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Kingsley Coman is reportedly having doubts about joining Bayern Munich on a permanent basis once his loan move from Juventus ends this summer. The player’s uncertainty is said to be prompting interest from Premier League trio Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
A report from French source Le Parisien (h/t TalkSport.com) has detailed why Coman is unsure about making a full-time switch to Bundesliga giants Bayern: “Coman has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, while the club’s interest in Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt has also left the Frenchman worried about his long-term future.”
The same report named City as the club currently at the front of the congested queue pursuing Coman. It makes sense for the Citizens to be leading the way for Coman, since it was manager Pep Guardiola who originally brought the winger to Germany during his time in charge at Bayern.
It also makes sense for some of the biggest clubs in England’s top flight to be keen on a gifted youngster boasting true star potential. Still just 20, Coman is a terrific wide attacker with the pace, trickery, power and natural flair to be a match-winner on the biggest stages.
Yet the young Frenchman has still found it difficult to convince Bayern of his worth. In some ways his struggles are hardly a surprise, though.
After all, Bayern do boast an embarrassment of riches on the flanks, including veteran pair Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. They are most often supplemented by super-fast Brazilian Douglas Costa.
Ultimately, Coman’s biggest issue in Munich may involve managerial philosophy. Specifically, current Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti has traditionally liked to lean on experience.
He did so at former club AC Milan where the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paolo Maldini and Clarence Seedorf helped form a veteran core Ancelotti turned to in big games. It’s a similar story at Bayern, where 33-year-old Robben and 34-year-old Ribery are still counted on often.
ESPN’s Dermot Corrigan used Munich’s starting XI for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday to illustrate Ancelotti’s fidelity to experience:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Apart from Alaba  & Thiago  everyone in Bayern team 28 and over. Plus three of them prob not 100% fit…
4/18/2017, 5:50:05 PM
By contrast, Guardiola is a coach who tends to believe in building through youth. Reuniting with Guardiola and joining twentysomething forwards Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus in Manchester may appeal strongly to Coman.
However, turning away from Bayern, the undisputed power domestically, as well as an annual contender in the UEFA Champions League, can’t be an easy call for any player.
Bayern Competing for Ajax Prodigy
If there is one area where Ancelotti may be ready to go younger, it’s in midfield. To that end, it’s not surprising Bayern are being linked with precocious Ajax talent Donny van de Beek.
The Munich side has reportedly scouted the 20-year-old amid interest from La Liga giants Barcelona, according to German source Sport 1 (h/t Uche Amako of the Daily Express).
Bayern’s need to refresh their ranks in the middle has been created by the impending retirement of Philipp Lahm, the full-back who has also played midfield. More directly, 35-year-old pass-master Xabi Alonso is joining Lahm in retirement.
Preparing to lose this much talent means the onus is on Ancelotti to find his next playmakers. Van De Beek fits the bill as a midfield gem who has made tremendous strides this season.
He’s also schooled in the Ajax way of playing, meaning Van De Beek is most comfortable with the ball at his feet and distributes it neatly and with imagination between the lines.
Those are qualities he shares with current Munich schemer Thiago Alcantara, the former Barcelona product who has matured into one of the best playmakers on the continent on Ancelotti’s watch this season.
Bayern’s need to get younger gives them the motivation to beat Barca to one of the more exciting talents to come off the Ajax production line in recent years. It also means the club should strongly consider doing what it takes to keep a youngster as gifted as Coman on a permanent basis.