Bayern Munich’s squad is split over the club’s decision to sack Julian Nagelsmann as head coach, according to reports.
The 35-year-old was dismissed on Friday, despite Bayern being only one point off the top of the Bundesliga table and winning all eight of their Champions League games this season.
Thomas Tuchel was unveiled as Bayern’s new manager on Saturday. The German coach was contacted about the job three days before Nagelsmann was sacked.
Reports have suggested not all of Bayern stars are happy with the decision, with German publication BILD claiming there are ‘pro and anti-Nagelsmann factions’ that have been formed in the dressing room.
It is reported that there were seven players who wanted Nagelsmann to lose his job, but a number of important figures backed the manager to continue.
Manuel Neuer and Sven Ulreich were against Nagelsmann due to the sacking of goalkeeping coach Tony Tapalovic after almost 12 years at Bayern.
Speaking last month, Neuer said his ‘heart was ripped open’ after hearing the news about Tapalovic, who was his ex-team-mate at Schalke and also the best man at his wedding.
Also against Nagelsmann were reported to be Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Cancelo and summer signing Sadio Mane.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka were Nagelsmann’s biggest fans in the dressing room, with players including Matthijs De Ligt, Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard also fans.
The one player in the middle of the split is Thomas Muller who BILD claimed that he is ‘neutral’ over how he felt about Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann was on a skiing trip in the Austrian Zillertal, enjoying the international break with his girlfriend Lena Wurzenberger, when he learned of his possible sacking.
He returned to Bavaria after cutting short his skiing holiday, where he discovered his fate.
With Bayern still in the title race and the Champions League, having beaten Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 on aggregate to advance to the quarter-finals, Nagelsmann’s exit came as a major shock.
CEO Oliver Kahn said later: ‘When we signed Julian Nagelsmann for FC Bayern in the summer of 2021, we were convinced we would work with him on a long-term basis – and that was the goal of all of us right up to the end.
‘Julian shares our aspiration to play successful and attractive football. But now we have come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad – despite the Bundesliga title last year – has come to the fore less and less often.
‘After the World Cup we have played less successfully and less attractively. The big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future. That is why we have acted now.
‘Personally and on behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to thank Julian and his coaching team, and wish everyone the best of luck for the future.’