Lahm backs Bayern's want-away star Gomez
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm on Friday backed Mario Gomez to show what he can do for the European champions after the Germany striker's potential move to Italy's Fiorentina looked to have fallen through.Updated: Jul 05, 2013 21:07 IST
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm on Friday backed Mario Gomez to show what he can do for the European champions after the Germany striker's potential move to Italy's Fiorentina looked to have fallen through.
"We know that he is very valuable to us," Lahm said at Bayern's pre-season training camp in north Italy.
"He will play an important role, because he is an absolute top striker."
While Bayern becoming the first German team to win the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and domestic cup, Gomez spent an unhappy last season on the bench after losing his first-team place to Croatia's Mario Mandzukic.
Reports had suggested a move to Fiorentina was imminent but the Italians claim to have withdrawn their interest.
"Gomez is a very strong player who costs a lot. We are not in a position to acquire him," Daniele Prade, Fiorentina's director of sport said Thursday.
Bayern want at least a reported 20 million euros ($26 million, ?17 million) for the striker they paid 35 million euros for in 2009 and who has scored 118 goals in 236 Bundesliga matches for Munich and Stuttgart.
Gomez has a contract until 2016 and Bayern's director of sport Matthias Sammer told SID, an AFP subsidiary, that he expects Gomez to stay.
New coach Pep Guardiola, who took over from Jupp Heynckes a fortnight ago, said he has been impressed with Gomez.
"I have worked with Mario for a week, he is very professional and behaves very correctly," said the 42-year-old, who won 14 titles in four years at Barcelona.
"Mario is my player, I need to be able to do the best for him."
While Guardiola's arrival has been nothing but positive so far, the Spaniard faces some tricky decisions before the new season starts, not only with regards to Gomez.
He has said he is toying with changing Bayern's 4-2-3-1 formation, which won them the treble, having played with a 3-3-3-1 system at Barcelona, using a 'False Nine' striker, who can drop into midfield.
The arrival of Germany midfielder Mario Goetze, from rivals Borussia Dortmund, means Guardiola will have to choose which stars to leave out from a group that includes Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.
Bayern's first competitive game is the German Super Cup final on July 27 and the new season starts on August 9.