Sun, 25 Oct 2020

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Urgent tasks are seemingly never ending at the moment for Hansi Flick. Ahead of the UEFA Supercup final against Sevilla this Thursday evening, the 2020 treble-winning coach has a multitude of challenging tasks to address.

Finding suitable squad replacements appears to be just as stressful as dealing with contract extensions of vital players.

In addition, a packed game schedule involving nine games in 38 days comes with his concerns about facing the 2020 Spanish Euro League winner in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, one of Europe's COVID-19 hotspots.

"One can't understand it," Flick said when criticizing UEFA's decision to choose the venue and allowing up to 20,000 spectators.

The growing number of fans returning their tickets is an ominous sign for both sides.

Instead of 2,100 fans, only a few hundred might go, while Sevilla is not expecting more than 500 followers.

The Bavarian federal government recently changed the rules for people returning from high-risk countries. To re-enter Germany, a negative test or self-quarantine is required.

The Bavarian head of state Markus Soeder asked Bayern fans not to travel and instead to stay at home. "The Supercup is an exciting game, but it's not the most important one," the politician said after Hungary reported an incidence rate of up to 1.20.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced the club is taking all possible actions to avoid infection among fans "as we don't want to increase the cases we already have in Munich."

With the infection rate greater than 35 per 100,000 inhabitants per week in Munich (56.13), fans were banned from Bayern's recent league game against Schalke.

"We are not the ones making the decisions," Flick said when reacting to UEFA's announcement to stick to their plans of allowing a crowd in the Puskas Arena.

The pay-tv stations covering the game, Sky and DZAN, announced they would not be sending reporters to Budapest but instead would commentate on the game from Germany.

While preparing for the Supercup, Flick is busy setting up his new squad. After demanding a deal with David Alaba, the Bayern manager has placed an appeal at the club's leaders to sign Germany's 2014 World Cup hero Mario Goetze.

Having lost cornerstones such as Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Javi Martinez (Bilbao), and Philippe Coutinho (Everton), Flick intends to update its midfield options.

Reports speak of reservations among Bayern's leaders to re-sign the 28-year-old, who couldn't achieve a breakthrough between 2013 to 2016. Spanish reports spoke of Sevilla and Valencia as interested parties.

Flick claims he can't secure a successful season with Leroy Sane (Citizens) and Tanguy Nianzou (Paris) as the club is facing the German Supercup final against Dortmund, a possible FIFA club World-Championship in addition to its national campaigns.

Reports also speak of Sergino Dest as Bayern's target to gain a backup up for the right-back position. The Ajax defender is said to be on Barcelona's list as well.

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