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."
15. Oktober 2018
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|Griezmann ahead of Mbappe for Ballon d´Or - Modric|
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|Bellew: I have no fear of Usyk|
|Birthday boy Ozil is the most creative player in Europe|
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|FA condemns England supporters involved in trouble in Seville|
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|Ter Stegen should start ahead of Neuer for Germany – Matthaus|
|England´s Sterling impressed by Sancho´s work ethic|
|Vandoorne seals switch to Formula E|
|Halep to end 2018 as world number one|
|Sri Lanka´s Jayasuriya charged by ICC with breaching anti-corruption code|
|Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury|
|LeBron and Irving did not fall out, says ex-Cavs trainer|
|Ramsey out of Wales´ clash with Republic of Ireland|
|Bolt angry with drugs test|
|Bad luck is not a coincidence – Kimmich concerned by Germany form|
|Mahomes: Chiefs need to win like Brady and the Patriots|
|Schuster warns Real Madrid not to panic-buy striker in January|
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
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|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|
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|Red Sox level series against Astros|
|Mbappe leaves red-faced Dembele on his backside|
|Red Sox ace Sale admitted to hospital with stomach illness|
|From UFC to NFL? McGregor throws pass for Cowboys|
|Ancelotti praises ´dangerous´ Mbappe|
|Uncapped Papalii named in All Blacks squad|
|Kane would star in LaLiga – Ramos|
|Guardiola unsure about Man City´s Champions League chances|
|Dzeko: Premier League return? You never know|
|Gurley dominates to help Rams beat Broncos|
|Butler expected to play Timberwolves´ opener against Spurs|
|I´m no wizard – Mancini asks for patience with Italy|
|The Messi and Ronaldo era is phenomenal – Guardiola|
|Dolphins defeat Bears in OT with 47-yard field goal|
|Almirola picks up win at Talladega|
14. Oktober 2018
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|Seahawks top Raiders with blowout win in London|
|In-demand Hogg hints at Glasgow exit|
|Holder calls on Windies batsmen to step up after India whitewash|
|France´s World Cup win hurt me - Koscielny retires from international football|
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|Overlooked Alba is one of the world´s best, says Ramos|
|Del Potro a major ATP Finals doubt due to fractured patella|