THEY call Bayern Munich “FC Hollywood”.
But even Tinseltown’s finest scriptwriters would struggle to come up with the storyline ripping the German champions apart ahead of their Champions League date with PSG on Tuesday.
Yet the finger pointing extends to a series of star players, with the impact on the pitch leaving Munich facing the first proper fight for the Bundesliga crown in years.
The spark that fanned the dressing room flames came when Neuer – out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg in a Christmas skiing accident – saw his personal keeper coach Tony Tapalovic sacked last month for leaking player conversations.
Neuer vented his fury internally and then, when Bayern doubled down on the decision, publicly.
The Germany keeper said: “It was a blow for me – when I was already on the ground.
“I felt like my heart was being ripped out.
“That was the most brutal thing I’ve experienced in my career. And I’ve already experienced a lot.”
But Nagelsmann, already under pressure after Bayern drew the first three games after the extended World Cup break to see their lead reduced to a single point over surprise challengers Union Berlin, hit back.
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Nagelsmann, backed by the Munich hierarchy, slapped a fine on Neuer – suggested to have been as much as £1.4m – and then appeared to bury the hatchet firmly in the keeper’s back.
The Bayern coach, who brought in Borussia Monchengladbach’s experienced Yann Sommer as a replacement first choice in the January window, said: “The bigger the club, the more sharks swim around you.
“And it’s not bad if you’re in the middle of the shoal and there are a few pufferfish on the outside.”
If there was any doubt, Nagelsmann “clarified” his comments, suggesting they were “ironic” but adding: “Of course it was about the interview.
“We exchanged our opinions, but what we discussed remains internal.”
While Bayern have won their last two games, against Bremen and Wolfsburg, to retain top spot, the performances have been poor.
Neuer’s decision not to attend the game – the suspended Joshua Kimmich was in the Allianz Arena – added to the growing sense that his Munich days are numbered if Nagelsmann remains in charge.
With former Liverpool ace Sadio Mane still on the injured list, Germany widemen Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry copped the flak for their displays at the weekend.
Gnabry was already in Munich’s bad books after flying to take part in Paris Fashion Week without permission and he turned up for the Wolfsburg win with his hair in a bizarre bun.
Sane showed his derision when he was hauled off during the game although he promised: “Bayern has always delivered in this competition.
“We know our strengths and we have to call on them. We have to be there at the right time.
“Our team consists of great footballers, we are defensively stable and ready to front up.”
But Nagelsmann, also concerned over Thomas Muller, who limped off on Saturday, revealed he had held a dressing room inquest at half-time as he told some unwanted home truths.
He said: “We’re not in the right flow.
“I want us to play at full throttle. Then it’s football, that’s fun, that’s enthusiasm, and we move better too.
“If we play like this against PSG it won’t be enough. We have to play an outstanding game in Paris.”
They will, to banish all the doubts swirling round. That, or hire new writers for the twisting plot.