MUNICH (AP)Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann wants to ”bury” talk of a rift with Manuel Neuer after the injured captain criticized the decision to replace the team’s goalkeeping coach.
Bayern hosts Bochum on Saturday and then takes on Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday. It will be the German champion’s first European game with recent signing Yann Sommer in goal in place of Neuer, who is out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg skiing after the World Cup.
”It’s important, and important for Manu as well, to bury this topic at some time,” Nagelsmann said Friday. ”Everybody knows that the healing of the body is very strongly influenced by the thoughts happening in the head and it’s also important for Manu to look forward, and that’s also the same for me.”
Nagelsmann didn’t say whether Neuer would remain team captain when he returns from injury.
”Manu is currently the captain of this team and that’s a good thing,” Nagelsmann said.
Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller have worn the captain’s armband in Bayern’s five games since Neuer broke his leg.
Neuer said that the firing last month of goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic on Jan. 23 was a low point of his career in an interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and The Athletic website. Neuer and Tapalovic had worked together for more than a decade at Bayern.
The new goalkeeping coach, Michael Rechner, worked with Nagelsmann when he was coach of Hoffenheim earlier in his career.
”I’ve read that Nagelsmann is hiring his buddy. He’s not my buddy,” Nagelsmann said, adding that Rechner was an ”excellent goalkeeping coach.”
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