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General manager Uli Hoeneß:

‘You know when the chemistry’s right’

Certain aspects of Bayern's Dubai training set-up do tend to have a flavour of vacation, but only one thing really matters for the FCB party in the Persian Gulf: gearing up for the second half of the campaign via intense and sweat-inducing hard work. General manager Uli Hoeneß, as close to team affairs as always, has an equally demanding workload in the emirate.

“I need to hold lots of talks,” Hoeneß revealed to FCB.tv, “we have a number of minor issues to sort out." The day after his 57th birthday, which the board director spent in the bosom of the Bayern family, Hoeneß spoke to FCB.tv about the mood in the dressing room, why Dubai was chosen for the winter training camp, what the future holds for Mark van Bommel and Lukas Podolski, and his final year in his current role.

Bayern general manager Uli Hoeneß on…

…the mood in the dressing room:
“You always know when a team's functioning well, when the chemistry’s right. Looking at things here, I think it's obvious a very, very good group has developed over the last six months, and that the players have grown very close together. That's been reflected in our performances, and it's raised expectations for the next three to four months.”

…the team's relationship to Jürgen Klinsmann:
“You sense everyone's grown together. There was initial scepticism, turmoil, curiosity, all from outside. The daily rhythm has changed completely, and that needed time. The feeling now is that everything's come together, and that it's been like that for a while.”

…a contract extension for captain Mark van Bommel:
“We've made Mark an offer. He'd obviously have liked a longer timeframe, but we don't regard that as possible at the moment. I personally believe that if he plays well for us, and he’s doing really well at the moment, we can keep on extending his contract – for one, two, three, four or even five years. It can always be extended. Let's wait and see, but we're fairly relaxed. He knows very well what he has here at Bayern, and I think that’ll make it very difficult for him to decide against Bayern, although he may be a little annoyed right now. But at the end of the day, I reckon he’ll choose to stay with us.”

…a mooted swap deal involving Podolski and Olic:
“This rumour started because Hamburg coach Martin Jol thought aloud in a news conference. We can't say anything, because we're not doing anything in that direction. If HSV found a solution with Lukas Podolski, and were prepared to release Ivica Olic this winter, and the clubs could agree a sum, it might be something to think about. I personally give it a less than one percent chance.”

… Dubai as a training location:
“We've always had excellent conditions here, and we also have to consider the money. We paid for the whole lot in Marbella, it was cost pure and simple for us, so we did want to earn a bob or two this time. The financial crisis won't stop just for us. That's why we chose to come to Dubai. First of all, we have fantastic conditions, and second, we have the friendlies in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah, so at the end of the day, we'll have superb conditions and money in the bank. [Finance director] Karl Hopfner will be delighted.”

…his final year as manager:
“I'm not even thinking like that for now. We're totally focused on the vital period ahead of us. We're still in three competitions, and we have a team which can still develop. And I'm not going to go deeper into the subject for months yet, because I'm not drawing my pension, nor am I fleeing the country. I could well switch from being a hands-on manager who appears every day, to a club President who – hopefully – appears very frequently and remains close to the team. So I don't regard it as a major break for me.”

…the pace of development in Dubai:
“The way they're conjuring a mini-Manhattan out of the ground here is almost frightening. You just have to hope it goes well for everyone involved and that these ambitious projects pay off.”

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