'We want to set off on a run' – Neuer demands Bayern Munich focus

Manuel Neuer has urged Bayern Munich to take advantage of Borussia Dortmund’s slip up when they face Stuttgart on Sunday.

The reigning Bundesliga champions came from behind to draw 1-1 with Nuremberg, giving Die Roten the chance to make some early headway in their quest to end a two season trophy drought.

“Our priority is to win our first home match against Stuttgart,” the 26-year-old told reporters at a press conference. “I’d be delighted if we can focus on that.”

“We want to set off on a run at the start of the season.”

Bayern Munich opened their campaign against newly-promoted Greuther Furth last weekend, running out 3-0 winners on the night.

Premier League clubs dominate summer spending as most of Europe cuts back

Premier League clubs spent a massive £490 million (€618m) in the summer transfer window, an increase of £4m (€6.3m) from the same period last year, according to analysis by business advisory firm Deloitte.

A frenetic final day of transfer activity saw a number of big-money deals completed before the window closed, with Manchester City signing Javi Garcia for £18m (€22.7m), Fulham bringing in Dimitar Berbatov and Tottenham snapping up both Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey.

While this summer’s spending did not reach the record of £500m (€630.8m) spent in 2008, it came very close, with the newly-promoted clubs also not afraid to heavily invest, as evidenced by Southampton smashing their club record with the £11m (€15m) capture of Gaston Ramirez from Bologna.

The analysis also revealed that Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all exceeded £30m (€37.8m) in gross transfer spending, while a busy final day saw Premier League clubs conclude deals totalling around £110m (€138.8m), approximately £9m (€12.6m) more than the equivalent deadline day figure for summer 2011.

Overseas, Spanish clubs kept relatively quiet, with Real Madrid making one big signing in Luka Modric, while Barcelona spent €14m on Jordi Alba, and another €19m (£15m) on Alex Song.

The chasing pack, meanwhile, spent relatively modest sums; Valencia’s spending was dictated by how much they received, while Atletico Madrid were more focused on keeping hold of Radamel Falcao.

Malaga, experiencing financial troubles, took Roque Santa Cruz on loan and let go of Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon.

The rest of La Liga barely spent any money whatsoever, as has become the norm in recent seasons.

Juventus were the biggest spenders in Serie A as they secured the services of players such as Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Sebastian Giovinco, while Inter did not hesitate to spend big on Alvaro Pereira, Samir Handanovic and Rodrigo Palacio.

AC Milan were pillaged by mainland Europe’s biggest spenders, while Fiorentina made some impressive purchases, largely financed by the late sale of Matija Nastasic to Manchester City.

On the whole, it is estimated -not by Deloitte, however – that the 20 clubs earned more money than they spent transfer-wise.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich paid a record fee of €40m to lure Javi Martinez away from Athletic Bilbao, while champions Borussia Dortmund splashed the money they received from Manchester United for Shinji Kagawa on Marco Reus.

Hamburg splashed out on Rafael van der Vaart to boost their spending, but it was a similiar story for the rest of the Bundesliga.

The remaining 15 clubs spent no more than an estimated €7m net on transfers, with the biggest spenders, Bayer Leverkusen (around €5.6m net) and Borussia Monchengladbach (around €6.5m net), benefiting from Champions League income.

However, the unrivalled champions when it comes to spending in mainland Europe are Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain.

Les Parisiens parted with over €100m in order to sign Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side apart, however, French spending was extremely low; Lille, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais all posted estimated transfer-related profits of at least €10m, while no club – PSG aside – had a higher net spend than €5m.

Chelsea asked us not to include Mata in Spain squad, says Del Bosque

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has revealed that Chelsea asked him not to call up Juan Mata for the upcoming matches against Saudi Arabia and Georgia, as they feel the attacker needs rest.

Mata featured at Euro 2012 with the Spanish national side before travelling to London to take part in the summer Olympics, and Del Bosque feels omitting the 24-year-old was the right thing to do given the circumstances.

“Mata’s absence may be conspicuous but there is an explanation. Chelsea rang us to request that we do not call him up because he has hardly had any time off this summer,” Del Bosque stated at a press conference.

“We obviously have a duty to do what’s best for our squad, but there are situations like this that just make common sense.”

The Spain boss then went on to say that Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes also contacted him with the request not to call up Javi Martinez.

“Javi Martinez wouldn’t have come with us anyway but yes, I have to say that Heynckes called me with concerns about the length of time he has not played for and the difficulty of getting used to German football. While there is no league competition, this time will be very useful for just that.”

The reigning European and world champions first take on Saudi Arabia before starting their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against Georgia on September 10.

Bayern Munich – Stuttgart Preview: Heynckes' side look to continue winning start against souther rivals

Bayern Munich are set to welcome back Emre Can into the starting line-up after the youngster sat out the 3-0 opening-day win over Greuther Furth.

He should take the place of Dante and slot in of the left-hand side of defence, with full-backs Rafinha, David Alaba and Diego Contento all nursing pre-season injuries.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is still struggling for fitness after a series of niggling injuries, but Toni Kroos, rather than €40 million signing Javi Martinez, will start alongside Luiz Gustavo in midfield. Franck Ribery is fine after missing the Furth clash with a virus, and will come in for Xherdan Shaqiri.

Mario Mandzukic will start up front as Mario Gomez continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

Despite a long-haul trip to Moscow for Europa League commitments, Stuttgart are set to name an unchanged side after Bruno Labbadia announced a host of changes for the clash with Dinamo.

Gotoku Sakai took Tim Hoogland’s spot in at right-back for the midweek match, and is set to retain his spot alongside Serdar Tasci, Maza, and Arthur Boka.

In midfield, Christian Gentner will continue in the stead of Ibrahima Traore in the deep-lying positions, with Tamas Hajnal, Shinji Okazaki and Martin Harnik providing support for Vedad Ibisevic, who bounced back from his penalty miss against Wolfsburg by scoring against Dinamo.

Daniel Didavi remains sidelined with a long-term injury problem.

  • Several Bayern players have represented Stuttgart, including Philipp Lahm, who enjoyed a loan spell there, Mario Gomez, and Holger Badstuber, who came through the club’s academy.
  • The Bavarians triumphed over their southern rivals in the 1986 DFB-Pokal final with a 5-2 scoreline.
  • The last time Stuttgart were victorious at the Allianz Arena was in 2009-10. Bayern went on to win a domestic double, but were beaten by Inter in the Champions League final.
  • Vfb defender Georg Niedermeier spent a total of 14 years at Bayern before moving to his current club in 2009.
  • Stuttgart last won the Bundesliga in 2007-08, Bayern finished in fourth place – the last time they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Lahm and Neuer praise new Bayern signing Javi Martinez

Philipp Lahm has taken the time to praise Javi Martinez in the wake of his first training session for Bayern Munich.

The Spain international signed a five-year deal with Bayern earlier this week to complete his €40 million move from Athletic Bilbao, and he has already impressed his new team-mate during his short time at the club.

“I’ve seen a bit of him in the past, and I reckon he’s a very good footballer,” Lahm was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

“[Head coach Jupp] Heynckes introduced him to the rest of the team and then he went out and just played football. He fitted in straight away. My initial impression is that he’s quality. He’ll help us a lot.”

Shot-stopper Manuel Neuer was equally pleased with the versatile midfielder’s arrival at the club, and stressed that Javi Martinez will need time to find his best form in his new surroundings.

“It’s great that he’s here. He lost his first practice match, but he threw himself into it and won a lot of balls in the air.

“He was very good, he’s still very young, and he’s starting out on a great career. There’s a lot coming at him from all directions, a new club, a move abroad. He’ll need time before we can say he’s really arrived. He’s not been signed just for one season, but for the long term.”

The 24-year-old could make his official Bayern debut against Stuttgart on Sunday.