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Bayern Munich expect Boateng stay despite Arsenal links

4:12 AM GMT+4 06/01/2020
Jerome Boateng Bayern Munich 2019-20
The defender has struggled to command a regular first-team place at Allianz Arena this season, but his manager has played down talk of a January move

Bayern Munich interim coach Hansi Flick expects Jerome Boateng to remain at the club despite strong links with Arsenal.

The 31-year-old has been at the club since joining from Manchester City in 2011 and was first choice at the back for the first few years.

But fitness problems began to have an impact in 2015-16 and he is yet to play more than 20 Bundesliga matches in a single season since.

This term Boateng has featured in just nine of a possible 17 league matches and, with Bayern looking more towards young players in most areas of the team the experienced centre-back has been linked with a departure.

Arsenal have emerged as a potential suitor in recent days, with new boss Mikel Arteta believed to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements.

Speaking last month, Flick said that he would allow Boateng to decide his own future amid links with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

When asked again about a possible transfer, the 54-year-old suggested a move was now unlikely.

"Jerome is a player of Bayern Munich and I will not concern myself with any rumours, that's what I did the last years," he told reporters, who has also dismissed talk David Alaba could leave the club this month.

"Jerome came back to training well-prepared, he prepared himself on holiday. So, I am curious what the next week will bring.

"But I will not concern myself with thoughts if he will leave the club or not. He didn't say anything regarding that and we are constantly in an exchange.

"We have to see how these things develop, but right now I cannot picture it [Boateng leaving].”

Bayern are currently on their mid-season break and will not return to competitive action until January 19 when they visit Hertha Berlin.

The defending champions are third in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, after a disappointing start to the season that led to the dismissal of Niko Kovac in November, with Flick replacing him on an interim basis until the end of the season.