Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala will be back in the Bayern Munich squad to face Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday but Marcel Sabitzer is facing a spell on the sidelines.

Bayern have been hard hit by coronavirus, but Julian Nagelsmann revealed Gnabry, Musiala and Michael Cuisance will come out of quarantine on Friday.

The trio have been cleared to return after testing negative, but will not be considered to start.

Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic have stepped up their recovery from COVID-19 in training this week, but neither will start the Bundesliga encounter this weekend.

Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting remain in isolation after they contracted the virus.

Kimmich has come in for criticism for not taking the vaccine, but Nagelsmann has sympathy for the Germany midfielder.

Nagelsmann said in a press conference on Friday: "I have a lot of contact with him. He is extremely ambitious. It is a burden for him that he cannot play."

The Bayern boss revealed Sabitzer will be out for "a few weeks" due to a calf injury, while Tanguy Nianzou misses Bielefeld's visit to the Allianz Arena due to a torn ligament in his shoulder.

Leaders Bayern suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Augsburg last Friday before beating Dinamo Kiev by the same scoreline in the Champions League.

Bielefeld are second-bottom of the table with only one win this season, but Nagelsmann says they must not be taken lightly. 

"Bielefeld have shown a clear improvement to last year. Masaya Okugawa is playing very well, has a lot of confidence on the ball and is versatile. They have a strong shape and always look to play deep.

"I know their coach [Frank Kramer]. Arminia have grown in terms of their physicality and the way in which they play. There are some parallels that can be drawn with Augsburg. It's a very important game for us."

Bayern Munich confirmed on Wednesday that Joshua Kimmich has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Germany star, who has stated he is unwilling to receive a coronavirus vaccine until more is known about possible long-term effects, missed Bayern's matches against Augsburg and Dynamo Kiev after being deemed a close contact of someone with the virus.

"Joshua Kimmich is self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19. The FC Bayern midfielder is doing well," the Bundesliga champions said in a short statement.

The club previously announced forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had also returned a positive test and could continue isolating at home.

The 32-year-old had already quarantined along with Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Michael Cuisance amid concerns about possible infection.

It was reported by Bild last week that any Bayern players who were forced to isolate having not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 would have their pay withheld for the duration of their absence from first-team duties.

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann had insisted he did not fear any such measures could cause friction within the squad.

Germany boss Hansi Flick told reporters he expected Kimmich to receive his vaccine when possible and defended the player from criticism.

"I think that it is going in this direction. We talked and I think it was a very good conversation. Now we have to wait and see," he said when asked if Kimmich would get the jab.

"Jo Kimmich is not to blame for the high number of infections. I don't think it's good that he is being pilloried in this way. It's not that easy for young people to deal with something like that."

Germany has recently seen a spike in coronavirus infections, with nearly 67,000 recorded on Wednesday, a record daily figure since the start of the pandemic.

The return of restrictions to halt the spread of the virus have been considered, while public spaces in some states have already introduced rules limiting access only to those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.

Joshua Kimmich will miss Bayern Munich's Bundesliga match at Augsburg on Friday as he is self-isolating after coming into close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann on Thursday revealed that Kimmich missed training as a precautionary measure as Bayern awaited the results of his PCR test.

The Bundesliga champions confirmed on Friday that Kimmich, Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic are in isolation.

Germany midfielder Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, had recently been forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Croatia defender Stanisic's positive test was revealed this week following his return from international duty.

Nagelsmann stated that Kimmich had come into close contact with an individual "in his private sphere" who may have the virus.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Gnabry and Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Kingsley Coman misses the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem.

Bayern Munich are waiting to discover if Joshua Kimmich will be available to face Augsburg on Friday after he was in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Kimmich missed training on Thursday as a precautionary measure and the Bundesliga champions are awaiting the results of his PCR test.

Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, was recently forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in coronavirus cases. 

Josip Stanisic was the latest Bayern player to return a positive COVID-19 test this week, with the Bavarian giants stating on Wednesday that the fully-vaccinated Croatia defender is isolating at home but feels "fine".

Nagelsmann revealed Kingsley Coman will miss the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem, but Leon Goretzka is fully fit.

The Bayern head coach will make a late decision on whether Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Alphonso Davies feature on Friday after they only returned from international duty on the eve of the game.

Hansi Flick would like all of Germany's players to get vaccinated against coronavirus, but does not judge those who wish not to be.

On Tuesday, Germany confirmed that Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule – who is fully vaccinated – had tested positive for COVID-19. He was immediately placed into quarantine.

Squads no longer have to do mandatory PCR testing, but Germany elected to do so. With Sule testing positive, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Karim Adeyemi and Joshua Kimmich were classed as close contacts and had to leave the training camp to isolate.

Another four players, who have not been named, were also said to have contact with Sule, but were allowed to remain at the camp. They will train alone and be monitored closely over the coming days.

Apart from Sule, no other positive cases were recorded.

While the vaccination status of Adeyemi, Musiala and Gnabry is not known, Bayern star Kimmich has publicly revealed he wishes to wait for more research to be completed on the vaccines before taking up the offer.

Though he would have preferred to avoid the subject and instead focus on Germany's World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Armenia, Flick reiterated his opinion that everybody should get vaccinated, but also stressed it must be down to the individual to make such a decision.

"There are enough experts who deal with it," Flick told a news conference on Wednesday.

"They have come to the conclusion that there is no compulsory vaccination. There are people in all areas who do not get vaccinated.

"We are in the public eye. We also have a great responsibility. But I've said everything about how I feel about it.

"I want the players to be vaccinated, but that's up to them. I hope that there will no longer be issues such as the five players we have to send home due to coronavirus, that is what I would like as a coach."

There has been a suggestion that players who are unvaccinated may not be able to compete at the 2022 World Cup.

"Qatar is still a long way off, we will see what comes next," he added.

"Our team doctor said enough yesterday. The fact is that we thought about it beforehand and tested ourselves. We feel it is our responsibility to ensure that we are all healthy.

"That something like this would happen to us was almost foreseeable. But we have no compulsory vaccination. I believe that people should not be judged who do not get vaccinated.

"For me the only way out of the pandemic is to get vaccinated – even in professional football. That is my opinion. But everyone has the right to refuse."

Flick also confirmed that Julian Draxler would miss Thursday's match against Liechtenstein with a muscle injury.

Germany's national team director Oliver Bierhoff has confirmed Niklas Sule is the player to have tested positive for coronavirus.

It was announced earlier on Tuesday that a member of Germany's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Armenia had returned a positive PCR test result and had immediately gone into isolation, though the player was not named at the time.

Four other players who were judged to have been close contacts also had to isolate, though no other positive results had been recorded within the camp.

At a subsequent news conference, Bierhoff confirmed Bayern Munich centre-back Sule was the player to have contracted COVID-19. 

Sule is double vaccinated, and the earlier update stated he had not shown any symptoms.

His club-mate Joshua Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, is one of the other four players to have gone into quarantine.

Kimmich, 26, explained last month that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

Fellow Bayern players Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala have also been forced into isolation, given they were part of the same travelling party to the training camp, while Karim Adeyemi also has to quarantine.

"The squad is still strong, and we will prepare for the two games in World Cup qualification from noon today and make them successful," said Bierhoff.

"The situation is not easy for the players, but there is no huge concern now."

Asked about Kimmich, Bierhoff said: "It was clear that if someone in his environment tests positive, he would be put in quarantine.

"Of course, that's difficult to accept when you have acted correctly and paid attention to everything."

Bierhoff was joined at the media conference by Germany's team doctor Tim Meyer, who explained the length of the quarantine will depend on the regulations set by the local health authority in Wolfsburg.

Asked if Gnabry, Musiala and Adeyemi were vaccinated, Dr Meyer said: "I won't give you any information about that. The vaccination plays a role in the decision, but also how close the contact was.

"I have already given my personal opinion on vaccination against COVID-19. Joshua Kimmich's opinion is also known. We have to accept that."

Dr Meyer added that four other players have been classed as contacts, though will be allowed to remain at the accommodation and will be tested again in the coming days.

Germany have also lost Florian Wirtz and Nico Schlotterbeck to muscular injuries, with Kevin Volland and Wolfsburg duo Ridle Baku and Maximilian Arnold added to the squad.

Julian Nagelsmann revealed he contacted Joshua Kimmich after the Germany midfielder hit the headlines as he admitted he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Bayern Munich, who are preparing to face Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal second round, have been without Nagelsmann after the former RB Leipzig head coach tested positive for coronavirus.

However, it was Kimmich who was the main point of interest after Bayern defeated Hoffenheim 4-0 as the 26-year-old explained he had not been vaccinated because he wanted further research to be conducted first.

Former Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quick to assure Kimmich should do the responsible thing and get vaccinated, though Nagelsmann attempted to put an end to the saga at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"A lot of topics are often chewed through," Nagelsmann told reporters from his home during his virtual conference. "It is important that there is an exchange of views. Everyone then has to decide for themselves whether they have to give their mustard to everything.

"There are experts, they should express their opinion. Whether the federal government has to do that now, it has to know for itself. I am happy when everyone can concentrate on their job again."

Nagelsmann, who has been operating from his homemade "data centre", then revealed he had contacted Kimmich to discuss the interview while admitting it was up to the individual whether they should get vaccinated or not.

"I wrote to him after the interview," he continued. "I told him that there are certainly easier interview topics. That is the price you pay when you are in public.

"Enough has been said about it now. I also gave my opinion of what I thought about the vaccination – I now know how the symptoms progress.

"From this and in exchange with doctors I also noticed that the disease behaves differently after the vaccination. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide whether he can be vaccinated."

Nagelsmann will not be fit enough to return for the visit to Gladbach, though he could return against Union Berlin on Saturday.

His side have won all three games in his absence, dispatching Leverkusen, Benfica and Hoffenheim by an aggregate score of 13-1.

However, the 34-year-old revealed he finds comments that Bayern do not need a coach in his absence disrespectful, pointing towards the crucial interventions that are sometimes required on the touchline.

"The team is very good, no question about it," he added.

"I also have a very well-functioning coaching team. They are a tight-knit bunch, and we know each other very well.

"But I don't lie around at home and don't work on anything. I think it is sometimes a bit disrespectful when you claim that the team doesn't need a coach. There are always moments when you should intervene."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects "very responsible" Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich to show he is a role model by taking the coronavirus vaccine.

Germany midfielder Kimmich stated that he wants to wait for further research to be conducted before he is jabbed.

The 26-year-old and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka started a 'We Kick Corona' initiative last year to help those affected by COVID-19.

Former Bayern president Rummenigge says Kimmich should not be criticised for wanting to know if there may be any long-term effects of being vaccinated but believes he should take the jab and will in the near future.

The Germany great told Bild Live: "First of all, I would like to say to Kimmich that he may be the Bundesliga player who has a role model function in many ways. 

"I know him as a great person, as his 'We kick Corona' initiative shows. Of course, it came as a surprise that he wasn't vaccinated. That has now led to a discussion. 

"In February of this year, I suggested that it would be wise to vaccinate footballers early – as an example for everyone else. 

"I've been horribly criticised. Now it has turned a little. What Joshua does is very responsible. He would like to wait for things like the long-term effects for himself and he is tested every other day. As a role model, it would still be better if he were vaccinated.

"I am convinced that he may be vaccinated soon. He is a totally responsible person and player. We can be very happy that he is part of these two teams in our country."

Rummenigge does not believe players should be left with no choice.

He added: "The compulsory vaccination does not lie with football, but with politics. Due to the fact that one or the other is not vaccinated in Bavaria, we now have a discussion. But that shouldn't be introduced through football."

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who is fully vaccinated, was absent for the Bundesliga champions' 4-0 hammerings of Benfica and Hoffenheim this week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich has explained his reasoning for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Bayern swept Hoffenheim aside 4-0 at home, with Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, Eric Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman scoring the goals.

It was the second match in succession that fully vaccinated head coach Julian Nagelsmann missed due to testing positive for the coronavirus, with the 34-year-old also not present for the 4-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Kimmich explained that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

"I just want to wait for myself when it comes to long-term studies [about the vaccine]," Kimmich told Sky Deutschland after the game. "Nevertheless, I am aware of my responsibility.

"Of course, I adhere to the hygiene measures. It is also the case that we unvaccinated players at the club are tested every two or three days.

"Nevertheless, it is not now that I am in any way a corona denier or vaccination opponent. I don't say categorically that I won't be vaccinated at all. It's just about the fact that I still have a few concerns. That is why it is very possible that I will be vaccinated in the future."

The Germany international was asked about the initiative 'WeKickCorona' started last year by himself and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka, and Kimmich explained that his aim was to help those affected by COVID-19.

"'WeKickCorona' was about supporting charitable institutions and non-profit purposes that support people who are in need due to corona," Kimmich said. 

"We have also donated money to Unicef, which then makes vaccines available. The point is that there are countries that do not have access to the vaccine. 

"I think everyone should make the decision for themselves. It [should not be] possible that someone has no access."

Germany's midfield partnership of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich is "one of the best duos in the world", according to Hansi Flick.

The Bayern Munich pair have started together in each of their country's last three matches and are likely to anchor the midfield in the World Cup Qualifying Group J clash against North Macedonia on Monday.

Goretzka and Kimmich have also partnered each other in all seven of Bayern's Bundesliga outings this season, helping Julian Nagelsmann's side to the top of the table in the process.

Ahead of Germany's trip to North Macedonia, where victory could see Die Mannschaft secure their place in Qatar with two matches to spare, Flick lauded Kimmich and Goretzka, who also formed a key part of his dominant Bayern team.

"Everyone knows they get along well off the pitch," he told a news conference. "They complement each other and are top professionals. 

"We need them to dictate our game. They harmonise well in midfield and we're glad we have them. 

"It's one of the best midfield duos in the world."

Manuel Neuer could return in goal for Germany, having missed Friday’s win over Romania with an adductor injury. Flick also revealed that defender Antonio Rudiger is a doubt after missing training on Sunday.

Meanwhile, winger Serge Gnabry has defended team-mate Timo Werner, who received criticism after a subdued performance against Romania.

Although involved in an early penalty incident, the Chelsea striker was substituted in the 67th minute having amassed just 24 touches and 19 passes – the lowest tallies recorded by any of Germany's starting outfield players – while also seeing both of his shots go off target.

Nevertheless, Gnabry was full of praise Werner's work rate and determination, insisting the former RB Leipzig star was simply unfortunate.

"We know there are periods when a striker doesn't always score," Gnabry said. "Then, there's criticism, but we stand behind Timo. 

"He did a good job in the last game; he missed a little bit of luck, but he's giving everything, and that's the most important thing.

"Timo is not [Robert] Lewandowski and not a classical striker, but he also has his qualities; he's quick and can also score goals."

Joshua Kimmich warned "hungry" Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich still have room for improvement after they beat Greuther Furth 3-1 despite Benjamin Pavard's red card.

Robert Lewandowski's long goalscoring streak ended at 15 consecutive Bundesliga games - one short of Gerd Muller's record - but the champions moved three points clear of Wolfsburg.

That is now 40 goals in their past eight matches for ruthless Bayern, who led 2-0 courtesy of great finishes from Thomas Muller and Kimmich at half-time.

Pavard was given his marching orders for a professional foul on Jeremy Dudziak early in the second half, but a Sebastian Griesbeck own goal extended their lead.

Cedric Itten's header in the closing stages was too little, too late for bottom side Furth in the Bavarian derby at Sportpark Ronhof on Friday.

Bayern have won eight consecutive matches in a great start to Julian Nagelsmann's reign and midfielder Kimmich says there is more to come.

 

The Germany international told DAZN: "The character of the team is great. We have players who want to develop, who are hungry.

"We want to win every game. We're in good form at the moment, but we haven't been able to manage all of the games this season with confidence. There's room for improvement."

Kimmich, who delivered the free-kick that was turned into his own net by Griesbeck, added: "It wasn't exactly a brilliant performance on our part, but we had the game under control even when we played with 10.

"We made mistakes in the first half, and we kept inviting Furth via set-pieces."

Robert Lewandowski's scoring streak ended and Benjamin Pavard was sent off, but Bayern Munich still cruised to a 3-1 victory over Greuther Furth in the Bundesliga.

In a Bavarian derby battle between top and bottom on Friday, Bayern were in control at half-time following goals from Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich at Sportpark Ronhof.

There was hope for Furth when France full-back Pavard was shown a straight red card early in the second half for a professional foul on Jeremy Dudziak.

The champions remained a class apart from their newly-promoted opponents despite Pavard's dismissal and a Sebastian Griesbeck own goal increased their advantage, with a late Cedric Itten header no more than a consolation for the home side.

Lewandowski was unable to match Gerd Muller's record of scoring in 16 consecutive Bundesliga games, but Julian Nagelsmann's moved three points clear at the summit.

Bayern wasted no time in stamping their authority on the game, with Leon Goretzka's early long-range drive flashing just wide.

The champions were in front in the 10th minute, when Thomas Muller finished clinically with his left foot after Maximilian Bauer could only divert Alphonso Davies's cross into his path.

Furth were unable to live with Bayern and Kimmich doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark with a measured right-footed strike from 25 yards out after Leroy Sane laid the ball back to him.

Lewandowski flicked Kimmich's corner against the crossbar as Bayern dominated, but they were a man down when Pavard was given his marching orders for upending Dudziak three minutes into the second half.

Bayern continued to pose a major threat despite their numerical disadvantage, Sascha Burchert getting down to keep out Lewandowski's first-time shot.

Nagelsmann was shown a yellow card for dissent before Kimmich's free-kick was turned into his own net by Griesbeck, under pressure from Lewandowski.

Itten nodded in Timothy Tillman's inviting cross with a couple of minutes remaining, but the points were in the bag by then for Bayern.

Bayern Munich were disappointed only to beat Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou, again proving far too strong for their Champions League rivals.

The sides met for the first time since Bayern's sensational 8-2 success 13 months earlier, a victory in the quarter-finals that broke all manner of records.

The final scoreline was slightly more respectable for Barca this time, yet they were completely outclassed again by the Bundesliga champions on Tuesday.

Ronald Koeman's Barca did not muster a single shot on target for the first time in a Champions League match since Opta records began in 2003-04.

At the other end, Bayern were rampant, led by Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

Lewandowski scored twice after Muller's opener maintained his outstanding record against Barca, now standing at seven goals from six matches.

No player in Champions League history has more goals against Barca – Muller passed Ukraine great Andriy Shevchenko's five in the 8-2.

"We didn't allow much at the back, and up front we could have scored one or two more goals," Muller told Amazon.

"Playing here is just fun, the guys enjoyed it. If you win 3-0 here, that's a very important signal. We are very happy."

Muller was asked to explain why he scores so regularly against Barca, having netted once every 73 minutes in their Champions League meetings, converting seven of 16 shots.

"That's because Barcelona are a playful team, and as an attacking player, you get a little more space than against defensive blocks," he said. "But you can say that I like to score against Barca."

Muller was not alone in enjoying himself on Tuesday, however, as one of nine Bayern players to share 17 shots between them.

Bayern star Joshua Kimmich, who attempted one and created three, said: "We didn't get into the game that easily. The longer the game went on, the more we got control.

"We then happily make it 1-0 because it was a bit lucky. Nevertheless, we were already the better team in the first half. We could have won by even more.

"We let the ball run properly, although we still made a few simple mistakes. The bottom line is that we can be satisfied."

Joshua Kimmich is confident the best is yet to come for him at Bayern Munich, after the versatile Germany international signed a contract extension.

Bayern announced on Monday that Kimmich, who joined the Bundesliga champions from RB Leipzig in 2015, had agreed terms to keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Since breaking into Bayern's first team, Kimmich has established himself as one of Europe's top players, capable of playing in midfield or at full-back.

"It means a lot to me, both in a footballing and personal sense," Kimmich told a news conference.

"It's a decision that covers the next few years, and hopefully the best years are still to come.

"The feeling I get from the club and from our coach [Julian Nagelsmann], who has also signed a five-year deal, is one of security. Signing a coach on a five-year contract was also a sign. We are all looking forward to working together."

Using Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed just what Kimmich brings to Bayern, who are also looking to secure the future of another key player.

How important is Kimmich?

The heir to Philip Lahm's throne, Kimmich is perfectly adept playing either as a right-back or in central midfield.

With exceptional vision and a passing range to match, he ensured Bayern did not feel the absence of Thiago Alcantara following the Spaniard’s move to Liverpool, while his ability from distance has also helped him score 30 goals.

Since Kimmich's arrival from RB Leipzig in 2015, he has played in 175 Bundesliga matches – only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (188) and Robert Lewandowski (190) have played in more.

Kimmich's 10,672 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first out of outfield players for recoveries, having completed 970.

In all competitions, only Lewandowski (282) and Muller (279) have made more appearances than Kimmich (264), who has helped Bayern to 204 victories.

He trails only Muller (581) in terms of chances created. Kimmich has set up 499 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in total, with 206 of these coming from set-piece situations.

Muller is again the only player to register more assists than Kimmich – 97 compared to 68.

Per 90 minutes, Kimmich plays 8.44 passes or crosses into the area, more than any player still with Bayern. Indeed, his total in that metric (1,936) is way clear of second-ranked Muller (1,058). In fact, since his Bundesliga debut for Bayern, Kimmich has played 2588 successful passes ending in the final third, more than any other player over that period

Defensively, Kimmich has made an impressive 282 interceptions, ranking him fourth for Bayern players since he made his debut in August 2015, while he has successfully completed 63.91 per cent of 363 attempted tackles.

 

One down, one to go?

With Kimmich's future secured, Bayern's attention might well now be on tying Leon Goretzka down to a similar long-term contract.

The former Schalke midfielder became a key cog under Hansi Flick and is arguably among the best box-to-box midfielders in world football.

However, his deal runs out at the end of the season, and Europe's biggest clubs would no doubt be circling for a player of such quality on a free transfer.

In 115 games for Bayern, Goretzka has racked up 25 goals and provided a further 20 assists, while his knack of making timely runs into the box has seen him be presented with 31 big chances – as defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

Only four players have had more big chances than Goretzka, though his conversion rate of 35.48 per cent demonstrates he still has work to do in that area.

Goretzka's work off the ball must also not be undervalued.

Of Bayern's current midfield options, only Kimmich has managed more recoveries than the 655 Goretzka has made since making his debut. Goretzka has also won 100 of 166 attempted tackles, registering an impressive success rate of 60.24 per cent.

Reports last week suggested a new deal for Goretzka had been agreed, so Bayern's number eight may well have his reward in the coming days.

Bayern Munich have tied down Joshua Kimmich until 2025.

Capable of playing in midfield or at full-back, Kimmich joined from RB Leipzig in 2015 and has gone on to win 17 trophies with Bayern, who are chasing a 10th successive Bundesliga title this season.

He had two years left to run on his previous deal, though talks had been ongoing over a long-term extension.

Last week, club president Herbert Hainer insisted Bayern would not bow to excessive demands, even to keep such talents as Kimmich and his midfield partner Leon Goretzka, whose deal runs out at the end of 2021-22.

"They will certainly not be kept at any cost," Hainer told Kicker. "The players know what they have at Bayern, they are paid very well here too, everyone gets their salary.

"And they can win titles with us now, and also in the future."

It appears any impasse in negotiations with Kimmich was swiftly resolved, however, with the 26-year-old agreeing terms on a two-year extension.

"The most important reason for my contract extension is that I can pursue my passion with joy every day here at FC Bayern," Kimmich said.

"I have a team where I can achieve everything, and a lot of team-mates have become real friends. That’s why I started playing football in the first place, because it should be fun.

"I still don't think I'm at the end of my development and I'm convinced there's a lot possible at FC Bayern in the next years.

"On top of that, my family feels at home here. Munich has become a second home. The combination we have here isn’t found all over the world."

Bayern sporting director and board member Hasan Salihamidzic, meanwhile, believes securing Kimmich on fresh terms is a clear message of intent.

"With this contract extension, Bayern is sending a clear signal, both internally and externally," he said.

"We want to sign our best players over the long term. Joshua will develop his great quality as a leading player at Bayern in the next few years and make history."

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