Niko Kovac refused to comment on transfer speculation linking Bayern Munich with World Cup-winning defender Benjamin Pavard, but he does expect to be able to call upon the services of James Rodriguez next season.
Pavard, 22, played all but one of France's matches en route to winning the World Cup, even scoring one of the goals of the tournament with a stunning volley in the thrilling 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina.
Usually a centre-back with Stuttgart last season, Pavard excelled at right-back in Russia and would therefore add useful versatility to Bayern's defence, with strong reports claiming the player has already signed a pre-contract agreement for 2019, when a €35million release clause is reportedly due to come into effect.
Kovac insists he knows nothing of such rumours, though he did not hide his admiration for the defender.
"I cannot say anything about it," the Bayern head coach told reporters in a news conference on Thursday.
"You'll have to contact Brazzo [sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic]. I can confirm that he is a really good player.
Niko #Kovac on pre-season preparations: "The players are doing fantastically. Compliments to all those involved. I'm particularly impressed by the intensity and passion of the players." #FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/t7LGcn6okO— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) July 19, 2018
"We have a team of 22 players and it will be a difficult task to keep everybody happy. We do not talk about another one."
James is another player whose future is in the air, with some suggestions that Real Madrid could attempt to bring him back from his loan spell in Munich.
But Kovac is expecting him to remain at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern holding a purchase option until next year.
"All I know is that we have an ongoing loan contract which is valid," he added. "It ends either in the direction that we exercise the option and he stays or not. For the moment it looks like he's staying here."
Bayern were without first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for most of last season due to a broken foot and, although Sven Ulreich performed admirably in his stead, Kovac appeared to dash his hopes of retaining his spot in goal for next term.
"Sven did a really good job, hardly anyone thought he could – he proved he was right to be here," Kovac said.
"I know I can count on him, but Neuer is a world-class goalkeeper. I know who the number one is and who the number two is, but I also know that number two is a number one."
10. Dezember 2018
|Pochettino to keep an eye on Inter when Spurs face Barcelona|
|Pochettino confirms Walker-Peters set to start against Barcelona|
|Denver Nuggets add free agent Young|
|Topping Group A no magic wand for an easy knockout draw, says Simeone|
|The cake has been made, now we need the cherry - Ancelotti targets repeat at Anfield|
|Lloris braced to face ´one of the best in history´ in Messi|
|Tuchel expects Neymar to face Red Star|
|Foden signs Manchester City deal to 2024|
|It happened to me! - Valverde laughs off Dembele timekeeping|
|´Projecting´ an Argentina return? Messi met with AFA president and Scaloni|
|Erasmus expects to leave head coach role after World Cup|
|Chelsea issue suspensions pending investigation into Sterling incident|
|Kane is extraordinary – Valverde hails reported Barcelona target|
|Man behind Naomi Osaka´s rise wins WTA Coach of the Year|
|England name unchanged Test squad as Willey returns for West Indies ODIs|
|Spalletti: No issue with Icardi watching Superclasico in Madrid|
|Klopp confirms 2013 talks with ´chatty´ Napoli president De Laurentiis|
|Sri Lanka spinner Dananjaya suspended due to illegal action|
|His reaction was just brilliant – Klopp praises Sterling for response to abuse|
|Gomez renewal a ´smart decision´ for both parties – Klopp|
|Magnificent Molinari named European Golfer of the Year|
|Barcelona best option for Frenkie de Jong, insists midfielder´s father|
|Gronkowski on Miami Miracle: ´Got to make that tackle´|
|Tottenham youngster Walker-Peters signs on until 2023|
|Juventus ´more of a family´ than Real Madrid - Ronaldo|
|Kingsley Coman contemplates retirement if injury nightmare continues|
|McVay ´sick´ over offensive failings as Rams coach takes blame for loss|
|Calleja axed as Villarreal coach|
|Kenyan Drake on Miami Miracle: I couldn´t let Gronk tackle me!|
|Ronaldo: I deserved Ballon d´Or, the numbers don´t lie|
|Rugby Australia to make Cheika decision this month|
|England defender Gomez signs new Liverpool deal|
|Ronaldo wants to see Messi follow him to Italy|
|Neymar happy to play in any position for PSG - Draxler|
|Paine insists he is ´fine´ after taking blow to finger|
|Ponzio: River players will be ´idolised´ for Libertadores success|
|Champions League permutations: How Inter, PSG and Liverpool can progress|
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|
|Boca boss Schelotto: The only thing I feel is sadness|
|Cardinals´ Fitzgerald makes NFL history with most receptions for one team|
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|
|Leonardo rules out Ibrahimovic Milan return|
|Warriors´ Green to return against Timberwolves|
|I feel for him… we´ll make it work – Butler responds to Embiid´s frustration|
|Torino draw no missed opportunity for misfiring AC Milan, claims Gattuso|
9. Dezember 2018
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|