Bayern Munich have moved to plug the gap left by injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, signing Borussia Mönchengladbach's Yann Sommer on a deal until 30 June 2025.
Neuer, 36, has been ruled out for the rest of the 2022/23 campaign after fracturing his right leg on a skiing trip, leaving understudy Sven Ulreich as Bayern's only proven top-level goalkeeper in the senior ranks.
Sommer, who has made 272 Bundesliga appearances since joining Gladbach from Basel in summer 2014 and represented Switzerland at the 2022 World Cup, is widely regarded as one of the German top flight's most complete custodians.
“I’m very excited about the new challenge at FC Bayern. It’s a big, powerful club," Sommer said after agreeing terms with the Bavarian giants. "We’ve played against each other many times – I know the enormous quality and aura of this club. I’m proud that I’m now a part of FC Bayern. We have some big challenges ahead of us. I’m hugely looking forward to starting here with my new teammates, and to everything that is to come. I want to thank Borussia Mönchengladbach for eight and a half wonderful years and for enabling this transfer.”
Sommer's qualities were laid bare in Bayern's 1-1 draw with Gladbach on Matchday 4 of the current campaign. The 34-year-old pulled off 19 saves, setting a single-game Bundesliga record in the process. It was the 18th time in all competitions he'd faced his new employers as a Gladbach player, and 12th occasion he succeeded in denying the record champions all three points (W8, D4, L6).
“Yann Sommer will be a valuable addition for us, because he has a wealth of international experience and has already played in the Bundesliga for many years," Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said. "He has everything required to contribute immediately to our success. We’re certain we can achieve our goals with Yann Sommer.”
All told, the former Basel stopper kept 90 clean sheets in 335 competitive outings for Gladbach, including three in 10 Bundesliga appearances in 2022/23. He's made 51 saves so far this term, putting him fourth league wide in that regard, behind Alexander Schwolow (Schalke, 53), Rafal Gikiewicz (Augsburg, 54) Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg, 55) and Manuel Riemann (Bochum, 64). For context, Neuer has recorded four shut-outs and repelled 31 shots across his 12 games.
Watch: Yann Sommer's record-breaking display against Bayern Munich
“We had to react after losing Manuel," Bayern board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic explained of his club's new signing. "We’re pursuing big goals this season, and that’s why we’ve recruited Yann Sommer, who we regard as one of the best European goalkeepers. Yann is the long-time Swiss national team goalkeeper, has Champions League experience, is a ball-playing goalkeeper, and fits into our team very well with his ambition and his character. I’d like to thank Borussia Mönchengladbach for the constructive negotiations."
Sommer, who was out of contract with Gladbach at the end of the season, is expected to make his competitive Bayern debut when the current Bundesliga leaders go to RB Leipzig in the first German top-flight fixture of 2023 on Friday.
Watch: Sommer's top 5 saves
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