Sammer: Bayern fine sans Ribery

Losing Franck Ribery would not weaken Bayern Munich, according to

former Germany captain Matthias Sammer.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Sammer claims the Frenchman,

who has been hampered by injury this term, should not walk back

into the Bayern team when the Bundesliga starts up again next month

after the winter break.

The 1996 European Footballer of the Year feels Bayern coach

Louis van Gaal has created a side which is strong enough without

the winger, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

“Of course the class of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben is

undisputed, but to build them into the team is going to be a huge

task for Van Gaal,” Sammer, who led Dortmund to the Bundesliga

title in 2002 and is now responsible for youth development with the

German Football Association, told Munich’s Tz newspaper.

“Bayern have found a settled team who can always play their

best and they showed that in Turin (against Juventus), without

Ribery.”

Reports in Germany today claimed Ribery and Bayern have

already agreed terms with Real over a transfer in the summer should

the 26-year-old choose not to commit himself to a new contract by

the end of the season.

Ribery’s current deal expires in 2011 and Bayern chairman Uli

Hoeness recently admitted it would be “negligent” not to sell him

next summer if, 12 months later, he would be available for free.

German World Cup winner Paul Breitner, who acts as an advisor

to the Bayern board, also feels it would not be a disaster if

Ribery were sold.

“If so, then FC Bayern would never have carried on after

(Gerd) Muller or (Franz) Beckenbauer,” he said.

“You cannot cry about losing players.”