Alonso: Guardiola departure not a distraction


Xabi Alonso does not believe Pep Guardiola's decision to join Manchester City from next season will have an adverse impact on Bayern Munich's bid for honours this term.

Bayern were held to a goalless draw at Bayern Leverkusen on Saturday - only the third time this season they have failed to collect three points from a Bundesliga outing - while Guardiola's future employers City suffered a damaging blow to their Premier League title ambitions with a comprehensive 3-1 defeat against leaders Leicester City.

Players from both City and Bayern camps having one eye on their futures with and without Guardiola has been cited as a possible reason for their sub-par weekend showings but Alonso, who was sent off after collecting a second yellow card for fouling Leverkusen forward Javier Hernandez during the closing stages at the BayArena, rejected such claims.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder insists the mood among the Bayern squad remains the same as before Guardiola announced his intention to leave Bavaria last December.

"In my eyes, the atmosphere in the squad is the same as before Christmas," Alonso told TZ.

"We know how football works and that there are many harassing the environment of a club like Bayern Munich. 

"With us in the squad, however - and that is still what ultimately really matters - everything is as it always was."

Alonso added: "In the end it's his [Guardiola's] decision and I think it is good that he also knows and communicates it. 

"His concentration and certainly his passion for the team, it is beyond all doubt to all of us."

Bayern are eight points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the Bundesliga summit and travel to second-tier Bochum in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

The resume their Champions League campaign with a last-16 trip to Juventus later this month.