Joshua Kimmich's summer transfer decision is simple amid Man Utd, Man City & Liverpool interest

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
With rumours spreading that Joshua Kimmich could be on his way to the Premier League, we assess his options.

It’s been nearly a decade since Joshua Kimmich wore the colours of any club other than those of Bayern Munich – but that looks increasingly likely to change this summer, with the German midfielder seemingly no closer to agreeing a new deal with the reigning Bundesliga champions. With just 18 months left to run on his current contract, he’s been heavily linked with a switch to the Premier League.

He's been entirely diplomatic when asked about his situation by the press – “I’m very relaxed”, “we’ll see what happens” and so on. He hasn’t exactly issued a come and get me plea, but then he also hasn’t worked too hard to quash the rumours that suggest that both the Manchester clubs and Liverpool are interested in his signature.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And with Bayern likely entering a period of transition with another manager leaving and their seemingly perennial German championship crown likely to be lost to Bayer Leverkusen, this summer undoubtedly makes sense as the moment to move on. It’s probably now or never, at least while he remains at his peak. But if the 29-year-old does decide to leave Bavaria this summer, which Premier League club would be the best fit for his talents? We look at the three apparent contenders, and see how they might use Kimmich.

Manchester City

If Kimmich wants to win titles, then it’s hard to argue with making the move to the Etihad – but there’s a very valid question around why Pep Guardiola would want him in his current set-up.

As superb as Kimmich is, Manchester City currently only play with one deeper midfield player, and that’s Rodri, one of the few players who can sensibly claim to be better at the job than Kimmich. We’ve already seen how few chances Kalvin Phillips got when competing for that spot in the team, and while the German is another cut above in terms of quality, it’s still hard to see how he would slide into the side in any other position.

Guardiola could have a different shape or style in mind which would better accommodate Kimmich, of course, but otherwise this would be a strange move. Perhaps he could be persuaded to play some games at his old position of right-back, but that too would seem like an oddity. If a club is going to spend big on a player of his quality – and even if the up-front cost may not be too daunting, the wage packet will likely be stratospheric - then you’d think it would be to fill a more glaring need.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That said, Kimmich is the kind of midfielder Guardiola loves working with – and indeed, the Spaniard’s spell as Bayern manager overlapped with Kimmich by a year, although he was a rotational player at the time and didn’t excel until after Guardiola had moved on to City. But he’s got the kind of quick-thinking passing and sure-footed technique which Guardiola admires, so it’s easy to see the appeal for him at least. Whether they could sell themselves to Kimmich when they likely wouldn’t guarantee a starting spot is a different matter.

Manchester United

Of the three teams supposedly in this race, Manchester United would need him the most. With Casemiro widely expected to leave, Kobbie Mainoo still developing and Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount both disappointments so far, they need to beef up their midfield double pivot this summer and Kimmich would be a perfect fit.

His excellent vertical passing – very few midfielders in Europe get more accurate quick passes into the final third – would also suit the more direct style that Erik ten Hag has tried to inculcate into his team this year, with distinctly mixed results, while also offering the kind of defensive intelligence that they lack beyond Casemiro.

He’d be ideal for United, but would they be able to appeal to him? They could offer the cold hard cash and a starring role on what remains one of England’s grandest stages, but they are unlikely to have Champions League football on the table next season and don’t really look any closer to challenging for a first post-Ferguson title than they have done for several years now.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For United to land Kimmich will require the sales pitch of a lifetime from Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ten Hag (assuming the Dutchman is still in place, of course), but if want Kimmich wants is to be the main man in a big team, then they might well be able to twist his arm. He would suit them down to the ground.

Liverpool

Liverpool sit somewhere between the two Manchester teams in terms of the extent to which they ‘need’ Kimmich – and much depends on whether they see him as a holding midfielder, which isn’t really the role he plays at Bayern, or as the ‘second man’ in a midfield three, the kind of role in which Jordan Henderson played so effectively for the club for so long.

The former is a genuine position of need on Merseyside. Wataru Endo has proved to be a capable stopgap but when the Japan international isn’t selected they’ve put Alexis Mac Allister in that spot. The Argentine has played well there, but there is still a nagging feeling that they’re wasting his talents having him in such a defensive role.

Kimmich could do the job, certainly, but he’s a more venturesome player than that by nature and offers more going forward than he does in defence, not that he’s shabby at the base of the midfield. He’d be more suited to playing a more aggressive playmaking role, but then that’s an area in which the club are well stocked with Mac Allister as well as Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Ryan Gravenberch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Of course, this is all theory based on the assumption that Jürgen Klopp’s successor will stick with the current scheme. The next man in may well move to a double pivot which would suit Kimmich more readily – Xabi Alonso, for instance, plays with a two-man base in midfield at Leverkusen, and he’s among the more plausible candidates for the role.

Liverpool are the unknown in this three-way tussle. City don’t need Kimmich, but can offer him plenty if they want him anyway. United badly need him, but don’t have as much to put on the table. Liverpool… might need him, or might not, depending on what, or more specifically who, comes next. The decision now rests with Kimmich, and his decision will tell us a great deal about his priorities, and about how the clubs which court him are planning to line up next season.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.