Germany international Serge Gnabry will definitely return to Bayern Munich next summer, according to CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Gnabry, 22, is spending this season on loan at Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim, having joined Bayern on a three-year deal from Werder Bremen in the summer. Due to injuries, Gnabry has been limited to six Bundesliga appearances for Hoffenheim, scoring two goals and providing an assist.
He has also played for Arsenal and scored a hat trick on his Germany debut against San Marino last November.
Kicker suggested earlier this month that Hoffenheim were confident that they could persuade Bayern to extend Gnabry’s stay at the club.
However, Rummenigge told tz: “It’s not planned that he stays — the plan is for him to return at the end of the season and then get integrated with us. That is why we loaned him out for a year so that he can develop by playing regularly.
“Apart from the period with injuries, we are totally pleased with his performances so far — his two goals against Leipzig are especially fondly remembered.”
Rummenigge also confirmed that contract talks with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are scheduled for “sometime at the start of spring” with both veteran wingers’ deals will expire next summer.
Ribery, 34, is Bayern’s longest serving player, having signed for €25 million from Marseille in 2007, while Robben, 33, joined from Real Madrid in 2009.
“They are both institutions at the club. We know what we have in them and they both mean a lot to us,” Rummenigge said.
“However, it’s also important how we proceed with them. We won’t decide this any time soon, but we will have serious discussions with them both — I’d say sometime at the start of spring.”
Both Robben and Ribery were in the same situation last season with their contracts set to expire but both ended signing on for another year until June 2018.
Meanwhile, interim coach Jupp Heynckes also believes there is no need to rush talks with Robben and Ribery, but added: “I recommend Bayern extend Sven Ulreich’s contract as soon as possible.
“We cannot hold all contract discussions at the same time and we have until next summer,” Heynckes said at a news conference on Tuesday ahead of Bayern’s game with Cologne.
Heynckes also admitted that Bayern “should think about signing a backup striker” for Robert Lewandowski, but added there were no fresh developments regarding the transfer of Hoffenheim’s Sandro Wagner with the two clubs still haggling over the transfer fee.
“Bayern isn’t willing to pay any price — you have to stay realistic,” he warned.
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann had claimed on Thursday that the Wagner deal could be done within the next two weeks, but Heynckes said: “We still have time. The new few weeks will show whether a deal can be done or not. You have to be a little patient.”
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.