Guardiola tight-lipped on Bayern future

Pep Guardiola (AFP)
Pep Guardiola (AFP)

Berlin - Pep Guardiola remains tight-lipped about his future with the Bayern Munich coach set to announce on Sunday whether he will leave the Bavarian giants at the end of the season.

Bayern laboured to a 1-0 win at strugglers Hanover 96 on Saturday, thanks to Thomas Mueller's first-half penalty.

The win extended Bayern's lead to eight points in the German league table after second-placed Borussia Dortmund crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Cologne.

But Bayern are bracing themselves to learn whether Guardiola will go at the end of the season, as is being widely tipped in the German media, or extend his three-year contract past June 2016.

German daily Bild claim Bayern chairperson Karl-Heinz Rummenigge already has a verbal agreement with Carlo Ancelotti to replace Guardiola next season.

An announcement is expected on Sunday, but Guardiola was keeping his cards close to his chest as he prepares to fly to Spain on Sunday to spend Christmas with his family as the German league starts a four-week break for winter.

"Rummnigge has said that we will talk the day after the Hanover game and that is still the case," said Guardiola after the win over Hanover while Rummenigge refused to comment.

"We'll drive now to the airport and we'll talk once more, just as we do every day."

Goal-scorer Mueller said the Bayern squad was also in the dark as to what Guardiola will decide.

"We'll have to see. We want to win everything this season, no matter how long the coach stays with us," said the Germany forward.

"It could be that he extends, even if that means something else.

"For us, it doesn't really matter. We haven't been told anything, it's always just been speculation. We just want to be successful."

Mueller joked that with the end of Guardiola's current contract rapidly approaching, it could be a good omen as Bayern won the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup under similar conditions.

"The contract of Jupp Heynckes was also running out when we won the triple," added Mueller.

Bayern will re-start the Bundesliga season at Hamburg on January 22 and having played every three or four days since mid-November, Mueller said the German league leaders were looking forward to the winter break to rest and get some of their walking wounded fit.

"I'd be lying if I said that I'd rather not have the break, but if I had to play again in a few days, I'd still have fun," he said.

"It was always clear that we wouldn't be gifted any points (in Hanover).

"It was our last game (of the year) and we only had 13 or 14 players available.

"It certainly wasn't a free-for-all, but it's a great feeling when you are rewarded having given your all."

With 64 wins and three defeats in 67 games, Bayern have never lost a Bundesliga match when Mueller has scored.

But the Bavarians are showing signs of fatigue with nine goals in their last six games as they are missing a host of injured stars including Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm, Douglas Costa, Mario Goetze and David Alaba.

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