Muller: I’m not in competition with James

Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and James Rodriguez Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and James Rodriguez

Thomas Muller insists he does not see new Bayern Munich signing James Rodriguez as a rival for a first-team place, as he looks to restore goals to his game.

The forward is impressed by the arrival of James, who has joined on an initial two-year loan from Real Madrid.

Muller only scored five league goals en route to earning his sixth Bundesliga winners’ medal last season, having reached double figures in all but one of his previous seven full seasons in Bayern’s senior team.

But he does not feel threatened by high-profile recruit James and fellow addition Corentin Tolisso, who signed from Lyon in a deal that could reach a total value of €47.5-million.

Carlo Ancelotti has already moved to brush off suggestions that James, in particular, could take Muller’s place in the team.

Instead, the Germany international is confident they can play together, insisting he views James and Tolisso as colleagues more than competitors, and will fill whatever role the head coach requires of him.

“It’s always something in between, I think both players are very good,” Muller said to Omnisport.

“They are both good characters. We’ve spent the last week together so we can look out for each other and have fun.

“On the pitch, they are both very important and have good qualities. They show it in every training session. So it’s more [that we will] play together than [be in] competition with each other.

“It doesn’t matter to me if I’m the goal-scorer or the playmaker. I want to help the team, but I think the expectations are very high. So I need to score goals so that people are satisfied.”

Four of Muller’s five league strikes came in a late-season flurry, however, as he got to grips with his role in Ancelotti’s system, and the 27-year-old expects to pick up next term where he left off.

“I needed a little time to know our new trainer and the new system, but I think since January, in the second half of the season was very good,” he said.

“I’m looking forward very positively for the next season to do much better.

“Normally Bayern want to win everything we play. So it’s not about titles in the future, but it’s all about being the best in every game and every training session and every competition. We want to win everything.”