No Ribery deal with Real, insists Bayern boss

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insisted on Wednesday there is no deal with Spanish giants Real Madrid to sign French midfielder Franck Ribery for next season.

Throughout the summer, transfer speculation constantly linked the 26-year-old Ribery to a multi-million euros switch to Real and, as the transfer window closed on Monday, Rummenigge says no agreement is in place for the future.

“We do not have an agreement to sell Franck for next season to Real Madrid—that is a fact,” Rummenigge told the Munich newspaper AZ despite claims in the German media a deal has been arranged for next summer.

Relations became strained between the two European super clubs during the summer while the Ribery saga rumbled on, but Rummenigge insists the signing of Arjen Robben from Real last week improved relations between the sides.

“Real were very helpful and supported us a lot. Our relationship is once again very relaxed and friendly,” Rummenigge said.

Ribery came off the bench last Saturday to set up Robben for both of his second-half goals, but relations between him and Bayern are becoming increasingly strained.

On Tuesday, Ribery said he has yet to forge any kind of personal relationship with Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal, who took over in July.

Ribery said he much preferred former Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and has made no secret of his desire to leave the German giants.

“It’s the first time that I haven’t really felt close to a coach. There’s not much feeling between us at all,” Ribery told L’Equipe.

He added in France football: “Our relationship is professional.
It was totally different with Ottmar Hitzfeld, for example. He was a real joy to work with and the best coach I’ve known at Bayern.”

Hitzfeld departed Bayern in May 2008 after helping the Bavarian side to the league and Cup double, but his replacement Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked after just ten months in charge following some poor results.

Van Gaal arrived in July and picked up his first league win in charge when defending champions Wolfsburg were routed 3-0 on Saturday a match in which Ribery made his first significant contribution of the new season.—AFP

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