Bayern extend four contracts, Guardiola speculation continues | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.12.2015
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Bayern extend four contracts, Guardiola speculation continues

Bayern Munich have extended four contracts - one of which should end speculation about Thomas Müller's future. The question as to how long coach Pep Guardiola will be around, remains unanswered.

The Bundesliga's top team used a statement posted on its official website on Friday to announce that Germany internationals Thomas Müller (pictured above) and Jerome Boateng, as well as Spain international Javi Martinez had signed new contracts that run through the end of the 2020-21 season. The 34-year-old Xabi Alonso has signed on until the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

"We're delighted these important players have made long-term commitments," Bayern's chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "Thomas, Jerome and Javi know how to win trophies, including the Champions League. They will add quality and stability to our team in the long run."

Rummenigge's deputy, Jan-Christian Dreesen, said it was also important to ensure that Alonso would be around for an extra season.

"With his experience as a World Cup and Champions League winner he has become an important part of FC Bayern," Dreesen said.

The club's fans will be particularly pleased that the 26-year-old Müller has signed on long-term, given recent speculation that he could head abroad for a huge transfer fee. There have been reports that Manchester United were willing to pay upwards of 100 million euros ($108 million) to get him.

"I have the feeling and am convinced that FC Bayern can play very successful football over the next few years. I'm proud and delighted about extending my contract," Müller, who has been at the club since 2000, when he was 10 years old, was quoted in the statement as saying.

"I'm pleased and happy at the chance to extend my stay here, I'm looking forward to the years ahead and aim for continuing great success with FC Bayern," the 27-year-old Boateng said.

The two Spaniards stressed that they were happy in Munich, with Martinez describing it as "a perfect city for a professional footballer."

Guardiola's future still in doubt

With strong rumors having emerged this week that coach Pep Guardiola has decided to leave Bayern at the end of this season, the four contract extensions will be seen as an argument for him to say.

At a press conference on Friday, Guardiola refused to comment on the speculation, saying no decision would be taken until after Saturday's game against Hannover.

"Rummenigge and I have said that we will talk after the game. He knows everything and we talk often," Guardiola said.

However, more rumors about his departure emerged on Friday, with some sources claiming that it was a done deal and that Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti would be his replacement. Asked about Ancelotti at the press conference, Guardiola described him as "a super coach and a super person."

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