Bayern Munich agreed to pay a world record transfer fee to RB Leipzig for 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann. He will follow Hansi Flick at the helm of Germany’s biggest football club.

julian nagelsmann bayern new coach
Julian Nagelsmann will replace Hansi Flick as manager of Bayern Munich at the end of the season. (Image: Twitter / @DieRotenBullen)

Everyone is now happy. Flick can leave a year before his contract runs out to take charge of the German national team after the Euro finals, while Bayern signed the manager regarded as the top name from the new wave of football coaching. Nagelsmann couldn’t be more satisfied either, as he pointed out in a press conference on Tuesday, right after his “transfer” to Bayern was made official.

“I made no secret of the fact that the head coach position at FC Bayern appealed to me and that I would like to take on this job if the opportunity ever arose,” Nagelsmann said. “It’s a unique opportunity for me. On Sunday, the final details were clarified between me and FC Bayern.”

The $30 million transfer fee Bayern could end up paying for Nagelsmann (with bonus clauses included) is a world record for a coach. The new FCB boss says he doesn’t feel the pressure.

“It does not affect me, I honestly believe no one is worth that money. I didn’t put that down, it was between the clubs. I am motivated to perform at my best.”

Nagelsmann signed a 5-year deal at Allianz Arena. For the first time in 42 years, neither of the club’s legendary players turned high executives Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was in charge of the negotiations. This time, Oliver Kahn was the man behind the deal. The former goalkeeper, now 51, will become Bayern’s CEO in January 2022 when Rummenigge’s contract expires.

Who is Julian Nagelsmann?

Born in Landsberg am Lech, a small Bavarian town situated just 65 kilometers west of Munich, Nagelsmann ended his playing career before it actually started. A string of injuries made him forget about his ambitions of becoming an important center back. Instead, Nagelsmann became preoccupied with coaching and helped [now Chelsea coach] Thomas Tuchel at Augsburg’s second team in 2008. He then became an assistant to 1860 Munich U17 head coach, while also going to university. He studied business administration, then went to sports science for his degree.

Nagelsmann always knew football was his destiny. In 2010, he entered Hoffenheim academy staff, taking several roles before moving to the first team as an assistant. In October 2015, aged 28, Nagelsmann was announced as the first-team boss starting the following season. Turmoil on the bench made him number one earlier than he expected. In February 2016, he was appointed to the job full time.

His mission seemed impossible. Hoffenheim was seven points away from safety, but under Nagelsmann’s management, won seven of their final 14 games to finish one point above the playoff positions. Nagelsamnn is the youngest head coach to ever work in the Bundesliga, Germany’s top tier.

At Hoffenheim, he ended up qualifying for the Champions League group stage in 2018, a unique performance in the club’s history. The following summer, he moved to RB Leipzig, with whom he played the Champions League semifinals in 2020. PSG shut the door to the final, but Leipzig produced two big surprises in knocking out Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid beforehand.

Leipzig CEO: ‘We hoped Bayern wouldn’t meet our demands’

Talking in a press conference on Tuesday, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said he hoped until the last minute to be able to keep Nagelsmann.

“We set two conditions: a massively high fee and a quick resolution. Bayern met both, even though we hoped they wouldn’t” Mitzlaff revealed. “It’s an extremely high transfer fee. We don’t deny the amounts that were rumored. I am telling you we wouldn’t have let him go for $28 million.”

Nagelsmann was grateful to his current club for understanding his wish to join Bayern. The coach had several proposals to go elsewhere, including Tottenham, but he made it clear from the beginning that he is only making himself available for Bayern. “I didn’t plan to leave Leipzig after two years. There were inquiries from other clubs, but I told Olli Mintzlaff that I would not terminate my contract for any other club except Bayern.”

Nagelsmann refused to say his goodbyes, saying he’s fully committed to RB until the end of the season.

“It’s too early to say goodbye. I’m not done here yet. My mission may end here in the summer, but I’ll give my all until then.”

With three games left to play in the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig is seven points behind Bayern.

What now for Flick?

The manager who won Bayern six trophies last season, Hansi Flick, will end his contract at the campaign’s conclusion. The 56-year old is the favorite to succeed Joachim Low as head coach of the German national team at the end of the Euro finals. Low and the German FA (DFB) decided not to extend their deal after the tournament.

Flick has been approached by the DFB and things are reportedly settled between them. Only the signature is missing at this point, according to various well-informed sources in the German media.

Flick will be allowed to leave a year before his contract runs out without paying any compensation. Bayern and the DFB are working on a star friendly between the German powerhouse and the national team, with all revenue going to the club.

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