Julian Nagelsmann is on his way to becoming a project worker at the DFB. Six months after his sudden departure from FC Bayern, the 36-year-old is set to become the second-youngest national coach in German history and will be responsible for the home European Championship in 2024 as the destination of a ten-month journey. According to “Bild” and “Kicker”, an agreement has already been reached and an announcement of the new national coach Nagelsmann is close. On Tuesday, the German Football Association referred to a first personal meeting between President Bernd Neuendorf and sports director Rudi Völler with Nagelsmann and cautiously announced: "We are in good discussions." These will continue in the coming days.
Even without the association confirming an agreement, the direction seems clear: the European Championship in your own country will become a Nagelsmann project with a clearly defined contractual end - just as Jürgen Klinsmann saw the 2006 home World Cup, which was later dubbed a "summer fairy tale", as a project At the end of which he handed over the office to Joachim Löw with third place and a lot of euphoria.
In this scenario, the DFB can tackle the European Championships with Nagelsmann, who is highly valued in the industry, and wants to rehabilitate itself in the domestic stadiums for the tournament failures in 2018, 2021 and 2022. Nagelsmann would take over the national team at pretty low point after the World Cup exit and other serious setbacks. The DFB would also have the opportunity to tackle a long-term project with Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp from 2024, which is considered the ideal solution. In this scenario, the debate about a successor after the home tournament could also have a massive impact on the months leading up to the European Championships.
Nagelsmann would succeed Hansi Flick in 2021, as he did at FC Bayern, and his contract with the Munich team, which runs until the summer of 2026, should therefore be terminated. The German champions would waive a transfer fee, but would also not contribute to Nagelsmann's DFB salary. According to “Bild”, this should be significantly lower than at FC Bayern.
Nagelsmann will not have much time on the way to the home European Championship, which would bring the native of Upper Bavaria back to Munich with the DFB team on June 14th. The oft-discussed trip to America with games against the USA and Mexico is scheduled for October.
This is followed by the game against Austria at the end of the year. The Alpine Republic has been coached by Ralf Rangnick since June 2022, who was a major supporter of Nagelsmann's coaching career in Leipzig. The widely celebrated 2-1 win over vice world champion France a week ago under the one-time interim coach Völler should be the new benchmark in terms of atmosphere after dark months under Flick.
The fact that the DFB confirmed the talks with Nagelsmann early and openly suggests that other candidates such as veteran Louis van Gaal or Stefan Kuntz were not great options for the European Championship project. Nagelsmann would be the second-youngest national coach in DFB history after Otto Nerz and, after stints at TSG Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig and FC Bayern, he is now expected to lead the troubled national team out of its deep crisis.
“Of course he can do it,” said Thomas Tuchel, who took over Nagelsmann’s job in Munich in the spring, last week. “He is an outstanding trainer” and it will not fail due to “professional quality or skills”. Bavaria's honorary president Uli Hoeneß also basically trusts Nagelsmann with the job, but emphasized the magnitude of the challenge in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" after difficult months: "The DFB could now bring in the Emperor of China, he would also have a difficult time." Hoeneß' pragmatic advice: put away your laptop and "get over the emotion first."
Just like Völler, who managed a spectacular turnaround from sadness to enthusiasm under Flick after the disgraceful 4-1 defeat against Japan. But Nagelsmann's journey, which would begin on October 14th (9 p.m.) in East Hartford with the 2026 World Cup hosts, would have a few more pitfalls. After failing three times at major tournaments, an entire generation of players around Joshua Kimmich seems to be massively numbered. The games after Qatar's World Cup flop gave little hope of improvement.
Nagelsmann would also meet the Bayern block at the DFB, with whom he had worked together in Munich for almost two years. Kimmich and Leon Goretzka could be the big winners of the coaching change and also become the central axis in the DFB team again, which they formed under Nagelsmann - and partly on the way to the 2020 triple under Flick. In the DFB team, Kimmich was recently pushed to the right, Goretzka was no longer even nominated and triple winner Ilkay Gündogan was declared captain.
It would also be exciting to see how a comeback by former world champion Manuel Neuer, which is currently unforeseeable, goes. Bayern and Nagelsmann parted ways with his goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic at the beginning of the year, much to Neuer's disappointment. The long-time substitute and challenger Marc-André ter Stegen declared his clear claim to a regular place at the European Championships under Flick. "Yes, I am number one at the moment. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I believe that I can seize the moment. I will do everything to keep the status," said Ter Stegen.