There hadn't been such a lively Thursday at FC Bayern for a long time. After a two-month break - first the World Cup, then vacation - the team trained again in front of their fans on Säbener Straße. Honorary President Uli Hoeneß also celebrated his 71st birthday. And then a new player surprisingly arrived in Munich: Daley Blind.
It's a special personality. It illustrates the delicate situation at the record champions. Two weeks before the start of the second half of the season, the Bundesliga game at pursuer RB Leipzig, those responsible are trying to get the personnel problems under control.
Defender Lucas Hernández tore his cruciate ligament at the World Cup, attacking star Sadio Mané was seriously injured shortly before the tournament, and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer broke his lower leg on a skiing trip. There have been better winter breaks for Bayern than this one.
This Friday, Munich fly to the training camp in Qatar. For the first time, the team will train there in the mornings, always closed to the public. For the German national players it is a return to the country where they embarrassed themselves with the second preliminary round at a World Cup in a row. Joshua Kimmich said: "I'm a little afraid of falling into a hole."
Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Julian Nagelsmann are challenged accordingly. Salihamidzic even cut short his US vacation to find replacements for the injured stars. It's up to Nagelsmann to build up the players after the World Cup embarrassment.
It comes as a surprise that the sporting leadership decided to go blind. Bayern usually do not sign players without a contract. But this personality makes sense. The opportunity was good, the need is great.
Blind played all five games for the Netherlands at the World Cup and made a total of 99 games for his country. Among other things, he can play as a left-back – as a “backup” for Alphonso Davies. Blind's contract with Ajax Amsterdam was terminated shortly after Christmas.
Both sides had agreed on it, Blind said goodbye to his youth club with critical words. "This is not how I imagined my end at Ajax, but due to circumstances it happened that way," he wrote on Twitter. One reason for the separation was probably a break with coach Alfred Schreuder.
FC Bayern Munich is about to sign Dutch international Daley Blind. Blind prematurely terminated his contract with Ajax Amsterdam shortly after Christmas and has been without a club ever since.
Blind, son of ex-Dutch international Danny Blind, has been playing with a defibrillator for three years. The device was placed in his chest after he complained of dizziness in a Champions League game and had to be substituted. Investigations revealed: heart muscle inflammation. As soon as the heart rate increases too much, the device sends electrical shocks to correct the arrhythmia.
On Thursday morning Blind completed the first medical check in a Munich hospital. Then we went to Säbener Straße, further investigations followed. The defensive professional, who played for Manchester United from 2014 to 2018, is to receive a performance-related contract with Bayern until the end of the season. They want to renegotiate in the summer. The new one should fly to Qatar right away. Yann Sommer should also join the team in the near future. Bayern and the goalkeeper Borussia Mönchengladbach agree on a change. The master would like to sign the 34-year-old Swiss until 2025. Sommer's contract in Mönchengladbach ends in June, and a fee of five million euros is under discussion.
Borussia has apparently identified a successor: Jonas Omlin, 28-year-old goalkeeper from HSC Montpellier, would be available for around seven million euros. Like Sommer, he is a Swiss national player.
Manchester United are also reportedly interested in summer. It will be interesting to see whether Bayern will start a competitive battle after Neuer's hoped-for return in a few months. Or Neuer stays seeded and Sommer is ready to be the challenger post-season. Or whether he will change clubs again after this season and leave Bayern for a fee.