'Sloppy' Bayern must improve fast, says Lahm

Pep Guardiola’s side take a narrow 1-0 lead to Portugal for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final and their captain says they need to up their game

Philipp Lahm has urged his Bayern Munich team-mates to step up their performances as he feels the Bundesliga leaders have not been at their best in recent weeks.

Bayern are on a six-match winning streak in all competitions, but have struggled to replicate the form that saw them impress in the first half of the season.

They had to settle for a narrow 1-0 home-win in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica, and Lahm has demanded improvements ahead of Wednesday’s return.

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“We must be more precise. We have missed a certain freshness in some of our recent games. We have had some problems,” the Bayern captain told Kicker.

“We did not put enough pressure on Benfica in their half. We have not been accurate enough on the ball. We have been sloppy at times and have been making the wrong decisions.

“We must improve and we must improve fast. We are still winning games, though, and have been doing well defensively. But we have to work on our efficiency.”

Bayern Munich chief confirms 'contact' with Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard

The 17-year-old has not featured for the Spanish club since making his debut at the end of last season but Matthias Sammer says the Norwegian is a “good player”

Bayern Munich’s sporting director Matthias Sammer has confirmed that the club are in contact with Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard.

The 17-year-old was given his first-team debut at the end of last season but is yet to appear for the Spanish club this term.

Bayern were among the clubs monitoring Odegaard in the build-up to his move to Madrid in January 2015 but Sammer backs the midfielder to be a success in Spain.

“There are always situations in this business where you get signals. And of course, you keep in contact,” Sammer told Sky Sport Deutschland, who subsequently claimed a move for the Norwegian “is not up for debate”.

“It was his decision [to join Real] back then, and you have to respect that.

“He is a good player, he has to bite through.”

Serdar Tasci regrets Bayern Munich move

The on-loan defender has voiced his frustration with his lack of playing time at the reigning Bundesliga champions and says he would be interested in a return to Stuttgart

Serdar Tasci has admitted he regrets his decision to leave Spartak Moscow for Bayern Munich in the January transfer window.

The Bavarians brought in Tasci on loan until the end of the season after they lost Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez to injury, but the centre-back has been unable to make much of an impact at the Allianz Arena.

Tasci has featured just once in all competitions and he has acknowledged he expected more from his transfer.

“I would not have joined Bayern had I known that I would get any playing time,” Tasci told Bild.

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Bayern have an option to sign Tasci on a permanent deal, but seem unlikely to buy the 28-year-old, whose future remains undecided for now.

“We will see what happens at the end of the season. I don’t know yet what my future looks like,” the former Stuttgart man added.

“We will have to wait and see what options I have. It is too soon to say anything about it.

“A return to Stuttgart? That could be an interesting option.”

Nasri: I'm so hungry Guardiola will be lucky to work with me!

The Frenchman is back from a long injury lay-off and determined to play his part in the new manager’s revolution, insisting his determination will be a huge plus point

Samir Nasri is determined to stay at Manchester City and says Pep Guardiola will be a “lucky man” if he decides to work with him this summer.

Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini as manager at the end of the current season and has already identified a list of transfer targets as he plots an extensive squad overhaul.

Many current City players are expected to be shown the door in the off-season, but Nasri, who capped his first start since September with a goal against West Brom on Saturday, is certain he still has plenty to offer.

The Frenchman is excited to be back in action having spent the last five months on the sidelines and, although he has not yet had any assurances from the incoming coach, he is desperate to make the most of his opportunities and says he will do everything to ensure Guardiola can take advantage of his attributes.

“I don’t know because you never know, maybe he comes with his ideas and stuff,” Nasri told reporters. “I played against him in the past [for Arsenal], he had some praise for me but I think that was like five years ago now.

“That is one thing. When he is going to start I am going to be fresh so I hope that will help me and I will try to perform, because when you have been out for so long you are more hungry when you come back, you don’t want to waste your time.

“You want to be back with a bang and be fit for my team. If I stay working with Pep Guardiola, if he wants me, he’s just going to be a lucky man because I will be really hungry.”
Nasri, unlike many of his club-mates, will not be joining up with his national team this summer and will report for City’s pre-season training at the start of July.

Having spent the majority of this season recovering from a freak tendon injury which required surgery and around 100 stitches to rectify, the 28-year-old is in no mood for a summer break and, once he has helped City finish the season strongly, is looking forward to talking over his future with Guardiola.

“You have to discuss with the manager when there is a new manager,” he added, “I just know that I am the type of player for his philosophy and the way he likes his team to play, so we are just going to see. On the first day of pre-season I will have a chat with him because I am going to be really hungry.”

Nasri, who is just as determined to shine for Pellegrini in the final weeks of his reign, says he “loves” Guardiola’s style of play, but will not get too carried away before he knows whether or not he will be given a chance by the Catalan.

“It’s exciting. If Manuel was staying it’s the same thing. [Guardiola] is a great manager, maybe the best in the world. It’s exciting if you are part of his plan. If you are not part of his plan, it’s not exciting at all.

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“Even if it was not my generation, I was a huge huge fan of Johan Cruyff, and [Guardiola] copied everything off him because he was one of his players. I love the way his teams play, having the possession of the ball, 70 per cent, so it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Nasri signed a contract extension until 2019 less than two years ago, but while he talked at length about working his way into Guardiola’s plans, he has warned that he will not stick around if he cannot get regular game time.

“Of course I want to stay,” he continued. “That’s why I extended my contract. But at the end of the day I am a player and I want to play. You can do whatever you want, but if you are sitting on the bench you are not happy no matter if you have signed a 25-year deal. It doesn’t matter.

“The only thing that matters is when you are on the pitch. I am OK with everything, I am OK to be a team player. If I don’t perform, to sit on the bench, of course I’ll accept it, but if I play I just want to be one of the starters if I perform. That’s just how it is.”