The man everyone is talking about intensively is not even there in rainy Copenhagen. And yet the excited debate about the return of 2014 world champion Jérôme Boateng to the German series champions, which was seriously considered by FC Bayern but also worth discussing, is haunting the Munich record hunters on their first away trip of this Champions League season.
It's not just about the footballer Boateng, but also about the private citizen. And the private Jérôme Boateng has recently also stood for court proceedings and the recently overturned conviction for violent attacks on his ex-girlfriend.
FC Bayern wants to extend their record streak
At FC Copenhagen, regardless of all the Boateng debates, Bayern want to successfully continue their record series of 35 group games without defeat with the in-form Leroy Sané, who is scheduled to make his 50th appearance in Europe's premier class on Tuesday (9 p.m./Amazon Prime). After the wild 4-3 start against Manchester United, the next step towards the interim goal of the round of 16 should be successful. "The anticipation is great," said Bayern's sports director Christoph Freund at Munich Airport.
At the Parken Stadium, coach Thomas Tuchel's ensemble, which is struggling for consistency and dominance in the Bundesliga, awaits a strong home opponent and a pitch that is pretty battered after a concert. “There are enough things to improve,” groaned Tuchel after the 2-2 draw in the top game at RB Leipzig. On Monday it still rained intermittently in Denmark's capital. In this respect, it was a wise decision not to schedule the final training session in sunny Munich, but rather at the venue again. The practical test in parking should help Sané, Kane and Co. in an emergency.
Causa Boateng has two levels
Meanwhile, a special training guest remained in Munich. The 35-year-old Boateng could - because he is without a club - suddenly return as an emergency aid two years after his not exactly quiet departure from Munich. Freund announced a prompt decision this week. "He will also be training at Säbener Straße for the next two or three days. And then we will have another conversation with him. And then we will see what the best decision can be for everyone involved," said the 45-year-old.
Of course, the Boateng case has two levels, one sporty and one away from the football field. Boateng, who recently only appeared sporadically for Olympique Lyon, could alleviate Munich's own shortage in the central defender position during the summer transfer period if he has positive training evidence. Matthijs de Ligt is also out injured in Copenhagen and will be out for a while. Tuchel only has two special forces available in Dayot Upamecano and new signing Minjae Kim.
“We saw that we were rather thinly positioned there,” said Freund. Boateng is available - and he knows FC Bayern. "It would be his role to support the team as a back-up and - if necessary - he could then step in." However, this would no longer be possible in the Champions League during the group phase.
Boateng trial is being reopened
A week ago we suddenly experienced the situation in which all three central defenders were injured, said Freund. This is how Boateng came into play. “This is a special situation in which we naturally worry about what can happen between now and winter.”
However, Boateng is also facing trial over allegations of violent attacks on his ex-girlfriend. The Bavarian Supreme Regional Court has just overturned the professional's conviction "in its entirety" due to blatant legal errors. However, the process will be reopened - and could thus accompany Boateng's second job at Bayern. There are Bayern fans who are extremely critical of this Boateng problem.
“Everyone can have their own opinion,” commented Freund. He named the attitude of the club's decision-makers. "Our approach is what's best for FC Bayern in terms of sport." Boateng's trial was "a private story" and therefore "not a big issue for us," said the sports director: In addition, "the presumption of innocence always applies."
The expected lineups:
FC Kopenhagen: Grabara - Ankersen, Lund, Vavro, Meling - Claesson, Falk, Diogo Concalves - Elyounoussi, Larsson, Achouri
FC Bayern Munich: Ulreich - Laimer, Upamecano, Kim, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Sané, Musiala, Coman - Kane