Kovac clarifies Muller comments amid Man Utd & Arsenal transfer talk

The Bayern boss angered many with his recent discussion of chances for a World Cup winning-forward and he acknowledges that he made an error

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac accepts he made a mistake with comments that suggested Thomas Muller would be left on the fringes of the first team.

Muller, 30, has made just three starts in the Bundesliga this season, failing to score a single goal, as Kovac appears to favour other options in attack and out wide.

Ahead of the 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim – in which Muller appeared as a substitute – Kovac suggested the German would only get an opportunity "when we're short of options".

Muller confirmed his frustration with the situation in an interview during the international break, while he has since been linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena.

He said, with transfer talk suggesting that he is back on the radar of Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Arsenal: “When I heard about that statement of course I was surprised. But I'm not sensitive with such things. I already had a chat with the manager and for me everything's okay now.

"Of course the new signings increased the competition in my best position but that's not the problem. That's not what it's all about. A manager has to make difficult decisions ahead of every game. But in the recent five games there has been a trend that doesn't make me happy. 

“If the coaching staff see me as a sub in the future, I will have to think about my situation. I'm too ambitious to not do that.”

But Kovac claims to have already spoken to Muller in private to clarify his comments, as he believes he chose his words incorrectly.

"I cannot say who will play at the weekend - as for the statement, it was a mistake of mine," Kovac told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Augsburg.

"I incorrectly articulated my thoughts, but I disproved my own statement with the fact Thomas has been coming [into matches] recently.

"I spoke with Thomas the next day, everything was cleared up and he understood it the way I meant it, so I made a mistake – it happens to me too, that's life.

"We talked about it, but no matter which player it is, everyone who doesn't play is unhappy. I have to make decisions as a coach and I can't start more than 11 players, I have to find the team I think can win the game.

"For people from the outside, a coach basically does nothing right. I won't let myself be guided. We have our own ideas and we will implement those."

Bayern go into the weekend third in the Bundesliga table, two points adrift of early leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.