Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed club-record signing Jack Grealish following his memorable Champions League debut, while lauding the ruthlessness of his team in their 6-3 rout of RB Leipzig.

Grealish – who arrived from Aston Villa in a reported £100million deal during the previous transfer window – scored in City's victory over visiting Leipzig in Manchester on Wednesday.

The England international teed up Nathan Ake for City's 16th-minute opener before scoring a goal of his own approaching the hour-mark midweek.

Grealish became the first Englishman to both score and assist on their Champions League debut since Manchester United great Wayne Rooney against Fenerbahce in September 2004.

"Hopefully it can be the first of many," Guardiola said of Grealish post-match. "I have the feeling that every day he is playing better, and I am pretty sure he will be better in the future.

"His contribution was again high, good. I am delighted with his game."

Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for Leipzig, but Premier League champions City were not to be denied on a wild European night.

Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and substitute Gabriel Jesus were also on target for City, who benefited from Nordi Mukiele's own goal following Ake's opener.

City have won 50 of their 91 Champions League games (D16 L25) – becoming the second fastest team to 50 wins in the tournament's history after Real Madrid in 2003 (50 wins in 88 games).

"Of course, I am delighted and happy and thank you to these incredible players we have. It was a really tough game," said Guardiola, who took charge of his 300th match as City manager across all competitions (W219 D36 L45) and the 750th fixture of his career (W547 D113 L90).

"The first game at home it was important to win and we scored six goals. Seventeen goals in the last four games is nice to give to them. Now rest and prepare for Southampton. Nine goals in one game so it is nice for all the people watching.

"A team like RB Leipzig never gives up. They have a clear idea. They attack inside, they put a lot of players inside. They don't have the problem of losing the ball because when they lose the ball they make quick transitions.

"When we have the ball they are there to press you. At the same time when you can regain the ball, pass back and switch play a little bit, you always have a chance to run and score a goal.

"I think the game was tight. We were fortunate that when they scored we were able to score immediately.

"I saw the game against Bayern Munich, they made it 1-2 and Bayern Munich suffered because of the counter-attack. It is an interesting team.

"They have played like this since Ralf Rangnick arrived. They really play. It is one of the best teams in Germany. That is why I am incredibly satisfied with the players for the first victory in the group stage."

A visibly delighted Jack Grealish revelled in how Manchester City's thrilling 6-3 win over RB Leipzig "topped off" his eagerly awaited Champions League debut. 

Grealish became City's club-record signing in a reported £100million move from Aston Villa in the previous transfer window, a deal that came about in part due to his desire to play in Europe's premier competition. 

The England international marked the occasion with a goal and an assist, becoming the first Englishman since Wayne Rooney for Manchester United against Fenerbahce in 2004 to do both on his Champions League bow. 

His performance helped City make it 18 games unbeaten in group-stage fixtures, while they also became the second quickest to 50 wins in the tournament's history, reaching the landmark in 91 matches, three more than Real Madrid. 

Talking to BT Sport after the game, an enthused Grealish spoke about how the famous Champions League anthem also got his pulses racing. 

"I loved it," Grealish said. "I had been waiting a while and the past few days I couldn't wait for this game. It was a great night. 

"It had everything. In the end, we're delighted to get the win against a good team, full of energy, full of young players. I'm delighted personally to get a goal and an assist. 

"I was delighted [to play]. When the game kicked off, I was like, 'I've played in the Champions League now!' Before, with the music and everything, it was so nice and the game topped it off. 

"I went to check the result from the other game [Club Brugge 1-1 PSG] and it shows anything can happen in the Champions League. It's why it's such a wonderful competition." 

During the game, television cameras picked up on Grealish receiving animated instructions from City boss Pep Guardiola. 

Grealish revealed his enthusiastic boss was telling him how to aid the team defensively, but the forward insists he has no issues with such an approach and is keen to listen to Guardiola's demands given his success in the game. 

"That was just defensive work," he said of Guardiola's intense instructions. "I won't go too much into it because he [Guardiola] might want the same tactics for the weekend. 

"That's what the manager is like, he's always wanting more defensively and offensively. He's someone I'm going to listen to after everything he's done in the game. He's obviously just handing out useful information." 

Jack Grealish helped Manchester City negotiate a tricky Champions League opener and sensationally defeat RB Leipzig 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium.

Club-record signing Grealish made his European debut a memorable one on Wednesday, adding to an early assist for Nathan Ake with a sublime second-half strike.

City – in action in this competition for the first time since last season's final defeat to Chelsea – wobbled a little between those two efforts, benefitting from Nordi Mukiele's own goal and a Riyad Mahrez penalty but conceding twice to Christopher Nkunku.

Even after Grealish's goal, Nkunku's hat-trick strike caused further concern, only for Joao Cancelo and substitute Gabriel Jesus to notch numbers five and six for City and clinch three vital points in a tough Group A that also features Paris Saint-Germain.

Both sides will have to defend better against PSG, with Leipzig's woes evidenced as Ake towered over two opponents to head in Grealish's corner before Mukiele inexplicably nodded Kevin De Bruyne's awkward delivery past his own goalkeeper.

Mukiele soon put his head to better use, directing the ball back across goal for Nkunku to nod beyond Ederson, but back came City before the break, this time aided by Lukas Klostermann, whose elbow blocked Ferran Torres' header and allowed Mahrez to dispatch a thumping spot-kick.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Leipzig twice working hard to get back into the game and then quickly falling further behind.

Grealish's pinpoint finish after cutting in from the left cancelled out another header from Nkunku, who completed his treble shooting across Ederson from the right side of the area.

Cancelo drove in from 25 yards, however, and then provoked a red card from former City man Angelino – dismally late to a challenge when already booked – with time remaining for a scruffy close-range sixth from Jesus.

Lionel Messi is in line to make his 150th Champions League appearance and his first with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's men travel to Club Brugge and Messi is about to partake in his first European campaign without Barcelona, while Manchester City host RB Leipzig.

Liverpool and Milan renew rivalries in the competition for just the second time since the 2004-05 final between the pair but the Serie A side have a woeful record against English teams.

Inter have a similarly poor record against Spanish teams and they face Real Madrid, with Karim Benzema edging towards another goalscoring landmark.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data ahead of Wednesday's fixtures.

Inter v Real Madrid: Benzema looks to edge past former Galactico Raul 

Inter have lost four of their last five against Real Madrid but Los Blancos have only won one of their previous eight away games against Wednesday's opponents as they prepare for a replay of last year's group stage outing.

However, Inter have not won against a Spanish team in Europe's premier competition since 2010 and Madrid have been victorious in 12 of their last 13 against Serie A outfits.

Carlo Ancelotti has Karim Benzema among his ranks and the forward will appear in his 17th consecutive campaign as he looks for his 72nd goal to move ahead of Raul (71) into fourth in the all-time scoring list.

 

Manchester City v RB Leipzig: Guardiola's group stage dominance

Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 17 group-stage ties and, since Pep Guardiola was appointed, they have lost just three of 30 at this stage of the competition.

The hosts are eyeing their 50th win in their 91st game as they look to become the second fastest to the half-century, while RB Leipzig have lost three of their last four against English opposition.

City's attacking riches could thrive at Etihad Stadium, too, Ferran Torres has scored four in his last six appearances in Europe - a goal every 90 minutes - and Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 22 goals in 28 starts for Leicester City and his current side in the Champions League.

 

Liverpool v Milan: Istanbul replay ends Rossoneri's seven-year wait

Milan will appear in their first Champions League since 2014, their first fixture a replay of the memorable 2004-05 final that saw Liverpool triumph.

Stefano Pioli's men have won just one of their last 13 against English opponents in European competition, while the Reds have lost just one of their last 12 group-stage games at Anfield in Europe under Jurgen Klopp.

Mohamed Salah (25) is one of two Liverpool players – along with Steven Gerrard (21) – to score 20+ times in the competition but Sadio Mane (19) could join them with a goal on Wednesday to become the fourth African to the 20-goal mark.

 

Club Brugge v Paris Saint-Germain: Pochettino's attacking riches

Paris Saint-Germain have netted 21 goals across six games against Belgian opposition – winning five and drawing once – while Club Brugge have only won one of their six opening games.

Lionel Messi – the second all-time leading scorer in the competition – could make his first PSG continental appearance, having scored 120 goals and provided 35 assists in 149 games for Barcelona against teams from 17 nations.

The visitors also boast half of the six players to be involved in 30+ goals in the competition in the last four seasons, with Kylian Mbappe (37), Messi (36) and Neymar (31) all doing so.

Other fixtures:

Atletico Madrid v Porto:

41 – Diego Simeone has won 41 of the 79 Champions League fixtures he has managed since 2013-14, with only Pep Guardiola (56) picking up more wins in this period.

4 – Porto have won four of their last five away games in the competition, their only loss coming against eventual runners-up Manchester City last term.

Besiktas v Borussia Dortmund:

1 – Besiktas have only collected one win in their last 10 home games in the Champions League and two of four defeats in that run have come against Bundesliga sides.

100 – Borussia Dortmund have a 100 per cent record against Turkish opposition in the Champions League, though all four wins have come against Galatasaray.

Sheriff Tiraspol v Shakhtar Donetsk:

1 – Sheriff Tiraspol are the first ever Moldovan team to feature in the Champions League proper. They are unbeaten in their last nine in European competition.

3 – Shakhtar Donetsk have only been beaten three times in their last 11 games as they went unbeaten against Real Madrid and Inter in the group stages last season.

Sporting CP v Ajax:

36 – Aged just 36, Ruben Amorim becomes the second youngest Portuguese manager in the competition's history, after former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas (33) in 2011.

2 – Ajax have only lost two of 10 games against Portuguese opponents since the inaugural European Cup. However, just two of these games have taken place this century.

Pep Guardiola denied Manchester City's loss to Chelsea in last season's Champions League final was a failure, insisting it was an "incredible achievement".

European club football's biggest prize continues to elude City, who underwhelmed in a 1-0 loss to the Blues in Porto back in May.

Guardiola has not won the Champions League since doing so with Barcelona in 2011, but he views City's campaign in last season's competition as a success.

Ahead of their opening fixture of this year's tournament with RB Leipzig on Wednesday, Guardiola said: "Every time I start this competition with drive. I'm incredibly happy here.

"Man City made a step forward last season, we improved a lot. We had 13 games and we won 11. We played incredibly well in Porto when we drew and deserved to win.

"We lost the final. People can say Man City was a failure but it was an incredible achievement last season playing really well in many of the games and losing well against a big contender.

"Now we start a new one and every team wants to win. We're going to try but I won't tell you which team is going to win because I don't know it.

"We're going to train this afternoon and try to continue the rhythm from Norwich, Arsenal and Leicester.

"The most important thing for the club is we were always in this competition in the last years. We do really well, which is why we deserve to be there.

"After that, compete with the best teams in Europe. It is not guaranteed that if you do a really bad Champions League season you're going to do a really bad Champions League season again and it is the same with the opposite.

"The first target is to win tomorrow, try to continue the rhythm and the way we played last season and the last three games, and see what happens."

Asked if the expectation of needing to win the Champions League annoys him, Guardiola replied: "I accept it. Every year is the same. If I win the Champions League I will be happy for the club. If I'm not able to do it, I'm not able.

"After, you can judge the success of my period. I try to do my best every single day, winning or not winning. People judge my job like I judge my players and how incredibly they've done in the last five years."

Are Barcelona set to make a splash in 2022?

After losing Lionel Messi on a free transfer due to their crippling debt, Barca are busy planning for next season.

Franck Kessie and Youri Tielemans are believed to be on the radar at Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYEING PAIR

Barcelona are targeting Milan star Franck Kessie and Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, according to reports.

Kessie is out of contract at the end of the season and he is yet to re-sign at Milan amid links with Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Mundo Deportivo claims LaLiga giants Barca are considering a move for the Ivory Coast international, as well as Tielemans – who is reportedly wanted by the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fichajes says Premier League champions Manchester City are plotting a bid for Leeds United and England star Kalvin Phillips.

Real Madrid are interested in Lyon's Rayan Cherki as a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, per Fichajes. It comes as Madrid continue to pursue PSG's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are considering a move for Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy.

United are ready to rival Barca, Juve and Bayern Munich for RB Leipzig attacker Dani Olmo, according to Marca.

Serge Gnabry will "probably" miss Bayern Munich's Champions League opener against Barcelona on Tuesday, according to Hasan Salihamidzic. 

A back problem forced Gnabry off in first-half stoppage time during Bayern's 4-1 victory at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

The 26-year-old started two of Germany's three World Cup qualifiers during the international break and was introduced as a second-half substitute in the other. 

Salihamidzic was frustrated that Gnabry sustained an injury after playing in all those matches, while Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus left early with a knee injury but recovered in time to face Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. 

Reus withdrew from selection for Euro 2020 but had said he wanted to play "an important role" for Germany ahead of the three qualifiers. 

"I find it surprising when you leave the national team and then play again a few days later. Our players stay and play anyway," Salihamidzic told Sky. 

"It's not the first time either. When you're injured, okay, you drop out, but otherwise... Serge Gnabry stayed there. He'll probably be out against Barcelona now, but that's just the way it is. 

"If you want to be a leader, you always have to be there. Otherwise, a team won't work. What [Joshua] Kimmich does, what [Manuel] Neuer does, what [Leon] Goretzka does – that's leadership for me. The coach can rely on that." 

On Gnabry's availability to face Barcelona, he added: "It's getting really tight. He's been treated and it's already better. I was there today and saw him. We'll have to see if it's enough." 

However, Bayern could be boosted by the return to fitness of Kingsley Coman. 

Coman withdrew from France duty due to a calf injury and reportedly returned to training in Bavaria on Sunday. 

Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is also confident of having Robert Lewandowski available for selection following the striker's early withdrawal against Leipzig for "precautionary reasons".

Robert Lewandowski was withdrawn during Bayern Munich's 4-1 win at RB Leipzig as a "precaution", though Serge Gnabry does appear to be a doubt to face Barcelona on Tuesday.

Julian Nagelsmann enjoyed a personally satisfying return to former club Leipzig on Saturday, as Bayern ran out comprehensive winners at the Red Bull Arena.

The coach was given a frosty reception at the start, with fans annoyed that he took several members of the coaching staff and Marcel Sabitzer to Bayern despite promising not to raid his former club.

Leipzig's social media team stoked the tension by poking fun at Nagelsmann and the situation before the game, posting a mocked-up image of Nagelsmann driving a car with his coaching staff, Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano – who agreed a deal with Bayern before his boss arrived – present as passengers. "Remember, it's the away dressing room for you this time, guys," read the caption.

Nagelsmann had the last laugh as Bayern comprehensively left with all three points – Lewandowski's early penalty was added to by a Jamal Musiala volley, Leroy Sane's tap-in and a late Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting strike.

Musiala was ultimately the key man with a goal and an assist, but he was only on the pitch due to an injury suffered by Gnabry late in the first half, and Nagelsmann could not be sure he will be fit to face Barcelona in Tuesday's Champions League opener.

"With Serge there is something in his back, maybe lumbago [lower-back pain]," he told Sky. "I can’t make a prognosis for Tuesday just yet.

"He's already being treated by the medical staff and we'll have to see how he's doing tomorrow and what extent things are to know if he'll be back to work by Tuesday."

Lewandowski was also withdrawn later in the game once Nagelsmann was confident the contest was over.

It seems he too was struggling with an injury, though Nagelsmann was less concerned about the prolific striker's condition, adamant they planned to give him a bit of a rest towards the end anyway.

"It's like that with Lewy, he's had a few problems in the adductor area," Nagelsmann added.

"I don't think that's anything structural, at least the doctor told me that. It was just a precautionary measure.

"When it was quickly 3-0, we decided to switch him earlier so that he would just stay fit and healthy."

Julian Nagelsmann enjoyed a glorious return to former club RB Leipzig on Saturday as Bayern Munich ran out comfortable 4-1 victors in the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann became a source of anger among Leipzig fans after he departed for Bayern and then also took Marcel Sabitzer with him, and any such ill-feeling will not have eased after this victory.

Robert Lewandowski put Bayern in front early on with a well-taken penalty and then a quick-fire double courtesy of Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane early in the second half put the game beyond the hosts.

Jesse Marsch's men quickly pulled one back in spectacular fashion through Konrad Laimer, but it was not enough to inspire a comeback as Leipzig's miserable record against Bayern continued, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting adding a stoppage-time fourth for good measure.

Leipzig had already seen a penalty shout of their own controversially ignored when Kevin Kampl was penalised for handball after a VAR check in the 12th minute, with Lewandowski sweeping home the resulting spot-kick.

The hosts grew as a threat as the first half progressed and Bayern received a blow just before half-time when Serge Gnabry was forced off.

But his replacement quickly made an impact just after the break, as Musiala volleyed home Alphonso Davies' cross.

The misery of Andre Silva's disallowed goal shortly after was compounded by Sane burying a Musiala cross to essentially end Leipzig's hopes of a turnaround.

They certainly showed spirit as Laimer got one back with a sumptuous long-range strike and Silva almost reached a Christopher Nkunku pass for a tap-in.

But it was Bayern who got the only late goal, Choupo-Moting showing good composure to slam past Peter Gulacsi after Kimmich sliced open the Leipzig defence.

 

Julian Nagelsmann is ready to run the gauntlet of hate if RB Leipzig fans react bitterly when he returns to the Red Bull Arena as boss of Bayern Munich.

The coach who led Leipzig to a Champions League semi-final appearance in 2019-20, followed by a runners-up finish in the Bundesliga last term, has since switched allegiances to join Bayern.

Nagelsmann has defended himself against accusations of being "a liar" for the way he handled his move to the German champions, with the 34-year-old coming in for criticism after going back on a pledge not to take others with him to Bayern.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's clash between Leizpig and Bayern, Nagelsmann said: "I'm looking forward to it. I had two fantastic years in Leipzig. I think the coaching staff and the players are looking forward to seeing me.

"Of course I read something about me being a liar. Some fans aren't happy I left Leipzig. At the time, I said in a press conference I wouldn't take players or staff members.

"When you're sitting in a press conference and say, 'I want to take six players and seven members of my coaching staff along', I don't think that's going to go down very well in public either.

"That's also going to cause a very negative reaction. At the time I didn't plan to take anyone along."

When Nagelsmann's move to Bayern was announced in April, it was revealed immediately that assistant coach Benjamin Gluck would join him in making the switch.

Since then, Xaver Zembrod and Dino Toppmoller have also joined as assistant coaches, both making the switch from Leipzig in July.

Versatile midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has also moved from Leipzig to Bayern, with Nagelsmann saying that deal suited all parties as the Austrian was entering the final year of his contract.

Dayot Upamecano had already agreed to leave Leipzig for Bayern before Nagelsmann was picked to succeed Hansi Flick.

 

There could be a frosty reception for the previously popular coach, but Nagelsmann said: "It's not going to influence my performance. I worry about other things.

"We brought a good spirit into the club, had a good relationship with fans, and I think we furthered the club, developed the club. I tried to pay back the money that I earned there. It won't influence me tomorrow – I'm not going to be a worse coach tomorrow if some fans boo me.

"Things like hate and all the insults and the words thrown at you, I find it very questionable. I assume there are going to be some unhappy fans there. From a coaching perspective I don't really care.

"It's not as if I'm experiencing friendly welcomes in Dortmund, for instance. I'm not worried – if doesn't matter if a couple of people whistle, and if all 34,000 whistle or boo at me then it's OK too, my right ear isn't that good anyway."

Nagelsmann could not end Bayern's hold on the Bundesliga during his time in Leipzig, and Die Roten Bullen have won only one of 10 league games against the team who have won the last nine titles.

Leipzig are winless against Bayern in six games since a 2-1 home win in March 2018 (D4, L2), and their lone home defeat in the last 10 Bundesliga games came against Bayern – a 1-0 loss in April, prior to Nagelsmann agreeing his move.

Nagelsmann's Leipzig successor Jesse Marsch has begun with two defeats in his first three Bundesliga games, and he has recent experience of tackling the champions.

As coach of Salzburg last season, his side were drawn together with Bayern in the Champions League group stage, losing 6-2 at home and 3-1 at the Allianz Arena. The 6-2 loss was his heaviest in charge of Salzburg.

Dani Olmo departed Barcelona's youth setup in 2014, moving to Croatian giants in Dinamo Zagreb.

Now playing for RB Leipzig, the 23-year-old continues to catch the eye.

Olmo is reportedly eyeing another chance at Barca.

 

TOP STORY – OLMO WANTS BARCA COMEBACK

RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo is hoping to return to Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Olmo came through Barca's famed La Masia before joining Dinamo Zagreb's youth team in 2014 and eventually Bundesliga outfit Leipzig in 2020.

The 23-year-old Spain international, however, wants a new chance at Barca and has reportedly set yes to a Camp Nou comeback without looking at contract terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton are hopeful of launching a bid to sign Edinson Cavani from Manchester United following Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford, per Todo Fichajes.

- Calciomercato says Inter are considering a move for Eintracht Frankfurt and Serbia winger Filip Kostic, who was poised to join Lazio on deadline day before a move fell through.

- The Sun says Wolves are set to make Adama Traore their highest earner amid interest from Tottenham and Liverpool.

Chelsea could target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in January, reports Football London. The Senegal star has previously been linked with Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barca and others.

- Le10 Sport claims Paris Saint-Germain never made an offer for Ronaldo, who left Juventus for United.

Manchester United had a busy window in the transfer market.

The Red Devils landed Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

But their plans will not stop there, as the Red Devils set their sights on re-claiming silverware.

 

TOP STORY - HAALAND TO BE UNITED'S TRANSFER PRIORITY

Manchester United's priority transfer target in mid-2021 will be Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland despite their recent spending spree, claims ESPN.

Haaland can trigger a release in his Dortmund contract at the end of the 2021-22 season that is reportedly set at €75 million.

ESPN's report cites sources who claim United's capture of Ronaldo came outside of their transfer budget, meaning it will not impact their 2022 recruitment plans.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims that Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne may be willing to leave the club next off-season on a free transfer to join Inter if they cannot agree to a new deal.

- Injured French forward Ousmane Dembele is set to be offered a new deal by Barcelona according to RAC. Barca have seen Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leave over the past month.

- Barcelona will also look to sign Dani Olmo from RB Leipzig in January after missing out with their deadline day claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea defender David Luiz is weighing up options with Lazio , Benfica and Flamengo as a free agent reports Sportitalia.

Barcelona prospect Ilaix Moriba has completed a move to RB Leipzig for an initial fee of €16million.

Tottenham were rumoured to be interested but Marcel Sabitzer leaving for Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich on Monday opened the door for Leipzig's new arrival.

Moriba was unable to negotiate new terms with Barca over his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Barca president Joan Laporta said Moriba would not feature for the first team if he did not commit his future and Leipzig have taken advantage of the situation to get the player to Germany.

"I'm very happy that my move to RB Leipzig worked out - an exciting club that has always had an offensive style of play and therefore fits my game very well," Moriba, who has signed a five-year deal, told his new club's website. 
 
"I am convinced that Leipzig is the ideal next step for my career and further development - that was ultimately the reason for my decision to change.  
 
"My whole concentration is now fully on arriving at the club, in the team and in the city, in order to then perform on the pitch as quickly as possible. We have ambitious goals for this season and I can hardly wait for the challenge." 

Moriba broke into Ronald Koeman's plans last term, making 18 appearances across all competitions, providing two assists and scoring his sole senior goal against Osasuna.

His finish against Osasuna made him the youngest player to score from outside the box in LaLiga last season, while his debut assist made him the youngest to do so in the competition this century.

The 18-year-old averaged 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes, a total bettered by only four team-mates, completing 2.8 of those to achieve a success rate of 89.3 per cent.

Despite the limited sample size, Miralem Pjanic was the only team-mate to boast a more successful record of those to attempt more than one dribble per 90 minutes.

In March, Moriba was also rewarded with his Champions League debut, appearing as a late substitute against Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca confirmed the sum received, as well as revealing a further €6m could be due if certain variables are met. They will also get 10 per cent of any future sale, should the teenager move on from Leipzig.

Bayern Munich have raided RB Leipzig once again with the signing of Marcel Sabitzer on a four-year deal.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed on Saturday that the champions were working on a deal for the Austria international, and reports suggest he will cost approximately €16million.

Ordinarily Sabitzer would have been expected to fetch a significantly larger fee, but the 27-year-old – who joined Leipzig from Rapid Vienna in 2014 – has less than 12 months to run on his contract.

Sabitzer will link up once again with Julian Nagelsmann, who left Leipzig for Bayern at the end of last season, as did centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

The attacking midfielder enjoyed arguably his best season in Germany's top flight under Nagelsmann in 2019-20, scoring nine Bundesliga goals (none of which were penalties) and setting up another seven – though 12 players had a hand in more (excluding spot-kicks).

That season was also his best for chances created (59). Although that was only enough to rank joint-eighth for that metric, Sabitzer's 52 key passes from open play was bettered by just Thomas Muller (81), Kai Havertz (57), Jadon Sancho (55), Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner (both 53).

His output did decrease last term, managing just four goals (excluding four penalties) and three assists, while his chances created from open play nearly halved (28).

But that does not appear to have perturbed Nagelsmann.

Leipzig look set to pull of something of a coup in signing Sabitzer's replacement, with Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba expected to join.

Moriba, a technically gifted midfielder, broke into the Barca first-team set-up last season and went on to feature 18 times across all competitions.

On February 13 this year, he became the youngest player this century to provide an assist on his LaLiga debut at the age of 18 years and 25 days.

The teenager particularly impressed with his confidence and ability on the ball, with his average of 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes across 14 league appearances bettered by only four team-mates.

His 2.8 completed dribbles every 90 minutes gave him a success rate of 89.3 per cent – granted, it is a small sample, but the only Barca player to attempt at least one per 90 minutes and boast a better completion record was Miralem Pjanic.

Barca had been very eager to tie Moriba down to a new contract, with his deal set to expire next year, but president Joan Laporta suggested the midfielder was being unrealistic regarding his renewal demands.

Laporta said Moriba would not feature for the first team without committing his future to the club and added that he would sold as soon as possible to avoid him leaving for free next year if an agreement could not be met.

Leipzig have seemingly used the situation to their advantage, though their reported €20m outlay is not insignificant for a player with just 14 top-flight appearances to his name.

Wolfsburg made Bundesliga history on Sunday after Mark van Bommel's table-topping side preserved their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig.

Jerome Roussillon scored the only goal of the match as leaders Wolfsburg made it three victories from three games – the only team with a 100 per cent record heading into the international break.

Wolfsburg have collected nine points from their opening three games of a Bundesliga campaign for the first time.

They also ended the day top of the table for the first time since winning the title in 2008-09 (minimum three games played).

"It is always nice to win," former PSV head coach Van Bommel, who was appointed ahead of the campaign, told reporters. "Especially, to do so three games in a row.

"We are the only team in the Bundesliga that has done that at the moment. Anyone can beat anyone. The quality is just very high. Leipzig could have taken a draw or even won. It was very close. Therefore, it was a top game, a proper top game which is decided by details.

"Today we had the advantage. But in two weeks we will travel to Furth and then we start from the beginning again. Bayern [Munich] will do so as well, but not only Bayern. Everyone is behind us. The situation can quickly change.

"We have to be realistic. It is nice to have nine points, it means we are working well. But it is not guaranteed that it will continue this way and no guarantee that we will win every game."

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