Bayern boss dismisses Lewandowski's criticism

BERLIN • Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has fired back at Robert Lewandowski after the Poland striker criticised the club's spending policy.

Bayern crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim on Saturday, which left them sixth in the German Bundesliga table - their worst position after the first three games since 2010-11.

The mood ahead of today's first Champions League match at home to Anderlecht was not helped by Lewandowski telling magazine Der Spiegel that Bayern should spend big to attract more world-class players.

They set a new Bundesliga record in June by signing France midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for €41.5 million (S$66.9 million), but Lewandowski feels Bayern risk being left behind by Europe's top clubs.

Bayern's president Uli Hoeness had already described the €222 million Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar and the signing of Kylian Mbappe in a deal which could reach €180 million as "madness".

"Apparently, Robert was irritated by the Paris transfers," Rummenigge told German daily Bild.

"He is employed by us as a footballer, he earns a lot of money and I regret his statements.

"We have a very good squad again this season. We have won all national and international titles possible over the past five years. Let's see if Paris now wins the Champions League."

Rummenigge said Bayern's director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic has talked to Lewandowski about the interview, but drew the line when asked if the striker would be dropped for his comments.

"The coach must decide that, but I know how to get players to see reason," he said.

Bayern will be without the suspended Arturo Vidal today, while David Alaba has an ankle injury. James Rodriguez should be fit again after a thigh problem.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Bayern boss dismisses Lewandowski's criticism'. Print Edition | Subscribe