Bayern will be champions, insists Mueller

MUNICH, Germany, June 26, 2011 (AFP) - Bayern Munich begin preparations for the new season on Monday with Germany star Thomas Mueller insisting the Bavarian giants will wrestle the German league title back from champions Dortmund.

Bayern's star-studded squad will regroup in Munich on Monday under new coach Jupp Heynckes after suffering a disappointing season which left them without any silverware.

While Dortmund dominated the German league for most of last season, Bayern failed to make an impact in the Bundesliga having also been dumped from both the German Cup and Champions League.

But Mueller, the top-scorer at the 2010 World Cup, said Bayern will be back to their best when the Bundesliga resumes on Friday August 5.

"We will be champions next season, no doubt about it," said Mueller, with Bayern set to host Borussia Moenchengladbach on the season's opening weekend.

Heynckes takes charge after Dutch coach Louis van Gaal was sacked earlier this year when Bayern were struggling to claim a Champions League spot, a minimum requirement for Munich's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"One is obliged to speak of success when you are at Bayern Munich," said 66-year-old Heynckes who is on his third stint with the German giants having coached them from 1987 to 1991 and briefly in 2009.

Bayern face a play-off early in the season to be sure of their Champions League spot, but captain Philipp Lahm has higher goals.

"With our quality, our goal should be to do the league and cup double and reach at least the quarter-finals of the Champions League," Lahm told Bild.

Bayern will start the season with Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who signed for 25million euros from Schalke between the sticks and are chasing the signature of defender Jerome Boateng from Manchester City.

Bayern have plucked striker Nils Petersen from second division Energie Cottbus and ex-Schalke star Rafinha from Genoa.

Turkey midfielder Hamit Altintop has left for Real Madrid and after a season on the bench, Germany striker Miroslav Klose will play for Rome's Lazio in Serie A.

After playing Euro 2012 qualifiers at the start of June, Bayern's Germany stars will return on Friday and a training camp is planned on Lake Garda for July.

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