The first stage on the way to the home European Championship is likely to be a mere formality for the designated national coach Julian Nagelsmann. Despite the dramatically tight finances, it is not expected that the committees of the German Football Association (DFB) will stop the deal with the 36-year-old.
Instead, other questions arise on Friday: Will Nagelsmann's signing already be announced six months after his noisy departure from Bayern? How and in what context will the hope of the national team, which is lying on the ground, be introduced? And: Which players is Nagelsmann counting on for his ten-month project, which ideally ends on July 14th in the European Championship final in Berlin?
Nagelsmann is supposed to lead the EM project
Hansi Flick's successor, with whom, according to "Bild" and "Kicker", there is already an agreement about a commitment until the European Championships, doesn't have much time. And the starting conditions are anything but ideal: After a botched World Cup and a disastrous 1:4 against Japan, the 2:1 victory over runner-up world champions France under Rudi Völler was just an encouragement. The reality in world football looks like this nine months before the home European Championships: three tournaments in a row have been botched and they are in 15th place in the world rankings - surrounded by Morocco, Switzerland, Colombia and Uruguay.
Nagelsmann met President Bernd Neuendorf and sports director Völler, who particularly prefers the solution, for the first time this week. Hans-Joachim-Watzke - involved everywhere from DFB to DFL to BVB - is also said to agree with a European Championship project under the highly talented Nagelsmann.
It would be tantamount to irreparable damage to the association's leadership around Neuendorf if the desired candidate did not come because the executive board, supervisory board or shareholder committee did not approve the deal. In any case, the committee meetings are likely to be less about Nagelsmann's sporting suitability than about the 400,000 euros he is expected to earn per month at the DFB.
Hitzfeld: “Nagelsmann is an outstanding top coach”
Voices that a coach with more experience would be better suited to the position than Nagelsmann died down relatively quickly after the agreement was leaked on Tuesday. Former successful trainer Ottmar Hitzfeld considers him to be “the best choice of trainers available on the market”. Nagelsmann, who was born in Landsberg in Upper Bavaria, is “an outstanding top coach,” Hitzfeld told the “skysport.de” portal. "Extremely professionally competent with a lot of assertiveness."
He will have to prove all of this quickly. On October 14th (9 p.m.) the national team will play against the USA on its trip to the 2026 World Cup hosts in East Hartford, three days later Mexico will be another sporting benchmark in Philadelphia. Until then, they will probably want to introduce Nagelsmann as the new face of the European Championship project at the association's Frankfurt headquarters, possibly as early as next week. After that, the coach will soon decide on his first squad - and will have to answer many open questions.
Triple winner Ilkay Gündogan was recently named DFB captain by Flick. Will it stay that way or will Nagelsmann reverse the decision directly in order to elevate his Bayern confidant Joshua Kimmich to the important office?
Goalkeeper question in the national team
The Bayern faction around Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala should react with joy to the change of coach - they all played central roles under Nagelsmann in Munich. Super-talented Musiala has already said it will be “cool” to have the 36-year-old at the DFB. Thomas Müller did not want to comment on the content before an official announcement.
Nagelsmann should initially be able to avoid a clear answer to the goalkeeper question before his first international matches. Long-time deputy Marc-André ter Stegen recently emphasized with unusual clarity that he sees himself as number one at the moment. Since long-term captain Manuel Neuer, who has been injured since December, is not expected to make a comeback, Ter Stegen is likely to maintain his number one status at the American Games for the time being. Bayern and Nagelsmann separated from his goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic at the beginning of the year, much to Neuer's disappointment, which gives Nagelsmann's commitment additional explosiveness.