Sammer leaps to Gotze defence

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer has defended Mario Gotze as speculation over the midfielder's future at the Allianz Arena continues.

Gotze has struggled to tie down a regular place in the Bavarians squad under Pep Guardiola, prompting suggestions he could be sold this off-season, with Arsenal said to be the front-runners for the World Cup winner's signature.

The off-season arrival of Douglas Costa has added even more competition to the club's midfield, but Sammer insists Gotze remains central to their plans.

"Can we agree on one thing? We let Mario just play football," Sammer told Bild.

"He enjoys our confidence, but now leave the boy in peace. It will be better if we do not talk about it constantly.

"If you want to win something big, you need just these players. Dealing with them is even more important than with those who play."