Bayern Munich CEO hits out at 'anti-Guardiola trend'

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said he remains keen to extend Pep Guardiola's stay at the club and hit out at the recent criticism of the former Barcelona boss.

Despite winning the Bundesliga comfortably in his two seasons in charge, Guardiola has endured criticism after exiting both the DFB Pokal and the Champions League at the semifinal stage this season.

The lack of success in Europe has brought most criticism, with last season's 5-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid followed by a 5-3 aggregate defeat to Barcelona this time around.

Guardiola has just over one year remaining on his contract at the Allianz Arena and there has been speculation about an early exit, with Manchester City strongly linked, but both coach and club remain adamant that he will still be at the club next season.

Rummenigge told Suddeutsche Zeitung that they had agreed in January that they would "speak about Pep's future in the second half of 2015" and added: "He knows my opinion -- I want him to stay."

He said Guardiola fulfils "all the criteria by which we judge a good coach" and said "all the team is very happy with him."

Rummenigge argued that there is an "anti-Guardiola trend" outside the club at present and dismissed the notion that the coach had been a failure because he had not replicated the success enjoyed by predecessor Jupp Heynckes in 2013, when Bayern won the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League.

"I am very contented with how the season has gone," Rummenigge said, adding that the club is now "measured by the standards of the 2013 Treble. It seems some have forgotten that we have only done that one time in 115 years."

Bayern have suffered severe injury problems this season, and had to face Barcelona without key men Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba.

The club's long-serving team doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, left the club last month after saying he felt he had been blamed for poor results.

Rummenigge said: "If you know the details of our injury list, you would better understand the thoughts and emotions of the coach. He had to pay a high price against Barcelona."

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer recently said Guardiola would not have "direct" involvement in transfers this summer amid uncertainty over his long-term future.

Rummenigge said Guardiola would "naturally" be involved, although he sought to reassure those who believed the club had "handed over the keys" to the coach and would act solely on his advice.

He also expressed concern that the Bundesliga could soon find itself left behind by the Premier League as a result of the lucrative TV deals recently agreed in England.

English clubs have recently struggled in Europe, but Rummenigge said he was anticipating a "major international comeback" for the Premier League and called for more German TV companies to bid for Bundesliga rights to drive up the price.