Created on 20-05-2008 at 00:00 AM
The clean-up operation after the weekend championship party is hardly over, and the players have either dispersed to their national squads or are in Asia on tour, but the board of directors is already immersed in the close season planning process in readiness for the new campaign.
"We can put our feet up for a couple of days, but then it's back to work. We started preparing for the new season weeks ago, and we're hoping for another highly successful campaign," commented chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
There will be no repeat of last summer's radical makeover on the playing side. "We have a successful, stable and mentally strong squad. It's a completely different going-in position. We only need to make certain very specific changes," Rummenigge insisted, although one vital factor had emerged from the overhaul a year ago: "One excellent player seems to be more help than three average ones. If we bring anyone in, it'll be because of quality.“
Germany international Tim Borowski is the only confirmed new arrival, and Rummenigge declined to reveal any further targets by name. Michael Rensing will definitely succeed Oliver Kahn in goal, but the club is known to be looking for an experienced number two in support of the young shot-stopper.
Schweinsteiger urged to stay
A striker may also be on the club's shopping list, as Jan Schlaudraff's departure for Hanover has left Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski as the only recognised strikers in the squad. Manager Uli Hoeneß has not ruled out adding a raw young talent as a fourth striker with an eye to bringing him on in the future.
Elsewhere in the squad, Philipp Lahm has signed an extension keeping him at the club until 2012, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and the board are talking about the midfielder's current deal, set to expire in 2009. "In Bastian's case, I'm very optimistic about finding a solution," Rummenigge revealed. "He wants to stay, and we're interested in keeping players like him.“
One decisive change concerns the order of seniority in the dressing room. "After an alpha male like Oliver Kahn retires, you'll automatically have changes in the hierarchy, and others will have to step in,“ observed Rummenigge, offering a list of potential candidates: "We have Mark van Bommel, Martin Demichelis, and even Ribéry and Luca Toni, once they get to grips with German.“
For his part, club president Franz Beckenbauer is excited about the new Bayern after Kahn and Hitzfeld. "We're all waiting eagerly for the pre-Jürgen Klinsmann era. I'm very curious, as none of us knows what's going to happen," commented the Kaiser.