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Guardiola sets Bayern targets ahead of Bundesliga opener

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says his side must target a historic fourth successive Bundesliga title and reach at least the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions.

No side has won the German top flight four years running, although Guardiola’s men will be heavy favourites to achieve the feat having added the likes of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal to their ranks.

However, Guardiola is yet to win the Champions League with Bayern – bowing out in the last four for the past two seasons.

Bayern kick off their Bundesliga season against Hamburg on Friday and Guardiola said: “Of course, we would like the championship.

“Nobody has managed the fourth championship, so that would be a big step. But we have strong competitors: not just Wolfsburg, but Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach, Dortmund, Schalke.

“In addition, I want to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League with this squad, then we have to see.”

Bayern have been linked with Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne this close-season, although the Belgium international seems destined to join Manchester City.

Guardiola reiterated his stance on De Bruyne while dismissing any talk of exits for Thomas Muller or Mario Gotze.

“Thomas remains, Mario remains, De Bruyne is not coming. I knew that a long time ago, for two weeks now,” he added, before discussing the fitness and form of Franck Ribery and Xabi Alonso respectively.

“[Ribery] is getting better. We hope that he can come back as soon as possible. I speak here every day with him,” he said.

“In our [Champions League] semi-final against Barcelona, Xabi was our best player. He needs at his side a midfielder who will play the ball and run, then Xabi plays better.

“He’s an insane professional, I have no doubt about his quality.”

Thu 13 Aug, 2015
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