Robert Lewandowski could not hope to win more trophies at Barcelona and should therefore stay at Bayern Munich, as uncertainty over his future persists.

That is the message from former Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who has implored the Bundesliga giants to keep talisman Lewandowski at the club despite interest from the Blaugrana.

The Poland international has enjoyed another remarkable season, scoring 35 goals in 34 top-flight games – no player has scored more across Europe's top five leagues.

But Lewandowski, whose contract expires in June 2023, has been widely linked with Barca after enjoying another fine personal campaign to help Bayern to a record 10th consecutive league title.

Questions remain over his future after Lewandowski and his agent suggested they had received no new contract offer, while Bayern, on the other hand, insisted a "concrete offer" was on the table.

And Rummenigge believes his former side must do everything in their power to keep the 33-year-old.

 

"I see things much more relaxed. There is one decisive factor: Robert Lewandowski has a contract that does not expire this year, but next year," he told BILD. 

"That means the club can decide what to do, whether they sell him or not. I think [Bayern CEO] Oliver Kahn used the words 'Lewandowski stays, that's that' to show the door is closed, we're not selling him! 

"I can't imagine that Bayern Munich will now give up Robert with these statements. I've experienced that myself. 

"In 2013 [the year before the Poland international joined from Borussia Dortmund] we prepared a lot of things with Lewandowski but [BVB CEO Hans-Joachim] Watzke said categorically, 'we won't sell him a year before, for any money in the world'. It all happened peacefully. 

"I don't know Robert as a rioter either. He is irreplaceable for FC Bayern. Since he's here, he scores between 40 and 50 goals every year. You need a player like that, even if he's about to turn 34. That's a guarantee that doesn't exist anywhere in Europe. He is extra class.

"He is a very intelligent person who has to be involved. He's someone who wants to win. But I don't think you can currently win more in Barcelona than at Bayern.

"I have to say openly and honestly, what more can Barcelona offer than Bayern Munich? I can't think of anything at the moment.

"He's a goal machine who has set records in all competitions. I wouldn't give up a player like that voluntarily. You have to fight for it, have conversations and cuddle with advisors, even if it's not that easy."

Niklas Sule already knows which club he will join when leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season, according to the defender's agent Volker Struth.

Germany international Sule confirmed to the club last week he will exit the Allianz Arena when his contract expires in four months' time, having failed to agree to a new deal.

That led to criticism from club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who stated Sule "never really asserted himself in his position" at Bayern.

Former Bayern skipper Stefan Effenberg went one further by accusing the 26-year-old of "deciding against sporting success for more money", with newly rich Newcastle United among the sides linked.

But the player's representative has refuted those claims, insisting Sule's decision to leave Bayern is not financially motivated.

"I think I would have a problem if we were to announce in a few days that the player would move to Newcastle and I'm sitting here explaining that the money isn't the priority," Struth told Sport1.

"We never negotiated [with Bayern]. There was only a verbal approach. We met, spoke about it and I signalled at the time that the player was considering whether he wants to extend his contract. 

"It wasn't about the money at all. A conversation was planned in January. Niklas spent Christmas with his family, called me at the time and said: 'I don't want that anymore. I don't want this appointment to take place.' 

"It has nothing to do with money at all. I spoke to [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic about a possible renewal, that was in late autumn last year – six or seven months before the end of his contract.

"By then, Sule had already decided and told me: 'I want to do something differen.'"

Asked if Sule's next destination is already known, Struth said: "Yes, that's for sure. Niklas recently made a decision, and I would be surprised if he changes it again."

Sule joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the club, winning four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal crowns, as well as the 2019-20 Champions League.

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer have leapt to the defence of the departing Niklas Sule following criticism from club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Sule confirmed earlier this week that he would exit Bayern when his current contract expires at the end of this season, despite being offered a new deal by the German champions.

The 26-year-old defender's decision led to Rummenigge stating he "never really asserting himself in his position" at Bayern.

Sule joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the club, winning four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal crowns as well as the 2019-20 Champions League.

Former Bayern skipper Stefan Effenberg chimed in, adding Sule “decided against sporting success and for more money”.

"I've only read it and haven't spoken to him about it yet," Nagelsmann told Sky when asked about Rummenigge's comments.

"Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is so regarded that he can say things. In the end it is important that Niklas performs well. That's more important than interviews."

He continued: “He has a contract situation that allows him to make a change. One can understand that.

"We will have a very good central defender again next year. We have to see what's going on in the transfer market. Everyone would have liked to keep him."

Sule put in a full shift in Saturday's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, with Bayern captain Neuer admitting his departure hurts but defending his decision to leave.

"It annoys us all that Niklas is going," Neuer told Sky . "He's a very good player, we'll miss him.

"He came from Hoffenheim, that was the way until he worked his way up to his peak performance. It's a process - and I think you can say today that it has succeeded."

He added: "When a player decides to go a different route, everyone lives their own career, you accept such decisions."

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer have leapt to the defence of the departing Niklas Sule following criticism from club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Sule confirmed earlier this week that he would exit Bayern when his current contract expires at the end of this season, despite being offered a new deal by the German champions.

The 26-year-old defender's decision led to Rummenigge stating he "never really asserting himself in his position" at Bayern.

Sule joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the club, winning four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal crowns as well as the 2019-20 Champions League.

Former Bayern skipper Stefan Effenberg chimed in, adding Sule “decided against sporting success and for more money”.

"I've only read it and haven't spoken to him about it yet," Nagelsmann told Sky when asked about Rummenigge's comments.

"Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is so regarded that he can say things. In the end it is important that Niklas performs well. That's more important than interviews."

He continued: “He has a contract situation that allows him to make a change. One can understand that.

"We will have a very good central defender again next year. We have to see what's going on in the transfer market. Everyone would have liked to keep him."

Sule put in a full shift in Saturday's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig, with Bayern captain Neuer admitting his departure hurts but defending his decision to leave.

"It annoys us all that Niklas is going," Neuer told Sky . "He's a very good player, we'll miss him.

"He came from Hoffenheim, that was the way until he worked his way up to his peak performance. It's a process - and I think you can say today that it has succeeded."

He added: "When a player decides to go a different route, everyone lives their own career, you accept such decisions."

Bayern Munich are not interested in Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and "will think twice" about signing Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele, according to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

German champions Bayern were this week named as one of four clubs realistically capable of signing Haaland by the player's agent Mino Raiola, along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Raiola clarified those comments by insisting Haaland is not yet thinking about leaving Dortmund, but the Norway international – reported to have a €75million buy-out clause that will kick in at the end of the season – continues to be linked with a move away.

However, with Robert Lewandowski in fantastic form and under contract until the end of the 2022-23 season, Rummenigge does not believe Bayern will attempt to poach Haaland from Bundesliga rivals Dortmund next year.

"FC Bayern will not try to get Haaland," the former Bayern chairman told Bild TV. "Not just for financial reasons, but also out of respect and appreciation for Robert Lewandowski, who's the best number nine in the world."

Since Haaland's debut for Dortmund on January 18 last year, Lewandowski (100) is the only player in Europe's top five leagues to have scored more goals than the former Salzburg striker (74) across all competitions.

 

Haaland is not the only big-name player to have been touted as a possible target for Bayern, with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele also said to be on the Bundesliga leaders' radar heading into 2022.

Dembele will become a free agent at the end of the season and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club from January, but Rummenigge cannot see a place for the France international in a star-studded Bayern side.

"I was a big fan when he played for Dortmund. He was a great player," Rummenigge said.

"Since then he's not been the same. Bayern have [Kingsley] Coman, [Leroy] Sane, [Serge] Gnabry and [Jamal] Musiala, all of whom are at a higher level at the moment.

"Although Dembele will be a free agent, there will be a big signing-on fee involved. For financial reasons, I think FC Bayern will think twice about it."

Dembele's time at Barcelona has been blighted by fitness issues, but he remains a key player for the Catalan giants when available.

He has managed 30 goals and 20 assists in 123 appearances in all competitions since joining from Dortmund in August 2017 and has been directly involved in 0.65 goals per 90 minutes.

For context, that puts Dembele on a par with Bayern forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and ahead of Coman (0.63) over that period, but behind Musiala (0.73), Gnabry (0.78) and Sane (0.9).

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.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels Leroy Sane's situation at Bayern Munich is similar to the difficulties Arjen Robben went through in his early years at the club.

Sane, signed from Manchester City in July 2020, has struggled to string together a consistent run during his time with the Bundesliga champions.

The flying winger was one of the Premier League's most exciting attackers during his time with City yet found himself a peripheral figure under Hansi Flick last term. On Sunday, he was taken off at half-time after drawing jeers from Bayern's support in Julian Nagelsmann's first competitive home game in charge.

Sane had 28 touches, two attempts – neither of which were on target – and created one chance in the first half against Cologne, with his replacement Jamal Musiala coming on to make an impact by teeing up Robert Lewandowski's opener in an eventual 3-2 win for Bayern.

Rummenigge, who left his role on the Bayern board at the end of last season, believes the Germany international's predicament, and the treatment he received from some Bayern fans, is akin to the reaction Robben initially received.

Robben joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009 and went on to become a club legend, but Rummenigge recalled that, the Netherlands attacker once considered leaving.

"At first I didn't like it, I feel sorry for him [Sane]," Rummenigge said on Bild's Reif ist live podcast about what happened on Sunday.

"He tries but has no confidence. He didn't play a good game. With his transfer fee and salary, the criticism of the fans is slowly coming up.

 

"I remembered 2012 in the stadium. There was the famous home final [in the Champions League]. It reminded me of the sad Arjen Robben. He missed a penalty in the final. 

"Arjen was almost ready to ask for his release. But we said: 'No, we won't do that.' He was an important player for Bayern Munich. We supported him. 

"Jupp Heynckes built him up as a coach. He was extremely ambitious. The result: a year later he was the match-winner in the Champions League final against Dortmund."

Since starring with a goal and two assists against former club Schalke on his debut, Sane has featured 46 times across all competitions for Bayern, which ranks him third behind stalwarts Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller (both 48).

However, only 28 of those appearances have been starts, while he has been taken off 22 times – Sane trails only Serge Gnabry (23) and Kingsley Coman (29) in that regard.

Sane has contributed nine goals and eight assists. His tally of 45 chances created is just above former team-mate David Alaba (38) but way behind Muller, who tops the list for Bayern across the period with 125.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will retire as Bayern Munich chief executive and Oliver Kahn will replace him on July 1.

Bayern and Germany legend Rummenigge spent 10 years with the Bundesliga champions as a player and was appointed as a vice president of the Bavarian giants back in 1991.

Rummenigge took over as chairman in 2002 and oversaw a hugely successful spell in the history of one of the biggest clubs in the world.

The 65-year-old was contracted until the end of the year, but has decided to step down and former Bayern goalkeeper Kahn will be his successor.

Rummenigge told the club's official website: "It is the strategically most sensible and logical point in time. It's the end of the financial year, and a new section begins with a new team of coaches. 

"Oliver Kahn as the new CEO should be responsible for the new season right from the start – also in the interests of the people involved and thus in the interests of the future of FC Bayern. 

"I said two years ago that we were planning a prudent transition, and that is now finally being made. That's how it should be."

Bayern president and supervisory board chairman Herbert Hainer paid tribute to the long-serving Rummenigge.

He said: "I would like to thank Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the association and the supervisory board.

"Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had a major impact on FC Bayern, already as a striker, but above all after the end of his active career, initially as vice president and from 2002 as chairman of the Board. 

"Together with Uli Hoeness, he made FC Bayern one of the best addresses in top international football - both athletically and economically. It was a pleasure and honour for me and all of us to have worked with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. 

"As soon as the Corona situation allows, we will officially say goodbye to him at FC Bayern. The name Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will always be closely associated with FC Bayern."

Hainer is in no doubt Kahn is the right man to replace Rummenigge.

He said: "Oliver Kahn will take over responsibility at the head of FC Bayern München AG as early as July 1st. 

"After his extremely successful professional career and his time as an entrepreneur, he has now been intensively involved in the board of directors of FC Bayern München AG for a year and a half. 

"He was already involved in the decisive decisions for the future of FC Bayern and set the course for the next few years with the FC Bayern AHEAD strategy project. We are all convinced that Oliver Kahn is the right man to successfully shape the future of FC Bayern Munchen AG. "

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the club are working closely with Hansi Flick to "find a solution" after the head coach announced his intention to leave.

Flick revealed in a television interview after last week's win at Wolfsburg that he has asked the Bavarian giants to cancel his contract, which runs until 2023, at the end of the season.

Bayern's board subsequently voiced its disapproval at Flick for the timing of his comments, with a ninth successive Bundesliga title still not yet officially wrapped up.

However, amid talk of a possible stand-off between the two parties, Rummenigge hopes an agreement can be reached before Bayern's next game against Borussia Monchengladbach on May 8.

"We have agreed that we would sit down after the game in Mainz," he told Bild. 

"If we are to meet Hansi's request, all parties have to work together to find a solution that FC Bayern is also happy with."

Flick has been strongly linked with the Germany job, which will become vacant when long-serving boss Joachim Low steps down after this year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

The 56-year-old last week declared that succeeding Low is "an option" he is considering, but no talks have been held with German Football Association (DFB) officials.

Asked if he has given any extra thought to his future plans ahead of Bayern's 2-1 loss to Mainz on Saturday, which delayed his side's title celebrations, Flick told Sky Sport: "I can't say.

"I don't know what the next week looks like. As coaches, we only have a rough plan for what we want to do for the next week, the next 14 days."

Meanwhile, Rummenigge reiterated that Bayern would never consider forming part of a breakaway division following the furore surrounding the European Super League fiasco.

Twelve clubs from England, Italy and Spain signed up to the league, but the plans are now in tatters - despite the best efforts of Florentino Perez and Andrea Agnelli - after the majority of those teams withdrew their support 48 hours later.

"Bayern are not up for such an event," Rummenigge said. "We all have a clear stance here. You cannot separate yourself from the football family by organising your own event at the expense of others.

"In the end, it might even have been a good thing that we saw this whole circus fall through within 48 hours, which put the whole world in an uproar. 

"People have understood forever that football is something different than just business."

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has urged the European champions to show unity amid reports of renewed tensions between head coach Hansi Flick and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

No secret has been made of the fact the pair have had their differences, with Flick insisting after last month's Champions League win over Lazio that they "wanted to leave these things behind us".

However, following Wednesday's 3-2 first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of a competition they won last year, speculation was rife that the duo were at loggerheads once again.

It is an issue that Rummenigge wants to lay to rest, insisting such talk was "superfluous" as he called on all parties to find harmony.

"We all have to pull together, have to work together harmoniously, loyally and professionally," he told Bild.

"That is my clear requirement for the sporting leadership. That has always distinguished FC Bayern.

"This topic has to come to an end. It is superfluous that we have to constantly comment, especially since we are in the last quarter of the season, are first in the Bundesliga with a seven-point lead, and despite our 3-2 loss against Paris, we still have a chance to advance in the Champions League.

"We need calm and a focus on the essentials."

The defeat to PSG ended Bayern's 19-match unbeaten run in Europe's elite competition.

Hansi Flick will not be leaving his post at Bayern Munich any time soon, according to the Bundesliga giant's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Flick, who won a remarkable sextuple in his first year as Bayern's head coach, has been mooted as the DFB's preferred successor to Joachim Low, who will end his tenure as Germany boss following this year's Euros.

The 56-year-old was Low's assistant coach for almost eight years, from August 2006 to July 2014, leaving his role after Germany's World Cup triumph.

Bayern have been the form side in Europe in Flick's time in charge, and despite a shock exit in the DFB-Pokal earlier this season, are still well in the hunt for a Bundesliga and Champions League double.

Robert Lewandowski scored a first-half hat-trick as Bayern made it six wins on the bounce on Saturday by thrashing Stuttgart 4-0, with a potentially decisive top-of-the-table clash with RB Leipzig up next after the international break, before the Bavarians take on Paris Saint-Germain – who they beat in last year's final – in the Champions League.

However, amid the speculation over who will take over from Low, Rummenigge has insisted Flick is going nowhere.

"I told him that we are very satisfied with him," Rummenigge told German publication Welt am Sonntag when asked about Flick's future.

"We are well advised to finish what we have agreed in the contract. I told Hansi that in no uncertain terms.

"[This has] nothing to do with probability. That is a fact."

On Saturday, Low hailed Flick as a potentially perfect candidate to replace him, though when asked for his thoughts on Low's praise, Bayern's coach replied: "It hasn't changed anything about the whole thing. There's nothing more to say about that."

Flick is under contract with Bayern until 2023, and Rummenigge also claimed that the DFB had confirmed they do not wish to appoint a coach that is already tied to a club.

If Rummenigge is to be believed, this would also rule out moves for Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the Bundesliga champions are ready to extend Niklas Sule's contract amid reported interest from Chelsea.

Sule has been linked with Premier League giants Chelsea, who are led by German head coach Thomas Tuchel, after Bayern announced the signing of RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

Germany international defender Sule, 25, is contracted to Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern until 2022.

Asked about Sule's future in Munich after Bayern's shock 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Rummenigge told ZDF: "Basically he is a German national player - and the philosophy of our club is that we always want the good German national players at Bayern.

"He now has another year of contract and it will be now we have discussions. And then we will see what results they lead to. Now we have to wait. We will certainly look at the whole thing seriously and calmly until the summer and then we will have to make decisions.

"If we can find a solution, we are basically ready to extend the contract. But that will only be possible under certain conditions."

Sule, who arrived from Hoffenheim in 2017, has started 11 of his 15 Bundesliga appearances this season – scoring once.

Across all competitions, Sule has featured in 25 matches for Hansi Flick's Bayern in 2020-21.

Rummenigge, though, warned of the financial impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I will say this in no uncertain terms - no longer have the financial resources that we once had before coronavirus," he said. "Corona has also caused financial damage at Bayern."

Rummenigge is set to relinquish his role at the conclusion of his contract in December.

As the clock ticks on his exit, Rummenigge said: "I'm interested that we become German champions and ideally play for the title in the Champions League again this year.

"But again: It's not because of me. I don't need a good exit, I've been able to win an incredible number of titles as a player and in my current position. We have now, for example, won our sixth title in one season in Qatar [Club World Cup], that is the setting of a world record Barcelona are allowed to put on their shirts.

"We definitely have a good team, we just have to play a little more committed than this week."

Bayern are five points clear atop the table, though that advantage could be reduced to two points if Leipzig beat Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

"We want to be German champions," Rummenigge added. "We have now given five points this week. That is not necessarily what we had in mind. But I guess there are many fans in Germany who think that's a good thing because the top has moved closer together again."

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed Premier League champions Liverpool and Chelsea are battling the Bundesliga holders to sign RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano.

Upamecano is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe, with Rummenigge previously stating Bayern's interest in the France international centre-back as David Alaba prepares to leave Munich on a free transfer at season's end.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked with moves for the 22-year-old, who has a release clause.

With Bayern determined to bolster their defence, Rummenigge said the German powerhouse are facing serious competition from England for Upamecano.

"In addition to Bayern Munchen, there are at least two quite attractive clubs interested," Rummenigge told Sky in Germany.

"The fact is that the player is interesting, and the fact is that we will almost certainly lose David Alaba at his position. I can't say if there will be other departures at the position," Rummenigge told Sky.

"You have to let things grow in peace. We have a good relationship with Mr. Struth. The player will know what he wants at some point. We have a good relationship with RB Leipzig as well. I have had a conversation with Oliver Mintzlaff. When things become concrete, we'll talk again.

"The fact that Chelsea and Liverpool are also interested in him proves that he has very good qualities. He can replace David Alaba."

Bayern's interest comes as Alaba looks set to swap the Bundesliga champions for LaLiga holders Real Madrid.

Barcelona have also emerged as a possible destination for the 28-year-old, but Rummenigge hinted at a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

"I am 99.9 per cent sure Alaba will leave the club at the end of this season," Rummenigge added. "We will part in a friendly way and I hope he can say goodbye to us with more titles.

"He is fully committed to us and he is a nice guy that we all like. He deserves to be treated well until his last day at Bayern.

"David can sign for the club he wants. I do not know if he will arrive at an agreement with Real Madrid, but it is a great club and I can understand that it is interesting for him."

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann insisted the club are not nervous about Dayot Upamecano's future amid interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the Bundesliga and Champions League holders are keeping an eye on star Leipzig centre-back Upamecano, with David Alaba set to leave Munich on a free transfer at season's end.

Upamecano – who reportedly has a release clause – has also been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool following his exploits for last season's Champions League semi-finalists Leipzig.

Nagelsmann responded to Rummenigge's comments and he was bullish regarding the 22-year-old France international's future, after questioning Bayern's public approach.

"It's always clever to get the other team nervous, however we aren't nervous," Nagelsmann told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Mainz.

"We know about Upamecano's contract. We know that we want to keep him for longer and that we like to have him with us.

"You can see that, as he's playing every single game for us.  But we also know the mechanisms in football. So if they want to make me or the club nervous, then it hasn't worked.

"But I don't think that this was their main intention. I believe that they said that to get a foot inside the door and make other teams that want to sign him nervous instead. But you have to ask Mr. Rummenigge, why he said what he said."

Nagelsmann added: "It is pretty normal in our business, that if a talented and young player has a buy-out clause other teams are interested in him. To what extent, someone has to then mention that publicly is up to them to assess if it's right or wrong.

"I don't have anything against it. But if it would've been the other way around, they might not have enjoyed it at all. I'm not really bothered by it. As I said already, in our business it is pretty usual. It is a part of it. Sometimes it's only about rumours but sometimes it is more concrete.

"Therefore, it isn't much of a surprise to me. Dayot Upamecano played a lot lately. I have already clarified, that some people tend to forget that he is still very young and still has to take more steps to progress further. But he is clearly capable of going those steps forward. Indeed, he had a couple of unlucky situations on the way forward."

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the club are keeping an eye on Dayot Upamecano, even if it is too early to expect the RB Leipzig defender to join them.

Upamecano, 22, has developed into one of the most highly prized centre-backs in Europe in recent seasons and has been tipped for a major move at the end of the season.

Bayern have been heavily linked with the France international, particularly with David Alaba expected to leave on a free transfer, most likely to Real Madrid.

Rummenigge confirmed transfer plans are being drawn up but was not prepared to state that any agreement had already been reached.

He told Bild that Upamecano was "at least at Leipzig until the end of the season", adding it was "a bit too early" to assume he would join the champions.

"We'll deal with this, of course, not only with him specifically but crucially which positions we want and where we have to do something," he said.

Bayern could also lose Jerome Boateng after this season, with the 32-year-old's contract expiring in June.

However, Rummenigge suggested he could extend his deal at the Allianz Arena after re-establishing his place in Hansi Flick's plans.

"Jerome is playing a good role again. The coach is satisfied with him," said Rummenigge.

Rummenigge also rubbished suggestions Bayern could look to sell Leroy Sane this year.

The former Manchester City winger has only started seven times in the Bundesliga in 2020-21, although he has scored four goals and provided five assists in those appearances.

"He has a five-year contract. It would be nonsensical [to sell]. We need this kind of player," Rummenigge added.

"Of course he will stay here at Bayern. And I'm convinced he'll find his way here."

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