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Bayern München

Flick admits Leipzig have 'biggest potential' in Bundesliga title race and hints Bayern will buy in January transfer window

4:20 PM IST 30/12/19
Hans Dieter-Flick Bayern Munich 2019-20
The 54-year-old says he is looking for defensive reinforcements in January as the Bavarians look to haul back a four-point deficit at the top

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has admitted RB Leipzig will be difficult to catch in the Bundesliga title race.

Third-placed Bayern are four points behind Julian Nagelsmann’s side at the midway point of the season, with German sides currently resting during the winter break.

Leipzig and Bayern drew 1-1 when the sides met back in September, and Flick is in no doubt that they are serious contenders in their quest for a first-ever Bundesliga trophy.

"Of all our rivals, Leipzig have the biggest potential and most options," Flick told kicker.

"RB have a good, well-balanced squad. It's important that the second- or third-choice players have the same quality.

"Leipzig have the advantage at the moment, but teams like Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen mustn't be underestimated."

With long-term injuries to Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez disrupting Bayern’s back line early in the season, Flick and predecessor Niko Kovac have had to play around with their defensive options.

David Alaba, now in his 11th season in Bayern’s first team, has played a key role after switching to centre-back from his more natural position on the left.

“As he is developing, he is currently the leader of the defence,” Flick said.

“I am totally satisfied with him because his tackling is good, and he always has options for opening the game up in possession.

“That is why he is very important in this position at the moment.”

Alaba is not the only player to have moved around the pitch at the Allianz Arena this season.

Joshua Kimmich, the 24-year-old billed as the long-term successor to Philipp Lahm, has been performing between right-back and defensive midfield – as Lahm did later in his Bayern career.

"He already plays this position and will continue to do so in the national team,” Flick noted.

“In central defensive midfield, he has even more potential because he is even more focused, he can read the game well and he has great ability on and off the ball.”

However, he added: "An additional option on the right would be very helpful in defense. I have been talking with our club chiefs Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Hasan Salihamidzic."

After the winter break, Bayern return to action with games against Hertha Berlin and Schalke, with a vital home clash with Leipzig looming on February 9.