – done,” he said. Before the relaxed training session, during which the stands cast some cooling shadows on the lawn, Tuchel announced that it was “too early” for the South Korean newcomer Min-Jae Kim to play against Man City.
For some players, such as the star striker Sadio Mané, who is no longer wanted in Munich, or the goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who is being courted by Inter Milan, it could be a farewell trip with farewell games in a Bayern jersey. Even if Tuchel said in Tokyo: “All the players who are here have a contract and deserve our full support.” Further additions and exits are of course planned. The million-dollar move by Austrian Marcel Sabitzer to Bundesliga competitor Borussia Dortmund, which was completed on Monday, should not and will not be the last change.
Above all, there is still the record commitment of the English goalscorer Harry Kane (29), who is currently also touring through Asia with the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. Bayern’s confidence in this transfer coup is growing. Bayern boss Jan-Christian Dreesen stayed in Munich like technical director Marco Neppe. Her focus is on Kane’s mega transfer. Tuchel is always kept up to date: “A seven-hour time difference doesn’t prevent us from communicating,” he said.
(From Klaus Bergman and Jordan Razadpa)
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