Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick insisted the tension between himself and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is behind them.

Champions League holders Bayern breezed into the quarter-finals of the competition on Wednesday, a 2-1 win over Lazio completing a 6-2 aggregate triumph in the last 16.

However, the build-up and the aftermath of the game was dominated by questions about Flick's strained relationship with Salihamidzic, which it was said could lead the coach to leave his post at the end of the season.

But Flick is adamant the pair are moving past their differences, telling a post-match media conference: "We spoke together and we wanted to leave these things behind us.

"Now we just look in front and we are very optimistic."

Asked what they had spoken about, Flick replied: "These stay internal. Of course this stays internal.

"We spoke together. We are very successful at the moment, we are playing well. We don't need these things.

"For both of us, for the team and for the club it was the right action. We are both very relieved now."

On the quarter-final draw, which will be held on Friday, Flick – who has been linked with Germany after Joachim Low announce his intention to step down following Euro 2020 later this year – added: "I am very relaxed because I can't change anything.

"The best eight teams in Europe will face each other. We are happy to be a part of it and crowned our performance today with a victory.

"It was well deserved that we reached the quarter-final."

Bayern reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the 19th time, setting up a new record in the competition after surpassing Barcelona (18).

Flick's Bayern are now unbeaten in their last 19 games in the Champions League, equalling their longest run of consecutive matches without defeat in European Cup/Champions League history (previously a run of 19 between 2001 and 2002).

Including finals, Flick is the first coach in Champions League history to win each of his first seven knockout-stage fixtures in the competition.

Bayern Munich coasted into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, completing a 6-2 aggregate victory over Lazio with a 2-1 second-leg win at the Allianz Arena.

The holders were in complete command following a 4-1 first-leg triumph in Rome, and a highly improbable comeback from the Serie A side never looked like coming to pass.

Instead, it was another night that belonged to Bayern talisman Robert Lewandowski, whose 39th goal of the season came via a 33rd-minute penalty.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting doubled the lead in the 73rd minute before Marco Parolo belatedly gave Lazio something to celebrate.

While Bayern will need to be more convincing if they are to retain the title, the several other gears they may need to go to in the latter stages were never required here.

Leroy Sane drifted an effort narrowly wide of the right-hand post in the 13th minute in what served as the best chance of the first half until Vedat Muriqi pulled down Leon Goretzka while defending a corner.

Istvan Kovacs pointed to the spot and Lewandowski made no mistake with a stuttered run-up, rattling the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Another defensive lapse from Lazio almost provided a second for Lewandowski, but his near-post effort was repelled by Pepe Reina.

Reina could do nothing as Choupo-Moting lofted a composed finish over him after being played through by David Alaba to add gloss to an already emphatic aggregate scoreline, with Lazio flattered by their consolation when substitute Parolo netted a far-post header from Andreas Pereira's free-kick.

ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-GALTING! #UCL #FCBLAZ #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/06DtUC2GW2

— FC Bayern (@FCBayern) March 17, 2021

What does it mean? - Gulf in European pedigree shows in underwhelming spectacle

Bayern are into a competition-record 19th quarter-final, and it would take a brave soul to bet against Hansi Flick's men going all the way for a second successive season.

Lazio should be pleased with reaching the knockout stages in their first Champions League tournament proper appearance since the 2007-08 campaign. Across the two legs, however, this was a tie where the chasm in experience at this level was telling.

Lucky 13 for Lewy

Lewandowski has scored all 13 penalties he has taken in the Champions League, while no player has more goal involvements in the competition since the start of last season than the Poland international's 25 (20 goals, five assists).

A bad night at both ends for Muriqi

Muriqi demonstrated little aptitude for defending when he hauled down Goretzka to concede the penalty, and the forward did little at the other end either, playing one key pass but not attempting a shot before being taken off in the 56th minute.

What's next?

Bayern, holding a four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga, host Stuttgart on Saturday. Lazio are six points adrift of the Champions League places in Serie A and visit Udinese on Sunday.

Robert Lewandowski revealed it would mean "a lot" to break Gerd Muller's long-standing record for most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season.

The Poland striker has registered 32 goals from 25 matchdays in Germany's top flight this season, meaning he needs nine more to overhaul the benchmark of 40 set by fellow Bayern Munich legend Muller in the 1971-72 season.

Last season, Lewandowski netted in his opening 11 league matches but ultimately fell six shy of Muller's tally, even though his form propelled Bayern to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble and helped him to win the best men's player at the Best FIFA Football Awards.

Asked by Sport Bild what it would mean to break the record, Lewandowski replied: "A lot.

"[But the target of] this unique club legend is far away, I don't want to worry too much.

"[If I get] one or two goals behind the 40 goals topic would be intense in my head.

"It would fill me with incredible pride. But Gerd Muller will always be Gerd Muller – [he is] unmatched.

"I might have a bit of mental stress: reaching this mark after almost 50 years would mean a lot to me."

Lewandowski's 32 league goals this season is far clear of the 19 scored by Erling Haaland and Andre Silva, who are next on the list.

The Poland striker also tops the rankings for shots on target (51) and 'big chances' scored (23), while his goal in Saturday's 3-1 win over Werder Bremen was his 268th in the Bundesliga moving him joint-second on the all-time list with Klaus Fischer. 

Nowadays, Lewandowski is the man young strikers are aspiring to be like, but the 32-year-old said Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero and Thierry Henry were among those he looked up to when trying to hone his talents.

"When I was six years old, there was only one idol for me: Roberto Baggio," he added.

"Alessandro Del Piero later became my role model in football, and I admired him. However, I was not yet able to judge exactly what characterises his style of play, I was just too young for that. 

"It later became Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. His movements, the runs in depth, the finishes – as a young footballer these were the qualities I wanted to have. I wanted to imitate everything Henry did."

Atletico Madrid's main focus this term is arguably maintaining their position at LaLiga's summit, but prolonging their Champions League campaign might provide a psychological boost and Luis Suarez will be eager to play the leading role.

The Uruguayan striker's struggles in the Champions League have been well-publicised, but if his move to Atletico from Barcelona has proven anything, it is that he is not one to be written off.

Suarez will hope to be decisive as Atletico go to Chelsea chasing a one-goal deficit, while in Wednesday's other tie, defending champions Bayern Munich are practically already through.

We used Opta numbers to preview the two clashes.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid (1-0 on aggregate): Suarez's Champions League misery

Thomas Tuchel's men are in the driving seat thanks to a commendable 1-0 win at the Spanish top-flight leaders last time, though Atletico do have previous experience of downing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – they beat them 3-1 in London to secure a place in the 2013-14 Champions League final.

Nevertheless, the Blues will take confidence in the fact they have never been eliminated in a two-legged knockout European tie after winning the first leg away from home.

If any team can overcome the odds, however, it is Atletico, whose 50 per cent progression rate from European Cup/Champions League knockout ties after losing the first leg is bettered by only one team to have played a minimum of five knockout ties: Reims (60 per cent, three out of five).

Their chances will surely be boosted if Suarez can finally sort himself out at this level. He is still to net in five Champions League games for Atletico and has not scored in any of his previous 24 away appearances in the competition despite having 70 shots amounting to an expected goals (xG) value of 9.6 over the course of a run that stretches back to September 2015.

By contrast, Chelsea's Olivier Giroud is averaging a goal every 38 minutes in the Champions League this term, the best single-season record of any player to feature for at least 200 minutes since the 1979-80 European Cup campaign (Ton Blanker, Ajax, one goal every 34 minutes).

Bayern Munich v Lazio (4-1 on aggregate): Italians face challenge of historic proportions

While Hansi Flick surely will not fall into the trap of complacency, it's fair to say Bayern are looking pretty rosy heading into the second leg having handed out a comprehensive thrashing in Rome.

Even if you forget they are facing the reigning European champions, the task at hand for Lazio is monumental – no side in the history of the Champions League or its predecessor has ever progressed from a knockout tie after losing the first leg by three goals or more at home.

Additionally, Lazio have not scored four times – the figure they are chasing in Munich – in an away Champions League game since 1999 when they beat Maribor 4-0.

Bayern's record at home in the competition under Flick has been almost flawless as well, winning each of their six matches by an aggregate score of 18-3.

Each of Lazio's previous 13 games in the Champions League has seen both teams score, the longest run the history of Europe's top competition, so they will at least fancy their chances of netting.

But keeping Robert Lewandowski at bay is improbable – after all, he boasts 14 goals and five assists in 12 appearances for Flick in this tournament and has won all of those games.

Joachim Low has dropped a heavy hint that Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz will earn their maiden Germany call-ups for this month's World Cup qualifiers.

Musiala has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Bayern Munich and last month the 18-year-old attacking midfielder pledged his allegiance to Germany, having also represented England at youth level.

Having become the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history when he netted for Bayer Leverkusen in June last year, Wirtz has scored seven times in 30 appearances across all competitions this season.

His participation in Germany's games against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia will depend upon him recovering from a positive coronavirus test at the start of this month, but Low is keen to involve both highly rated youngsters.

"I think it is safe to say already that both players are in our plans," he told ntv.

"[It will be] good that I can see them for a few days with us, [to see how] they appear in our group."

Low will step down after Euro 2020 after 15 years at the helm.

The 2014 World Cup winner believes the overhaul of Germany's football system – ultimately leading an environment for the likes of Wirtz and Musiala to develop and thrive in – is the achievement he will look back upon most fondly.

"The greatest achievement was the development over the entire period," he said.

"Our football had technical and tactical problems. We've gotten a lot better when it comes to football culture and play, and that makes me very happy."

Wirtz and Musiala's addition could bolster a Germany squad without Premier League stars such as Ilkay Gundogan, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

Quarantine requirements for travellers from the United Kingdom to Germany could hinder the capacity for players from England's top-flight to play a full part in the international break.

Regulations in Romania, where Germany have an away game, are more lenient, but Low said naming a different squad for different games "is not the solution we want".

A resurgent Leroy Sane has his sights set on achieving his "huge" career goal of experiencing the Champions League glory his Bayern Munich team-mates enjoyed last season.

The winger joined Bayern from Manchester City after they had tasted European success by defeating Paris Saint-Germain in the final.

Sane had a mixed start at Bayern, in and out the line up as he worked his way back from a long-term injury that restricted him to two appearances in his final season at City.

The 25-year-old has looked like his old self of late, registering either a goal or assist in four of his last five matches, including a strike in Bayern's emphatic 4-1 away win in the last-16 first leg away to Lazio.

Bayern were four goals up after 47 minutes of that game, but ahead of Wednesday's home second leg against Lazio, Sane wants his team-mates to take nothing for granted, which would jeopardise his Champions League dream.

"[Winning the Champions League is] a huge goal of mine," said Sane.

"That is why I place so much value on delivering a good match on Wednesday and for the rest of the season.

"When we have Champions League matches, we need to always be well prepared and up for it. 

"All of us know that a lot can still happen. Just because we scored a few goals in the first leg doesn't mean that we are through. 

"Lazio have a strong team and things could backfire if we don't take it seriously.

"I'm feeling better and better, and have had time to get to know the team and how we play. We get along very well off the pitch as well. Everyone is prepared to work hard, which benefits us all.

"At first, you need to get to know the workings of a team. For me it was even harder, because I didn't have a rhythm after a long injury. 

"So I needed to find my own rhythm back at first. Now I feel a lot better and I have got to know the team better. That is one of the reasons why things have gone uphill for me lately."

Bayern are hosting Lazio for the first time in European competition.

None of the last 21 sides facing them away from home for the first time in the European Cup or Champions League have won (W20 D1) since Bordeaux triumphed 2-0 back in November 2009.

Head coach Hansi Flick hopes to have fitness doubts Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman available.

"Manu has a slight cold, and Kingsley is dealing with some muscle issues," he said. "We will have to wait and see, but we are hoping that both will be able to feature on Wednesday.

"We want to win this game [the second leg] as well. We're in the midst of a good run and want to continue it.

"Especially since we're at home, we really want to win to further build our self-confidence.

"We've delivered strong performances in the Champions League, as well as in the Bundesliga. Our current aim is to continue on in this manner."

Flick was not keen to discuss the Germany job, which will become vacant when Joachim Low leaves after Euro 2020, any further.

"I have said everything about this topic, but nothing has changed for me," he said. "I do not comment on the topic."

Since Flick took charge of the club, Bayern have won their six home games in the Champions League by an aggregate score of 18-3. 

However, only one of the previous six have come in the knockout stages of the competition – beating Chelsea 4-1 in the second leg of last season’s round of 16.

Lazio, meanwhile, have only won one of their last 15 away games in the Champions League (D5 L9).

The Serie A side are winless in the last eight matches of that run (D4 L4) and have not one away in the competition was back in September 2003.

Where will Erling Haaland be playing in 2021-22?

That is the question everyone is asking as clubs queue up to sign the Borussia Dortmund goalscoring machine.

Manchester United are reportedly determined to prise the Norway international to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET SIGHTS ON HAALAND

Manchester United have settled on Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as their centre forward priority in the transfer market, according to Manchester Evening News.

United tried to sign Haaland before he joined Dortmund from Austrian champions Salzburg last year.

Eyeing a long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku, with United veteran Edinson Cavani linked to Boca Juniors after signing a one-year deal at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and football director John Murtough have agreed to target Haaland.

Haaland has also been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, LiverpoolManchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

It comes after United reportedly received little encouragement of the possibility of signing Tottenham star Harry Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has an agreement in place to sign a new one-year deal with the LaLiga champions.

- Arsenal are keen to keep Martin Odegaard – on loan from Madrid – beyond the 2020-21 season, reports the Daily Mail.

- The Daily star says Donny van de Beek wants to quit United. Van de Beek only joined from Ajax at the start of the season but he has been unable to cement a spot in the starting XI.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel wants to keep Antonio Rudiger as the Blues seek to avoid losing him on a free transfer in 2022 by offering a new contract, reports the Daily Mail.

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann played down reports linking him to Barcelona amid ongoing speculation.

Nagelsmann is reportedly wanted at Camp Nou by new Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who is believed to be eyeing a replacement for Ronald Koeman.

Leipzig boss Nagelsmann has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich amid doubts over Hansi Flick's future.

Unfazed by it all, Nagelsmann instead believes such stories are normal to hear and conversations internally do not arise because of media speculation. 

"I keep in touch with Alfred [Schreuder – current Barcelona assistant coach], but not only since it has been made public," the 33-year-old German told reporters.

"It is simply because he was my assistant manager [at Hoffenheim], and we have a great relationship. We message each other every now and then but mainly talk about personal topics and not about any other things.

"I don't think the players are interested in all this, so they don’t ask about it. I think it's normal in football that such things are being written from time to time.

"For example, Sabi [Marcel Sabitzer] was linked with Tottenham for a long time, but I didn't talk to him about it once.

"I know he gives his best all the time and you can use any player as an example for that. This is normal in football. No one has asked me about this yet."

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo's future is dominating headlines.

After Juventus crashed out of the Champions League last 16, Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Turin.

Could a return to the Spanish capital be on the cards?

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO ON MADRID'S RADAR

Real Madrid are interested in bringing Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club, according to the frontpage of Monday's Diario AS.

Ronaldo – Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer – left Los Blancos for Juventus in 2018 but his future with the Serie A champions is far from certain following their Champions League elimination.

Diario AS says Ronaldo represents an easier and quicker target than Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Marca, though, insists Ronaldo's possible return does not alter Madrid's objectives as they weigh up either Haaland – heavily linked to Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juve, PSG and Liverpool – or Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- TodoFichajes reports United will turn their attention to Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres if they miss out on star Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, whose contract expires at season's end.

Chelsea and United want to sign Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga, claims Diario AS. Camavinga has been tipped to join Madrid, while PSG have also emerged as a possible destination.

Bayern Munich are in danger of losing head coach Hansi Flick, claims Bild. Flick has been named as a possible replacement for Germany boss Joachim Low. It comes as Bild says Flick's relationship with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is worse than previously known, while RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has reportedly been sounded out.

- Football Insider reports Barca's move for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is "95 per cent done". The Dutchman is set to become a free agent.

City are set to make an approach for Sporting CP left-back and Madrid target Nuno Mendes, says Diario AS.

- ESPN claims Barca are tracking Rapid Vienna sensation Yusuf Demir. The 17-year-old is also reportedly wanted by City, United, Dortmund and Bayern.

- Ligue 1 side Monaco are interested in a two-year loan deal for Bayern goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, according to Kicker. Monaco are led by former Bayern head coach Niko Kovac.

Hansi Flick is the ideal candidate to succeed Joachim Low as Germany's next head coach, according to Lothar Matthaus.

Low announced on Tuesday he will step down from his role with the national team after the Euro 2020 finals, having been in charge for the past 15 years.

Bayern Munich's Flick was installed as one of the early favourites to take over from Low, whom he previously worked alongside as assistant head coach for eight years.

Flick masterminded a magnificent Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last season, which Bayern have added to with the Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup this season.

The 56-year-old appeared to rule himself out of the running earlier this week as he remains under contract at the Allianz Arena until 2023.

But Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will leave his role at the end of the year and Matthaus has urged the DFB to move for Flick should he become available.

"He's a person of harmony, but he has to feel good," Matthaus told Sky Sport Germany. "If he no longer feels comfortable at Bayern, he will tell his bosses and then he will be the ideal candidate for the national team."

Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann, in charge of Liverpool and RB Leipzig respectively, have also distanced themselves from one of the top positions in international football.

Meanwhile, Matthaus previously stated he had no interest in leading the country he represented 150 times as a player, but he has now changed his stance.

"The DFB has to think about what it wants. Pros and cons are weighed up against each candidate," he said.

"I'm someone who likes to help. If I had the feeling that those responsible were united behind the decision, I would start to think about it."

Germany Under-21s coach Stefan Kuntz and former Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick have also been linked with the position, though the latter is reported to be in talks with Schalke over the possibility of returning to the club as sporting director.

Hansi Flick paid tribute to coaches Toni Tapalovic and Miroslav Klose after Bayern Munich earned a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The Bundesliga champions extended their lead at the summit to five points thanks to goals from Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski at Weser Stadium.

The first of those came via a corner routine that saw Thomas Muller's near-post flick-on headed powerfully home by Goretzka.

Speaking after the match, Flick revealed that goalkeeping coach Tapalovic and assistant Klose came up with the set-piece.

He said: "It was a safe and more than deserved victory that could have been bigger. 

"We implemented what we set out to do, to have a good position on the pitch and to put our opponents under pressure. 

"I'm particularly pleased that we took the lead with a corner kick, and Toni Tapalovic and Miro Klose came up with something. That is thanks to them and a compliment to their work."

However, Flick was not impressed with the late concession of a consolation goal, which saw Bayern's high line exposed.

He added: "Of course the goal annoyed me. But our back four and the team in the entire defensive network did very well, we hardly allowed any chances. 

"I am very satisfied with the result, compliments to the team."

Goalscorer Goretzka echoed his manager's sentiments, expressing both delight over the well-worked nature of the opening goal and frustration over Werder marking the scoresheet.

He said: "It was a convincing performance. It's not easy in Bremen because we've struggled [there] over the past few years. 

"The opponent was very deep, so of course a goal like that [the corner] is good. We had a good plan in possession of the ball, so we were able to prevent the counterattack very well, except at 3-1, which annoys us a lot because we wanted to play to zero."

Robert Lewandowski moved joint-second in the Bundesliga's all-time top scorers list as Bayern Munich claimed a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The Pole matched Klaus Fischer's tally of 268 goals as he joined Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry on the scoresheet in a comfortable win that extended the champions' lead at the summit to five points.

Lewandowski now needs another 97 goals to match Bayern legend Gerd Muller's incredible tally of 365.

Werder were given hope that they might put the champions under pressure when Ludwig Augustinsson produced the first shot on target of the match, cutting in before releasing a weak right-footed effort.

But it was all Bayern from there, with Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich signalling the visitors' intent as they each fired just over the bar in quick succession.

Julian Nagelsmann has no interest in discussing links to Barcelona and Bayern Munich, insisting speculation over his future is just a topic for the media as he remains committed to RB Leipzig.

Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement for Hansi Flick at Bundesliga rivals Bayern at the end of the season, while a report in Spain suggested new Barca president Joan Laporta wants him to take over from Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.

However, the 33-year-old has made clear his indifference to such stories as he remains under contract with his current employers until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Leipzig were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool in midweek but remain in contention for the title in Germany, sitting just two points behind reigning champions Bayern after 24 games.

"I have a contract until 2023. It would be a bit much to say that it annoys me - I know how professional football works," Nagelsmann told the media ahead of Sunday's game with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"Apparently, I would've joined Tottenham, Real Madrid or Barcelona by now.

"There are great coaches at all of these clubs and they have a contract, just as I do. It is not annoying me, nor is it flattering me. It doesn't have any relevance for me. I'm only concentrating on [the game against] Eintracht Frankfurt, where we have to do a lot already.

"No matter what coaches you are talking about, whether it is Bayern or Barcelona, it would be disrespectful to talk about these clubs. It would be disrespectful, as all of those coaches are very successful and have a contract as well.

"From my perspective, it is a topic in the media. I understand that it is interesting, primarily for the fans, so I'm not upset. Neither am I saying that the question is disrespectful. All I'm saying is, that it would be disrespectful for me to talk about these topics."

Rather than be concerned over talk about his next move, Nagelsmann is focusing on making sure Leipzig collect maximum points from their two Bundesliga games before this month's international break.

After hosting fourth-placed Frankfurt, they travel to relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld next Friday.

"I have enough to do by analysing the game against Liverpool and by preparing the game on Sunday and next Friday. We want to get the six points before the international break," Nagelsmann said.

"Afterwards, we have to start preparing the upcoming games perfectly, to stay at the top for as long as possible."

Hansi Flick is not interested in "speculation" he could take over as Germany head coach as he eyes more trophies for Bayern Munich.

Flick is among the names linked with the Germany job after long-serving boss Joachim Low decided to step down after Euro 2020.

Bayern supremo Flick masterminded a magnificent Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Champions League treble last season.

The Bavarian giants have also won the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup in a dream start to Flick's tenure.

Bayern are top of the Bundesliga and remain in the hunt to win the Champions League, so Flick is focused on the job in hand rather than the possibility of succeeding Low.

He said in a press conference on Friday: "I have a contract until 2023 and want to be successful and win titles with Bayern Munich. It's not the time to speculate about my future."

Flick added: "I'm interested in the here and now. I am now looking after my team and the game against Werder Bremen [on Saturday]. As I said, speculation is not an issue for me."

Asked if he was surprised Low will walk away from the job, he said. "Yes, yes. He did a very good job for German football. Can be very proud of what he has achieved."

Full-back Benjamin Pavard is back in the squad for the clash with Bremen at the Weserstadion after being out of action following his positive coronavirus test.

David Alaba missed training on Thursday due to a muscular injury, but will be monitored in a session on Friday.

Bayern have scored 13 goals in their last three games and Flick expects the leaders to show intensity from the start as they go in search of a fourth consecutive victory.

He said: "Bremen have a very good defence, they stay compact and don't give away much space. We found that in the home match. It's important that we are aggressive off the ball and find good solutions with it."

Germany head coach Joachim Low has insisted no final decision has been made on possible recalls for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

The experienced pair have not played for their country since being told by Low in March 2019 that they, along with Jerome Boateng, had no future with the national team.

Low's decision to focus on younger talent has not always paid dividends, though, and last November's 6-0 demolition by Spain prompted loud calls from the likes of Mesut Ozil to bring those senior players back into the fold.

A report in Kicker claimed Muller and Hummels are set to be handed places in Low's Euro 2020 squad, which will be his last major tournament in charge before he steps down after 15 years in the role.

While insisting he has made no promises over either player's future, Low did admit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic could mean his planned "upheaval" of the team may have to be put on hold.

"I neither opened nor closed the door," he said when asked about Muller and Hummels' possible return.

"I said that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn't interrupt a radical change. We have the pandemic situation, and perhaps you can consider: should I interrupt the upheaval [of the squad] for a tournament?"

Muller, 31, has played 100 times for Germany since making his debut in 2010 and, like Hummels – who has 70 caps – he was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.

Muller's club form in the past two years, particularly during Bayern's treble triumph in 2019-20, has led to a clamour for his return to the national team.

Since the start of last season, as well as scoring 27 goals in all competitions, he has provided 37 assists, the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues apart from Kevin De Bruyne (38).

Only two Bundesliga players – Erling Haaland (65) and Robert Lewandowski (109) – have had more direct goal involvements than Muller in that time.

Speaking of a possible Germany comeback, he said: "I feel comfortable in the [Bayern] team. Standing on the pitch with the boys is fun, and there are a lot of national team players on the pitch.

"I feel like chasing titles in the summer. We will see if it is the end for me after the Champions League final or whether I will play for the national team. I'm definitely ready."

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