Bayern’s Mueller in danger of being omitted from Germany squad

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Berlin, Aug 15 (IANS) Bayern Munich star forward Thomas Mueller could be a surprise omission when Germany’s head coach Joachim Loew announces his squad for the upcoming internationals.

After the disappointing group stage exit from the 2018 World Cup, Loew is expected to make significant changes to his squad and coaching staff, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the well-informed tabloid Bild, the 29-year-old Mueller will be among the “victims” when Loew tries to spark a turnaround for the struggling national team. Loew is expected to name his new-look squad for the match against 2018 World Champion France (September 6) in the newly formed Nations League by August 29.

Media reports speak about other prominent players like Jerome Boateng being left out by Loew. The central defender, who will turn 30 in the near future, is said to lack the needed consistency in his performance. A final decision about Boateng hasn’t been made yet, the paper said.

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Sami Khedira (Juventus) could be given a break for the next games as well as left back Jonas Hector from second-division side FC Cologne.

Khedira is said to be considering retiring from the national team.

German media are mentioning Niklas Suele (Bayern), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea) and Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen) as probable successors for World Cup winner Boateng.

According to rumours, Boateng could soon leave his club and join a top outfit abroad. The transfer window in Germany closes on August 31.

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac says he would prefer Boateng to stay in Munich, while club leaders like chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness favour Boateng’s departure. Despite negotiations with several top international clubs, no deal has been made to date. Bayern is demanding a 50 million euro transfer fee.

Paris St Germain and its German coach Thomas Tuchel admitted to having negotiated with Boateng but are about to sign 21-year-old defender Thilo Kehrer (Schalke 04) for 37 million euros.

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According to Bild, Mueller does not fit in with Loew’s plans to change Germany’s style of play as far as fast attacking forwards are concerned. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen) stand for the future alongside Leroy Sane (Manchester City) the newspaper said.

Four-time Champions League winner Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Bayern defender Mats Hummels will both be a part of Loew’s new team the paper assumed.

While Loew remains under attack by the country’s media, the German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel announced Loew is planning several man to man chats with his players. “It says a lot about his empathic abilities that he doesn’t just use the phone but is talking to the players personally,” Grindel emphasized.

Loew will be given all the time he needs to reshape the new team Grindel added.

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Association insiders speak about Loew under pressure as he needs to deliver positive results soon. Germany can be relegated from the Nations League after facing France and the Netherlands (the group third is relegated) and the 58-year-old is in danger of losing his job despite his contract that is valid until 2020.

Several German internationals have expressed full trust in Loew’s abilities to lead the German team back to success. Dortmund striker Reus called Loew “the best man for the job” while Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer said Loew has to make some significant changes but has the team’s full confidence.

Reus demanded the return of Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze. According to Reus, his teammate Goetze has improved after performing poorly since scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina (1-0).

–IANS

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