Julian Nagelsmann has confirmed Manuel Neuer is back in full training on Friday, but the home game with Bayer Leverkusen comes too soon for the Bayern Munich keeper.
Neuer underwent knee surgery in February and hasn’t appeared since the 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, equaling Oliver Kahn’s record of 310 Bundesliga wins for a player. He won his first 77 triumphs with former club Schalke.
The German national team player – who holds the record for most Bundesliga goals (209) after driving for Kahn (196) 2021 – returned to light training late last month, but Nagelsmann has confirmed the 35-year-old is back. feet. field. whole team sessions.
Although Neuer is unavailable for the game with Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena, the Bayern manager has hinted that a return to the Champions League round of 16 with Salzburg could be a possibility.
“Manu did a bit more today for the first time, even during team training,” Nagelsmann said in a pre-match press conference.
“It’s going well. He still feels a bit pinched when he has to get up from a deep squat. Tomorrow there is no alternative for the team, that would be naive.”
“We have to see how good it will be for Salzburg. We’ll see how they react. They haven’t lost any quality.”
Bayern have an eight-point lead over the top of the German league to face third-seeded Leverkusen, 14 points behind leaders.
Nagelsmann’s side won the first round 5-1 and were leading 5-0 after 37 minutes: only in the 7-1 home win over Hoffenheim 2012 were all five goals before a point previous in a league game (after 35 minutes).
However, Leverkusen have taken 44 points in 24 games this season – the last time they scored more points at this stage was 2012-13 (45) – and Nageslmann expects a tough challenge.
In fact, Bayern, who scored 75 goals, set a Bundesliga record for any team, and Leverkusen (63), scored more goals in 24 Bundesliga appearances than this season.
“A striking spectacle would be good for the spectators, but only to a limited extent for the coaches,” Nagelsmann said. “It is above all the control of the game and the defense that will be important.
“[Florian] Wirtz has the ability to move between the lines. [Jeremie] Frimpong starts a lot, they have a very high pace and a lot of quality. We have to be prepared for that.
“The first game [against Leverkusen] was very impressive, but we could have conceded a goal or two.
“I don’t expect them to be as attacking as they were in the first game and I expect them to keep pushing, but a little less than they have. been in recent years.”
Niklas Sule, who agreed to move to Borussia Dortmund when his contract expires at the end of the season, is also back in action and Nagelsmann believes the midfielder will continue to give his all for the club until his retirement. departure.
“I have a clear opinion,” Nagelsmann said. “There is a certain contractual situation, the contract is limited and it is about to expire.
“Preferably a player stretches, gets sold or a contract expires. If the player has the will and does everything he can to succeed, I would always let him play.”
“In many cases things are going well for the club. Sometimes things are different, like with [David] Alaba [who ended his contract with Real Madrid] or Sule.”
“That’s part of it. You try to have the player by your side for a long time, so that he gives everything for the club.”