Earlier this season, just prior to Niko Kovac’s departure from Bayern Munich, Thomas Müller admitted that he would entertain the idea of leaving Bayern at the end of the season. At the time, Kovac had relegated Muller to a bench role, and the Bavarian was not getting consistent minutes.
Fast-forward to now, and Müller has become an integral piece of Hansi Flick’s team, staking his claim in the starting lineup. In a recent interview with Sport1, Müller said that, for now, he’s focused only on winning another title with Bayern, despite not knowing what his future holds. His current contract is set to expire in 2021, but he won’t worry about his future until after the season:
My focus is exclusively on playing through the season successfully. What then happens in the summer — I’ll speak with the club and with myself. Then we’ll see in what direction things go.
Müller said he wants to be sure he reaches a clear understanding with the club’s coaching staff and front office before any decision. The same applies in the contingency that the club offers him a contract extension:
In such a case, every party puts their arguments in the pot. Let’s see whether we make a menu out of that. You have to balance what all the parties want.
With the start of the Rückrunde around the corner, Müller said Bayern is primed and ready to contend for the title, chasing down RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are currently ahead of them in the table:
We are absolutely confident in ourselves. We have the highest quality in the Bundesliga on our squad. We have the most experience with respect to title races, but we’re four points behind. Our ambition is to catch up these four points. And our goal is also crystal-clear: we want to be the German champion!
As far as the two teams above them in the table, both have suffered draws and losses to teams well below them in the table, giving Bayern confidence going forward:
We are approaching the business with a great deal of respect, but also with a necessary shot of self-confidence that we can put things in our favor.
In recent weeks, Müller has also changed his playing style somewhat, especially with respect to his positioning. Flick has utilized him a central midfielder in a slightly more retreated role than he played previously at the number 10 role. From this deeper central position, Müller said he’s able to create plays for his teammates ahead of him, even though he likes to be a goal-scorer himself:
I like being a scorer myself. When I look at our roster, especially our offensive line, then I do not see so many players who have made it their job to look up from a certain point in the final third. Instead, we have more finishing players in the front third.
Both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were excellent examples of the type of players who could create opportunities for both themselves and their teammates, which is what Müller aspires to do:
Arjen Robben and above all Franck Ribéry were excellent providers. That is why in the past few years I have perhaps moved toward the role of an assist giver.
Both Flick and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have discussed potential additions in the January transfer window to compensate for injuries. While this makes sense on the surface, Müller feels that the team has to push for the title even without new signings:
Everything is possible. We have the highest goals, so we also have to face the situation. But the club is the right person to speak to in that regard. We players on the pitch have to do everything to get the results.