Bayern Munich split resources to focus on Kyle Walker and Harry Kane transfers

Kyle Walker (L) Harry Kane (R) – Bayern Munich split club chiefs to focus on Kyle Walker and Harry Kane transfers

German club are looking to reinforce their squad with moves for both Kyle Walker (left) and Harry Kane – Getty Images

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are fighting tooth and nail to persuade “irreplaceable” defender Kyle Walker to stay at the club and reject Bayern Munich’s advances.

Walker is Bayern’s top summer transfer target after Tottenham striker Harry Kane and the Bundesliga champions have split their executive resources as they bid to get deals over the line for the two England internationals.

Tottenham owner Joe Lewis has told Daniel Levy he must sell Kane if he cannot convince the striker to sign a new contract and City face their own fight to keep hold of Walker.

Walker, 33, who has entered the final 12 months of his existing contract with City, is seriously tempted by the idea of a move to Bayern but Guardiola has made it clear to the £15 million rated defender during talks just how much he wants him to stay.

“He’s an incredibly important player for us,” the City manager said. “He has specific qualities, so difficult to find worldwide. His specific qualities are irreplaceable.

“We want him, yes. In the end, I don’t know what will happen. I know we’re in contact, both clubs, we will fight for him like I’m sure Bayern will do it. I don’t know how it will finish.”

By coincidence, City are due to play Bayern Munich in Tokyo on Wednesday and, despite the uncertainty over Walker’s future, Guardiola is insistent he will have no issues playing the defender against the German giants.

“Yes of course, he’s still our player,’ Guardiola said. “We need to play against Bayern with our best players and we hope he’ll stay with us for the whole season. Why shouldn’t he play?”

Bayern have assigned their president Herbert Hainer and chief financial officer Michael Diederich to handle the Walker negotiations while chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen and technical director Marco Neppe are focusing predominantly on discussions over Kane.

With winger Riyad Mahrez having moved to Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia for £30.4m and Ilkay Gundogan now a Barcelona player after leaving City as a free agent this month, Guardiola is facing considerable disruption to the side that won the Treble last season.

Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo could all yet leave this summer, which is partly why the manager is so keen to retain Walker. Guardiola has already admitted he currently has “no idea” how his team might look next season.

To add to the upheaval, Guardiola’s No. 2 Enzo Maresca has left to become Leicester City manager while assistant Rodolfo Borrell has been appointed sporting director at MLS outfit Austin FC.

It has left Guardiola with a rather sparse back room staff on City’s pre-season tour of Asia. Guardiola is keen to bring back former No. 2 Juanma Lillo, who has recently led Al Sadd in Qatar.

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