Former Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has indicated he is open to returning to the Bundesliga, though he emphasised that he is currently focused on current side Fiorentina.
Ribery became a legend at Bayern after joining the club in 2007, winning the Bundesliga on nine occasions over 12 seasons with the Bavarians.
The former France international joined Fiorentina ahead of last season and has become a key figure for the Viola, making 15 Serie A appearances this season.
Ribery’s contract with Fiorentina expires at the end of the current campaign and even at age 37 he is thinking about playing on – potentially back in Germany.
“At the moment I only think about Fiorentina, I’m important for the team,” he told Bild. “But I don’t rule out a return to the Bundesliga when I’m finished here.”
Ribery also spoke out about some of the issues at his former club, including the status of summer signing Leroy Sane.
Sane has started just half of his 14 Bundesliga appearances this season and his head coach Hansi Flick made headlines last month when he subbed Sane out of a game he had previously entered as a sub.
Ribery has backed Sane to succeed at Bayern, saying that he’s not surprised to see more tenured players sometimes getting the nod ahead of Sane.
“I believe in Leroy because he is still young, has quality and talent,” Ribery said.
“Players like Kingsley Coman or Serge Gnabry have been with the club longer and therefore know the coach’s game philosophy better.
“Sane comes from Manchester City, a big club where he has already proven his quality in tough competition.
“But football is not easy, there are many factors involved. Sane knows that there is competition at Bayern too. Since he knows this from Manchester, he will have no problem with it.
“The four wingers at Bayern should support each other. Sitting on the bench shouldn’t be a reason to hang your head – you can still make the difference in 20 minutes.”
Ribery also opined on the saga of David Alaba, who looks likely to leave the club after talks over a new contract broke down.
“David is a Bayern guy, he won the treble twice,” Ribery said. “David is intelligent and he’s not a little kid anymore. He made a big name in the football world, won everything.
“Bavaria has always stood behind David, the relationship was good. I think it would be best if both parties could find a solution. But sometimes it doesn’t fit. This is life, this is football.”