Neuer likely to miss trip to Barcelona but World Cup hopes not ‘in jeopardy’, says Nagelsmann


Manuel Neuer should be fit to represent Germany at the World Cup but will likely miss Bayern Munich’s trip to Barcelona next week, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

Neuer last played for Bayern in their 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund on October 8, with a shoulder injury leading Sven Ulreich to take his place between the sticks in their last three matches.

The goalkeeper will be out again when Bayern visit Hoffenheim on Saturday, and Nagelsmann doubts he’ll be involved when they try to knock Barca out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

However, Nagelsmann allayed his fears of missing a trip to Qatar by saying: “Manuel is still suffering. He probably can’t play in Barcelona either, we are planning Mainz. [on October 29].

“Problems can certainly arise if he starts too soon, and we want to avoid that. We have to wait until the healing process is such that he can play again.

“I don’t think the World Cup is in danger. Manuel knows his body better and knows what pain he can play with.

“He trained in the weight room yesterday. It’s ups and downs, day by day, but I don’t think it will last that long. Hopefully he will be back against Mainz. “

Bayern have been forced to deal with several selection issues recently, enduring a string of COVID-19 cases and seeing Leroy Sane sidelined with a muscle injury.

Thomas Muller is the latest player to be left out of the trip to Hoffenheim, leading Nagelsmann to stress the importance of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

“Leroy Sane is known, Thomas Muller is also out, he has gastrointestinal issues,” he added. “He’s not happy about that, but I think he’ll be fine before the Champions League game. Other than that, there’s nothing new, everyone’s fine.

“Kingsley Coman can play again. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has handled the games well and it’s important he’s here after Muller’s absence.”

Choupo-Moting netted twice after starting a Bundesliga game for the first time since November 2016 last week, scoring and assisting in a 5-0 win over Freiburg.

Meanwhile, the former Paris Saint-Germain striker has registered more goals against Hoffenheim (nine-six goals, three assists) than against any other Bundesliga team.

Nagelsmann made a name for himself as a coach during a successful three-year spell with Hoffenheim, leading the club to Champions League qualification at the end of the 2016-17 season, and admits the game Saturday represents a unique opportunity.

“It’s a special match for me. It’s a club close to my heart,” he added. “I had many successful years there and met many great friends and colleagues.”

Hoffenheim have taken 17 points from their first 10 Bundesliga games this season – their best return at this stage of a campaign since Nagelsmann led them in 2016-17 (20).


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