Bayern chiefs criticize Manuel Neuer over row with goalkeeping coach

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Julian Nagelsmann have all criticized injured captain Manuel Neuer for publicly expressing his disappointment with the club.

The controversy centers on Bayern’s decision to sack goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic on January 23 over what Salihamidzic said were “differences about ways and means of cooperation”.

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The sacking was described by Neuer as “the worst thing I’ve experienced in my career” during an interview published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and The Athletic website on Friday.

Kahn told the DPA news agency that Neuer’s comments “do no injustice to him as a captain or to the values โ€‹โ€‹of Bayern” and criticized the goalkeeper for his timing “in view of very important games”.

Salihamidzic accused Neuer of “putting his personal interests above those of the club”, while Nagelsmann on Sunday referred to Kahn’s statement and added his own criticism of Neuer.

“From Manuel’s point of view, I wouldn’t do the interview, especially when he says in the same interview that the club is the priority. It doesn’t help calm things down,” Nagelsmann said.

Tapalovic joined Bayern with Neuer from Schalke in 2011. Kicker magazine reported on Sunday that several teammates had expressed their solidarity with the German goalkeeper.

“We see him every day in rehab, we say hello every day,” Thomas Muller said after Bayern’s 4-2 win at Wolfsburg on Sunday. “We have personalities in the club, the biggest club in Germany, national team players and legends like Manu [Neuer]. And of course two things happened, everyone has their own opinion. But we don’t let the football business affect us as players.”

Tapalovic’s dismissal came just over a month after Neuer broke his leg in a skiing accident and was taken as a personal blow by the 37-year-old goalkeeper. Neuer is out for the rest of the season.

“For me it was a blow as I was already on the ground,” Neuer told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and The Athletic. “I felt my heart being ripped out.”

Neuer added that Tapalovic’s dismissal was even more damaging to him personally.

“Everybody in our goalie group fell apart. People were crying,” Neuer said. “Tony was loved by the whole team.”

Bayern have signed Jan Sommer as a replacement for the injured Neuer from Borussia Monchengladbach. Neuer, who praised Sommer’s signing, said he still doesn’t know why Tapalovic was fired.

“There was no excuse as far as I could tell. Things were said that I don’t agree with. But I haven’t heard any arguments that preclude us from talking to each other and clearing things up,” said Neuer, who added that the issue of led to him considering his future at the club.

Kahn referred to his time as Germany goalkeeper when he lost his job to Jens Lehmann after goalkeeping coach Sepp Meier quit the German FA.

“I was also disappointed at the time and I was furious with the federation,” Khan said. “But the common goals were the first priority for me. They were more important than my personal feelings. That’s why I decided at that time not to speak publicly . Manuel now did the opposite.”

Kahn said the club would speak to Neuer about the matter “very clearly”.

Nagelsmann added that he had not spoken to the goalkeeper since his interview, but said: “I am a person who needs harmony and my door is not closed, even if I would have chosen a different path.”

Bayern have drawn their opening three Bundesliga games of the year and have seen their lead cut to a point ahead of Union Berlin.

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