Bender to stay at Bayer

The 23-year-old Germany international has been linked with the Bundesliga giants in recent weeks after an impressive season at the BayArena sparking a war of words between the clubs.

Bayern Munich chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and coach Jupp Heynckes had both hinted in the press that they would like to sign the player causing anger at his current club.

But Bender moved to calm the situation by revealing he has no interest in a move having recently signed a new deal that will keep him at Leverkusen until the summer of 2017.

“I just recently signed a new contract with Bayer Leverkusen,” he told the club’s official website. “I am ready to take my next step at this club.

“There has definitely been enough said about the whole thing now and I am not out to participate in any more rumours and speculation.

“I intend to become a real key player at Bayer Leverkusen and I intend to take over more responsibility in the first team.

“The latest campaign was my very first as a regular starter in a Bundesliga line-up. Beforehand I was more or less a stand-in”

Bayern play patience on Bender

Rummenigge’s opposite number at Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfgang Holzhauser, is unhappy that Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes sent a text message to Bender after he scored for Germany against Denmark at Euro 2012.

Holzhauser told the Bild newspaper: “I am very surprised to see Jupp Heynckes being able to text an SMS by now.”

The Bayern chief has brushed off Holzhauser’s comments but admitted his club are interested in players similar to the 23-year-old.


“I recommend that Leverkusen take things in a more relaxed and more confident manner than right now,” Rummenigge said.

“Everyone knows that we are watching the transfer market for players in that position (defensive midfielder) and our sports directors have some players on their list who they are watching.

“I can only say that we are pretty relaxed in this case. We could imagine that Lars Bender will be a target for Bayern Munich, but we have to wait.

“We know that there is a price for every player and if Bayern Munich is willing to pay that price, it is possible that the player will pull on a Bayern shirt but we have to calm down.”

Bayern suffer double blow

Austria’s footballer of the year Alaba sustained a stress fracture in Bayern’s 3-2 friendly defeat by Napoli on Friday.

The 20-year-old has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks, although further tests will be carried out on Monday to investigate the full extent of the damage and decide what treatment will be given.

Full-back Rafinha also picked up an injury during the game and has torn ankle ligaments.

He will not need an operation, but will nevertheless miss the next four to five weeks, making him a doubt for the start of the season on August 25th.

Both have been left out of the Bayern squad for their trip to China on Sunday, according to the club’s official website.

Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger will also be left at home to concentrate on ‘building up their fitness’ for the new season, according to coach Jupp Heynckes.

Tymoshchuk may leave Bayern

The 33-year-old defensive midfielder joined the Bavarian giants from Russian club Zenit St Petersburg in 2009.

He holds the distinction of being the most capped player in Ukraine’s history but has struggled for a first-team place at Bayern in recent seasons.

Tymoshchuk’s contract expires in 2013 and he admits to having several options for the forthcoming season.


“Maybe I’ll stay in Munich, I don’t know yet,” Tymoshchuk told Kicker.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk player added that he had “a few options in Russia” and was “in contact with several clubs”.

According to certain sources, the versatile veteran is being tracked by Napoli and AC Milan.

His future could depend on whether or not Bayern can complete the signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez, who, like Tymoshchuk, can play in defensive midfield and central defence.

Martinez price puts off Bayern

Bilbao value the versatile 23-year-old at €40million (£31.4m) and he remains under contract with the Basque Country club until June 2016.

There has nevertheless been speculation about a summer move to the Allianz Arena, with Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes recently stating that Martinez was a part of his plans for the new season.

Rummenigge has played down the chances of Martinez coming to Bayern, though, insisting that nobody would be prepared to pay that price for the player.

“I’m not optimistic, to be honest. [Bilbao] president [Josu Urrutia] has always emphasised that he doesn’t want to sell the player for a price under the clause.


“The asking price is immense. It’s a fee that has never been paid by a German club.”

Barcelona have also been linked with a move for Martinez but Rummenigge doubts whether they would be interested either unless Bilbao get more realistic with the offers they are ready to listen to.

“There is no club in Europe that is willing to pay that price,” he explained.

“I have a good relationship with Barcelona, and Barcelona aren’t prepared to do so.

“You have to see the whole transfer business very rationally. There are some players who are worth it, but not many in this world.”