Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm says he cannot guarantee that Thomas Müller will not follow Bastian Schweinsteiger to Manchester United.
Reports in Germany have claimed that United are preparing to table a big-money move for the forward.
“It’s not my decision,” Lahm said in Shanghai, before Bayern faced Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly. “Things can happen very quickly in football. I certainly can’t provide any guarantee for Thomas Müller [staying].”
Lahm did insist there was no chance of him leaving Bayern, though. “That’s not going to happen with me,” he said. “I’m pleased that I’ve been able to spend practically all my career at home. It’s great to be in the same club for so long.”
Lahm is not concerned about Bayern, who have dominated German football for the past three years, losing their domestic dominance. “We’re still a top club,” he said.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed the club are in the process of recruiting a new striker.
Ahead of United’s second tour match in California against San José Earthquakes, the Dutchman dropped a cryptic clue which suggested a forward could be coming to Old Trafford.
"He is in the process," Van Gaal said when asked about a "surprise" signing he previously promised.
When asked whether United were close to signing the striker in question, Van Gaal said: “No. It is not a striker that the media has written, but you have to wait and see. The transfer period is open until September 1st. You have to wait.”
United have been linked with a number of forwards in the last few weeks, including Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani, Tottenham's Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
German newspaper Bild claimed United had bid £70 million (€100m) for Lewandowski's team-mate Müller, but sources at Old Trafford denied an offer had been tabled.
Van Gaal seemed to enjoy toying with the media who peppered him with questions on the eve of the game at the Avaya Stadium in San José.
When asked whether United were any closer to signing Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, who they want to bring in as part of a swap deal for goalkeeper David de Gea, Van Gaal said: "I cannot talk about these rumours. I have said already in a lot of press conferences, it is a process. Maybe Mr Ramos is in the process. You never know."
It is understood that De Gea should be fit for United’s next game in California against Barcelona on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney will once again lead the line for United against San José, who offered free United shirts to those who buy tickets in an effort to fill the 18,000-capacity venue, which was selected at short notice after Van Gaal decided he did not want to play in a bigger stadium in Berkeley because of travel issues.
Van Gaal will place high demands on his captain, who has been told he will play up front, rather than in midfield this season.
“I expect from him the same as I expected from (Robin) Van Persie or (Radamel) Falcao. The principles are still the same,” Van Gaal said.
This time last year Van Gaal was weighing up whether to appoint Rooney or Van Persie as captain.
He clearly thinks he made the right choice. “I could not expect more,” Van Gaal said when asked about Rooney’s first year as captain.
“I think he is a great captain. Better than I had expected. He is fully accepted by the players.”
Schweinsteiger believes United have enough quality within their squad to mount a serious challenge for major honours this season.
“I have to say the quality is huge,” he told the Manchester United website. “I am sure with this team, it is possible to win titles and after a week I can say that.”