Txiki Begiristain is making no friends in Germany after comments he is reported to have made to Sky. The German press quote City’s director of football, when asked if he’d target Bayern Munich players, as saying:
“I can not promise anything. Our goal is always to put together a strong squad. Bayern Munich are trying to do the same thing. For months we have been working on the new team and who knows what will happen.”
In a nation which long ago submitted to Bayern Munich’s rule, where rivals regularly hand over star players to them without much of a fight, this has caused a stir. As well as the sly digs at City’s ownership from the German press, Txiki’s counterpart at Bayern, Matthias Sammer, responded with some interesting comments. He stated that Bayern’s contract situation with players is ‘comfortable’, making it hard for City to prise away any of the big names. Sammer added that Pep has told him he will not try to poach players and believes those comments to be credible.
But Sammer, aware that Pep may not be speaking on behalf of Manchester City as a club, said that football is a brutal business and Begiristain was just being honest. He then fired a warning the other way, saying City should not rule out Bayern attempting to take stars from the Etihad.
“There are one or two very interesting players.”
tz online named Aguero, Kompany, De Bruyne, and Otamendi as possible targets should Sammer turn the tables.
If City do aggressively pursue Bayern stars, strained relations between the club could get worse. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß have made slanderous remarks about City, some bordering on racism, in past years. Rummenigge, chairman of the European Club Association and Financial Fair Play advocate, has recently complimented City’s work at youth level, though, saying last year:
“I’ve taken a look at Manchester City’s youth academy and all I can say is it doesn’t get any better than that.”
One player who will not follow Pep Guardiola is David Alaba, who extended his contract with Bayern Munich until 2021 yesterday.