MUNICH — Jupp Heynckes said being at Bayern Munich was “the pinnacle for any player” as he dismissed reports linking Robert Lewandowski with Real Madrid as “speculation.”
Reports have suggested Lewandowski could join Madrid in the summer, but Heynckes said he would be “well advised” to concentrate on the Bundesliga leaders.
“If I was a player or a trainer, I would always choose Bayern Munich,” Heynckes told a news conference ahead of the trip to Freiburg on Sunday.
“Bayern Munich is something special in Europe, and if you are playing for Bayern Munich you have already reached the pinnacle for any player.”
Asked whether Bayern should opt to take a big transfer fee for the 29-year-old, Heynckes added: “We don’t know anything for sure — it’s merely speculation.
“I don’t want to comment because it’ll be used to hype up the situation.
“Lewandowski would be well advised to concentrate on Bayern. He not only scores a lot of goals, he’s one of the best players in his position in the world.
“We need him in top form to progress in the Champions League with everything working in attack.”
Heynckes also played down a midweek clash between Lewandowski and Mats Hummels during training.
“It’s not a bad thing at all — on the contrary, this kind of thing has always happened. A bit of friction generates performance,” he said.
Heynckes could be without winger Kingsley Coman for the rest of the season after he underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday following an injury in last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Hertha Berlin.
“Not having Kingsley will be a massive loss for us,” the coach said.
“He has made a very positive development as a player, showing what he is capable of in many games this season. I was very shocked to hear how bad the injury is.”
Franck Ribery misses the Freiburg game with a bug, while James Rodriguez, who returned to light training on Thursday after overcoming a calf problem, will not be risked.
Meanwhile, Heynckes praised Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus following his return from a long injury absence.
“I am pleased that he has again managed to recover from another serious setback,” Heynckes said. “He is a street footballer, who you can see loves playing the game.
“Although, it’s bitter that he has always missed major tournaments and internationals for Germany, it’s a great bonus for Borussia Dortmund that he is back.
“They have missed his goals in recent months, and are much stronger as a result [of his return].”
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.