Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions on Tuesday for an eighth straight season as Robert Lewandowski’s volley secured a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen, while Paderborn were relegated from the top flight in Berlin.
Bayern picked up their eighth consecutive win since the Bundesliga resumed in mid-May behind closed doors due to the coronavirus, as coach Hansi Flick won the league title in his first season in charge.
“Compliments to the team, it is sensational what we have achieved in the past few months,” said Flick whose side have won all of their last 14 games.
“Today there is no criticism, you have to emphasise the way the players have done it.
“Player and coach, team have simply been one unit.”
A deft chip over the Bremen defence from Jerome Boateng was chested down and volleyed home by Lewandowski, who claimed his 31st league goal this season and his 46th in all competitions, shortly before halftime.
But Bayern endured a nervy finale after teenage left-back Alphonso Davies was sent off 11 minutes before the final whistle for a second yellow card.
He was lucky to avoid a straight red after a kick on Leonardo Bittencourt which earned him his first yellow on 19 minutes.
The result keeps Werder Bremen second-from-bottom with just two games left to avoid dropping down to the second-tier for the first time since 1980.
Bottom side Paderborn had their relegation confirmed with a 1-0 defeat at Union Berlin after an own goal from the visitors by Ben Zolinski.
“There was always a little bit missing in our game”, said Paderborn captain Christian Strohdiek.
“When the disappointment fades, we can simply be proud of what we have achieved in the last few years,” added Strohdiek after Paderborn had earned back-to-back promotions in the previous seasons.
Union’s win in Berlin means they are guaranteed a second Bundesliga season having come up for the first time in 2018/19.
Seventh-placed Freiburg stayed in the hunt for a Europa League place next season after replacement striker Nils Petersen came off the bench to net the winning goal and seal a 2-1 win at home to Hertha Berlin.
It was Petersen’s 11th goal of the season, but the 25th of his career which he has scored as a substitute.
GLADBACH HUNT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Earlier, Borussia Moenchengladbach stayed in the hunt for a Champions League berth with an emphatic 3-0 home win over Wolfsburg as midfielder Jonas Hofmann scored twice.
After consecutive defeats by Freiburg and Bayern, Gladbach raced into a two-goal lead after half an hour at Borussia Park.
Hofmann scored twice before Germany international Lars Stindl swept a third into the net following a second-half counter-attack.
“We scored three goals, didn’t concede and picked up three points with an ambitious performance in difficult conditions, so I am happy with that,” said Gladbach head coach Marco Rose.
The result was all the more impressive as Gladbach eased to victory without injured French forwards Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea.
Gladbach moved back into the fourth and final Champions League spot, two points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who host Cologne on Wednesday in their game in hand.
Bayern and Borussia Dortmund have already qualified for next season’s group stage, while RB Leipzig sit third, five points clear of Leverkusen.
The defeat leaves Wolfsburg sixth, which carries a Europa League place next season.
Gladbach face Paderborn on Saturday, then mid-table Hertha Berlin on the final day of the season, while Leverkusen face Hertha and Mainz in their last two games.
With a hopeful world looking to Germany to see how feasible it is for professional football to return despite the coronavirus, multiple matches took place across several cities in both the first and second tiers of the German league. The pick of the matches was the much anticipated Revierderby, the match between the two biggest clubs in Germany’s Ruhr region, Borrusia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
Teen sensation Erling Braut Haaland continued from where he left off before the enforced break by scoring the first for Dortmund in convincing 4-0 win over Schalke.
The game will mostly be remembered for the surreal circumstances in which it was played, as Germany became the first major league in Europe to resume action behind closed doors.
There was an eerie atmosphere at Dortmund’s iconic Signal Iduna Park stadium, with every shout by players or coaches audible, and social distancing protocol followed by substitutes and during goal celebrations.
Haaland opened the scoring with a trademark cool finish, flicking home Thorgen Hazard’s cross to continue his sensational season, albeit after an enforced break of almost 10 weeks.
Raphael Guerreiro added two more goals and Hazard also found the net as Dortmund went on to claim a comfortable win over their near neighbours and move within a point of leaders Bayern Munich, who play today.
Elite-level football might be back in Europe, but it certainly has a different feel about it than it did two months ago. Strict hygiene protocols saw the Dortmund and Schalke players arrive on multiple buses, use several changing rooms and then enter the pitch by different routes.
Warm-ups were staggered and the coaching staff and substitutes wore masks and were all separated by two metres as they took their place on the sidelines.
Once the balls had been disinfected by the ball-boys, the game began in total silence, only pierced by the referee’s whistle for kick-off, before being played out to the sound of echoed applause or yelled instructions from the dug-outs.
Fans were completely absent from the 80,000-capacity stadium but that did not stop the Dortmund players performing their trademark salute to the empty stands at the final whistle – standing apart rather than holding hands of course.
The backdrop to the game made for a strange spectacle, but it did nothing to disrupt Haaland’s fine form even if it was 70 days on from his last Bundesliga appearance. With the rest of Europe watching on, Dortmund’s 19-year-old Norwegian wonderkid reminded everyone of his precocious talent as he scored one goal, and helped make another.
Haaland’s goal means he now has a total of 37 in club competition for the season – before joining Dortmund he scored 14 goals in Austra’s top division for Red Bull Salzburg, and eight more in the Champions League.
He has now scored 10 goals in his first nine Bundesliga appearances – and 13 in 12 games in all competitions – since his January move from Red Bull Salzburg and his prolific scoring rate shows no sign of slowing up.
Another of Dortmund’s highly-rated young talents, England forward Jadon Sancho, was restricted to an 11-minute cameo off the bench, because of a calf injury.
On-loan Everton full-back Jonjoe Kenny started for Schalke, who brought on Wales winger Rabbi Matondo as one of their five substitutes – two more than usual are permitted under the new regulations for the Bundesliga’s restart.
Bundesliga Gives Insight into New Reality
The German Bundesliga restarted on Saturday and gave a glimpse into what the Premier League and other top leagues may look like if they return. South Korea’s K League kicked off last weekend, while some smaller leagues such as Belarus and Nicaragua have never stopped – but this was the first elite football in over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So what did football in May 2020 – played behind closed doors and with some social distancing – look like?
Temperature checks, several buses and disinfected balls
Teams arrived in several buses so players could socially distance on the journey to the game. Players and staff had all been quarantining in team hotels all week and are being tested for coronavirus regularly. As they left the buses they wore facemasks on their way into the ground. Other people attending the games, including the media, had their temperatures checked.
Fans were banned from matches, with police patrolling to make sure no crowds gathered at the venues. Only 213 people were allowed into the ground – 98 on and around the pitch (like players, coaches and ball boys) and 115 in the stands (such as security, medics and media). Another 109 people (including security and VAR operators) were allowed just outside the stadium.
There were 30 match balls, each of them disinfected by ball boys and left on special spots rather than handing them to players.
Substitutes and coaches wore masks and socially distanced on individual seats on the bench – or in some cases in the front rows of the empty stands behind the benches. RB Leipzig, who drew with Freiburg 1-1, brought in a set of airport stairs so players could get to and from their seats in the stands.
Head coaches were allowed to go without a mask so they could shout instructions to their players. Substitutes took off their masks to warm up, and when players were replaced they were handed a mask before reaching the bench.
Elbow bumps instead of hugs
The actual play itself was no different to normal with tackles flying in and plenty of goals – 16 – across yesterday’s six games. But there was some social distancing on show for goals as many strikes were celebrated without the usual embraces, think elbow bumps instead of hugs.
However, some goals – notably those by Hertha Berlin players in their 3-0 win at Hoffenheim – were just celebrated as normal. Hertha will not be punished as the German league asking players not to embrace is a guideline and not a rule.
With only a few dozen people making noise on the benches, television viewers could hear the players and managers talking, as well as the sound of the ball being kicked – and of the ball hitting the back of the net.
Teams were allowed to use five substitutes in a game – which other leagues will have the option to do when they return. So Schalke, in their 4-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund, were able to make two substitutions at half-time – and another three after the break.
Applauding empty stands
After the final whistle – to deafening silence – Borussia Dortmund’s players went across to their famous South Bank – usually known as the Yellow Wall which holds 25,000 fans – to applaud and run towards the empty stand to celebrate.
Wolfsburg players kicked boots with the referee and his assistants, rather than the usual handshakes, following their 2-1 victory at Augsburg. Elsewhere, fist bumps and elbow bumps were the name of the game.
Players and managers were interviewed by television reporters with microphones on sticks, keeping to a safe distance, while post-match news conferences were done by video conferencing.
RB Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen is interviewed from a safe distance
Did the fans stay away?
One of the reasons Premier League games could be played at neutral venues is to avoid fans congregating outside their own ground during a game. But that did not appear to be an issue in Germany yesterday.
Dortmund police spokesperson Olivier Peiler said: “It’s surprisingly quiet. We had expected and calculated various scenarios, but we didn’t expect that only a few fans would come to the stadium and the city centre.
“Apparently the pleas by the city and police to stay and watch the match at home have worked out. We are very pleased by this in order to avoid infections.”
Not everyone was happy though. Augsburg fans put a banner in an empty stand saying “football gives life – your business is sick” in protest at football continuing during the pandemic.
What did the managers think?
After a goalless draw with Paderborn, Fortuna Dusseldorf manager Uwe Rosler said: “The day was a bit odd. I am an emotional man, I like to take a player in my arms, which I obviously couldn’t do today.”
Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, said: “There is no noise. You shoot at the goal, you make a great pass, you score, and nothing happens. It’s very, very weird.”
Freiburg coach, Christian Streich, told a virtual news conference: “Obviously, it’s sad the fans cannot watch the game, that we can’t meet up and go to the game and play this game together.
“This is not something that can go on indefinitely. But under these conditions I did not expect a drop in quality because of a lack of fans and we did not see that.”
Hertha Berlin boss Bruno Labbadia defended his side celebrating their goals without social distancing. “The fact is that this is part of football,” he said. “We’ve been tested so many times that we can allow it.
“If you can’t celebrate anymore, the whole thing breaks down. I’m just glad that the team had reason to cheer today.”
How did other people react?
Former Bayern Munich and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who was doing BT Sport punditry from his own house, said: “I am missing the fans already. It was so strange, it is going to take some getting used to. “Football without the fans is tough to watch.”
BBC live text reader Jonathan Chilvers said: “Atmosphere at Dortmund vs Schalke reminds me of playing Year 10 basketball in the school sports hall.”
Marty Waddell tweeted: “Nope. Sorry. As much as I love and miss football, that just wasn’t right. And i still miss it just as much (if not more).”
Bundesliga clubs could have an advantage in the transfer market if the league restarts in May, according to a football finance expert.
The German Football League (DFL) confirmed on Thursday that the country’s top flight will resume on May 9, provided the decision has the backing of politicians. It would make the Bundesliga the first of Europe’s top leagues to play games again after being forced to suspend the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Stars such as Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner have been linked with moves abroad, specifically to Premier League clubs.
However, Kieran Maguire believes clubs in Germany may actually prove more attractive to players if they can offer assurances about regular football and, when it comes to 2021, the possibility of playing in front of sell-out crowds rather than behind closed doors.
“I think those clubs and those countries where football returns to a paying audience will start to have a cash advantage,” Maguire told Stats Perform.
“If German football returns before a paying audience in May, then what it could have is that when the transfer market resumes, it will have physically more cash to spend in that market compared to other European countries.
“It will not be a huge amount because, even in the Bundesliga, clubs are still reliant significantly upon TV money and the very good commercial links that German clubs have. However it would certainly assist those clubs.
“What they would also be able to do is offer players a promise: ‘If you come to us, when the Bundesliga for 2021 starts, you will have a paying audience in front of you’. That’s a much more attractive proposition for a football player than playing in front of an empty bowl.”
Maguire also believes Bundesliga clubs – who must by law not allow commercial investors to own more than 49 per cent of shares – are likely to be in a more stable financial position than those in the Premier League that rely heavily on cash windfalls from player sales or the help of wealthy owners.
“The Bundesliga is very organised because it has fan involvement at the heart of the way it operates,” he explained. “Also, we tend to see less lavish spending in the Bundesliga, so therefore it’s in a better position than Premier League clubs to begin with.
“What people don’t realise is that two thirds of clubs in the Premier League are losing money on a day-to-day basis. They are reliant upon owners, and they are reliant upon the odd windfalls in the form of player sales to balance the books. Even so, we had Chelsea and Everton last year lose over £100million each.”
Maguire also thinks it crucial that the Champions League is concluded given the potential financial pitfalls for UEFA if the 2019-20 competition is cancelled.
“There will be legal repercussions unless money is distributed in a way that satisfies everybody,” he said. “The one thing we know about football is that club owners are a fairly feisty bunch and they’re a very vain bunch, so everybody will be claiming that they’ve been disadvantaged.
“Therefore, from UEFA’s point of view, it is essential that the Champions League is finished because of the amount of money which is outstanding.
“First of all, they’ve got broadcasting contracts and, therefore, they’ve got legal obligations to the broadcasters. The Champions League is the big money-earner as far as UEFA is concerned. We would expect to see some form of resumption.
“There has been talk of one-legged matches; there have been talks of pooled matches in centres to reduce the potential for spreading the virus around.
“I think we’re a long way away from those decisions because anybody in football who tries to propose something which is not in the interest of public health will get shot down and rightly so.”
Kieran Maguire is the author of The Price Of Football, available now, with all proceeds going to charity.
The German daily has refuted speculation that Real Madrid are poised to pay the Norwegian striker’s buy-out clause. The player isn’t thinking of leaving Dortmund.
In Germany, the general consensus is that Erling Haaland won’t be moving from Borussia Dortmund any time soon. German daily Bild has vehemently rejected speculation about a 75 million euro buy-out clause which will be triggered this summer if Real Madrid make a serious move for the player. “It’s false information ,” the paper explained in its online version today, adding that any such clause would not come into effect before the summer of 2021. Bild goes on to explain that should BVB change their minds about Haaland and decide to put him on the market, the asking price would be much higher than that believed to be in his buy-out clause.
Haaland keen to stay in Dortmund
And on top of that, according to Bild, Haaland, who is under contract until 2024 is not contemplating a move away from Dortmund during the next transfer window. Borussia Dortmund only signed the player relatively recently, paying Red Bull Salzburg 20 million euros for him back in December – so maybe he isn’t interested in another move and more upheaval.
Haaland’s close circle are also convinced that the Bundesliga is the perfect place for him to develop. “I feel at home.” Erling said. His objective is to play in the Premier League one day – as Bild note in their article, which they end with an ominous line for madridistas: “Tough times for Madrid fans”.
Despite planning to return in May, it’s been reported that Serie A will not allow fans back into stadiums until January 2021.
All domestic competitions across the globe have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Italy was one of the most effected countries from the COVID-19 virus early on and subsequently suspended their football season earlier than others.
Now it looks like Serie A is preparing to follow the steps of the Bundesliga and not allow fans to enter the stadiums until 2021.
According to NobleSport Reliable Source , a leaked Government document suggests there might not be fans in Italian stadiums until January 2021.
There are many reports suggesting that Italy’s lockdown restrictions will be eased on May 4, which would allow the players to return to training with a hope of resuming the football season on May 31.
There are 12 matches left of the current season with Juventus and Lazio in a fierce race for the title with Inter Milan not far behind.
The German league have similar hope to have all matches completed by the end of June.
It has become increasingly clear that the Bundesliga is the major league that is set to return the soonest.
In an interview with the New York Times, Bundesliga chief executive officer Christian Seifert revealed that the current plan is for games to return to all 36 grounds in the top two divisions by the start of May.
Bayern Munich may be able to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane for a fee within the region of €50 million (£55m/$44m) when the transfer window reopens, according to Michael Rummenigge.
Sane has been out of action since City’s Community Shield victory over Liverpool back in August, after limping off the pitch with a serious knee injury.
The Germany international was forced to undergo surgery on the issue, and has thus missed the entire 2019-20 campaign to date, leading to plenty of speculation over his future.
The 24-year-old only has one more year left to run on his existing deal at Etihad Stadium, with no fresh contract offer on the table as of yet, amid constant rumours linking him with a move to Bayern.
The Bundesliga champions have reportedly been interested in signing Sane for over a year, but were reluctant to meet City’s original €100 million (£88m/$109m) valuation.
Michael Rummenigge – brother of Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz – believes the winger could be available for a significantly lower price later in the year after spending so long away from the pitch.
The ex-Bayern midfielder wrote in his latest Sports Buzzer column: “Bayern would have bought him for 100 to 120 million before the cruciate ligament rupture, but an obligation could now be significantly cheaper and maybe only cost 30 to 50 million.”
Sane was closing in on a return to action before the season was called to a temporary halt by the coronavirus pandemic, and had gained some much needed minutes with City’s reserves.
Pep Guardiola had hinted that he was ready to welcome a prized asset back into his squad for the Premier League clash against Arsenal at the Etihad on March 11, but the fixture was postponed.
With it not yet known when it will be safe for football to resume, Sane will continue his rehabilitation in the comfort of his own home as he joins his team-mates in a period of enforced self-isolation.
He delivered an update on his progress earlier this week, admitting that he was frustrated to see the campaign postponed just as he was starting to approach full-fitness again.
“I was on the verge of making my comeback; I had been working towards that for many months,” Sane told the DFB’s official website. “Nevertheless, I can still continue to do that and I know that there are much worse things. For example, being exposed to the virus.
“Now we can only wait for the situation to relax again. We all have to trust the experts and stay patient. So I’m preparing myself every day for an unknown date.”
It’s a slow news day, but with football shut down for the foreseeable future, all the days are slow news days.
Some absolutely pointless Jadon Sancho to Manchester United speculation, then? Why not?
The latest ‘development’ to the situation, which has seen the player seemingly on the verge of a move to Manchester United since before Sir Alex Ferguson was appointed in 1986, comes as Juan Mata responds to a question about Sancho on Instagram.
Unfortunately, he has dodged said question like a pro.
Hummels joined in as special guest on Instagram Live with Mata immediately after this and said: ‘I was listening to you talking about Sancho!’ said Hummels, as both players burst into laughter‘I understand that.’
“Should we sign Jadon Sancho?” he said, when asked in a live stream on Thursday.
“What do you want me to say? We all know he’s a great player. He’s having a fantastic season at Dortmund.
“But it’s not my responsibility to speak about those things. I like him as a player but I cannot reply to that.”
So…yeah. As much as some might want that to be more than it is, Mata has simply confirmed that he does, indeed, know a half decent footballer when he sees one. With 17 goals and 19 assists already this season, after all, there would be something majorly wrong if Mata said literally anything else.
What’s a little less fluffy is the latest from The Athletic, which claims United remain the ‘most likely’ destination for the winger, who turned 20 just last month – though those claims are diluted somewhat by suggestions that any moves north of £80m would be a stretch for any club this summer due to the financial implications of the coronavirus shutdown.
It does, however, back up NobleSports stance since as far back as September. A source has NobleSports that United are hell-bent on landing Sancho this year, and see him as the ideal solution to their right wing problems, although the current situation is wildly unpredictable and may well lead to an alteration of any summer transfer plans.
Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly among the clubs weighing up a summer transfer swoop for Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso.
Tolisso has fallen out of favour at Bayern since Hans-Dieter Flick took charge in November, with the French international having started just seven Bundesliga games under the new manager.
Before that the central midfielder’s progress was hampered by injuries, and the 25-year-old is believed to be considering a fresh start away from the Allianz Stadium.
And that has alerted Arsenal and United – as well as a host of other top European clubs – to a possible bargain in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners and United are joined in the queue for the World Cup winner’s services by Juventus, Atletico Madrid, and Napoli, according to Foot Mercato.
The French outlet reports that Bayern are ready to sell Tolisso, who they signed for £37million in 2017.
Due to injuries the midfielder has made just 68 appearances for Bayern since then, so his price tag has dropped significantly and he could be picked up for around £23m, according to Transfermarket.
Arsenal will be seeking midfield reinforcements this summer, while United are also on the lookout amid the expectation that Paul Pogba will leave this summer.
And both clubs will be considering whether Tolisso can recapture the form that saw him named in France’s World Cup-winning squad of 2018.
The Gunners could also face competition from United for another midfield target, with the Red Devils reportedly considering a move for Real Madrid misfit James Rodriguez.
According to Spanish outlet AS, Rodriguez could end up being part of a swap deal for Pogba, with Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane known to be keen on the United midfielder.
Rodriguez has played just seven La Liga games for Madrid this season, and is expected to move on this summer with Arsenal, Everton, Napoli and Juventus all having been linked with the 28-year-old Columbia international.
Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus has urged Jadon Sancho to snub interest from the Premier League and stay in Germany for at least another season.
Clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are in competition to sign the 20-year-old, with the Red Devils currently leading the pack, amid claims he is open to a return to England.
But Germany international Reus believes the winger should stay put for the time being, predicting he will be ready for a big move in a year or two.
“He should stay one more, maybe two years at Dortmund,” Reus told Sport Bild.
“In my view, there is currently nothing better for him. [Then he can] take the really big step. As an even more complete player who can continue to develop with us as a regular in the team.”
Reus himself has managed to resist the lure of bigger teams in recent years.
The attacking midfielder was previously linked with a move to Bayern Munich following his exploits for Borussia Monchengladbach and Dortmund, but he says his heart always lay at the Signal Iduna Park.
“The request came, as it did from other clubs. I have the greatest respect for Bayern Munich and what the club has been doing for decades,” he said.
“But I always wanted to play for BVB. It was always the club my heart drew me to. When I played in Gladbach at the time, it was clear to me: within the Bundesliga, I would only change to Dortmund, otherwise I will go abroad.”
Thomas Muller signed an extended contract until 2023 at Bayern this week, matching the terms his fellow 30-year-old Reus has at Dortmund.
“I think it is also important for the fans that there are guys like Thomas and me. They notice that we identify with their club as much as they do it themselves,” he said.
“It has always been my dream to play for BVB. Here I have everything to be happy: my home, my family, my club.
“And this feeling has always prevailed – even if another country with a different culture might have been attractive.”
Bayern Munich are thought to be keen on parting ways with midfielder Corentin Tolisso, with a number of Europe’s biggest sides interesting in striking a deal.
The Frenchman has fought back from a serious knee injury to return to the squad this season, but has failed to hold down a regular place in the team. He has started just seven Bundesliga games this season – five of which came under former boss Niko Kovač.
As noted by Foot Mercato, Bayern aren’t happy about that. They are said to have accepted that Tolisso does not have a long-term future under current manager Hansi Flick, and since the boss just signed a contract extension, it may not be time for Tolisso to go.In terms of suitors, Arsenal are tipped to make a more the 25-year-old. The Gunners will likely be on the lookout for a replacement for Dani Ceballos, who is expected to return to Real Madrid once his loan ends, and Tolisso could be that man.Espanyol’s Marc Roca has also been suggested as a likely option, but the chance to sign a World Cup winner like Tolisso may be too good to pass up on.
However, they can expect competition from Atlético Madrid, who may find themselves needing to replace either Thomas Partey or Saúl Ñíguez. The same can be said of Napoli, who have been tipped to join the race is Fabián Ruiz leaves Stadio San Paolo this summer.
Juventus are said to be keen as well, despite currently having about 1,000 central midfielders in their squad, while Manchester United’s name is unconvincingly thrown in there too. The Red Devils want someone with a little more creativity, like Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.
It is thought that Tolisso would be open to leaving Bayern this summer, and given he has just two years left on his contract, it is suggested that the club wouldn’t hesitate to listen to an acceptable offer.
There’s no mention of how much Tolisso would cost, but given he joined for €41.5m just three years ago, you get the feeling that any interested side would have to part with a similar figure this summer
Marcos Alonso Peña, the father of Marcos Alonso, has suggested that the defender’s future lies in Italy once his career in England comes to an end.
Alonso hasn’t enjoyed a consistent run of games in the first team under Frank Lampard, and amid rumoured interest from Inter – where he would be reunited with Antonio Conte – the Spaniard’s time in west London appears to be waning.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has acknowledged the inconsistent form of loan signing Philippe Coutinho since arriving from Barcelona in the summer.
Coutinho began life in Germany with a run of promising appearances, contributing to four goals in his first three Bundesliga starts. However, the Brazilian has failed to string together a series of consistent performances since and has found himself on the bench in recent weeks.
Jürgen Klopp has admitted Liverpool never had a chance of signing Erling Haaland during the January transfer window, when the Norway international joined Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg.
Haaland was linked with most top sides in Europe during the winter transfer window, but the 19-year-old and his agent Mino Raiola ultimately decided on a move to Germany – snubbing Salzburg’s sister club in Leipzig in the process.
Bayern Munich had striker Robert Lewandowski to thank (again) as the Poland international netted an 88th-minute winner to see his side pick up a 3-2 win over Paderborn on Friday night.
With both Jérôme Boateng and Benjamin Pavard both suspended, Bayern chief Hansi Flick opted for a three-man defence. Joshua Kimmich dropped back to join both David Alaba and Lucas Hernández, and the system certainly had mixed results.
Former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho insists that he does not ‘look back’ and have regrets about trading Anfield for Camp Nou when he joined Barcelona in 2018.
Coutinho’s career has badly stalled since that €160m transfer two years ago, while Liverpool have gone from strength to strength, winning the Champions League last season and now on course to claim the Premier League title in record breaking fashion.
Jadon Sancho to Leave Dortmund This Summer – Man Utd Confident of a Deal
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho is set to leave the club at the end of the season, with Manchester United interested in taking the former Manchester City talent to Old Trafford.
Sancho has emerged as a star at Dortmund since taking the decision to move to Germany in the pursuit of first-team football two-and-a-half years ago. But as his reputation has grown on the pitch this season, his relationship with the club has also appeared to begin deteriorating.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are apparently ‘very likely’ to reach an agreement to sign Ajax full back Sergiño Dest at the end of the season.
The USMNT international has made 27 senior appearances for Ajax during his career so far, emerging as one of European football’s most exciting football’s after scoring two goals and picking up six assists across all competitions.
Philippe Coutinho is thought to be eager to avoid returning to Barcelona when his one-year loan with Bayern Munich comes to an end this summer.
After a hugely disappointing 18 months at Camp Nou which saw him attract plenty of criticism from fans, Coutinho was shipped out on loan to Bayern in August 2019 and the Bundesliga side have the option to make the move permanent for €120m.
Bayern Munich attempted to sign Ajax full-back Sergiño Dest in the January transfer window, but the German champions saw their bid rejected.
Dest came through the Dutch champions’ academy and spent the 2018/2019 season with the club’s reserve side, Jong Ajax. He made his first league appearance for the senior side this season, and having made just 14 appearances in the Eredivisie, the youngster has shown enough promise to alert the attentions of Bayern.