Bayern Munich's contract negotiations with a quartet of key players will not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, insists CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara are all out of contract in 2021 and are mulling over the offer of fresh terms from the Bundesliga champions, who extended Hansi Flick's stay as head coach on Friday.

Rummenigge reassured Bayern fans that any economic impact from the spread of COVID-19 would not play a part in how those talks played out.

"Our offers are extremely fair and serious - without a 'corona discount'," he told Bild

"I think that not many clubs around the world handle [it like] this in this crisis."

Flick signed on for three years after impressing in interim charge at the Allianz Arena.

He took over from Niko Kovac in November before being appointed head coach on a full-time basis until the end of the season.

Having appeared in danger of failing to mount a title challenge under Kovac, Flick has since restored the winning habit, returning Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga.

However, he is likely to face a rebuilding job during his tenure as the nucleus of a squad who have inspired a decade of dominance are reaching the end of their contracts.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has urged Bayern Munich supporters to avoid travelling to Saturday's behind-closed-doors clash with Union Berlin amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The German Football League announced on Friday all nine Bundesliga games will go ahead this weekend, before a proposed two-week hiatus comes into effect from March 17.

Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara hit out at the decision for games to be played in Germany, with all of Europe's other major leagues being halted with immediate effect.

And Rummenigge has pleaded with his club's fanbase to resist the urge to congregate outside Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Saturday.

"Please don't come to Berlin. Please do not gather in front of the stadiums," he said at a pre-match news conference on the eve of the game. 

"These are all contacts that we must prevent so that the virus does not spread quickly. Please do not come to the stadiums - you are not doing the clubs and the players a favour.

"We have given our employees rules of conduct several times and issued disinfectants. If there are any abnormalities, they will of course be tested immediately. 

"If a player or staff member tests positive, everyone must be in quarantine - that's a requirement."

Bayern's Champions League last-16 second leg with Chelsea next week has also been called off by UEFA and Rummenigge is expecting a major knock-on effect.

"Nobody can predict how long the situation with the virus will remain the same," he said. 

"It may be necessary for the European Championship to be postponed for health reasons. Maybe we have to use June to finish the club competitions.

"Everyone should understand what ending the season would mean for clubs. Most of the revenue comes from the TV sector. 

"If this sector were to fail, there are fears that many small and medium-sized clubs will experience liquidity problems. We hope this will end quickly."

Bayern have won 10 of their last 11 Bundesliga games and boss Hansi Flick insisted it is business as usual for his side ahead of their trip to the German capital.

"We will train today, play tomorrow and then we'll see," he said. " We have to make sure that we keep the team fit. We just have to keep adapting to new situations. 

"We'll prepare professionally. Anything else that comes after that, we'll see and then decide.

"We will treat the matchday as professionally as we normally would. We have to accept this and focus on the next game against Union. 

"We also have social responsibility. We have to try to get the virus to spread as slowly as possible.

"In the end it is a matter of mentality. Whoever has watched the games with no spectators - they are not normal games. Our job is to prepare the team and focus on football."

Hansi Flick and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called the Bayern Munich fans who protested against Hoffenheim backer Dietmar Hopp "idiots" as the Bundesliga leaders' 6-0 win was overshadowed by incidents in the stands.

Bayern cantered to a third successive Bundesliga win to go four points clear of RB Leipzig, Philippe Coutinho scoring twice while Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Joshua Zirkzee and Leon Goretzka were also on target inside the opening 62 minutes.

Yet the game was paused with 20 minutes remaining after an offensive banner was unveiled and insulting chants where directed at Hopp, who is an unpopular figure for some in Germany due to his financing of Hoffenheim.

The match was eventually restarted, with a furious Flick having pleaded with his own supporters to stop their chants and remove the banner, and the game's closing stanzas were played in bizarre fashion as both sets of players simply passed the ball between themselves.

"The things that happened have no place here," Flick said at a news conference after the game.

"I myself grew up here in this region. I myself have known Dietmar Hopp for over 20 years.

"I'm just sorry for what happened here. For one thing, because he [Hopp] has done so much for this region. But also because each of these idiots who held up these banners has at least one in his family whom Dieter helped or who benefited from - through cancer research or generally through the things that Dietmar Hopp supports in medical research. They should just think about what they are doing."

Along with Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic, Flick was among the Bayern contingent who went over to their section of supporters at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena to try and get them to cease their protests.

There were similar chants from Borussia Dortmund's fans in their win over Freiburg, with BVB supporters recently banned from Hoffenheim matches for the next two seasons for such incidents.

After Bayern's win, club chairman Rummenigge stood on the pitch alongside Hopp along with the two teams in a show of solidarity.

"I am deeply embarrassed about these idiots," Rummenigge said in quotes published on Bayern's website.

"I have to say this: As of today, the moment has come when the whole Bundesliga, the DFB and the DFL has to join together and act against idiots like these.

"Football's ugly side reared its head here today.  I am also deeply embarrassed on behalf of Dietmar Hopp, who is a man of honour and has ensured that not just football but sport across the board in this region has been seen in a positive light.

"I have also apologised to him. However, what happened in the away end is really inexcusable. This is an ugly side of Bayern at a game that was in fact a great day for our team. There is no excuse for these actions.

"Everything was caught on camera and we will take the firmest of action against those responsible who tarnished the name of FC Bayern today."

Hansi Flick appears to have a long-term future as Bayern Munich head coach after a not-so-cryptic clue from CEO Karl-Heinze Rummenigge.

Bayern appointed Flick as interim boss following the dismissal of Niko Kovac in November and a month later announced he would stay in charge until the end of the season.

Under Flick, Bayern have returned to the top of the Bundesliga and a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Chelsea in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at Stamford Bridge means they have one foot firmly in the quarter-finals.

Flick celebrated his 55th birthday a day before Bayern's fixture in west London and received a gift at a banquet after the game from Rummenigge, who hinted it was a sign of an extended stay.

"Our coach turned 55 yesterday [Monday]," Rummenigge said. 

"This is a good age. We'll give you a pen in this red packet. Sometimes you sign papers with pens."

He added: "Stay how you are. We are very, very happy with how the team is playing, as well as with the results and the football they are playing."

Bayern have lost just twice in the Bundesliga under Flick and sit one point clear of RB Leipzig after 23 matches.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich face a struggle to compete with Premier League giants because of the financial muscle of top English clubs, admits Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The Bayern chief executive says domestic television deals have created a major distortion in wealth between many teams in mainland Europe and those in England.

Speaking at the SPOBIS 2020 business event, Rummenigge also said there was "no need for change" when it comes to the Champions League after recent talk of expansion.

He spoke from experience when he pointed to how Premier League clubs have been able to attract the best players, the best coaches and create the most profitable academies.

And Rummenigge also stated how even 13-time European champions Real Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez he knows well, find it worrying to look at the money flooding into English teams.

"I think Florentino Perez's problem is the Premier League," Rummenigge said. "With Real Madrid he belongs to the world's most prominent club, because it's the most successful one and you have to admit it is also incredibly strong in terms of star power.

"However, his problem is the Premier League because it receives three times more money from domestic TV stations than all of us. No matter if it's Spain, Germany, France etc.

"That's why they have an undeniable advantage in the transfer market."

Rummenigge is full of admiration for how English teams have spent their money, by strengthening not only their squads but infrastructure too.

"The English clubs did well, one has to admit. In step one, they bought good players; in step two, they went out for good coaches, for instance Jurgen Klopp who has tremendous success at Liverpool; and in step three they gathered quality in management.

"They used their bigger income in comparison to other leagues to develop their quality. Their youth work has become a benchmark.

"And no matter in which country, or which city we play in, we all try to keep up with the English clubs, which is not easy."

Bayern sit second in the Bundesliga after 19 games of this season, a point behind leaders RB Leipzig, and are chasing an eighth consecutive title.

They last won the Champions League in the 2012-13 season, with Real Madrid triumphing four times since then, Barcelona winning in 2015 and Liverpool scooping last term's trophy.


The format of the Champions League is ripe for debate, with reports indicating the European Club Association is urging UEFA to include more rounds of fixtures in a push for expansion.

Rummenigge, though, as a major power broker with one of Europe's most powerful clubs, stressed there is no good reason for an overhaul.

"There is no need for change," he said.

"So far no one has come to me and said, 'We need to make drastic changes'. This radicalism that is being discussed at the moment is going too far.

"We need to respect the clubs and see if they are satisfied or if they are in need of change. How do the fans see it, how do the viewers on TV or even the TV stations?

"That's why I don't see a necessity. My press officer Stefan Mennerich has a nice saying - 'Don't fix, what ain't broken'. And the Champions League is everything but broken."

Bayern Munich's disappointing loss to Bayer Leverkusen will not harm Hansi Flick's chances of seeing out the season, according to CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Leon Bailey's brace consigned Bayern to a 2-1 home defeat on Saturday and brought an end to Flick's perfect start as interim boss.

The champions are now three points adrift of RB Leipzig as their Bundesliga title defence continues to splutter almost a month on from Niko Kovac's dismissal.

Concern over the widening gap and the sudden availability of Mauricio Pochettino led to the suggestion that Bayern could hasten their search for a new head coach.

But Rummenigge insisted the latest setback would not alter the club's opinion of Flick and hinted the caretaker coach could yet remain in charge for the rest of the season.

"The most important thing in football is the quality of play, the game plan and we have that with Hansi Flick," Rummenigge told reporters.

"For me, nothing has changed after last night's game. We're very satisfied with him. We've agreed that we will continue until winter.

"After the last game we will sit down and discuss it and possibly continue beyond that."

Bayern have four Bundesliga fixtures and a Champions League game against Tottenham to negotiate before the mid-season break.

The loss to Leverkusen was their first since the 5-1 failure at Eintracht Frankfurt that spelled the end for Kovac.

Rummenigge said of Saturday's match: "It was the best Bundesliga game of the season but unfortunately ended with the wrong result for us.

"We have to forget the defeat and carry on with the same quality of play."

Flick's side head to high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach next Saturday.

Hansi Flick will remain interim Bayern Munich coach for at least the rest of 2019, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced on Friday.

Bayern placed Flick in charge after Niko Kovac left the post in the wake of a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt – their heaviest Bundesliga loss since April 2009 – on November 2.

The former Germany assistant coach led Bayern to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Olympiacos in his first match at the helm and followed it up with a 4-0 Klassiker crushing of Borussia Dortmund last weekend.

The performances earned Flick the confidence of Rummenigge, outgoing president Uli Hoeness and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

"Uli, Hasan and I publicly announced after the Dortmund match Hansi would be our coach until further notice," Rummenigge said at Bayern's annual general meeting.

"[On Thursday] we decided that he will be coach at least until Christmas and possibly beyond. We trust Hansi Flick."

A host of candidates were linked with the position after Kovac departed.

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag ruled himself out of immediate contention, while former RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick reportedly turned down an approach from the Bavarian giants.

Pep Guardiola, Massimiliano Allegri and Jose Mourinho have all been touted as potential long-term targets, as was Arsene Wenger until being appointed FIFA's chief of global football development this week.

Hansi Flick will continue as Bayern Munich head coach "until further notice" following the 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said.

In his first Bundesliga match in interim charge of the first team, Flick watched his side dispatch Dortmund in clinical fashion at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Two goals from Robert Lewandowski, one from Serge Gnabry and an own goal from Mats Hummels made it two wins from two for Bayern this week following a 2-0 Champions League defeat of Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Bayern have been linked with Erik ten Hag, Massimiliano Allegri, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger in their search for a full-time successor for Kovac, with Wenger stating on Friday that he expects to hold talks with chairman Rummenigge next week.

However, it seems Flick will stay in charge for the time being, with Rummenigge telling Sky: "We will continue with Flick until further notice."

When asked if Flick would be in the role for the Bundesliga match at Fortuna Dusseldorf on November 23, Rummenigge replied: "You can expect that."

 

Arsene Wenger says he will hold talks with Bayern Munich next week after discussing the head coach role with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The former Arsenal boss has been linked with the job at the Allianz Arena following the departure of Niko Kovac.

Wenger said this week that he would not turn down the chance to speak with a club of Bayern's stature, having spent more than a year out of management since leaving Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season.

However, it was reported by Sport Bild that Rummenigge had told Wenger he was not under consideration after the Frenchman called him personally.

Wenger, though, has attempted to clarify the speculation by insisting that he and Rummenigge agreed to speak properly about the job once he has returned from Doha.

"It's nice to let me explain the story because it's a surprising story," Wenger told beIN SPORTS.

"First of all, I don't have any agent. I am the only one involved in this story. Nobody can talk on my behalf.

"Secondly, I've known [Franz] Beckenbauer, Rummenigge and [Uli] Hoeness for 40 years. The success of this club has been built on its exceptional competency, honesty, discretion and simplicity. We always told the truth between all of us when necessary.

"What happened? My name came out of nowhere, without having anything to do with this. On Wednesday afternoon, Rummenigge called me. I could not answer at that moment, and by politeness, I called him back. He was in his car going to the game against Olympiacos.

"We talked for four to five minutes maximum and he told me that they had assigned Flick to be the coach. He will manage the next two games because they will play Borussia Dortmund [on Saturday].

"He asked me if I would be interested because they are looking for a coach. I told him I didn't have any thoughts about it. It needs some time to have a think about.

"We decided together we would talk next week because I am in Doha until next Sunday night. This is the true story.

"I wish well to Bayern, who are actually at a turning point, because Hoeness, a key man for this club, is leaving. Rummenigge will leave in one year. It seems the future of the club is uncertain.

"This club, which has always managed stuff by being very discreet and direct, is today very exposed, with rumours coming from everywhere.

"For myself, I wish good luck to Bayern, and for me, the situation is clear."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects Thomas Muller to stay at Bayern Munich beyond January despite his frustration with a lack of playing time.

Attacking midfielder Muller, 30, expressed dissatisfaction with his marginalised role in an interview earlier this month, telling Kicker he was "too ambitious" to settle for a place among the substitutes.

The 2014 World Cup winner started none of the club's final five games leading into the international break.

Reports have suggested Muller will ask for a move when the window reopens but Bayern CEO Rummenigge would be surprised to receive a transfer request.

"I cannot imagine that," Rummenigge told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

"The relationship between Thomas and Bayern is totally intact and he will remain an important part of our club."

Muller has spent his entire professional career at Allianz Arena, winning eight Bundesliga titles.

He made 28 league starts under Niko Kovac last season but the arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona has increased the competition for places in Muller's favoured position behind the striker.

Rummenigge accepted the 100-cap Germany international's decision to speak out about his concerns.

He said: "If Thomas would sit contentedly on the bench, he would be at the wrong club.

"That's the reaction we want, but he still has to deal with the situation seriously. He does that perfectly."

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he cried when he sacked Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian was fired by the Bundesliga giants in September 2017 after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Ancelotti led Bayern to the Bundesliga title in his only full season in charge, but poor performances in Europe saw him depart.

Rummenigge was tasked with informing the former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach of Bayern's decision to move him on, with the experience proving emotional for Bayern's chairman.

"First of all, I think Ancelotti is a good manager," former Germany striker Rummenigge said on Thursday. "Unfortunately, Bayern were not going well after a year and a half and Ancelotti did not get the results we were expecting in the second season.

"But Ancelotti is a good man, a real friend for me. He is always incredibly calm. I have worked with a lot of managers, each with different skills and abilities. But only Ancelotti has the ability to always stay calm, even during difficult moments.

"I remember I had the task to sack him. I was about to cry. Ancelotti understood the situation, he gave me a hug and said: 'It's fine. You are not my boss anymore, but we are still friends.'

"So, I cried because I was not expecting those words from him in that moment. He was not upset. I realised he was a really good man."

Ancelotti is now in charge of Napoli, who are fourth in the Serie A table having taken one win from their past four games in all competitions.

The 60-year-old is one of only three coaches to win the Champions League or European Cup three times, along with Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane.

Lucas Hernandez would only link up with France's national team if he was fully fit, says Bayern Munich team-mate Benjamin Pavard, who was reluctant to become embroiled in the club-versus-country row.

Versatile defender Hernandez was called up by Les Bleus for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's past two Bundesliga matches with a knee injury.

Bayern were told by the French Football Federation (FFF) that Hernandez would have to travel to Paris for medical checks after the club initially refused to allow him to link up with the national team.

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic described himself as "irritated" by the FFF's stance and Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said Hernandez would not be fit to play.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he sympathised with Bayern's concerns, but refused to rule out the possibility of Hernandez facing Iceland in Reykjavik on Friday.

Club and international team-mate Pavard said he has been assured by Hernandez he is good condition, though preferred not to take sides in the row.

"If he's here, it means that he's fit. Bayern didn't want to take any chances," he told a news conference. 

"He tells me that everything is fine. After, what happens between Bayern and the France team, it's not my problem. 

"When he goes on X-rays, I don't know what Lucas has on his knees!

"He said he could play on one leg. It's Lucas, we all know he's a warrior. If he's here, he can play."

Didier Deschamps says Bayern Munich are "within their rights" to criticise France's decision to call up the injured Lucas Hernandez.

Hernandez was named in the squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's previous two matches with a knee problem.

The French Football Federation (FFF) informed the Bundesliga champions that the centre-back would have to be made available for medical checks in Paris after the club initially refused to allow him to join up with the France squad.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said he was "irritated" by the FFF and club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt insisted Hernandez would not be fit to play for his country.

Deschamps has little issue with Bayern's stance but maintains Hernandez could yet become available for Friday's meeting with Iceland in Reykjavik.

"It doesn't irritate me. I understand them. They're within their rights. They say what they want," Deschamps told reporters at Clairefontaine on Monday.

"Bayern's interest was to have him working during the international break, so they would be able to play him afterwards.

"On our side, we don't question their diagnosis. But we don't play today - we play on Friday [in Iceland]."

France are level on 15 points with Turkey at the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H after six matches.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has hit out at the French Football Federation (FFF) for calling up Lucas Hernandez despite his injury.

Defender Lucas, who joined the Bundesliga club from Atletico Madrid this year, has not played in Bayern's last two games due to a knee problem.

But he was named in France's squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, with Les Bleus joint top of Group H alongside Seno Gunes' nation.

Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic insisted Lucas would not be allowed to join up with France, with the club holding the same stance over injured Austria international David Alaba.

The FFF, though, wrote to Bayern informing the club Lucas would still be required to travel to Paris to be examined by France's medical staff - a measure permitted by FIFA regulations.

France coach Didier Deschamps suggested Lucas would be fit to play for his country, an idea strongly refuted by Rummenigge on Monday.

"I am irritated by the behaviour of the FFF," he said in a statement on Bayern's official club website.

"I would like to point out that Lucas Hernandez was not able to play in the Champions League match against Tottenham last Tuesday in London, nor in our Bundesliga match against Hoffenheim on Saturday."

Rummenigge said the other three Bayern players named in Deschamps' squad - Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard - will all link up with the World Cup winners.

Bayern club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt added: "I am responsible for the health of Lucas Hernandez and I say: he cannot play in the upcoming matches of the French national team, so a secondment makes no sense."

France are without Hugo Lloris after the Tottenham captain dislocated his left elbow in a nasty fall during Saturday's Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Oliver Kahn will succeed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as Bayern Munich's chief executive and chairman of the board in 2022 after accepting a position with his former club.

Germany great Kahn has agreed a five-year contract that will see him join the Bundesliga champions' executive board from January 1, 2020.

The 50-year-old is to then replace Rummenigge when the long-serving leader of Bayern's off-field affairs steps down at the end of the following year.

Kahn, who represented the Bavarian outfit as a player for 14 years, has built a successful career in media and business since retiring from football in 2008 and described his election to the board as a "great honour".

"I am deeply connected with the club and it has decisively shaped my life," Kahn said.

"Sporting and financial success, solidarity with the fans, a responsible approach towards the club's history and values - that is what Bayern stands for.

"I would like to further develop these attributes in the future together with the staff, as well as my colleagues on the executive board and the supervisory board."

The transition is part of a wider changing of the guard at Allianz Arena, with Uli Hoeness to relinquish the presidency at the next annual general meeting on November 15.

Hoeness will continue as a member of the supervisory board and hailed Kahn's return as the "perfect solution" following Rummenigge's decision to step down in what will be his 30th year in a backroom role.

"He was captain of Bayern and the Germany national team for many years, he has won almost every title there is to win, and he has always led the way with dedication and determination," Hoeness said.

"Oliver Kahn knows football, he knows business, and he carries the DNA of Bayern.

"We are convinced that Oliver Kahn is the right man to lead Bayern into the future."

Kahn won eight Bundesliga titles with Bayern and claimed the Golden Ball at the World Cup in 2002.

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