Douglas Costa will need time at Bayern, says Rafinha

The right-back thinks his compatriot will soon realise the difference in quality between Germany and Ukraine

Bayern Munich defender Rafinha believes new signing Douglas Costa will need time to adapt to his new surroundings following his €30 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The versatile attacker, 24, recently signed a five-year deal with the Bundesliga champions and Rafinha believes his compatriot will quickly realise Bayern are a major step up from Shakhtar.

“Douglas Costa is a quality player, but with all due respect to the Ukrainian league and Shakhtar, Bayern are a different world, and Bundesliga opponents are better, more dynamic, more physical and quicker,” Rafinha told the official Bayern website.

“He’ll spot that straight away. We’ll certainly have to give him time to settle in.

“I’m delighted we’ve signed another Brazilian, but the coach decides who plays where.

“I only know Douglas Costa from our matches against Shakhtar last season.

“However, when Dante and I flew from Brazil to Germany last week, he was coincidentally on the same flight, although he was seated a fair way away from us and we couldn’t talk a lot. As a result, I can’t really say a lot about him yet.”

Douglas Costa will commence training with Bayern on July 11 following his participation at the Copa America with Brazil.

Muller can break my World Cup goal record, says Klose

The Bayern Munich forward is on course to secure the landmark according to the veteran, who also opened the door for a return to the Germany setup

Former Germany striker Miroslav Klose is tipping Thomas Muller to surpass his World Cup goal tally.

The striker’s 16th World Cup goal in the 7-1 semi-final win over hosts Brazil in last year’s tournament established him as the highest scorer ever at the championships.

However, Klose believes Bayern Munich forward Muller, who has found the net 10 times in the competition already, will make the record his own by the end of his career.

“Thomas Muller could become the record scorer in the World Cup. He already has 10 goals,” the veteran told Bild. “If he stays healthy, I assume he can still play in two more tournaments.

“Thomas has a nose for goals. In addition, he takes charge of penalties, something I was never allowed to do.”

Klose joined Per Mertesacker and Philipp Lahm in retiring from international football at the end of Germany’s triumphant World Cup campaign, but has now revealed he would be keen to slip back into die Mannschaft colours.

“I talked to Germany coach Joachim Low just several weeks ago. A return to the national team is no issue at the moment,” the 37-year-old, who recently signed an extension until 2016 with Lazio, said.

“One should never say never. My professional career only began at 21, really. Maybe that’s why I can still play for longer.”

Guardiola has destroyed Gotze – agent

Volker Struth was scathing in his assessment of the way the Catalan coach has treated his client, who he says needs to feel the faith of the club

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has “destroyed” Mario Gotze and is responsible for his struggles there, according to the midfielder’s agent.

The World Cup winner with Germany had been expected to play a starring role last season but was shuffled around positionally by Guardiola before being dropped for crucial semi-final ties in the Champions League and DFB-Pokal.

And the 23-year-old’s representative has pointed the finger of blame at the trainer as the reason for the midfielder not fulfilling his potential so far, though he also ruled out an exit as of now . 

“Guardiola has destroyed Gotze. He feels like the coach doesn’t have faith in him and yet still he is asked to be decisive when he gets on the pitch,” Volker Struth told Bild .

“I’m surprised that Guardiola didn’t use Gotze in important matches like the German Cup and Champions League semi-finals. He only plays in the easy games.

“I wonder why no one at the club has realised that and defended Mario. Bayern need a figure like former president Uli Hoeness again.”

Gotze switched from Dortmund to Allianz Arena for €37 million in 2013 at Guardiola’s request but has failed to truly make an impact in either of his two seasons in Bavaria.

Guardiola is welcome back at Barcelona – Laporta

The presidential hopeful would be eager to reunite with his former coach, and stated that Lionel Messi must be made to feel comfortable at the club

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta says the doors are open for Pep Guardiola to return to Camp Nou, but insists that Luis Enrique will remain coach next season.

Guardiola was promoted to become first-team coach of the Catalans in 2008 during Laporta’s first spell as president before he led the club to the treble that season and delivered a further 11 trophies during a four-year spell.

And Laporta remains open to the idea of bringing the current Bayern Munich boss back to Camp Nou one day.

“I’m on friendly terms with Pep and if he were interested in coming back, we’d talk about it,” the lawyer said on Cuatro . “However, Luis Enrique will be the coach next season.”

The latter led the Blaugrana to their second treble last term with the help of talisman Lionel Messi – who scored 58 goals in 57 appearances in all competitions – after a fallout between the pair in January was resolved.

Messi’s impact led Laporta to talk of the importance of cultivating an environment in which the Argentine feels comfortable.

“I hope Leo keeps running the show to a great extent. He will never call for a coach’s head,” he continued. “What we have to do is create a team in which he feels thoroughly at ease. We’re talking about the best player in the history of football.”

Laporta is one of the frontrunners to assume office when Barcelona’s presidential election is held on July 18 and he hit out at previous presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is also running in the vote, for the club’s troubled state as they face legal action over the deal which brought Neymar to Catalunya from Santos.

“They whipped up a lot of resentment with their vote of censure and got up to all sorts,” Laporta said of his successors. 

The 53-year-old also ruled out the signing Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, stating: “He’s a Real Madrid icon and is negotiating a new contract.

“I’ve already got payback for them signing Luis Figo by buying Samuel Eto’o. As everyone knows, what goes around comes around.”

Bayern Munich have shown no faith in Gotze, claims agent

The ex-Borussia Dortmund talent is struggling for confidence at the Allianz Arena, though he is not thinking of leaving the club

Mario Gotze’s agent has hit out at Bayern Munich for not showing his client enough faith, stating the midfielder is suffering from a crisis of confidence as a result.

The 23-year-old made headlines in 2013 for a €37 million move to the German champions but has failed to become pivotal in coach Pep Guardiola’s plans, with the Catalan unable to find the World Cup-winner’s best position on the field.

His struggles culminated in being dropped for die Roten’s Champions League and DFB-Pokal semi-final clashes last term despite injuries to Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and his representative has now revealed the dissatisfaction at the situation.

“It is natural that he was disappointed and he reflected afterwards,” Volker Struth told Bild. “Of course, I sometimes wished that Mario would have got more backing.

“As a player you are wondering: ‘Why am I not playing as a starter?’ Mario explicitly went to Bayern in order to play such great matches and win titles.”

Nevertheless, Struth insisted Gotze is happy to remain at Allianz Arena and fight for his place despite increased competition coming in the form of new arrival Douglas Costa.

“No. Mario did not even think about that [a summer exit] for a second,” he continued. “He is an unbelievably professional footballer who works very hard. Many people don’t see that at all.

“I think the evaluation of his two years at Bayern is often incorrect. He played around 50 games each season and won four titles. And you should never forget that he recently became only 23 years old.

“I am convinced: if Mario feels confidence it is easier for him to bring his unbelievable potential on the field. Then he will be one of the best players in the world.”

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