Bayern Munich and Arturo Vidal to sue Sport Bild over 'false' report
Bayern Munich and Arturo Vidal are set to take legal action over a report claiming the midfielder left the club's training camp in Qatar several times and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol upon his return.
Speaking to reporters in Munich on Wednesday, Bayern sporting executive Matthias Sammer said the report, published by Sport Bild, was "untrue and a falsehood."
"I was very surprised about what I read there," Sammer said.
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"We've talked to the player, we've talked to his agent. We trust them. The player has confirmed that it is not true. We believe the player. The report is untrue. We will take legal action against it."
Bayern issued a statement on Wednesday refuting allegations made by the paper about Vidal's salary and drinking habits.
"Among the allegations in a Sport Bild article... are that during the Doha training camp, Bayern player Arturo Vidal 'left the team base on several occasions and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol on his return,' and that his remuneration comprises '€8 million net per annum,' the statement said.
"Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge commented: 'Both allegations are as malicious as they are false.'"
On Instagram, Vidal also denied the report and announced that he would be taking legal action.
"I would like to say that the 'news' published today in a German newspaper [is] absolutely false," he wrote. "My lawyers have been already instructed to initiate a legal claim against the newspaper, which will be responsible [for] their lies."
Sammer said the Vidal article -- along with reports suggesting the atmosphere in the squad might have been affected by Pep Guardiola's announcement that he will leave in the summer -- could be an attempt to unsettle the club and liven up the Bundesliga race.
"By all available means, attempts are made to make the league exciting and to see that [Borussia] Dortmund might get closer," he said. "But the opposite is achieved. We will close ranks."Vidal made headlines during the Copa America last summer after being given a two-year driving ban for driving while under the influence and crashing his Ferrari.
In the autumn, he repeatedly denied allegations that his early departure for Germany before national team friendlies was down to indiscipline.
Meanwhile, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Guardiola would be given the full support of the club hierarchy until his final day at the Allianz Arena.