Rummenigge promises Bayern improvement
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists his side will be a force to be reckoned with in 2011 following the signing of Luiz Gustavo from Hoffenheim and the return to fitness of Arjen Robben.
The defending Bundesliga champions struggled to fifth place at the end of the first half of the season and they currently trail league leaders Borussia Dortmund by 14 points. Although the chances of them successfully defending their league title this season appear slim, Rummenigge says there is still all to play for and that Bayern will start to show their true form during the coming year.
"We are going to be attacking in all three competitions," he proclaimed. "With Robben and Gustavo, we are stronger than we were in the first half of the season. We want to knock Inter (Milan) out of the Champions League, win the DFB-Pokal and then we will have to see about the league. I am convinced that we will gain far more points than we did in the first half of the season."
Gustavo was today due to link up with his new team mates at their winter training camp in Qatar. The Brazilian has joined for a reported fee of €15 million from Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim, although some eyebrows have been raised about the arrival of the 23-year-old, who has yet to be capped by his national team.
However, Rummenigge is convinced that Gustavo will strengthen his side "We only sign players who guarantee us improvement," he told the Bild newspaper. "Gustavo can help us out immediately either at left full-back or at centre-back. He can also play in the centre of the midfield. The lad has character and he was the player Louis van Gaal really wanted."
He should also be the first and last new signing this winter, meaning Bayern's interest in Everton full-back Leighton Baines has also ended. "Seriously, we are not going to sign any more players in January," added Rummenigge. "We cannot force him (Baines) to join us. He would rather live in Liverpool than Munich, and that's that."
Bayern later confirmed the deal for Gustavo had been officially completed. "We are very happy that everything has finally been cleared up," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement. "We would like to thank Hoffenheim's owner Dietmar Hopp, who has enabled this transfer to go through in this form. Luiz Gustavo is the player that we wanted and he will strengthen FC Bayern."
As part of the deal, Bayern full-back David Alaba has joined Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the season.