Berlin – Carlo Ancelotti on Friday insisted Germany star Jerome Boateng and under-performing Renato Sanches will next season stay at Bayern Munich, who aim to assert its Bundesliga domination at title-rivals RB Leipzig this weekend.
Ancelotti’s Bayern, the confirmed 2016/17 Bundesliga champions, need a win at second-placed RB Leipzig on Saturday to maintain the status quo as Germany’s top club.
As head coach, Ancelotti needs a moral-boosting victory to steady the ship with rumours of unrest behind the scenes amidst disappointment after last month’s Champions League quarter-final exit.
Boateng had reportedly been considering his future and was unhappy about being left out of the starting side for their German Cup semi-final home defeat against Borussia Dortmund.
A first-choice player for Germany Boateng has a Bayern contract until 2021.
He faces stiff competition for a first-team place next season alongside Javi Martinez, Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule, who will join from Hoffenheim.
However, Ancelotti says Boateng is going nowhere having spoken to the defender.
“He is our player and will be our player next season,” said Ancelotti.
“His standing in the team is good, we don’t need to discuss it.”
Ancelotti has also spoken to Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches, 19, a disappointing signing having spent his first season mainly on the bench after costing €35 million from Benfica.
“He will be here next season and he will play often,” said the Italian, with Sanches set for more chances after Xabi Alonso retires at the end of the season.
“We have to be patient.
“Of course, we expected more from him, given his qualities, but it’s not easy for a young player to switch to a new country with a new style.”
Bayern’s match at Leipzig is a top-of-the-table clash.
However, with a fifth straight German league title secured and a ten-point gap between Germany’s best two teams, there is just pride — and a few records for Leipzig — at stake.
“It’s all about prestige,” added Ancelotti, while forward Thomas Muller said their aim is clear: “we want to once again prove we’re number one.”
Boateng is set to partner David Alaba at centre-back in Leipzig with Hummels and Martinez sidelined.
Bayern will also field third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke with Manuel Neuer (foot) and Sven Ulreich (elbow) injured.
Bayern hammered Leipzig 3-0 when the teams met in Munich in December and Saturday’s hosts have a score to settle.
“There couldn’t be a better opponent to motivate us and to settle a score from the first match,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.
Leipzig’s defender Willi Orban is out with an ankle injury with the hosts chasing some Bundesliga records.
RB has marked its first Bundesliga season with a direct place in the Champions League next season.
Leipzig needs just one more win to claim a record 21 victories for a team in its first year after promotion and with 66 points, it is just two short of the record for a new team in Germany’s top flight.