Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel attends a press conference at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday April 10, 2023, ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal match against Manchester City. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Bayern Munich Deals Collapse as Transfer Window Closes

FC Bayern Munich were left with several deals collapsing as the transfer window closed in Germany. Those deals could have been the final piece to Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel’s squad for the season. In the end, Bayern have more questions than answers in regards to the squad.

Bayern’s Activity Before Friday’s Deadline Day

As early as Tuesday, Bayern knew that there would have to be a replacement at a particular position. French defender Benjamin Pavard joined Inter Milan for a fixed fee of 30 million euros, months after he said he would not sign a new deal in Munich. As a result, Bayern quickly had to find a replacement with three days left in the transfer window.

In addition to a Pavard replacement, Bayern also were looking for another midfielder. Tuchel demanded to get a holding midfielder since the start of the window. At one point, Tuchel and the Bayern bosses were at odds over his demands.

It became clear that one midfielder would have to leave if Bayern were to get one in. Bayern used four midfielders in their win against Augsburg on Sunday, so it seemed to be a fair proposition for Tuchel. Bayern got midfielder Konrad Laimer for free in the summer, and Joshua Kimmich has proven to be a world-class player at his position for years.

That left Bayern to decide between Leon Goretzka and Ryan Gravenberch. Tuchel has not been the biggest supporter of Goretzka, but the player did not want to leave Munich. Therefore, the Dutch international Gravenberch became the odd one out. On Thursday, Gravenberch completed his transfer to Liverpool for 40 million euros plus 5 million in add-ons.

The Deadline Day Deals for Bayern

Around the same time of the Pavard transfer, Bayern checked in on Fulham’s midfielder João Palhinha. Tuchel is a big fan of the player, and it looked like Bayern finally had their guy in the midfield. Palhinha possesses excellent defensive abilities and can score some goals from time to time. His passing leaves a lot to be desired, but he fits the mold of a holding midfielder.

The deal for Palhinha quickly progressed in the days leading up to the deadline. Fulham rejected an initial bid of around 55 million euros, but they agreed to Bayern’s next bid close to 65 million. However, there was still one factor that prevented the transfer from happening right away. Fulham needed a replacement for Palhinha and they had to act quickly.

Bayern also were looking at potential replacements for Pavard, and they became interested in two players. Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah and Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap were the two players who Bayern wanted, and they each showed interest in the move. Bayern preferred a loan deal for Chalobah, but Chelsea stuck with a 50 million pound price on a permanent deal. Southampton wanted a loan fee of 3.5 million euros for Bella-Kotchap.

Each player has their qualities in the backline that could have helped Bayern. Chalobah’s versatility and ability to play at right back and in the midfield would have been a huge benefit for the club. Bella-Kotchap has shown promise in the backline for Southampton since his move from Bochum in the 2022 summer transfer window.

Bayern Munich Strike Out on All Three Guys

The sticking point of the Palhinha deal to go through was contingent on Fulham getting a replacement. They looked to players like Pierre-Emile Højberg, Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay, but they all rejected a move. Palhinha got the green light to travel to Munich in case of a move, but Fulham had never fully agreed to it. When the 18:00 CEST deadline hit in Germany, Fulham still had not agreed to all the details of the transfer, and the deal was off.

As for Chalobah, Bayern were set on a loan deal, while Chelsea wanted a permanent move. With 31 minutes left before the deadline, there were reports that Chelsea were willing to send Chalobah on a loan. Bayern likely became impatient with the deal going nowhere for a while, and they pulled out and worked on getting Bella-Kotchap.

Bella-Kotchap reportedly had a medical in London for a possible move to Bayern, and the deal seemed to be approaching the finish line. Matteo Moretto even tweeted out that Bayern were close to a done deal with the player. Time was not on Bayern’s side though, and the deal did not go through for Bayern.

As a result, Bayern Munich have just three midfielders and do not have a backup right back. The club will have to wait until the transfer window in January to make transactions.

About Matt Rothmann

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