Manuel Neuer will miss at least the first leg of Bayern Munich's Champions League last-16 clash with Salzburg after undergoing knee surgery.

Bayern said their long-serving goalkeeper would be sidelined for several weeks, with the Bundesliga leaders disclosing the unexpected news on Sunday evening.

In a statement, Bayern said: "Manuel Neuer underwent successful surgery on his right knee joint on Sunday. FC Bayern will therefore have to do without their captain for the coming weeks."

Hasan Salihamidzic, the Bayern sporting director, said: "All of us in the club and the team wish Manuel a good and speedy recovery, and we're sure he'll be back to full fitness with us soon."

Sven Ulreich has been Neuer's deputy and is expected to step in while the 35-year-old regular number one rehabilitates.

Bayern are next due in action when they face Bochum in the Bundesliga next Saturday, before they travel to Salzburg for the first leg of their European tie on the following Wednesday.

The second leg of that tie is due to take place on March 8, and it remains to be seen whether Neuer will be passed fit for that game. Neuer has already indicated he is hopeful he will be available to head coach Julian Nagelsmann by then.

Neuer wrote on Instagram: "Hey guys, I had a little surgery on my knee this afternoon. Everything went fine, so I'll be able to start rehabilitation training soon. Keep your fingers crossed that I'll be back on the pitch in a couple of weeks."

On Saturday, Neuer helped Bayern earn a 3-2 home win over Leipzig, as he matched Oliver Kahn's all-time record of 310 Bundesliga wins by a player. He achieved the first 77 wins with Schalke, before joining Bayern in 2011.

Niklas Sule already knows which club he will join when leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season, according to the defender's agent Volker Struth.

Germany international Sule confirmed to the club last week he will exit the Allianz Arena when his contract expires in four months' time, having failed to agree to a new deal.

That led to criticism from club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who stated Sule "never really asserted himself in his position" at Bayern.

Former Bayern skipper Stefan Effenberg went one further by accusing the 26-year-old of "deciding against sporting success for more money", with newly rich Newcastle United among the sides linked.

But the player's representative has refuted those claims, insisting Sule's decision to leave Bayern is not financially motivated.

"I think I would have a problem if we were to announce in a few days that the player would move to Newcastle and I'm sitting here explaining that the money isn't the priority," Struth told Sport1.

"We never negotiated [with Bayern]. There was only a verbal approach. We met, spoke about it and I signalled at the time that the player was considering whether he wants to extend his contract. 

"It wasn't about the money at all. A conversation was planned in January. Niklas spent Christmas with his family, called me at the time and said: 'I don't want that anymore. I don't want this appointment to take place.' 

"It has nothing to do with money at all. I spoke to [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic about a possible renewal, that was in late autumn last year – six or seven months before the end of his contract.

"By then, Sule had already decided and told me: 'I want to do something differen.'"

Asked if Sule's next destination is already known, Struth said: "Yes, that's for sure. Niklas recently made a decision, and I would be surprised if he changes it again."

Sule joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the club, winning four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal crowns, as well as the 2019-20 Champions League.

Sweden striker Alexander Isak's reputation continues to grow at Real Sociedad.

The 22-year-old has netted eight goals in all competitions this season after 17 strikes in LaLiga last term.

Isak is contracted with Sociedad until 2026, meaning they are under no pressure to cash him in.

However, there appears to be plenty of interest among clubs who want to test La Real's resolve to keep him.

TOP STORY – BLUES AND RED DEVILS ENTER ISAK RACE

Chelsea and Manchester United have both joined the race to sign Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak, according to The Mirror.

Arsenal have been keen on the 22-year-old Sweden international, who has a £75million buyout clause in his contract.

United are said to view Isak as an ideal replacement for veteran forward Cristiano Ronaldo whose future at Old Trafford is unclear.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are bullish that they can beat Tottenham in the race to sign Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Bianconeri view Zaniolo as a replacement for Paulo Dybala, whose contract is running down.

Manchester United and Liverpool have joined Real Madrid and Barcelona in keeping tabs on Serge Gnabry's contract situation at Bayern Munich, reports The Mirror. According to Sky Germany, Bayern and Gnabry are having a stand-off in discussions over an extension.

Liverpool's deal to land Fulham's Fabio Carvalho is not dead, says Football Insider, with the two parties set for new talks with a view to an off-season switch. Calciomercato claims that Milan have also reached out to Carvalho's representatives.

- The Sun reports that Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea are monitoring 16-year-old Blackburn Rovers defender Ashley Phillips, with Everton and Tottenham also keeping tabs on the teenager.

Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski were on target as Bayern Munich claimed a thrilling 3-2 Bundesliga win over RB Leipzig on Saturday.

The champions' deadly duo scored either side of Andre Silva's equaliser to give them a half-time lead at the Allianz Arena, which was lit up in purple prior to kick-off to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Christopher Nkunku struck as Leipzig again pegged Bayern back only for Josko Gvardiol's unfortunate own goal to hand the home side maximum points.

Muller had a simple tap-in to put Bayern ahead after Peter Gulacsi had saved from Lewandowski when Corentin Tolisso forced a high turnover of possession.

Leipzig recovered to level after 27 minutes, though, Silva squeezing the ball over the line from a tight angle after Niklas Sule could not clear Konrad Laimer's cut-back.

Muller headed in a second only for VAR to disallow the goal for a foul by Lewandowski, while Leroy Sane was denied by Gulacsi.

Bayern's pressure told before the break, Lewandowski nodding Kingsley Coman's delivery back across goal and beyond the Leipzig keeper, yet they were again pegged back eight minutes into the second half. Laimer again was the provider, splitting the Bayern defence with a pass to Nkunku, who finished calmly.

This time, Leipzig were level for barely five minutes. Serge Gnabry was given too much space in the penalty area, and his drilled effort back across goal looped off Gvardiol and sailed over the helpless Gulacsi.

Emil Forsberg was denied by some last-ditch Bayern defending as Leipzig pushed for a third equaliser, but the champions held firm for their 17th win in 21 league matches in 2021-22.
 

What does it mean? Bayern stretch lead as Leipzig struggle again

Bayern's lead at the top is back to nine points, although Borussia Dortmund in second have a game in hand.

It also means Julian Nagelsmann has earned 52 points from his first 21 league games in charge of the club.

For Leipzig, this was an eighth consecutive league game against the champions without a win, while it leaves them three points outside the top four.

Muller marches on

Muller has now been directly involved in 23 goals in 21 league games this season and he would have had another had Lewandowski not been penalised for a foul.

His form has been exemplary under Nagelsmann and it shows no sign of abating.

Neuer notches famous win

Manuel Neuer, who made an important late save from Forsberg, has now reached 310 wins in 458 Bundesliga games. That puts him level with the competition record set by former Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn, who reached the same number in 557 matches.

What's next?

Bayern travel to Bochum next Saturday, while Leipzig host Cologne the day before.

Robert Lewandowski insists Erling Haaland's impressive form at Borussia Dortmund does not necessarily mean the striker will be a world-class talent in years to come.

Haaland is one of the most sought-after talents in world football after scoring 80 goals in 79 appearances for Dortmund since joining the club in January 2020.

That is a goals tally only Lewandowski can match over that period among players from Europe's top five leagues, the Bayern Munich star having notched 107 goals in 90 games.

Haaland's 80 strikes have come from an expected goals (xG) return of 64, meaning he has scored 16 goals more than expected given the likelihood of the shot going in.

No player from the Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A or Ligue 1 boasts such a large xG differential, with Lewandowski (12.3) behind Luis Muriel (12.4) in third.

While there is no disputing Haaland's quality in front of goal, however, Lewandowski has questioned whether the Norway international will remain as prolific in seasons to come.

"Haaland is a great player who is fun to watch," Lewandowski told Polish magazine PilkaNozna. 

"But just because someone has great potential, it doesn't mean they will be a real star for many years."

 

Breaking down Haaland's goals with Dortmund further, he has scored 96 per cent of them from inside the box, compared to 84 per cent for Lewandowski over that period.

However, Haaland has scored far more goals with his left foot (80 per cent), whereas Lewandowski is predominantly right footed, netting 67 per cent of his from within 18 yards.

The duo are far from identical in terms of playing style, too, as pointed out by Lewandowski.

"I don't like comparing a 33-year-old player with a 21-year-old player because everyone has their own development," he said.

"But he's strong, fast, physical. His game is based on that. I have different qualities. And we don't know how he will develop..."

This season alone, Lewandowski has scored 10 goals more than Europe's next most prolific marksman in Karim Benzema (24 goals), with Haaland third on 23 goals.

The Poland international turns 34 in August, but in a warning to his rivals for the 2022 Ballon d'Or award, he does not believe he is yet at his peak.

"My performance tests are now giving better results than last year," he said. "As for the numbers, it seems my best time is yet to come. I feel better now than I did two years ago."

Arsenal cancelled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract to pave the way for the striker to join Barcelona, while Ousmane Dembele remains at Camp Nou following an eventful transfer day across Europe.

Aubameyang had five months to run on his Emirates Stadium deal but was told he could join Barca on a free transfer, which is set to be announced by the LaLiga giants on Tuesday.

Despite some confirmed interest from at least one club in England, and the threat of not playing for the rest of the season, Dembele opted to stay put in Catalonia until at least the end of the season.

Those players were discussed heavily throughout deadline day, but arguably the most remarkable transfer happened early on Monday when Christian Eriksen officially joined Brentford.

It marks a return to the Premier League – and indeed a football pitch – for Eriksen, just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 and subsequently being fitted with a heart-starting device.

Newcastle live up to big-spending billing

In their first transfer window under their new ownership, Newcastle United spent more than any side on the continent and rounded things off by bringing in some much-needed defensive options in Dan Burn and Matt Targett.

Boyhood Newcastle fan Burn joined from Brighton and Hove Albion in a reported £13million deal, while left-back Targett will spend the rest of the season at St James' Park on loan from Aston Villa.

But it was not all good news for the Magpies as they missed out on a deal for France Under-20s striker Hugo Ekitike, who is reported to have had second thoughts and decided to remain at Reims. There was also no move for Jesse Lingard.


Tottenham and Juventus the busiest clubs

Antonio Conte was backed by the Tottenham board on deadline day with the arrivals of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski as part of a double deal with Juventus.

Bentancur is reported to have cost Spurs an initial £15.9m (€19m) on a deal that will run through until the end of the 2025-26 season, and he will be joined in north London by Kulusevski on an initial 18-month loan with the option to buy.

It was not all about incoming activity for Tottenham in the final stages of the window, though, as club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele was returned to Lyon for the rest of the season and Bryan Gil and Giovanni Lo Celso were loaned out to LaLiga sides Valencia and Villarreal respectively.

And in a deal that went through more than an hour after the 23:00 GMT cut-off point, Dele Alli joined Everton in a transfer that could potentially earn Spurs £40m should various clauses be triggered.

Having offloaded Bentancur and Kulusevski, meanwhile, Juve further trimmed their squad by allowing Aaron Ramsey to sign for Rangers until the end of the campaign, with those deals offset by the arrival of Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.


Big boys quiet

Manchester City got a deal over the line for Argentina international Julian Alvarez before loaning the young forward straight back to River Plate, but it was otherwise a relatively quiet day for Europe's elite clubs.

Manchester United's only piece of business on Monday was allowing midfield outcast Donny van de Beek join Everton on loan, while Liverpool let Nat Phillips head to Bournemouth for the rest of 2021-22. The second-tier Cherries also signed Todd Cantwell, recently a target for Liverpool, to bolster their promotion ambitions.

Liverpool had hoped to bring in highly rated youngster Fabio Carvalho from Fulham, but a deal is reported to have fallen through shortly before the cut-off point after terms had already been agreed.

There was no such activity for fellow Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, as was the case for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain – despite links with Dembele – Bayern Munich, Inter, Milan and Real Madrid.

But reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid did manage to strengthen at left-back by bringing in Reinildo Mandava from French champions Lille.


Other notable deals...

Unsurprisingly, Premier League clubs flexed their financial muscles in a final attempt to strengthen before the deadline.

Crystal Palace turned striker Jean-Philippe Mateta's loan from Mainz into a permanent deal and Burnley signed Wout Weghorst from Wolfsburg, who moved quickly to bring in FC Copenhagen striker Jonas Wind as a replacement.

Elsewhere, Deniz Undav put pen to paper with Brighton before being loaned back to Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The Seagulls also signed Benicio Baker-Boaitey on loan from Porto with a view to a permanent move.

Bayern Munich have handed highly rated midfielder Paul Wanner his first professional contract.

At the age of 16 years and 15 days, Wanner became the youngest player to represent Bayern when coming on as a substitute against Borussia Monchengladbach on January 7.

That also made Wanner the second-youngest player to ever feature in the Bundesliga after Youssoufa Moukoko (16 years, one day) for Borussia Dortmund in November 2020. 

Wanner played in all three of Bayern's league matches in January, but his future in Bavaria was uncertain as he was due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign.

However, Bayern confirmed on their official website on Monday that the Germany Under-17s international has now put pen to paper on a new deal at the Allianz Arena.

"I am incredibly proud and happy to have signed my first contract with Bayern," said Wanner, who has appeared for each of Bayern's youth teams from the Under-14s upwards.

"My childhood dream has come true. I've been playing for FC Bayern since I was 12 and always wanted to become a pro here.

"I would like to thank everyone at the FC Bayern Campus, as well as Hasan Salihamidzic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann for their trust."

Bayer Leverkusen are one of a number of clubs, both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, that had reportedly been interested in signing Wanner in the next transfer window.

And Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic is glad to have brought an end to the speculation surrounding the youngster's future.

"We are very happy that Paul Wanner is continuing his very good development at FC Bayern," he said. 

"Paul has shown in training with the first team that he has the chance to develop in our team thanks to his talent. 

"The fact that he has already been used in the Bundesliga at the age of 16 confirms not only his ability, but also the excellent work being done at the FC Bayern Campus."

Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has stepped down from the role after becoming "drained" and "tired".

Eberl has served in the post for 13 years but confirmed on Friday at an emotional news conference that he was calling it quits.

The former Gladbach defender, who signed as a player in 1999, revealed that he was no longer enjoying the job.

"This is by far the hardest press conference I have had to hold in my time as sporting director at Borussia," said Eberl. 

"I am drained. I am tired. I just no longer have the energy to carry on fulfilling this role in the way the club deserves.

"After 23 years [with Gladbach], I'm calling time on what has become my life. My work here has always been a joy, but there are things in and around the job that are no fun any more."

He leaves at a time when Adi Hutter's side are slipping down the table amid a run of just four points from the past eight games, while second-tier Hannover dumped them out of the DFB-Pokal this month.

But Eberl, who extended his contract in 2020, insists the team's slide has nothing to do with his decision.

"I can understand the people who might question the timing of my decision with the position the club is in," he said. 

"But I just don't have the strength to keep doing this job the way I have for so long.

"I extended my contract 13 months ago and would never have thought that I'd be sitting here today. I'm somebody who puts 100 per cent into everything I do. I have done that for 13 years as sporting director."

Speaking about his plans for life after football, he added: "I just want to be Max Eberl. I want to see the world and just focus on myself for once in my life.

"I haven't made this decision in order to move to another club. For now, I don't want anything to do with football.

"My wish is for football to be the focus rather than making a circus of everything surrounding it. I feel like more respect is needed. There had already been abuse and rumours about my decision before I had even said a single word.

"You don't have to worry about me. I will enjoy myself and perhaps I'll just fall off the map for a while. It was an honour to be able to work for Borussia Mönchengladbach."

Dusan Vlahovic has drawn interest from Juventus, Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Fiorentina are keen to maximise their profit on him.

Vlahovic has netted 38 goals in the past 18 months in Serie A.

TOP STORY – FRESH TALKS ON VLAHOVIC DEAL

Juventus are set for fresh talks on Thursday on a deal to sign Fiorentina's Vlahovic, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Serbia striker has attracted plenty of interest but an agreement between the Bianconeri and Fiorentina is in place.

The stumbling block is Vlahovic's final contract and agent's fees, with a deal potentially set to trigger Alvaro Morata's exit to Barcelona, although Romano claims there are no new talks on that.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

- L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

- The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

- Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

- Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

- Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

Bayern Munich will do "everything" to keep Robert Lewandowski for "as long as possible", but Niklas Sule is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Lewandowski's contract expires at the end of 2022-23 and there have been suggestions Bayern could look to move the Poland star on this year to free up room for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

That is despite the 33-year-old having just won The Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the second year running, his 34 goals in all competitions this season at least 10 more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn suggested on Wednesday that the Bundesliga champions have no plans to let Lewandowski leave.

"He is an absolute phenomenon," Kahn told reporters. "Not just for the goals he constantly scores but for the level at which he has been playing for years.

"Of course, we will try to keep Robert with us. He's a kind of insurance for us, with his way of playing football. We will do everything we can to have Robert with us for as long as possible."

 

Sule, however, appears destined to leave the Allianz Arena after rejecting Bayern's offer of a new contract.

The centre-back, 26, has missed just two games in the Bundesliga this season and is reportedly of interest to Chelsea and Newcastle United, who could offer greater salaries.

"Negotiations with Niklas have dragged on for a very long time," Kahn said.

"We made him an offer, but he didn't accept it, as he told us. I think [club president] Herbert Hainer wanted to leave the back door a little ajar.

"Now we know what the situation is. This has happened over the past few days. I think you have to take into account that there are a lot of conversations going on. At some point, a player makes his decision.

"I think it was a very good offer. We have economic limits within which we must move. He's one of the best central defenders out there right now. I think we showed him that appreciation.

"Ultimately, it's the player's decision."

When asked if Bayern would look to sign a replacement, Kahn added: "We always look at all the options. We have a lot of options when it comes to the centre-back position.

"We have Lucas Hernandez in central defence, an excellent centre-back in [Dayot] Upamecano, young talent in Tanguy Nianzou. [Benjamin] Pavard can also play there."

 

Anthony Martial has made no secret of his desire to leave Manchester United in the January window – and the France international appears to have been granted his wish.

Restricted to just four starts in all competitions this season, Martial has very much been on the periphery at United in what is his seventh campaign at the club.

However, there are no shortage of suitors for Martial and it looks increasingly likely that the 26-year-old will spend the remainder of the campaign away from Old Trafford.


TOP STORY – SECOND TIME LUCKY FOR SEVILLA

Sevilla had a loan bid for Martial rejected earlier this month, but Goal reports that the issues have been ironed out and the out-of-favour forward is now set to undergo a medical.

Juventus are said to have been among a number of other European sides in the running to sign Martial, but Sevilla were always his preferred destination.

The LaLiga club are expected to pay a loan fee for the former Monaco man, potentially as much as €5.96million (£5m), while the player himself will accept a cut in wages.


ROUND-UP

– After growing frustrated in their attempt to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina, The Sun reports that Arsenal may now instead go after Real Madrid's Luka Jovic this month.

– Calciomercato claims that Serie A leaders Inter are close to strengthening their squad with the addition of striker Felipe Caicedo from Genoa.

Watford are set to move quickly on the back of sacking head coach Claudio Ranieri by bringing in Roy Hodgson as early as Tuesday, according to Sky Sports.

– Goal suggest that Bayern Munich are targeting Chelsea's Andreas Christensen on a free transfer after Niklas Sule turned down the offer of a new contract in Bavaria.

Manchester City are increasingly confident of wrapping up a deal for Julian Alvarez. However, the Daily Mail reports that the striker will initially remain on loan with River Plate.

Newcastle United have made a fresh approach for Man Utd winger Jesse Lingard, according to The Telegraph. The Magpies are happy to pay a £6m loan fee.

Julian Nagelsmann was happy with Bayern Munich's performance as they swept aside Hertha Berlin 4-1 in the German capital on Sunday, particularly with the quality of their counter-pressing.

Goals from Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry restored Bayern's six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga, despite a late reply from Jurgen Ekkelenkamp after a mistake from substitute Dayot Upamecano.

The reigning champions dominated the game, having 30 shots of which 19 were on target, registering an overall expected goals (xG) tally of 5.00.

"I'm very pleased with the performance," Nagelsmann said at a post-match news conference. "The first half was a bit stronger than in the return fixture. Our players were extremely sharp in their counter-pressing. We had many chances from our possession.

"In the second half, Hertha were a bit better. Overall, it's a deserved win and a very good game from us."

 

Muller was also impressed by the team's efforts, especially in creating the number of chances they did.

"We played well. We had a lot of attacking players on the pitch," the 32-year-old said after scoring his sixth league goal of the campaign.

"We were looking forward to the game because we knew what we were going to do today. On the other hand, of course, you never know how an attacking wing pairing of Coman and Gnabry will work."

Muller added, quoted on Bayern's official website: "The first half was maybe even a bit better than the second because we had more control.

"Our counter-pressing was a bit better, we allowed practically nothing. We had Berlin pinned down right from the start and let nothing go to waste, and had chance after chance. A very good afternoon of football."

Bayern Munich restored their six-point lead at the Bundesliga summit with an extremely comfortable 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin on Sunday. 

The reigning champions saw their advantage halved when Borussia Dortmund beat Hoffenheim on Saturday, but it did not look like remaining at three points once Corentin Tolisso opened the scoring at the Olympiastadion.

Thomas Muller doubled Bayern's lead before the break and, after a string of impressive saves, Alexander Schwolow gifted Leroy Sane a tap-in with a wayward pass across the face of his own goal.

Serge Gnabry added a fourth as the visitors' relentless pressure finally told in the closing 15 minutes, though Jurgen Ekkelenkamp lobbed home a consolation 35 seconds after being subbed on.

Tolisso had a goal ruled out for offside by the VAR in the second minute, with Schwolow making saves from Sane, Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski to keep the game level midway through the first half.

After Ishak Belfodil threatened for the hosts, Tolisso stooped to head Coman's left-wing delivery into the bottom-right corner and give Bayern a deserved lead.

Tolisso missed an open goal and Schwolow kept out Lewandowski, but Bayern got their second on the stroke of half-time when an unmarked Muller guided Joshua Kimmich's free-kick home.

Suat Serdar was unable to hit the target from six yards out, and Bayern were out of sight when Schwolow's pass to Linus Gechter was intercepted by Sane, who was left with a simple finish into a vacant net.

Gechter did well to clear a looping effort from Gnabry off the line, but the winger was not to be denied again, drilling home a fine finish for Bayern's second goal in four minutes.

Dayot Upamecano had not even been on the pitch for a minute when he sold Manuel Neuer short with a back pass and, after the keeper thwarted Stevan Jovetic, Ekkelenkamp lofted in the follow-up to complete the scoring.

Bayern Munich still have no plans to make signings late in the January transfer window, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said ahead of Sunday's game against Hertha Berlin.

The Bundesliga champions are top of the table and through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

From this position of strength, Bayern have let the first three weeks of January pass without a senior signing – and Salihamidzic does not plan on entering the market before the end of the month.

The availability of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria has not piqued Bayern's interest; nor has the potential need for a replacement for left-back Alphonso Davies.

The club confirmed earlier this month Davies is unable to take part in training due to a mild inflammation of the heart.

But Salihamidzic told DAZN: "We have Lucas Hernandez and Omar Richards [at left-back].

"I said before Christmas that we are well positioned and have no need [in January]."

Bayern were three points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund heading into Sunday's match, with BVB having beaten Hoffenheim 3-2 on Saturday.

Agreeing a new contract with Robert Lewandowski is not a matter of urgency for Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer, though he hopes the striker will stay put.

With his deal set to expire at the end of next season, Lewandowski's future has been the subject of much speculation. 

It was reported this week that Bayern were open to selling the Poland captain at the end of the season to avoid losing him on a free transfer. 

Lewandowski on Monday won The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the second straight year, having scored an astounding 82 goals in 68 games in all competitions for Bayern since the start of last season.  

That is the most of any player from the top five European leagues. Erling Haaland is his closest rival with 64 strikes in 61 appearances for Borussia Dortmund. 

Hainer remains keen for Lewandowski to extend his stay at the Allianz Arena, though he insists there is no rush for an agreement to be reached. 

"I've already said this a few times. I would be happy if Robert ended his career at Bayern," Hainer told Sky. 

"Our sporting management is in constant contact with the players. We still have a little time with him. The contract runs until 2023." 

Hainer suggested a new contract for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, reportedly until June 2025, is much closer to being confirmed. The Germany star's existing deal is also due to expire at the end of next season. 

"I am absolutely convinced Manuel will end his career at Bayern Munich. He can certainly play at this level for a few more years," said Hainer. 

"He's still the world's best goalkeeper for me, and I'd be happy if we can announce it at some point. 

"We are in no hurry. Manuel knows what he has in us. We know what we have in him. He's been with us long enough now, so there is no rush. But at some point, I hope, it will happen." 

Defender Niklas Sule is only under contract until the end of this campaign and he has been linked with Barcelona and a number of Premier League clubs. 

Hainer confirmed an extension has been offered to Sule and he has a deadline to make his decision so the club are not left scrambling for a replacement. 

"We made Niklas an offer. Now it's up to him to accept or reject that," said Hainer. 

"Of course, it has to be within a certain period of time because we have to position ourselves accordingly. 

"I don't know the exact date right now, but it will certainly be at some point in the foreseeable future that he will say what his wishes are. Then we will take to him." 

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