As Bayern Munich’s search for a new head coach continues, one of the favorites for the role, Julian Nagelsmann, has declined to comment on press speculation. But doubts persist over the young coach’s record in Europe.
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted frustratedly on Sunday to questions from journalists asking him about the vacant Bayern Munich coaching position.
The 30-year-old is the youngest coach in Bundesliga history and was crowned Coach of the Year last season after guiding Hoffenheim into Europe for the first time in the club’s history.
And following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti following Bayern Munich’s 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, Nagelsmann is one of the names linked with the job in Munich.
“Every couple of days, I’m getting about 14 press enquiries,” he said after his team’s 2-3 defeat to Freiburg on Sunday. “Enough is enough.”
Asked by broadcaster Eurosport how he was dealing with the subject, he said: “I’m not dealing with it at all. There are so many experts having their say on the search for a new coach, they don’t need to hear my opinion as well.”
Nagelsmann’s contract in Sinsheim runs until 2021 and, according to news agency SID, Bayern are yet to make any contact with Hoffenheim. But sporting director Hansi Flick is resigned to seeing Nagelsmann leave eventually.
“We’ve already said that we don’t expect him to retire here,” he said. “He’s an exceptional coach and he’s doing a great job of taking our team to the next level.”
Inexperience in Europe
Nevertheless, Nagelsmann’s reputation may have taken a knock in recent weeks, especially when it comes to his credentials on the international stage. After finishing fourth last season, Hoffenheim lost both legs of their Champions League qualifier against Liverpool (1-2 at home and 2-4 at Anfield) before starting their Europa League campaign with 1-2 defeats to both Braga and Ludogorets.
In Nagelsmann’s defense, Hoffenheim have already played 12 competitive games this season with a weakened squad after the departures of Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy to Bayern Munich and Jeremy Toljan to Borussia Dortmund in the summer. In Freiburg on Sunday, Sandro Wagner was forced to play on despite an injury after Nagelsmann used all three substitutes.
In Munich, Bayern’s players focusing on themselves rather than the identity of their next coach. “We have complete trust in the club,” said Thomas Müller, “but we need to make sure that every single one of us performs better, regardless of the coach.”
Another candidate for the vacant post is Thomas Tuchel but Mats Hummels, who worked under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, refused to comment, saying only that “the most important thing is to find a good solution.”
Interim coach Willy Sagnol meanwhile appeared to rule himself out of a long-term appointment. “I was just supposed to take charge of the game in Berlin,” he said. “We’ve not discussed anything else. That’s up to the board.”