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Guardiola hits back at Hitzfeld criticisms

Pep Guardiola has rejected claims from former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld that the Bundesliga champions are losing their German identity.

Bastian Schweinsteiger's departure during the close season was the latest in a string of home-grown players leaving the club, while Mario Gotze's future at the Allianz Arena is in doubt after reports of a disagreement with Guardiola.

Hitzfeld wrote in Kicker that the club must ensure "German remains the main language in the team", but Guardiola has no intention of moving the club away from their roots.

"This topic has been going on now for quite some time in the newspapers and in the media," the former Barcelona boss said. 

"I know, this is a German club with a German mentality and I am sorry and I am doing my best. When we make decisions, it is not just me.

"You know that we try to make the best decisions for the club to stay at this high level. 

"We want to stay on the level Jupp Heynckes left it with the treble. Stay on top of the Bundesliga and reach at least the semi-finals in Cup competition.

"Ottmar Hitzfeld won the Champions League title in Milan with 4 Germans in the team. 

"Now we have more Germans in the team. But one more or less doesn't matter. I have always said, we are here to adapt the German mentality and lifestyle."