Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery will not be fit in time for the beginning of the new season, head coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Ribery has not featured for the Bundesliga champions since March, after sustaining an ankle injury.
The former France international suffered a setback last month and, in a media conference during Bayern’s pre-season trip to China, Guardiola revealed he would not be available for the start of their season on August 1, when they meet Wolfsburg in the German Super Cup.
“He won’t be ready for the first game of the season, but it’s getting better,” said Guardiola. “I’m optimistic.”
Bayern take on Valencia in a friendly on Saturday and Guardiola says the clash marks what he hopes will be the start of another successful campaign, after a third straight Bundesliga title for the club in 2014-15.
“We’ll give it our best shot and try to do as well as we can against a Champions League team,” said Guardiola. “But we’re very much still in pre-season.
“We’ll try to push the players even more, so we’re ultimately in a position to beat the best teams in the world.
“We’ll go for it again this season with everything we have.”