Berlin: Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed they have dropped their interest in signing Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez for next season.
After head coach Carlo Ancelotti last week had his wish granted to sign Colombia’s James Rodriguez on loan from Real Madrid, Bayern have called off their bid to poach Chile’s hotshot Sanchez from Arsenal.
“We are no longer involved. We have agreed with our coach that we won’t add (new players) in attack. It wouldn’t make any sense,” Bayern’s chairman Rummenigge told German magazine Kicker.
Bayern had reportedly been vying with Manchester City to sign Sanchez, 28, Chile’s all-time top scorer, who has a year left on his Arsenal contract, but is stalling over extension negotiations with the Gunners.
Reports in Britain have said he could be offloaded for up to #80 million (Dh383.7 million), but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested last week this won’t happen.
Sanchez, who at times last season cut a disgruntled figure as Arsenal struggled with form, is not on the team’s pre-season tour to Australia and China as he rests after last month’s Confederation’s Cup when Chile lost to Germany in the final.
Bayern will start their pre-season tour of China and Singapore on Wednesday when they play Arsenal in Shanghai.
The German giants are already tipped to win a sixth straight Bundesliga title — five weeks before the new season starts on Friday August 18.
After Arsenal Wednesday, they play AC Milan on Saturday, then Chelsea on July 25 and Inter Milan on July 27.
As part of their preparations, the German giants have already won their first title — beating Werder Bremen 2-0 on Saturday to win a pre-season four-team tournament in Moenchengladbach.
The Bavarians have held an iron grip on the German league title for the last five seasons — and one of their rivals has already waved the white flag for 2017/18.
“I turned the television on Saturday and thought ‘well, that’s it then’ — this Bayern team is not going to be stopped. They already have the (league) title in the bag,” Martin Kind, president of newly-promoted Hanover 96, told German daily Bild.
Germany forward Thomas Mueller, who captained Bayern in the absence of injured Manuel Neuer, scored and set up Juan Bernat’s goal in the final, but had a penalty saved.
New signings Corentin Tolisso and Rodriguez both shone in making their debuts in Bayern’s famous red shirt.
James particularly impressed on the right side of Bayern’s attack.
“You could see that he was always looking to combine, he has a superb left foot and is always looking for where his teammates are,” said Mueller.
Bayern’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti also heaped praise on James, who he worked with at Real in 2014/15: “In James, we have one more fantastic player.”
The Colombian sees the tour of Asia as a chance to settle into Bayern’s system.
“It was a good start, but I have to get fitter from day to day. The trip to Asia is a good chance for me to get used to the system,” said James.
Bayern have taken a full-strength squad to the Far East with only injured trio Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Arjen Robben staying behind.
Ancelotti has also added ex-Germany and Bayern striker Miroslav Klose to his back-room staff after the all-time top-scorer in World Cup finals helped coach Germany’s forwards to the Confed Cup title in Russia.