When it comes to squad planning, there might not be a more intriguing set of negotiations on the table for Bayern Munich than what is going on with Serge Gnabry.
The talented winger might not have the profile of other 2023 expirees like Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, or Thomas Müller, but his status with the club seems more uncertain than those players — despite being younger and on the German national team.
While he is absolutely valued and wanted by the club, Gnabry’s place on the squad could be hindered by his salary request, which is allegedly in the €15 million to €20 million range, and his position.
With the recent news that Julian Nagelsmann plans on shifting to a back-three based formation that will utilize wing-backs, Gnabry position as a wing will be eliminated. While the 26-year-old can slide inside to play one of the two attacking midfield roles, Gnabry could be competing for playing time with Müller, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, Paul Wanner, Jamal Musiala (if he doesn’t get strictly pushed to the 8 position), and Gabriel Vidovic next season.
While Wanner or — more likely — Vidovic could even be loaned away, Gnabry would still be facing stiff competition for playing time at a position where the club is already a ton of money invested. While unlikely, Bayern Munich could also pursue a natural attacking midfielder or a hybrid 9/10 that would be paid less than Gnabry in the transfer market.
At one point, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that things were going to work out with Gnabry, but now there is at least some doubt.
To be clear, Bayern Munich cannot afford to let another valuable asset walk away for nothing at the end of the 2022/2023 season. If a deal cannot be worked out, Bayern Munich must sell Gnabry to help bolster the club’s coffers — and other clubs are noticing.
Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool are just some of the clubs that have been loosely linked to Gnabry. Another free transfer would be disastrous financial and for fan morale.
Clearly, this would be all be a lot easier if Gnabry was even seeking a salary of even €10 million to €12 million, but it does not seem as if that would be acceptable to the German star.
Time will tell what the club will do…but what should the club do?