Bayern Munich have hit out at suggestions that head coach Thomas Tuchel has touted himself as a replacement for outgoing Barcelona boss Xavi.
Xavi revealed in the wake of Barca’s 5-3 home defeat by Villarreal on Saturday that he would leave the club this summer, sparking a frenzy of speculation over potential successors.
A day later, Tuchel spoke about his ambition to work in Spain one day at a fan event, prompting claims he was setting out his stall for the post soon to be vacated by Xavi, much to the annoyance of his current employers.
In a statement issued via Bayern’s official website on Monday, chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen and sporting director Christoph Freund said: “Our head coach Thomas Tuchel was asked by supporters on Sunday as part of a fan club visit about his coaching career and his previous experiences abroad at Paris St Germain and Chelsea, and naturally provided information about this during the discussion.
“He also answered general questions from fans about Spain as a footballing country. He never spoke about Xavi Hernandez and his successor, as was falsely claimed afterwards.
“We will no longer accept such non-factual statements directed against our coach, which always come from the same source.”
Tuchel, who took charge at the Allianz Arena in March last year, has found himself under pressure in recent weeks with the Bundesliga champions trailing current leaders Bayer Leverkusen in a two-horse title race.
However, that has eased somewhat in the last week courtesy of an edgy 1-0 win over Union Berlin in their game in hand and a 3-2 victory at Augsburg on Saturday which reduced the gap to just two points as a result of Leverkusen’s 0-0 home draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.