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Rummenigge speaks

‘We’re not done with our squad planning’

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was visibly relaxed when he took to the podium in the Allianz Arena media centre on Thursday. The FC Bayern chairman has clearly benefited from his vacation, but he is now well and truly back at work, joining board director for internationalisation and strategy Jörg Wacker for the press conference to unveil Gigaset, a leading provider of technology and consumer electronics, as the club’s latest Premium Partner.

“Gigaset is aware of its tradition but thinks innovatively,” commented Rummenigge, “I think there are lots of synergies.” The chairman also took questions on FCB’s squad planning, coach Pep Guardiola, vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and the upcoming tour of China. fcbayern.de was at the media event.

Karl Heinz Rummenigge on...

...the partnership with Gigaset:

“Gigaset is a company with Bavarian roots, aware of its tradition but thinking innovatively. The growth targets fit well to FC Bayern. We have a major interest in new technology, and we’re aiming for further sustainable investment for our club, so [Gigaset] is an important partner. We want to set things in motion together and I think there are lots of synergies.”

...summer transfer rumours

“The rumour mill is grinding away every day. I have no interest and also no desire to be denying or confirming things every day. I read this stuff in the evening before going to bed and I always drop off to sleep feeling jolly and grinning (…) You shouldn’t believe there’s much truth in every rumour, especially if it’s come from England. The proportion of untruth in the stories I’m reading at the moment is 99 percent.”

...Bayern's squad planning:

“We’ve not completed our squad planning. As everyone knows the transfer window is open until 31 August and I think we’d be unwise to declare our squad planning complete on 9 July. Not much has happened internationally up to now. I think there’ll still be a change or two at FC Bayern.”

...a contract extension with Pep Guardiola:

“I had a long conversation about other matters with Pep yesterday, and this topic wasn’t part of our conversation. I’m totally relaxed and not so pessimistic that I won’t give an indication. I think we have a good chance of Pep Guardiola being Bayern Munich coach beyond 30 June 2016. We still have a long way to go this year and then we’ll make an announcement. And if we can’t agree on a contract extension, life will go on.”

...Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is out of contract in June 2016:

“I spoke to Bastian on the phone a couple of days ago. He’s back tomorrow, and we’ll sit down for talks. I’ll make no secret of the fact that my understanding from the call was that he’s flattered by the interest shown in him from England. We’ll have to wait and see.”

...rumours of a Schweinsteiger/Angel di Maria swap deal:

“For once I can completely deny that. It’s never been discussed and was never part of anyone’s thinking, neither here in Munich nor in Manchester.”

...FC Bayern's trip to Cina from 16 July:

“We’re obviously not going there on vacation. We have to find a middle way between FC Bayern’s marketing interests and our preseason preparations. The schedule from the start of the trip through to our return has been planned in such a way that I would consider the stress levels to be within normal limits. We last went to China three years ago and won the treble straight afterwards, so maybe it’s a good omen.”

...proposed changes to Bundesliga kick-off times:

“The idea comes from the DFL, to add new kick-off times to the ones we have already. It’s ultimately part of the DFL’s strategy to earn more money for the benefit of the Bundesliga. But I’m a convinced friend of the market, and a glance at England shows that the big money isn’t achieved from more rounds of matches but from greater competition. Here in Germany we need to follow the English route, which means we need more players in the marketplace, especially in the Pay TV market. We need an expansion in the market to increase competition.”