They have been regular fixtures in the Bayern Munich back line for the past four years and now both Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm are suggesting their playing days at the club may extend beyond 2018.
Key Bayern Munich defensive duo Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm used separate German media interviews on Wednesday to pledge their long-term allegiances to the club – with Boateng even revealing he was approached by Spanish giants Barcelona.
Both players are contracted to the runaway Bundesliga leaders until 2018, but Boateng told the German magazine Sport Bild that he resisted overtures from the Barca last summer after helping Germany to win the World Cup.
"Nowadays, you don't have to go from Bayern to Barcelona any more if you want to win the Champions League," Boateng said, adding that he was not informed about the amount of the offer.
"When a club like Barca shows interest in you, naturally it is a big honor. Still, I really did not deal with it that much."
The 26-year-old Hertha Berlin youth academy graduate joined Bayern from Manchester City in 2011, and has made 96 appearances in his three-and-a-half seasons at the Allianz Arena to date.
"I would be happy if I could continue my career with this club for a long time and some time end it here after many titles," Boateng said.
Lahm to play past 35?
The 50-cap defender could be accompanied by his former national team captain Lahm, who admitted that he could imagine extending his playing days, despite saying in January that he expects to retire when his current deal expires.
Philipp Lahm says he does not want to coach Bayern whenever he quits playing, so what would come next?
"I still cannot rule out that in 2018 I will say: I feel good and fit. I want to play another year. That is well possible," Lahm said in an interview with the website goal.com.
The Bayern captain, who is currently out injured, believes his own fitness levels will play a major role in a possible extension of his career, especially because the club is generally always competing on three fronts: Champions League, Bundesliga, and the DFB Cup.
"To consistently play at a high level under those conditions at that age will not be easy," said the 31-year-old.
Despite being with Bayern since youth level, Lahm dismissed any suggestion of accepting a coaching position with the club when he eventually finishes his career. He called coach Pep Guardiola a perfectionist who "thinks about football, the team and the next opponent day and night."
"I don't want to have that," said Lahm.