Wherever Uli Hoeneß appears, headlines are not far away. At an event in Munich, the honorary president of FC Bayern spoke plainly in the debates about coach Julian Nagelsmann and captain Manuel Neuer. He also has a clear opinion on the possible transfer of star striker Harry Kane.
For Honorary President Uli Hoeneß, there is no question that national soccer goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will return to the record champions' box if he fully recovers from his broken leg. "We all hope that Manuel will be as fit as he was before after his serious injury over the course of the year. And then he will be in goal at Bayern Munich," said the 71-year-old at an event in the "Abendzeitung".
Hoeneß does not see the captain's critical interview after the club's separation from long-time goalkeeping coach and new confidante Toni Tapalovic as an obstacle. He sees no break between the goalkeeper and the club management around Oliver Kahn, who reacted very angrily to the statements, but only wants to work through the issue internally with Neuer after the Champions League second leg against Paris Saint-Germain this Wednesday. "He's regretted it for a long time," said Hoeneß.
Neuer was seriously injured in a skiing accident before Christmas. He will be out at least until the end of the season. Bayern signed Swiss national goalkeeper Yann Sommer from Borussia Mönchengladbach as a replacement for around 8.5 million euros. "Yann Sommer is a stroke of luck. That our board of directors found such a great character, such a great goalkeeper, such a personality in this emergency and set off in Gladbach - Chapeau!" Hoeneß praised. Still, he believes that Neuer will be number one again if he regains his old strength. "I really appreciate Yann Sommer. But don't forget, Manuel is Manuel".
Once in a chatting mood, Hoeneß also spoke plainly in the debate about coach Julian Nagelsmann. Contrary to what was discussed in the media, he does not consider the round of 16 second leg in the Champions League against Paris St. Germain to be decisive for the future of the coach. "I think that's being overplayed. In my opinion, the outcome of the game on Wednesday has nothing to do with Julian Nagelsmann's engagement."
Last year, under Nagelsmann, Munich failed in the quarter-finals of the premier class because of outsiders FC Villarreal. The starting position against the Paris star group with Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi is different. "You can be eliminated in the round of 16 against Paris. It makes a huge difference whether I'm eliminated by Villarreal or by Paris," said the former world and European champion. Bayern go into the duel on Wednesday (9 p.m. on DAZN and in the live ticker on ntv.de) with a 1-0 lead from the first leg. "We got a great starting position in Paris," said Hoeneß.
Hoeneß also commented on the rumors of a possible signing of England striker Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur. "I think the transfer is totally gaga," he said. "Last year Tottenham rejected 160 million euros (transfer) from Manchester City. Do you think it's cheaper this year? Harry Kane is a great player, no question about it. But that's money I won't pay," Hoeneß confessed , who is no longer responsible for operational business at FC Bayern. He is still a member of the supervisory board, which has to approve transfers from a total volume of 25 million euros.
In Munich there is always speculation about a world-class center forward as the successor to the goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, who switched to FC Barcelona before this season. Hoeneß also noted that taking money into the position in the summer could be a consideration. "Basically, I think our squad is the best in the world. The only question mark before the season was number 9." After Lewandowski's departure, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (33) has become Bayern's number one this season. "I was totally surprised by the increase in performance from Choupo-Moting," admitted Hoeneß. He thinks he is "a really good centre-forward", but he is also over 30.