Football: Bayern chairman issues 'hands off' warning to City

Bayern Munich's  Arjen Robben (second from right) celebrates with teammates and coach Pep Guardiola (right) after scoring a goal during their UEFA Champions League match against Juventus on Feb 23, 2016.
Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben (second from right) celebrates with teammates and coach Pep Guardiola (right) after scoring a goal during their UEFA Champions League match against Juventus on Feb 23, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has issued a 'hands off' warning to Manchester City after Pep Guardiola's future employers have been linked to a string of Bayern's stars.

"I have been wondering somewhat about statements made by our colleagues from Manchester City, because contracts are contracts and that also applies to Manchester City," Rummenigge told German daily Bild.

The Bayern boss commented after City's director of sport Txiki Begiristain had hinted that the big-spending English giants are interested in some of Bayern's stars.

"I can't promise anything. Our goal is as always to put together a strong squad. Just like Bayern Munich are doing," the 51-year-old City boss, and a friend of Guardiola, told Sky.

"For months we have been working on a new team and who knows how things will come together."

Any interest in Bayern's stars from City's direction is particularly awkward for Guardiola after it was announced in January that the current Munich coach will take over from Manuel Pellegrini at the Premier League giants next season.

Rummenigge's reaction comes as no surprise after it was announced on Friday that Bayern has locked in left-back David Alaba on a contract until 2021, which came in the wake of reported interest from City.

"It shows Bayern Munich are the ones at the wheel. That was our goal. And in the case of David Alaba, it shows that Bayern Munich decides what is going on and not just any English club who can make fancy offers," added Rummenigge.

City have also been linked to Bayern's top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who has a contract in Munich until 2019.

Barely a week currently passes by without a top German player reportedly set to follow Guardiola to City with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan the latest candidate after his agent met with Begiristain in Amsterdam a fortnight ago.