Bayern reveal doubts over Ozil, Khedira

Bayern Munich's Christian Nerlinger has said that the club did not sign Germany's Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil last month as there were concerns whether the pair could maintain their FIFA World Cup™ form.

Khedira and Ozil signed for Real Madrid from Bundesliga sides Stuttgart and Werder Bremen respectively last month in the wake of Germany finishing third at the FIFA World Cup. Khedira, 23, was impressive in midfield in South Africa as he replaced injured captain Michael Ballack, while Ozil's silky skills helped Germany produce some of the best attacking football of the tournament.

However, while Real saw enough to convince them to bid, Bayern's director of sport Nerlinger said they decided not to bid for the pair. "(We did nothing) because we were not sure whether the two would be able to maintain the top level they achieved (in South Africa)," Nerlinger told German tabloid Bild.

We were not sure whether the two would be able to maintain the top level they achieved (in South Africa).
Christian Nerlinger on Ozil and Khedira

Neither Ozil nor Khedira started for Real's only Spanish league game of the season so far when they drew 0-0 with Mallorca. With Bayern's attack already boasting Germany's top rising stars Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller, Munich have an embarrassment of riches and Nerlinger said they did not need the pair.

"We already have Kroos in the Number 10 position, who we are 100 per cent convinced of, and Muller's rise has been meteoric," said Nerlinger.

With Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel and Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger in Bayern's midfield with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, when fit, on the wings, there was no space for either player. However, Nerlinger said Bayern were not scared off by Real Madrid's spending and says they could have matched the reported €18 million Real paid for Ozil and the €14 million for Khedira.

"We were not afraid of Real Madrid," he said. "When Bayern Munch want a player, we are absolutely able to close the deal and sign him."