Kovac dismisses Bayern link with Pavard

Benjamin Pavard
Benjamin Pavard has been linked with a move from Stuttgart to Bayern Munich, but Niko Kovac does not expect to sign a defender in January.

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac has dismissed speculation Benjamin Pavard has agreed a deal to join the club from Stuttgart.

Reports have claimed Bayern are keen to sign the France defender, a World Cup winner this year, as soon as the January transfer window.

Pavard, who is contracted to Stuttgart to 2021, is sidelined with a torn hamstring sustained against Borussia Monchengladbach earlier this month.

The 22-year-old previously suggested he could leave the Bundesliga at the end of the season.

However, Kovac has denied claims Bayern will be Pavard's next destination, saying a defender is not on their shortlist during the winter transfer window.

"He is a very, very good player. He has his qualities," Kovac told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game at Ajax

"However, we currently have three central defenders, we do not need a fourth, fifth or sixth. I do not think there will be any change in winter."

While the rumour mill is linking Pavard with a Bayern switch, speculation continues to surround the future of the club's star striker Robert Lewandowski.

The Poland international has frequently been linked with Real Madrid but Kovac believes the 30-year-old will stay with the Bundesliga champions.

"Lewy is a kind of life insurance for us," Kovac added.

"You can see that he absolutely identifies himself and does not want to leave and that he gets the status of the whole club. He is currently feeling that, that's why he plays so well."

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has indicated Ajax's highly rated midfielder Frenkie de Jong is on Bayern's radar.

And winger Serge Gnabry would welcome De Jong and fellow Netherlands international Matthijs de Ligt to the Allianz Arena.

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"They are already very developed for their age, especially the two - Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt," Gnabry told reporters.

"Of course, it would be nice if they would come to Bayern, but that is something for Hasan Salihamidzic to work on."

Bayern Munich have already qualified from Champions League Group E and will secure top spot should they avoid defeat in Amsterdam on Wednesday.