According to multiple media reports including Kicker, Ruhr Nachrichten, and others, Bayern Munich are interested in pursuing Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel when Manuel Neuer’s contract runs down in 2024. With Alexander Nübel unfavored at the club, Neuer suffering a catastrophic leg injury that could potentially jeopardize the remainder of his career, and his short-term replacement Yann Sommer equally close to the end of his career as Neuer, Bayern need to begin thinking long term about a potential replacement between the sticks. And unfortunately, a move for BVB’s Gregor Kobel makes almost too much sense.
After a shaky debut season with BVB, Gregor Kobel has emerged in the 2022-23 season as one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga, and at the ripe age of 25, still has many years of his prime remaining. While Yann Sommer will be a more-than-adequate replacement for Manuel Neuer in the short term, Bayern will eventually need a long-term replacement when Neuer and Sommer age out, and Kobel could be available for the taking should he choose not to extend his contract.
It’s been a relatively long time (read: at least six months) since a major, credible transfer rumor linked a Borussia Dortmund player to Bayern Munich. As BVB fans, it’s been something of a novel and liberating feeling, tempered by the possibility that it could always have been that we haven’t had many players who are good enough to be linked to Bayern Munich. This rumor serves as a reminder that it’s still crucial that the front office take great measures to keep around the talent it does manage to acquire and develop.
As always, this is just a rumor, and the summer of 2024 is a long way away. It’s entirely possible that BVB extend Kobel, or that Bayern turn their attention elsewhere. Hopefully Kobel’s play continues to impress, and Sebastian Kehl and his colleagues are able to offer Kobel what he needs to stick around in Dortmund.