There are reports of unrest in the Bayern Munich squad, with magazine Kicker quoting a player saying the atmosphere is “not good” ahead of Pep Guardiola’s departure.
Bayern are in rude health in the Bundesliga table, with the Bavarian giants eight points clear and on course to win a record fourth straight league title. But off the pitch, there are rumors Guardiola is losing the dressing room, having announced last month that he will leave at the end of the season after three years in Munich.
The Spaniard has said he wants to coach in England next season, but wants to sign off with the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles. But Guardiola, 45, has come under pressure after center back Jerome Boateng last Friday became the 14th Bayern player to pick up an injury this season.
Long-term team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt abruptly ceased working with the team last season after an apparent fall-out with Guardiola. The renowned doctor resigned after Bayern’s medical staff was blamed for the 3-1 loss to Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League before the club was later knocked out in the semifinals.
The current medical staff have struggled to get the likes of stars Mario Goetze, Medhi Benatia and Franck Ribery fit this season. In December, France winger Franck Ribery picked up a fresh leg injury, just weeks after coming back from a persistent ankle problem.
Ribery should be back next week, but Bayern has only said Boateng will be out for a “long time” with fears the star defender could miss the next three months. He is Bayern’s third defender currently sidelined along with Benatia and Rafinha, while Juan Bernat and Javi Martinez have just returned.
Germany star Thomas Mueller joked the squad has a ‘disease of the boot’ after last Friday’s 2-1 win at Hamburg saw Boateng become the latest sidelined player.
Another possible reason for discontent emerged when Arjen Robben admitted to Dutch television last month that he was ‘annoyed’ by Guardiola’s decision to leave. He is unlikely to be the only Bayern star irritated by the Spaniard going public about his departure with only half the season gone.
“I’m annoyed about it. It’s a real shame,” Robben told Dutch television station NOS with Carlo Ancelotti set to take over as Bayern coach next season.
Bayern host strugglers Hoffenheim on Sunday in the league, then face Bayer Leverkusen, Bochum in the cup Augsburg away, then play mid-table Darmstadt at home.
They play Juventus in Turin on February 23 in the last 16 of the Champions League with the return leg in Munich on March 16.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- USA England World Cup tickets going fast
- A Review of ‘A Woman’s Game’ book by Suzanne Wrack
- Qatar warns against unauthorised use of World Cup logo on car plates
- Where to find Avaí vs. Palmeiras on US TV
- Where to find Atlas vs. Cruz Azul on US TV
- Where to find Philadelphia Union vs. NYCFC on US TV
- Bale confirms MLS move to Los Angeles FC
- Bale heading to MLS with LAFC move: reports
- Where to find Austin FC vs. FC Dallas on US TV
- Nominate best soccer coverage across video, audio & written word