Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has indicated that the Bundesliga giants have no interest in selling star forward and Manchester United target Thomas Muller for any price.
He also revealed why the Bundesliga giants turned down the Red Devils's huge €100 million (£78 million) bid for Muller last summer.
Talking to the Sunday Times' Jonathan Northcroft, Sammer, 48, insisted that Bayern do not need to sell off their key leaders:
Muller came from our youth and is one of the team leaders along with Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer. He neatly slid into the role Bastian Schweinsteiger left behind. And you can’t pay for them.
You cannot pay for these pieces of the puzzle. You don’t sell them unless you are desperate for money, which Bayern is not. So Bayern doesn’t have to sell Thomas and has no reason to in future. You can’t replace such players.
This is a mighty blow for United, who have long been linked with Muller, per Simon Rice of the Independent. The German World Cup winner is exactly the kind of creative goalscorer who could galvanise their currently stale attack.
He has netted 17 times in 22 Bundesliga appearances this season, per Squawka, and undoubtedly has the talent to be similarly effective in the Premier League.
His spectacular second in Bayern's 3-1 win over Darmstadt on Saturday was yet another indication of the invention he could add to United's front line, per BT Sport Football:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
.@esmuellert_ inspires @FCBayernEN to victory against @sv98 with a classy overhead kick . 👏 https://t.co/g5ifGv4H8A2016-2-21 11:16:23
At only 26 years old, he is also just reaching his peak.
Previous reports had indicated that United manager Louis van Gaal's prior relationship with Muller could have given the Manchester outfit an edge in signing him, per Rice.
However, Sammer's latest comments, and the fact that Van Gaal looks set to be replaced by Jose Mourinho in the summer, indicate that United's chances of signing Muller are all but gone, per Wayne Veysey of Football Insider.
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Barcelona's Neymar has dropped a hint that he could be open to leaving the Camp Nou to work with the Portuguese.
The Brazil captain has long been linked with a move to United and has now revealed he is an admirer of both Mourinho and soon-to-be Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, per Metro's George Bellshaw: "I am an admirer of Guardiola and Mourinho. I have followed his work for many years. However, my manager is Luis Enrique and I work for Barcelona."
It is far from an admission that the 24-year-old superstar is ready to up sticks for Manchester, but it does suggest United will have a better chance of signing Neymar if and when they appoint Mourinho.