Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has rejected suggestions that Germany star Mario Gotze could be on his way out of the club.
Gotze was criticised by Franz Beckenbauer for his recent form, but Guardiola re-stated his defence of the midfielder’s performances and insisted he was not headed for the Allianz Arena exit door.
Guardiola said: “He helped us a lot. He’s a young player with a lot of talent. It is my decision that he hasn’t played much in recent games. I am very happy with his attitude. There is no discussion as to whether he stays or not.”
Bayern have won only two of their last six games in all competitions, prompting criticism of a weak finish to the season after wrapping up the Bundesliga title.
But as he prepared for a difficult trip to relegation-threatened Freiburg this weekend, Guardiola rebuffed suggestions of a disappointing campaign, saying: “Many big teams have not won any titles.
“We have been outstanding this season. If you lose in the semi-finals [of the UEFA Champions League] against Barcelona, you have not done much wrong.”
He added: “We have to learn from it.
“There is always tomorrow, and we have new opportunities and a new chance in the Champions League next year.”
Despite Freiburg sitting 14 places below Bayern in the Bundesliga table, Guardiola insisted his players will not be taking the game lightly.
“We are always serious,” he said. “We will rotate a bit, but we want to win the game.”
Second-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina is suspended for the trip to Freiburg and young understudy Ivan Lucic could feature amongst the substitutes, while French winger Franck Ribery is unlikely to recover from an ankle injury in time to feature again this season.
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