By Tim Stannard
Nagelsmann becomes most expensive managerial move after $25 million to be paid to RB Leipzig in compensation
Bayern Munich have a tried and tested tactic of staying as Germany's top dog by poaching their rivals best players - often for nothing. Leon Goretzka, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich and a certain Robert Lewankowski being recent examples.
The soon-to-Bundesliga-champions-once-again have moved that policy up a notch by taking their nearest rival's head coach this time around in the most expensive deal for a soccer manager in history. The Bavarian club announced on Tuesday that RB Leipzig manager, Julian Nagelsmann, would be taking over the Bundesliga side next season in a five-year deal.
Current coach, Hansi Flick, will be moving out at the end of the season after a fractious relationship with the club's hierarchy, probably to take over the German national team.
Julian Nagelsmann to join FC Bayern as head coach. Hansi Flick's contract will be terminated upon request. pic.twitter.com/tJBpXSiozu— 🏆🏆🏆FC Bayern English🏆🏆🏆 (@FCBayernEN) April 27, 2021
At the annoyingly young age of just 33, Nagelsmann has already achieved a huge amount in just two seasons at Leipzig, having taken the team to the Champions League semifinals last year and looks set to deliver a second-place finish in the Bundesliga this season - behind Bayern Munich.
However, the move will cost Bayern Munich around $27 million in compensation to RB Leipzig, the most that has ever been paid out for a manager.
Chelsea on Hazard alert in Champions League clash
The announced move has taken a little bit of the wind out of today's Champions League semifinal first leg between Real Madrid and Chelsea, that also features a German coach that was once a direct rival to Bayern Munich.
However, Thomas Tuchel's life journey has taken a few twists and turns having had a spell at PSG which saw titles won but fights with the club's big bosses. Then came a move to Chelsea in January and it has been a remarkable success in just four months.
Tuchel has installed some discipline after the free and easy ways of Frank Lampard to ease Chelsea into the Premier League's Champions League places and also the final four of the Champions League.
A former Chelsea player could play a key role in Tuesday's game which definitely has the whiff of a goalless draw in Madrid. Eden Hazard had another cameo appearance in LaLiga on Saturday and seems to have suffered no ill effects. That could see the Belgian starting against his former team and starting to show why Real Madrid paid around $120 million for the forward nearly two years ago with not a great deal to show for it since.
Santos hit early Copa Libertadores crisis
The Copa Libertadores has a crisis club already, after just the single round of action in the 2021 group stages. Santos are in quite the pickle having lost their coach and star player in the space of just a few days. Just two months after starting the job, Argentine coach Ariel Horan quit as Santos manager after irate fans had a firework display outside his house. And not a cheerful one, either.
Santos had lost three matches in a row, including a Copa Libertadores opener against Barcelona SC last week. The departure came at the same time as the Brazilian side sold playmaker, Yeferson Soteldo, to MLS outfit Toronto FC.
The immediate future isn't looking any better for Santos with the team now in Argentina to face Boca Juniors live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT today from 8:20PM ET / 5:20PM PT.
The match is just one of a host of South American humdingers kicking off from 6:05PM ET / 3:05PM PT with former winners Flamengo hosting Union La Calera followed by reigning champions, Palmeiras, taking on the rising stars of Independiente del Valle.