Benatia: I am not a machine

The former Roma defender feels he did not deserve the harsh treatment he received in his first few months at the Allianz Arena outfit

Bayern Munich defender Medhi Benatia says he is “not a machine” and feels he has been treated unfairly in his first six months at the Bundesliga champions.

The Morocco international joined Bayern from Roma for an initial fee of €26 million, potentially rising to €30m, but has so far been struggling to really live up to the high expectations.

Benatia admitted he has found it hard to comprehend the criticism aimed his way and conceded he struggled to cope with being sent off in the Champions League group stage.

“I am not a machine,” the centre-back told Sport Bild. “Right from the start, the only thing people were talking about was how much I cost.

“People were already criticising me before I had even played my first game. This is absurd.

“I was very surprised when Franz Beckenbauer criticised me after my red card against Manchester City. I never met him in person or spoke to him.

“It was very hard for me to deal with that as it was the first red card of my career. Sporting director Matthias Sammer assured me again, though.”

Benatia, who is currently recovering from a calf injury, has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarians so far this term, scoring once in the process.

The 27-year-old has a contract with the Bundesliga champions until June 2019.

Boateng: I rejected Barcelona

The Camp Nou side were keen to sign the Germany international ahead of this season, but the defender preferred to stay at his current club

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Barcelona ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

The Catalans were desperate to strengthen their defence last summer and had earmarked the Germany international as the ideal addition to their back-line.

However, Boateng decided to stay at Bayern instead and Barca eventually signed Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu from Arsenal and Valencia respectively.

“I do not know the exact details of how much Barcelona offered for me, but it is true that they wanted to sign me,” Boateng told Sport Bild.

“It’s hugely flattering when a club like Barcelona show an interest in signing you. But these days, you no longer leave Bayern Munich for Barcelona when you want to win the Champions League.

“At Bayern, I play for one of the four best clubs in the world. There is no better club for a German player.

“I would be delighted if I could stay at Bayern for a long time and end my career here after winning many trophies.”

The 26-year-old has made over 150 official appearances for the Allianz Arena side since joining them from Manchester City in July 2011.

The centre-back has a contract with Bayern until June 2018.

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Guardiola: I'm not leaving Bayern to join Man City

The former Barcelona coach dismissed rumours that he is on the verge of leaving the German champions and stressed he is happy in Munich

Pep Guardiola has no intention of leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the 2014-15 campaign amid rumours linking him with a move to Manchester City.

The 44-year-old’s contract with the Bundesliga champions runs until the summer of 2016, but negotiations over an extension have been put on hold until the summer, fuelling speculation about a potential exit.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has made it clear that he is keen to stay at Bayern for the foreseeable future and has not been in touch with any other clubs.

“Manchester City? I did not receive any offers and I am not waiting for them. I hope to stay at Bayern Munich for a long time,” Guardiola said at a press conference.

“I have a contract with this wonderful club and aim to fulfil that. I have not received any offers.

“We’ll sit down in the summer and talk. I am very happy here and this is a extraordinary club

Guardiola joined Bayern ahead of the 2013-14 campaign and guided them to the domestic double as well as the European Supercup and Club World Cup in his first season in charge of the Allianz Arena side.

The Bavarians currently sit atop of the Bundesliga table, while they are still in the race to win the Champions League and DFB Pokal, too, as Guardiola aims to emulate Jupp Heynckes and guide Bayern to the treble.

Guardiola: I will not leave Bayern

The former Barcelona coach dismissed rumours that he is on the verge of leaving the German champions and stressed he is happy in Munich

Pep Guardiola has insisted that he has no intention of leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the 2014-15 campaign amid rumours linking him with a move to Manchester City.

The 44-year-old’s contract with the Bundesliga champions runs until the summer of 2016, but negotiations have been put on hold until the summer, fuelling speculation about a potential exit.

Nevertheless, Guardiola has made it clear that he is keen to stay at Bayern for the foreseeable future and has not been in touch with any other clubs.

“Manchester City? I hope to stay at Bayern Munich for a long time,” Guardiola said at a press conference.

“I have a contract with this wonderful club and aim to fulfil that. I have not received any offers.

“We will see what happens after next year. I am very happy at Bayern.”

Guardiola joined Bayern ahead of the 2013-14 campaign and guided them to the domestic double as well as the European Supercup and Club World Cup in his first season in charge of the Allianz Arena side.

The Bavarians currently sit atop of the Bundesliga table, while they are still in the race to win the Champions League and DFB Pokal, too, as Guardiola aims to emulate Jupp Heynckes and guide Bayern to the treble.

EPL clubs copying Bundesliga model, says Rummenigge

The Bayern supremo thinks there is a growing trend in England of teams building state-of-the-art youth academies, just like in Germany

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes English clubs are copying their Bundesliga counterparts by turning their focus towards youth development.

German football has invested heavily in academies in the 21st century to great success in terms of players produced and, more recently, there has been a push in the Premier League to turn towards world-class performance centres.

Rummenigge – whose Bayern have produced the likes of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber in recent years – fears that German clubs might soon have competition in terms of quality young players produced in the Premier League.

“I get the impression that English clubs are now working well in each aspect of the game,” Rummenigge told Sport Bild.

“I’m afraid English clubs are copying the German model with our performance centres and youth academies.

“We visited Manchester City in 2014 and they have built a youth academy for over €200 million. This shows that English clubs are no longer just buying players, but are also investing in education and in their future.

“At the end of the day, England will be a major rival for the Bundesliga.”

England currently sit second in the Uefa country ranking behind Spain, with Germany hot on their heels in third position.