Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer insists it’s business as usual at Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich despite a turbulent week off the pitch for the Bavarian giants.
On the pitch, Bayern are in rude health with an eight-point lead in the German league table and have only lost twice all season ahead of Saturday’s away match at fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
But director of sport Matthias Sammer admitted on Wednesday things are “crackling” with tension behind the scenes.
Coach Pep Guardiola announced on Monday he will join Manchester City next season, while the defense has been ravaged by an injury crisis and there was an allegation of alcohol abuse against midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Bayern are struggling at the back after Javi Martinez underwent knee surgery on Tuesday and with Jerome Boateng and Medhi Benatia both sidelined, it leaves Holger Badstuber as their only fully fit centre-back.
New signing Serdar Tasci was concussed in his first training session on Wednesday, less than 48 hours afer signing on loan until the end of the season from Spartak Moscow.
Then magazine Sport Bild claimed Vidal was repeatedly drunk during Bayern’s January training camp in Qatar, however both the club and player have said they will take legal action.
Bayern shot-stopper Neuer says all the turmoil has been blended out as the squad focuses on their game at Leverkusen and says the claims against Vidal “are not up for debate” as far as his team-mates are concerned.
“You only have to look at what Arturo does for the team,” said Neuer. “He isn’t too good for anything and throws himself into every tackle.”
Neuer says the players have simply disregarded any outside influences.
“The things which they try to stick on the team, don’t affect us. I can only repeat that we stick together,” said Neuer as Bayern prepare to face Juventus in the last 16, first leg of the Champions League on February 23 in Turin.
“We all stand up for each other,” he added.