Guardiola exit would be a shame for Bayern – Beckenbauer

The German legend wants Guardiola to stay put following fresh reports linking the Spaniard with a Premier League move

Bayern Munich’s honorary president Franz Beckenbauer does not want Pep Guardiola to leave the club, saying it would be a shame if they parted company.

Guardiola has enjoyed great success since taking over as Bayern coach in June 2013, leading the Bavarians to consecutive Bundesliga titles as well as success in the DFB-Pokal, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

However, the former Barcelona head-coach’s contract at the Allianz Arena is set to expire at the end of the season and speculation over a potential move elsewhere has been widespread.

The Premier League is seen as the most likely destination for Guardiola, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all having been linked with the 44-year-old.

Beckenbauer, who enjoyed two brief spells as Bayern coach – winning the Bundesliga and the Uefa Cup – wrote in his column for Deutsche Press-Agentur: “It would be a real shame if he leaves Munich after three years.

“He knows the Bundesliga much better, speaks German more fluently and has the players on his side more now that at the start.”

Bayern are eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga ahead of Saturday’s match with Hertha Berlin.

Injured Costa ruled out of clash with Hertha Berlin

Brazil international will not feature for Bayern Munich owing to a thigh problem he sustained playing against Olympiacos in the Champions League

Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa will miss Saturday’s Bundesliga clash with Hertha Berlin due to a thigh injury, the German champions have confirmed.

Costa opened the scoring for Bayern in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Olympiacos in the Champions League but was withdrawn 18 minutes from time for Javi Martinez.

The Brazil international will now miss Saturday’s meeting at the Allianz Arena, although Bayern stopped short of suggesting a potential return date.

Costa has impressed since moving to Bayern from Shakhtar Donetsk in July, scoring five times in 20 appearances.

Vidal: Bayern Munich clearly stronger than Juventus

The Chile midfielder, who swapped Turin for Bavaria during the summer, is confident of winning trophies with Pep Guardiola’s “exceptional” squad

Arturo Vidal says that Bayern Munich are considerably stronger than former club Juventus, arguing that he now feels like he’s surrounded by “the greatest players in the world”.

The Chile international left Turin for Bavaria during the summer, with Pep Guardiola’s men paying €37 million for the midfielder, who had played a key role in the Bianconeri winning four successive Italian titles.

Juve initially struggled to cope with the loss of Vidal, as well as Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez, but have been climbing the Serie A standings in recent weeks and, on Wednesday, defeated Manchester City to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Bayern, though, are also already through to the knockout stage, thanks to a resounding 4-0 defeat of Olympiacos, and are considered second-favourites behind reigning champions Barcelona to win this season’s tournament.

Indeed, even though he played his part in helping Juve reach last year’s final, Vidal feels that he is now part of a side better equipped to beat the best in Europe.

GOALREAD MORE  | ‘Costa can match Messi & Ronaldo’

“At the moment, Bayern Munich are definitely stronger than the Bianconeri, although they are still a great team,” the 28-year-old is quoted as saying by

“The greatest players in the world are here and I hope to help them.

“I’m very happy here. I’m part of an exceptional squad and I hope to win trophies here.”

Pellegrini shrugs off Messi & Guardiola reports

The Manc City manager was typically tight-lipped over the prospect of the Bayern Munich boss replacing him at the Etihad Stadium, or Barcelona’s No.10 signing for the club

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he is unconcerned about reports linking Pep Guardiola with his job, and refused to shed light on overnight reports that Lionel Messi could soon move to the Etihad Stadium.

A report on Spanish radio station Cadena COPE late on Thursday night insisted a deal to take Guardiola to City at the end of the season has been agreed.

That was at the same time as the Sun reported in the United Kingdom that the Blues are increasingly confident of bringing Barcelona No.10 Messi to the club, and could even offer wages up to £800,000 per week.

GOALREAD MORE  | Guardiola avoids media amid growing Man City speculation

But Pellegrini, in his typical style, did not entertain the speculation and was keen to move on to other matters.

Asked about Messi, he said: “I don’t talk about rumours, I think every manager of the world would like Leo Messi.” When pushed about whether the club could afford the reported wage packet, the City boss simply smiled and added: “I think that we must [beat] Southampton.”

The Chilean was similarly vague on the prospect of Guardiola leaving Bayern Munich for Manchester when his contract expires next summer.

“I will answer exactly the same about Messi: I don’t talk about rumours. It’s a rumour we’ve here the last two and a half years so for me it’s not a problem about that.”

Pellegrini did, however, reveal that both David Silva and Wilfried Bony will be in the squad for Saturday’s clash against Southampton.

Joe Hart, however, is facing around 10 days on the sidelines with the muscle injury he picked up against Juventus in midweek, while Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala remain unavailable.

“Hart has a muscle injury, maybe he will be around 10 days out,” Pellegrini added. “Pablo Zabaleta is out a couple of weeks more. Vincent Kompany, Mangala, all of them are injured, and Samir Nasri is a long-term injury.”

Guardiola avoids the press as Man City talk intensifies

The Spanish coach has been heavily linked to a move to the Premier League side and has decided not to address the media ahead of Saturday’s game

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola declined to speak to the media on Friday as speculation around a potential move to Manchester City increases.

The Spanish coach has long been linked to the Premier League side, but the rumours intensified on Friday as some reports suggested a deal was close.

Guardiola is yet to renew his contract with the Bundesliga giants, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.

GOAL READ MORE | RUMOURS: Guardiola to join Manchester City

And while Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insisted that talks were set to begin in the coming weeks, the ex-Barcelona manager has only added further uncertainty to his future by deciding not to attend Friday’s press conference in the build-up to his side’s Bundesliga meeting with Hertha Berlin.

Bayern announced that the coach would not be there to address the media because of a “private appointment”, and would be replaced by defender Jerome Boateng.

The 44-year-old has won two Bundesliga titles with the Bavarian giants, as well as a DFB-Pokal and a Club World Cup, but he has failed to make it beyond the Champions League semi-finals on two occasions with the club.

Bayern currently sit top of the German top flight with an eight-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund.