Bayern defender Pavard tests positive for COVID-19

By Sports Desk February 18, 2021

Benjamin Pavard has tested positive for COVID-19, Bayern Munich have confirmed.

France international Pavard has begun self-isolating at home but the club said he was "in good health".

Bayern face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday before the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Lazio in Rome next Tuesday.

Hansi Flick's side are unbeaten in their nine games without Pavard this season, winning seven of those matches and conceding just eight times.

Pavard has attempted 41 crosses from open play in the Bundesliga in 2020-21, with Lucas Hernandez the only Bayern defender to have more (44).

However, only five of Pavard's deliveries have found a team-mate, compared to 15 for Hernandez.

Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez have not featured this month following positive coronavirus tests in January.

The duo, along with Serge Gnabry who has been dealing with a thigh issue, trained on Wednesday while the rest of the first team were granted a day off.

Related items

  • Ten Hag fires warning to Man Utd players on first day in job: 'Good is not good enough' Ten Hag fires warning to Man Utd players on first day in job: 'Good is not good enough'

    Erik ten Hag has outlined his Manchester United vision on his first day in the job and warned the club's underperforming stars that "good is not good enough".

    The 52-year-old was announced as interim manager Ralf Rangnick's successor last month on a three-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.

    After guiding Ajax to a third Eredivisie title in his four full seasons in charge, Ten Hag ended his contract with the Dutch giants early to start work with United ahead of schedule.

    Ten Hag was in attendance for Sunday's 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, which ensured United finished sixth in the Premier League and with their lowest-ever points tally.

    United have not won the title since Alex Ferguson's final season in 2012-13, though they did finish as runners-up under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 2020-21 campaign.

    Following a fifth campaign without any silverware – their worst trophy drought in 40 years – Ten Hag understands the size of the task on his hands to transform United's fortunes. 

    "First, we must accept the current situation," he told United's website on Monday. "But we must also know one year ago, this club, this team was second in the Premier League. 

    "There's potential and now it's up to us to get that out. It's a process, it will take time but I'm convinced we will come to that point where we get success. 

    "We have to work hard and it has to be based on the right philosophy and strategy."

    He added: "I have high expectations from myself and that is also what I demand from my squad. They have to co-operate together and they have to give every day their best. 

    "And I would say, for me, good is not good enough. We have to do better."

    To coincide with Ten Haag's first official day in charge, United also confirmed the appointments of Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as assistant coaches.

    Just a week on from taking charge of Ajax for the final time, Ten Haag is now relishing the opportunity to manage one of the world's most prestigious clubs.

    Asked why he was so eager to get going at Old Trafford, Ten Hag said: "Before a season, you have to prepare and when you are in a club, I will say it’s a continual process.

    "You're working on next season and still you are in the current season, but we didn't have that time.

    "And now we close the season and I'm coming over to meet people and to roll out the strategy, to prepare pre-season, prepare staff and prepare a squad.

    "First, we have a break. We will start pre-season on June 27 and I will get a few of the squad, [a few] of the individual players.

    "In certain positions we want to renew the squad, but as I said, this squad was second in the league one year ago, so there is potential and I'm really looking forward to co-operating with the squad."

    Rangnick bows out having lost five of his final eight league games in charge, compared to just two losses in his first 16 matches at the helm.

    Successor Ten Hag is not put off, though, and he has made it clear that he intends to bring an attractive brand of football to Old Trafford.

    "I really look forward to doing this job, at this club with massive history, and we want to restore it where it belongs," he said.

    "First of all, we want to make the fans proud. Second, of course we are in this moment, the current situation is obviously not that good. It’s a big challenge. 

    "I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results. 

    "Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams. We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can't play fantastic football, we still have to win."

  • Neuer signs new Bayern deal until 2024 Neuer signs new Bayern deal until 2024

    Manuel Neuer has signed a one-year extension to his deal with Bayern Munich, tying him to the Bundesliga champions until 2024.

    The Germany international goalkeeper has won 10 Bundesliga titles with Bayern, as well as five DFB-Pokals and two Champions Leagues.

    Neuer has made 472 appearances since signing from Schalke in 2011, and when his new deal was announced on Monday, expressed his delight at committing to another year in Bavaria.

    "I'm very pleased that my journey continues at FC Bayern," he told the club's website. "We'll have a very good team again with which we can play for every title.

    "As a goalkeeper, captain and leader, I want to be the support and a key factor in our big goals. We want to extend our title record and compete again for the DFB Cup and Champions League."

    Of goalkeepers who played at least 20 games in the Bundesliga in the 2021-22 season, no one conceded fewer than Neuer's 26 goals (in 28 games).

    Former Bayern stopper Oliver Kahn, who is now the club's chief executive, also spoke of his pleasure at the news.

    "Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world and has been setting the standard around the world for years," he said. "It's a huge achievement to be so consistently world-class for such a long time.

    "We're very happy to have extended his contract. Manuel is a defining figure in the history of FC Bayern."

  • Dortmund continue recruitment drive as Ozcan signs on until 2026 Dortmund continue recruitment drive as Ozcan signs on until 2026

    Borussia Dortmund have continued their recruitment drive with the signing of Salih Ozcan on a four-year deal, the club confirmed on Monday.

    The midfielder joins from boyhood club Cologne, with German publication Kicker reporting Dortmund have paid a €5million release clause to land the 24-year-old.

    Dortmund, who parted company with head coach Marco Rose at the end of a Bundesliga season in which they finished eight points adrift of champions Bayern Munich, have been busy freshening up their squad ahead of a fresh assault on the title next term.

    With Erling Haaland departing for Manchester City, Dortmund acted quickly to bring in Karim Adeyemi from Salzburg, while Niklas Sule signed on a free from Bayern and Nico Schlotterbeck arrived from Freiburg.

    "Cologne are my hometown club and I owe them a great deal," Ozcan told Dortmund's official website.

    "There are very few clubs I would've left my town for. Borussia Dortmund's energy, which one can literally feel, plus the opportunity to play regularly in the Champions League, ultimately led me to my decision. 

    "I'm very happy to be able to continue my development at BVB in front of more than 81,000 spectators and to help the team in the Bundesliga and the Champions League with my style of football. I'm very ambitious and willing to give everything to this end."

    Ozcan spent 15 years with Cologne, making 95 top-flight appearances and was part of the 2018-19 side that won promotion from the second tier.

    The move will give Dortmund more options in midfield after Axel Witsel left following four seasons at Signal Iduna Park. 

    "Salih Ozcan was one of the rising stars of this last Bundesliga season and made a key contribution to Cologne's successful season in central defensive midfield," Dortmund's soon-to-be sporting director Sebastian Kehl added.

    "He is a player who is incredibly strong in the tackle and the air. Someone who is prepared to do the dirty work and is uncompromising in his bid to help his team succeed. 

    "His mentality and physicality, coupled with his intelligence, will do our team good," said BVB's sporting director in waiting."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.