BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich kick off their season against RB Leipzig in Saturday’s German Super Cup without a centre forward following the departure of Robert Lewandowski, but they have not yet ruled out signing a replacement, coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
Lewandowski, who was named FIFA Best Men’s Player for the second straight year in January, joined Barcelona earlier this month, leaving a gaping hole in the German club’s attack.
The Bavarians travel to German Cup winners Leipzig to compete for the first trophy of the season, a week before the Bundesliga starts on Aug. 5.
“We had discussed all those possibilities beforehand,” Nagelsmann told a news conference on Friday. “We had discussed the Lewandowski situation and played out the different scenarios.”
“It’s not that we are now sitting here all disappointed that we did not find a one-on-one replacement,” said Nagelsmann, in his second season at Bayern.
“There are still four weeks that the transfer window is open so something could still happen. We are keeping our eyes on the market.”
Bayern, who last season won their 10th straight league title, have already brought in French teenager Mathys Tel, Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, striker Sadio Mane as well as Ajax Amsterdam duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui.
Nagelsmann said the arrival of Mane from Liverpool and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s expected return from injury in the near future were further options in attack for the season.
Mane played a large part of his final season at Liverpool, in which he scored 23 goals, as a centre forward and played the Champions League final against Real Madrid in that position.
“Sadio can score a lot of goals. He has shown that. Choupo-Moting is a very good striker so there are options. It is not that we did not factor in the possibility that the number nine will not be there.”
“When we agreed to Barcelona’s offer (for Lewandowski) we had calculated that there was the possibility that no one would be brought in for this position.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)