DÜSSELDORF, Germany: Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich said Thursday that he hopes the rumours are true that Pep Guardiola could be persuaded to once again coach the defending German league champions.
Kimmich made his Bundesliga debut as a 20-year-old under Guardiola, after joining Bayern from then-second division side RB Leipzig in 2015, and says he would be pleased to see Manchester City’s Spanish super coach return to coach the Bavarian giants.
Germany’s top-selling daily Bild claim Guardiola, along with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel, are on Bayern’s list of candidates to replace Niko Kovac, who was sacked in early November.
“I have a lot to thank him for,” Kimmich, 24, said of Guardiola at a press conference with the German national team ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Belarus.
“He allowed me, as a player who only had second division experience, to play in the Champions League and Bundesliga.
“We (Bayern) won the double (in 2013-14) and after that I became a national player, so of course I wouldn’t complain.”
Kimmich is an established player for both club and country, captaining Germany in last month’s 2-2 draw against Argentina in Dortmund when Manuel Neuer was rested.
Guardiola, who has a City contract until July 2021, won the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons as Bayern head coach from 2013-2016.
The Spaniard started Kimmich off as a right-back at Bayern, then played him as a centre-back and a defensive midfielder, stating in 2016.
“I love this boy. He can play anywhere,” Guardiola said of Kimmich.
In the meantime, Hansi Flick, the assistant coach when Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has been appointed interim coach of Bayern.
“I don’t know how realistic that is or what Bayern Munich’s plan looks like with Hansi Flick,” Kimmich said of the Guardiola rumours.
Kimmich revealed Bayern’s stars are in the dark as to the identity of their next head coach.
“First, we heard that a new coach was coming after the (January) winter break, now you hear it’s going to either be in the winter or next summer. It’s for the club to decide.”
Flick oversaw last week’s 2-0 win over Olympiakos, which confirmed Bayern’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League, and Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing of Dortmund at the Allianz Arena which lifted the defending champions to third in the Bundesliga table.--AFP