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Klinsmann: I could have defended Bayern title

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 19 May 2009

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Sacked Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann claimed Tuesday he could have led the reigning German champions to a successful defence of their Bundesliga crown.

Bayern sacked Klinsmann at the end of April following a string of mediocre performances that have left the German giants two points behind leaders Wolfsburg before the Bundesliga finale this weekend.

A win at Werder Bremen on Saturday will crown Wolfsburg as German champions for the first time, although if they lose and Bayern win their final game against Stuttgart Bayern will top the table.

Klinsmann, speaking for the first time since his sacking on April 27, said: “I was blamed for a lot of things that were out of my control.

“In fact the most hurtful thing for me was feeling I could have finished the job. I could have led Bayern to the German league title.”

Bayern have since replaced Klinsmann with Jupp Heynckes, who will make way for newly-signed coach, Dutchman Louis Van Gaal, in the summer.

Bayern meanwhile said Tuesday they will look to bring in at least one big name player – if they qualify for the Champions League.

And general manager Uli Hoeness said the club would be looking to hold on to coveted French midfielder Franck Ribery, whom they claim is not, contrary to media speculation, leaving the club.

Bayern will win automatic qualification to the Champions League group stages if they beat Stuttgart on Saturday.

If they succeed, Hoeness said the club “would be active” in the transfer market.

But at the club meeting late Monday he added: “It all depends on what happens Saturday. If we don’t qualify for the Champions League, we will make small changes to our investment plans.”

Hoeness said the priority was to bring in players to help French international Ribery, who has reportedly been looking to leave the club.

“We want to bring in one or two players to support Franck,” added Hoeness, who denied the club would be signing Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez.

“Gomez is not a name that is on our wish list,” he added.

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