When Bayern slumped to a 3-0 Champions League defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, it wasn’t the only knock-out blow suffered by the Bavarians. Numerous reports of a bust-up between Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané claim the Senegalese forward punches the winger in the face during a post-match argument. A dire season for Mané just seems to be getting worse leading to questions over his future at the club.
Bayern Munich at this time of the year are usually strolling to the Bundesliga title and gearing up for a serious tilt at the treble. This season however has been far from plain sailing and the good ship Bayern looks to be floundering with the spotlight on the club for the wrong reasons.
The sacking of Julian Nagelsmann was supposed to steady the ship and maintain the club’s push for glory, but a second wave of disappointment has washed over the club following Thomas Tuchel’s installation as their new coach.
Defeat in the DFB Pokal at home to Freiburg saw their dreams of lifting the trophy at the Olympiastadion fade before Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City put on a masterclass at the Etihad to all-but knock the Rekordmeister out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
Tuesday’s result was bad enough without the fight between Mané and Sané heaping more negative attention on the club. The pair were seen on the pitch arguing in the latter stages of the match on Tuesday and according to Sky Germany it continued in the dressing room with Mané throwing a punch and cutting Sané’s lip. They had to be pulled apart by teammates and on returning to Munich Mané was picked up in a private car separately from the rest of the squad.
There will have to be disciplinary measures taken with an omission from the weekend squad to face Hoffenheim and a fine the minimum expectation. However, after such a poor season, where there has been so much disappointment from Bayern fans regarding the success of the attacker’s move from Liverpool, there will be questions asked as to whether Mané has a future at the Allianz Arena. Should Bayern just cut their losses and put the move down as an error of judgement?
Now, fights between teammates are nothing new in football and Bayern have had their fair share in the past, but Mané has done himself no favours with his timing. With rumours already doing the rounds that some influential Bayern players gave lost patience with him and the continued failure to rekindle the form that saw him become a world-star under Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool, the writing looks to be on the wall.
Thomas Tuchel is already reportedly in the market for a new striker meaning Mané could be further marginalised next season and although players are usually given more than one season to embed themselves at Bayern, a separation could be the best solution for both parties.
From the very start of the season, the purchase of the Senegal attacker seemed like a round peg in a square hole for Bayern and had the air of a panic buy following the departure of Robert Lewandowski. There is the possibility that all will come good and he can make a name for himself at the German giants, but that seems a distant prospect at this stage.
Bayern should be going for glory at this stage of the season and Mané should be firing them towards that. Neither is the case right now and solutions are required.