The English sports media is known to exaggerate and embellish rumors in and around football, and appears to anally extract some of their stories a fair amount of the time. Where last week's report of a €100 million offer from Manchester United for Bayern star forward Thomas Müller lands on that scale is debatable, but it didn't stop the media speculation of another face of the Bayern franchise leaving to go to the north of England before the start of the coming season.
Is Müller leaving? Not a chance!
After previously having labeled Müller as a player and personality that "doesn't even have a price tag", Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge put an end to all of the speculation by stating in an interview in this week's Sport Bild (print version) "Thomas ist unverkäuflich", which roughly translates to "Thomas is not for sale".
However, in one of those cases where sometimes words don't translate perfectly between languages, the word "unverkäuflich" in German is actually much stronger in this context than just not being for sale. It carries more of a connotation of "can't afford to sell" or "won't be sold, under any circumstances", implying that the club would be crazy to sell such a valuable asset.
"I have the feeling that Thomas will never leave FC Bayern", said Rummenigge, continuing, "When he stops playing one day, I would like to integrate him in the club, if he would like to do that." This offers the 25-year old a similar career path to other former club greats who have made a second career in the organization's management, like Wolfgang Dremmler, Raimond Aumann, Franz Beckenbauer, Uli Hoeness and, of course, Rummenigge himself.
More money for number 25?
As most Bayern fans can now breathe easier (for those that thought a transfer was possible), the Bayern CEO revealed something that will probably make the player himself smile a little: a potential pay raise. "I already told him this last year: If he plays well, we will reward that. We want to pay our top players well, and according to the going rate. Our players can depend on that. We aren't just going to stubbornly insist on existing contract length and salary, when the performances are good."
And what about Pep?
In other club news, Rummenigge also addressed the ongoing saga of the expiring contract of his coach, Pep Guardiola. Even though the CEO has recently been quoted as saying that the world will not end if Pep doesn't extend his deal, causing some to think that Bayern's management had become pessimistic about getting something done with the Catalan coach, Rummenigge is still optimistic that Guardiola will stay. He stated that he has had "no indication that Pep doesn't want to extend" his deal, and that a decision will be made in 2015, which is what they had agreed on before.
He also doesn't think Pep will move to England for financial reasons, contradicting reports that Pep has already agreed to a deal with Manchester City for next season. Pep "has a cultural requirement. In 2012, he picked out FC Bayern, with the culture of our club. He could have already gone to Chelsea or Manchester City back then."