Bayern could 'do a Dortmund', claims Guardiola

The Allianz Arena coach says the champions must strive to improve all the time if they are to avoid falling into the same trap as Jurgen Klopp’s struggling side

Bayern Munich could easily stumble into difficulty in the same way as Borussia Dortmund, Pep Guardiola has claimed.

The Bavarians are 11 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga this season, with the winter break imminent, having begun the 2014-15 campaign in sensational style.

Dortmund, however, have been unable to handle a growing injury list and are one point off the bottom of the Bundesliga with 16 games played – a full  27 points behind the reigning German champions at the top of the league.

“When I see Dortmund, I always think: Okay, Pep, this can happen to us. This is a lesson for me. Bayern can also lose,” Guardiola coach told reporters.

“To prevent this situation, we must always try to improve.”

Despite Dortmund’s woes in the Bundesliga, they and Bayern eased into the last 16 of the Champions League and will face Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively in the next round.

Bayern are in action on Friday against mid-table side Mainz, while Jurgen Klopp’s men are facing bottom-of-the-league Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Milan must copy Bayern – Inzaghi

The Italian says his club must model the approach of the Bundesliga champions if they wish to become one of the best sides in Europe again

AC Milan boss Filippo Inzaghi has highlighted Bayern Munich as the perfect model to emulate as the club bid to compete with Europe’s elite once again.

The Rossoneri are seven-time winners of the Champions League but failed to qualify for the competition this season after finishing a lowly eighth in Serie in 2013-14.

That finish saw Inzaghi replace Clarence Seedorf in the Milan dug-out, with the former striker tasked with guiding the club to a top three finish and a place in Europe’s elite competition.

After 15 games, the San Siro club sit in sixth place, two points behind third-placed Lazio, and the Italian has pointed to Bayern as an example to follow in their quest for a return to the continent’s top table.

“Bayern Munich should be our reference point if we want to return to being successful,” he said at Thursday’s press conference.

“I read the other day that [Franck] Ribery said Guardiola changes tactics 10 times in a game – they’re a great example of flexibility and we need to follow that if we want to be the best again.”

Milan face Roma in Serie A on Saturday, knowing that victory and results elsewhere ending in their favour could see them move into third spot in the table.

Inzaghi says his players have nothing to lose going into the game and is convinced they will enjoy a successful 2015.

He added: “After the Genoa game I was angry because it was a game we shouldn’t have lost. I knew that we needed a great performance against Napoli.

“We don’t have much to lose on Saturday. If we get a good result that will be important for our growth, as it will come from playing well.

“I have to look at performances, and I hope that against Roma the team plays another good game.”

The former Juventus striker also spoke of his relationship with Italy boss Antonio Conte, who he played alongside for the Bianconeri, and met earlier this week along with several other Serie A coaches to establish the availability of certain players for upcoming internationals.

I have a great relationship with Conte.

“I’m available, and so are Milan, and whenever it’s possible we’ll always give him a hand.

“It makes me proud if my players are called up the national team.”

Shaqiri will stay at Bayern – Guardiola

The winger was linked with a move to Liverpool over the summer, but his coach is keen for him to stay and says the only way he will depart is if he personally asks for a transfer

Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of Xherdan Shaqiri leaving Bayern Munich in the January transfer window.

The Switzerland international, 23, was linked with a move to Premier League side Liverpool over the summer, after making just 21 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarians.

But, while Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery remain Guardiola’s first choice wide players, Shaqiri has already featured 14 times this term and the Spaniard has no interest in allowing him to leave.

When asked about the future of the winger and midfielder Emile Hjojberg, the former Barca boss said: “I think they will stay. If they want something then they need to speak to Matthias Sammer.”

Regarding the prospect of any arrivals, Guardiola appeared to rule out any further signings, adding: “Less players means less problems.”

Bayern play their final Bundesliga game before the winter break when they take on Mainz at the Coface Arena on Saturday, but they will do so without three of their key men.

“[Mehdi] Benatia, [Xabi] Alonso and [Robert] Lewandowski won’t be on board,” Guardiola said. “[Sebastian] Rode is sick.”

Bayern look on course to cruise to a third consecutive Bundesliga title having won 13 of their 16 league games and racked up an 11-point lead over second-placed Wolfsburg.

But another surprise sub-plot to the league season in Germany’s top flight has been the plight of Borussia Dortmund, who sit joint-second bottom of the division and Guardiola believes their struggles show that nothing can be taken for granted in his side’s quest for more silverware.

“Just because we were strong in the first half of this season doesn’t mean that we will be in the second half.

“It can happen that we lose one or more games. You can see it in Dortmund. Borussia is a super team with a great coach. But if it can happen to them, then it can to us.

“I don’t like talking about other teams but they will have a hard time getting second place now. Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Monchengladbach are all very strong. Dortmund have the quality to do it, though.”

Guardiola: Bayern will be even better in 2015

The Spanish coach feels that the Bundesliga leaders can step their game up another level after the winter break

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola wants his team to continue to develop and improve in the second half of the season.

The Bavarian giants opened up an 11-point lead at the Bundesliga summit as Wolfsburg were held to a draw at Borussia Dortmund following Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Freiburg.

Despite that advantage, and qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League having won their group, the Spanish coach still feels there are things that his side can work on in the new year.

“My wish for the new year is that we play better,” Guardiola said game. “It’s how it is at a big club. You always have to improve.

“For us it is the gameplay and minor details. They make, especially in the Champions League, the difference in the end.”

Bayern, who remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga, travel to face Mainz on Friday in their final game of the year before a six-week break from league action.

Bayern youngster Gaudino signs new contract

​The Bavarian giants have tied the 18-year-old to his first professional, while reserve goalkeeper Tom Starke was given an extension

Bayern Munich have handed new contracts to goalkeeper Tom Starke and teenage prospect Gianluca Gaudino.

Bayern confirmed that 18-year-old Gaudino has signed his first professional contract.

The midfielder has made six appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side this season and has agreed a four-year contract that keeps him with the club until 2018. 

Starke is the third choice shot stopper at the Bavarian club, behind Manuel Neuer Pepe Reina in the pecking order and he is yet to make an appearance in any competition.

The 33-year-old has not started for Bayern since March when Neuer was rested in the build-up to the Bavarian side’s Champions League clash with Manchester United.

However, despite his lack of activity, Starke has been rewarded with a new deal by the club and will continue his battle between the sticks with Ballon d’Or nominee Neuer, Reina and Leopold Zingerle.