Max Eberl is credited with bringing Borussia Mönchengladbach back to the elite of Germany's football clubs, stabilizing the Bundesliga giants, both in the domestic league and in European competition, since taking over the general manager job in 2008. Bayern have been unexpectedly thrust into a search for a new sporting director, and his name has now been bandied around as the odds-on favorite to replace Matthias Sammer.
From Gladbach's training camp on the beautiful Tegernsee, less than an hour's drive from Munich, Eberl had this to say about the possibility of taking the reins at Bayern:
Football doesn't work in the conditional tense. I'm concentrating on the here and now. For me, that is Borussia Mönchengladbach, a club that has a lot to offer.
It doesn't sound like a switch is imminent. On the other hand, it also mirrors what a lot of athletes say about their current club, wanting to focus on the job at hand, shortly before making a move anyway.
In addition, Eberl left himself an escape hatch for the future, saying that in his "now seven years in an administrative capacity", he has learned that, in football, you can "never rule out what might happen in the future".
The Gladbach GM is under contract until 2020, so Bayern would have to provide some considerable compensation to their old-time rivals, should Karl Heinz Rummenigge be able to persuade the former Bayern youth product. But, it should be noted that outright denials sound different.