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Jul 11, 2014

Juan Bernat not making up numbers

Juan Bernat spent 13 years on the books of Valencia.

Juan Bernat has not been signed as a backup player by Bayern Munich, sport director Matthias Sammer has insisted.

- Schaaf: Bernat another option

Earlier this week, the 21-year-old moved to the Allianz Arena in a surprise 10 million-euro switch from Valencia, signing a five-year deal with the Bundesliga champions.

Although Austria international David Alaba is already first choice at left-back, Sammer believes that Bernat "is not just back-up for the left flank."

"We hope he can adapt quickly and become a reliable option for us," Sammer added.

Bernat revealed that Bayern coach Pep Guardiola played a key role in persuading him to make the move.

"I'm an enthusiastic supporter of Pep's philosophy and I hope I can learn a lot from him," Bernat said. "Bayern gave me the opportunity to come here. I didn't need long to think about it.

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the world, a title-winning club. I'm very happy to be here."

Guardiola, who played with three at the back during the DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund in May, is expected to change the way the team plays this season and the signing of Bernat will provide different options.

Alaba plays in central midfield for Austria, and sees himself in a similar role for his club in the future. With Germany international Toni Kroos' transfer to Real Madrid expected to be announced after the World Cup final, Alaba could be part of Guardiola's plan to replace Kroos.

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