Football

Jerome Baoteng: David Alaba has our support over contract rift

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng said that the squad are behind David Alaba amid the Austrian defender's contract extension stalemate with the European champions.

Alaba could leave Bayern at the end of the season after the latest round of extension talks between the club and the player's agent broke down.

On Monday, the 28-year-old said he was "hurt and disappointed" to learn through the press that Bayern had withdrawn their latest offer to extend his deal, which expires next June, following protracted talks.

"Of course it's an issue, but he is focused on the essentials," said Boateng, who partnered Alaba at centre-back in their 6-2 win over RB Salzburg in the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"It is clear that it's not easy, but he put in another great game today and we're behind him."

Boateng's first European goal for five years helped Bayern extend their record run to 14 straight Champions League wins with a comeback victory in Austria.

With the scores locked at 2-2, Boateng powered home a Joshua Kimmich corner 11 minutes from time to restore the holders' lead.

Leroy Sane, Robert Lewandowski and Lucas Hernandez then added late goals to give the Group A leaders a third successive win in this season's competition.

Lewandowski , who had converted an early penalty to cancel out Mergim Berisha's opener, dedicated his double to the ailing Gerd Mueller, who turned 75 on Tuesday.

"I would like to dedicate my goals to a true legend Gerd Mueller, it's his 75th birthday," Lewandowski posted on Instagram. "The scale of what you have achieved drives me to work every day to at least come a bit closer to your greatness.

"Stay strong, King Gerd."

Mueller suffers from dementia and lives in a specialised care home. Earlier this week, his wife Uschi said the 1974 World Cup winner "is slowly passing to the afterlife in his sleep".

Bundesliga leaders Bayern travel to second-placed Borussia Dortmund on Sunday morning, with both sides separated only by goal difference. - AFP

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