New Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has prescribed a period of rest for Thomas Muller ahead of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season.
Muller has been a key figure during Bayern’s monopoly of the German title over the past four seasons but he fell some way short of his best form at Euro 2016, failing to find the net as world champions Germany bowed out at the semi-final stage.
Ancelotti spoke at a news conference on Friday and confirmed he has discussed how to get Muller up to full speed for the forthcoming campaign with the influential forward.
“I have already spoken with Thomas,” said the former AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss.
“He needs a holiday because he has completed many games, but when he comes back, he will be an important part of the team.”
Ancelotti would not be drawn on the future of Mario Gotze, with speculation mounting that the forward is poised to return to former club Borussia Dortmund, although he insisted talented youngster Joshua Kimmich would be going nowhere after a breakthrough campaign for club and country.
“I have no new information – Mario Gotze is still a player of Bayern Munich,” he said.
“Yes, I spoke with Mario Gotze, but that was a private conversation.”
On Kimmich, Ancelotti added: “Joshua Kimmich is an important player for us, he stays at 100 per cent.”
With or without Gotze, Ancelotti expects Dortmund to provide the major challenge to Bayern once more this term.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have lost Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester City and Manchester United respectively, while Bayern persuaded their captain Mats Hummels to switch allegiances.
“They are a good team, I think they will be very strong again this season,” Ancelotti explained. “They have committed to a lot of good, young players.”
Bayern begin their pre-season preparations with a friendly against City and Ancelotti’s immediate predecessor Pep Guardiola next Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.
“It is exciting for Pep to come back,” the veteran Italian added. “It is a preparation match for him and I’m happy to meet a good friend again.”