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Jul 15, 2013

Sammer warns of 'difficult decisions'

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer says the arrival of new signing Thiago Alcantara will lead to "some difficult decisions", while warning that the club needs to stay positive should things not work out on the pitch from day one.

• Blog: Murder of midfielders

Bayern confirmed the signing of Thiago, 22, from Barcelona for a total of €25 million on Sunday.

The Spain international is likely to face tough competition for a place in Pep Guardiola's midfield, with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Luiz Gustavo, Javi Martinez and Thomas Muller all vying for a spot.

"If all players stay fit, we will have to make some difficult decisions," Sammer told Bild.

With a new coach, a new system on the pitch and now a new big-money signing, Sammer concedes that the club may need some time to adapt to the changes.

However, the former Germany international remains confident that the team will be able to overcome such difficulties.

"If our path is positive but the results don't match, it shall not lead to us losing our heads," he said. "This will not happen! Even if there are difficulties we will prove we are on the same path."

The arrival of Guardiola, as well as Bayern's six straight wins in pre-season - including the 4-0 victory at third-tier outfit Hansa Rostock on Sunday - has led to plenty of optimism among the club's fans.

Sammer, though, insisted that the players will not be getting over-confident or complacent as a result of their successful pre-season campaign.

"Amid all the euphoria I don't want to draw the picture of us being drunk of joy," Sammer said. "We need the big sensitivity and attention to repeat the success we had last season. It is now very, very important to work hard, get to know each other and to discuss."

Sammer added that he was impressed with Guardiola's first couple of weeks at Bayern.

"How he debates, how he presents himself. The obsession, this thirst for football is not to be topped," he said.

The sporting director's words were echoed by Bayern captain Philipp Lahm, who said: "Nobody should worry that we will wane after winning the Treble. Rather the opposite will be the case. There is still a lot left in this team."

Lahm also played down concerns that the Bayern players are struggling to adapt to Guardiola's new 4-1-4-1 formation.

"Pep Guardiola has his own ideas," he said. "He expects a few different things from us - like the passing and position play. We need to work on fine-tuning in the next few weeks. But it is only about details. We won't re-invent football."

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