Bayern Munich have announced Hansi Flick’s successor, as the highly-rated current RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has agreed to join the current European Champions this summer. But with Leipzig currently occupying second spot in the Bundesliga and with two years remaining on his existing contract, the 33-year-old hasn’t come cheap. The German champions have had to pay Leipzig a record-breaking €25m to secure the services of their manager, the most ever paid for a coach, so could we now be on the dawn of a whole new managerial transfer market?
Well, Bayern clearly see huge potential in their new boss. Having become the youngest manager in Bundesliga history at just 28, Nagelsmann has made waves in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim and Leipzig over the past five years and has now landed the job he has always wanted on a five-year contract. Long-term thinking could make the €25m fee seem like a bargain in the future.
In an era where €25m will barely buy you one top flight player, it is the same price Everton paid for Jordan Pickford in 2017 for context, it certainly makes sense to spend that money on a top level manager instead. The manager can control everything about a football club, from improving young players to making shrewd signings, and of course, winning trophies. Of course, given there are less opportunities and less managers about, we will never see the managerial transfer market replicate the chaotic player transfer market but Nagelsmann’s fee could become the norm.
It has happened before on several occasions, but no fee has got close to this one. The previous record was the €15m Chelsea paid for Porto’s Andre Villas-Boas back in 2011 as they looked for the second coming of Jose Mourinho, but the Portuguese boss lasted less than a season. More recently, and perhaps an example of this model’s success, Leicester paid €10.5m to Celtic for Brendan Rodgers, which looks an absolute snip with the Foxes on course to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Taking a manager from a rival in the same division is an expensive business as Bayern have learned, and Ruben Amorim cost Sporting €10m from Braga in 2020 but is on track to lead them to the league title. Another Portuguese boss in Mourinho, cost Real Madrid €8m from European champions Inter Milan in 2010 which is only slightly more than Manchester City paid Blackburn for Mark Hughes!
Rodgers makes the list for the second time as Liverpool paid Swansea €6.2m for his signature, but could he possibly feature for a third time this summer? Tottenham are reportedly interested in the Northern Irishman and although he has reiterated his desire to stay at Leicester, it could, financially, be an offer he can’t refuse. If Spurs can spend €11m on a loan deal for Gareth Bale, surely they would be sensible enough to spend a similar amount on one of the finest managers in British football.
Nagelsmann has become the most expensive managerial signing in history, but the fees could continue to rise as the value of a top manager does. Clubs can make millions from having the right man in charge and sometimes you just have to speculate to accumulate. Jim White’s yellow tie, the transfer totaliser and the countdown clock may all have to reappear but this time the Sky Sports cameras will not be following Peter Odemwingie or Peter Crouch, but Brendan Rodgers instead.