Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it seems, is no longer at the wheel.

Following another drubbing, this time a 4-1 rout at Watford on Saturday, Manchester United have reportedly called time on Solskjaer's tenure.

After a lengthy meeting, the club great is set to be axed.

 

TOP STORY – SOLSKJAER TO BE SACKED

Manchester United have agreed to sack manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to widespread reports.

Having already been humiliated by Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City prior to the international break, United's season hit a new low following Saturday's 4-1 rout at lowly Watford.

Amid a worrying slump, The Athletic, Manchester Evening News and Fabrizio Romano claim United have opted to part with Solskjaer amid links to former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers and Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag.

 

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- Sport says Raheem Sterling has told Premier League champions Manchester City he wants to join LaLiga giants Barcelona.

Barca and City are among the clubs interested in Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, per Fichajes.

- The Sun reports Newcastle United are looking to sign Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbia international, who scored twice to sink Milan on Saturday, has been linked with City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Inter, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are set to go head-to-head for the signature of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, says Mundo Deportivo. The Germany international is a free agent at season's end. Bayern are also believed to be interested.

Jesse Lingard's future does not appear to be with current club Manchester United.

Contract talks between Lingard and United have reportedly broken down.

The England international has only played eight times in all competitions this season, starting just once.

 

TOP STORY –  LINGARD SET FOR JANUARY SWITCH

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard will make a £10million move to West Ham in January, according to The Sun.

The Red Devils are said to be looking to cash in on the 28-year-old England international before he is out of contract at the end of this season.

Lingard impressed during a six-month loan spell with the Hammers in the second half of last season, with nine goals and four assists.

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- Tottenham are also interested in signing Lingard on a free transfer in the off-season, according to the Daily Express.

- United are prepared to sell Diogo Dalot to Roma in order to facilitate a deal for Atletico Madrid's England full-back Kieran Trippier, claims the Manchester Evening News.

- Marca claims that Real Madrid are ramping up their pursuit of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who is out of contract at the end of this season. Bayern Munich are also said to be tracking the Germany international.

- Promising young Argentina international Julian Alvarez is being monitored by Italian powerhouse pair Juventus and Milan, reports Calciomercato. Alvarez, who has four Argentina caps, is currently with River Plate who will wait until December to evaluate any offers.

Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Muller vented their frustration at Bayern Munich's shock defeat to Augsburg by questioning the team's collective effectiveness in defensive situations.

Bayern were dominant for almost the entire match on Friday but still lost 2-1, with Mads Pedersen and Andre Hahn putting Augsburg 2-0 up before Robert Lewandowski pulled a goal back just before half-time.

While the second half was even more one-sided in Bayern's favour than the first, they did not exactly pepper Rafal Gikiewicz's goal, with the visitors' expected goals (xG) value only reaching a modest 1.4.

On the other hand, Augsburg scored twice from an xG value of just 0.6, highlighting just how clinical they were – though questions look set to be asked of the Bayern defence.

 

This was the fourth time in five matches – a run that includes a 5-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal – Bayern have conceded at least twice in a match, while they have now let in 13 Bundesliga goals from 9.8 xG against.

Only Greuther Furth (8.6) and Hertha Berlin (6.6) have worse xG against differentials than Bayern (3.2) this season, and Opta's expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) data suggests Manuel Neuer is a big part of the problem, putting him at fault for roughly 3.4 goals – the fourth-worst in the division.

Neuer failed to keep out Hahn's header despite getting a hand to it on Friday, though Muller and Nagelsmann pointed the finger at the defence as a collective.

 

"The first half was bad, very bad and in the second half you could see that we wanted to turn it around, but maybe we didn't deserve that little bit of luck in front of goal," Muller told DAZN.

"This is a bitter setback for our confidence… [but] what wasn't good today should get better.

"I think when you have the feeling in every game that you can score three or four goals, you lose a bit of hunger defensively. We noticed that over and over again in the past few games."

Head coach Nagelsmann added: "We're conceding the goals the same way throughout the season.

"We discussed it yesterday, and today we conceded both goals the same way again. The opponent didn't really have any moments of brilliance and still scored two goals. It was the same against Frankfurt.

"I think the important thing is that if there's not much going on in attack in a game, you must be more stable at the back. One impacts the other. 

"Overall we didn't create enough and didn't have enough shots on goal."

Bayern Munich suffered a shock 2-1 defeat away to Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Friday, giving Borussia Dortmund the chance to close the gap at the top.

Heading into the weekend, Bayern were the team with the highest expected goals tally in the league this season (34.1), while Augsburg had the lowest (10.4), but the champions' finishing left a lot to be desired as they aimed just four shots on target.

Bayern had it all to do after falling 2-0 down to goals from Mads Pedersen and Andre Hahn, although Robert Lewandowski at least ensured they did not go into the break chasing a two-goal deficit.

The visitors enjoyed 80.7 per cent of the possession after half-time, but they struggled to convert that into meaningful opportunities that worked Rafal Gikiewicz in the Augsburg goal, with Julian Nagelsmann's side slipping to their second league defeat of the season.

Despite Bayern's domination, Augsburg went in front in the 23rd minute as Lucas Hernandez only partially intercepted Iago's cross and Pedersen reacted quickest to blast into the bottom-right corner.

Another Iago cross caused havoc soon after, with Hahn rising above Hernandez to nod in despite Manuel Neuer getting a hand to it.

Bayern's response was better this time, however, quickly pulling one back through Lewandowski's well-taken volley after Thomas Muller – making his 600th club appearance – flicked on Benjamin Pavard's cross.

But Lewandowski was not so ruthless just after the break, snatching at a close-range chance that he sliced inexplicably over the crossbar.

Lewandowski wasted another glorious opportunity inside the final 10 minutes, shooting straight at Gikiewicz from around eight yards in what proved to be Bayern's final opportunity. 

 

Thomas Muller has become the first outfield player to reach 600 appearances for Bayern Munich since the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 after featuring against Augsburg on Friday.

Muller came through Bayern's academy and was handed his Bundesliga debut by Jurgen Klinsmann in August 2008 but made only four appearances out of a possible 34 that season.

Louis van Gaal's arrival as coach prompted Muller's breakthrough, and he has missed just 29 Bundesliga matches since the start of 2009-10, while he is the only player to play in at least 28 matches in every campaign in that period.

Friday's match was his 395th Bundesliga outing, a tally bettered by no one since he made his debut. Despite his longevity, Muller's class and influence show no signs of depleting.

This season, he has already been involved in 17 open-play sequences leading to a goal in the Bundesliga, with only Mohamed Salah (20) bettering that total across Europe's big five leagues.

Similarly, Muller's open-play chances and secondary chances (the pass before the assist for a shot or goal) tally of 51 is eight more than anyone else in the big five leagues, with Bruno Fernandes second on 43.

At the age of 32, Muller may now have sights on Bayern's all-time appearance record of 700, set by goalkeeper Sepp Maier.

 

Joshua Kimmich will miss Bayern Munich's Bundesliga match at Augsburg on Friday as he is self-isolating after coming into close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann on Thursday revealed that Kimmich missed training as a precautionary measure as Bayern awaited the results of his PCR test.

The Bundesliga champions confirmed on Friday that Kimmich, Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic are in isolation.

Germany midfielder Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, had recently been forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Croatia defender Stanisic's positive test was revealed this week following his return from international duty.

Nagelsmann stated that Kimmich had come into close contact with an individual "in his private sphere" who may have the virus.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Gnabry and Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Kingsley Coman misses the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem.

Arsenal could look to offload Nicolas Pepe in the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old has not lived up to his billing after being signed in 2019.

Pepe has scored once in nine appearances for the Gunners this season.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN SET FOR JANUARY PEPE SWOOP

Italian giants Milan are interested in signing Arsenal's Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe, claims Il Milanista.

Pepe has more than two years to run on his Gunners deal, having joined on a five-year contract from Lille in 2019 for a club-record fee of £72 million (€79m).

Arsenal may be willing to let Pepe go for a little as £25m in January.

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- Chelsea's Spanish full-back Cesar Azpilicueta is on Barcelona's transfer radar, according to SPORT. The 32-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season.

- Tottenham have joined Inter in having an interest in signing Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso, claims Kicker. Tolisso is out of contract at the end of this season.

- Fabrizio Romano reports that talks between Gavi and Barcelona on a five-year contract extension are progressing amid interest in the Spanish teenager from Chelsea.

- Jose Mourinho's Roma are considering a move to sign Atletico Madrid's Mexico international midfielder Hector Herrera in January, claims Calciomercato. Atletico are willing to cash in on Herrera, who is out of contract in mid-2022.

- Manchester City target Theo Hernandez is close to completing a contract renewal with Milan, according to Rudy Galetti. The Rossoneri have reached an agreement with him until 2026.

- FotoMac claims Mohamed Elneny's agent has reached an agreement with Arsenal for the Egyptian to leave in January. He was previously linked with Galatasaray.

- Lens midfielder Seko Fofana has been added to Newcastle United's shortlist of transfer targets, claims Foot Mercato.

Bayern Munich are waiting to discover if Joshua Kimmich will be available to face Augsburg on Friday after he was in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Kimmich missed training on Thursday as a precautionary measure and the Bundesliga champions are awaiting the results of his PCR test.

Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, was recently forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in coronavirus cases. 

Josip Stanisic was the latest Bayern player to return a positive COVID-19 test this week, with the Bavarian giants stating on Wednesday that the fully-vaccinated Croatia defender is isolating at home but feels "fine".

Nagelsmann revealed Kingsley Coman will miss the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem, but Leon Goretzka is fully fit.

The Bayern head coach will make a late decision on whether Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Alphonso Davies feature on Friday after they only returned from international duty on the eve of the game.

Bayern Munich have revealed defender Josip Stanisic has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Bundesliga champions on Thursday confirmed Stanisic, who is fully vaccinated, is isolating at home but feels "fine".

Stanisic came on as a substitute in Croatia's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Russia on Sunday.

It has been reported that another two Bayern employees have returned positive COVID-19 tests.

Stanisic's team-mate Niklas Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for the virus.

Joshua Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, was forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Sule.

The Bavarian giants returned to Bundesliga action with a trip to Augsburg on Friday.

It appears Raheem Sterling's future is away from Manchester City.

Down the pecking order, Sterling has been linked with Barcelona.

City, however, are believed to want a player as part of any deal.

 

TOP STORY – STERLING OUT, TER STEGEN IN?

Manchester City are interested in a swap deal that could see Raheem Sterling move to Barcelona in exchange for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to El Nacional.

Barca are reportedly trying to bring Sterling to Camp Nou, with the England international struggling for regular game time at the Premier League champions.

Pep Guardiola had previously tried to bring Frenkie de Jong to Manchester but Barca were not keen, though the City manager is now interested in goalkeeper Ter Stegen – who has been linked with Bayern Munich in the past.

 

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Real Madrid plan to extend Luka Modric's contract for one more season, reports Marca. The 36-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season. He has previously been linked with Milan and Inter.

- Diario AS claims Barcelona are eyeing a move for Spain and Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta. The 32-year-old is out of contract at season's end.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Milan are accelerating their efforts to sign Lille and Portugal star Renato Sanches. It comes amid uncertainty over soon-to-be free agent Franck Kessie, who is tipped to leave Milan following reported interest from the likes of Manchester UnitedBarcaParis Saint-GermainTottenham and Inter. Sanches has also been suggested as a target for Liverpool and Wolves.

- Calciomercato claims CityLiverpoolJuventus and Roma are targeting Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria.

- Serie A champions Inter are pushing to sign Eintracht Frankfurt's Filip Kostic, per Gazzetta dello sport. Inter tried to prise the winger from Eintracht at the start of the season.

Real Madrid are trying to offload a pair of veterans to Tottenham. 

Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale could be on the way out at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Spurs are reportedly only interested in one of them.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS WEIGH BALE REUNION

Gareth Bale could be headed for a permanent return to Tottenham, El Nacional reports. 

Real Madrid have offered Bale and Eden Hazard to Spurs but head coach Antonio Conte is not interested in his former Chelsea player. 

However, Spurs may pounce for Bale at a reduced price before he is out of contract following the season.

 

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Manchester United are interested in adding France defender Jules Kounde to replace Harry Maguire, says Todofichajes, which reports Sevilla will demand €80million (£68m) in return. 

Donny van de Beek wants out at United, according to the Metro, and Birmingham Live says Wolves will make a strong push to sign the Dutch midfielder, with Everton and Newcastle United also rumoured suitors.

- Fiorentina are willing to sell Dusan Vlahovic in January if an interested club like Manchester City or Tottenham will pay £70m for the Serbia international, says the Sun. Vlahovic has also been linked with Bayern MunichAtletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Arsenal.

Milan have joined Chelsea and Atletico in pursuit of 17-year-old Angers striker Mohamed-Ali Cho, according to L'Equipe. 

Barcelona will extend 17-year-old Spain sensation Gavi's contract for five years, reports Fabrizio Romano. 

Dean Smith's appointment at Norwich City is expected to become official Monday, says The Guardian. 

Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness mocked Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for their failure to win the Champions League despite their vast resources.

City were acquired by Abu Dhabi United Group – backed by Sheikh Mansour – in 2008, while PSG were bought by Qatar Sports Investments three years later, with the company's chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, becoming the club's president.

The two clubs have gone on to achieve extraordinary success domestically, with City winning five Premier League titles and PSG claiming seven Ligue 1 crowns since their respective takeovers.

However, neither club has managed to win the Champions League.

Both have gone close in recent years, though City were beaten in the final by Chelsea last season and PSG were bested in the showpiece event by Hoeness' Bayern the year before.

That was Bayern's second success in the competition since 2011, the other occasion being their 2-1 defeat of Borussia Dortmund in 2013 after losing the final on penalties to Chelsea the year before.

Hoeness takes great pride in Bayern pipping their richer counterparts to club football's most coveted European trophy and insisted the Bavarian giants will remain ahead of both sides. 

"So far they haven't won anything," Hoeness said on the 11 Leben podcast. "Nothing at all. The two teams don't have a single Champions League title.

"They will continue to lose against us. Not always, but sometimes. That has to be the goal, and if we win against them, I'm really happy. This is what stimulates me to show them, 'your s****y money, that's not enough!'

"The difference between [PSG president Al-Khelaifi] and me is: I worked hard for the money and he got it as a gift. He doesn't need to work for that. When he wants a player, he will find his emir."

City and PSG were both drawn into Group A of this year's Champions League and the pair are battling for top spot in the table, with Pep Guardiola's men one point ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's side after four matches.

Bayern, meanwhile, have won each of their four group-stage games and are already through to the knockout stages, sitting six points ahead of Barcelona in Group E.

Germany's national team director Oliver Bierhoff has confirmed Niklas Sule is the player to have tested positive for coronavirus.

It was announced earlier on Tuesday that a member of Germany's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Armenia had returned a positive PCR test result and had immediately gone into isolation, though the player was not named at the time.

Four other players who were judged to have been close contacts also had to isolate, though no other positive results had been recorded within the camp.

At a subsequent news conference, Bierhoff confirmed Bayern Munich centre-back Sule was the player to have contracted COVID-19. 

Sule is double vaccinated, and the earlier update stated he had not shown any symptoms.

His club-mate Joshua Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, is one of the other four players to have gone into quarantine.

Kimmich, 26, explained last month that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

Fellow Bayern players Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala have also been forced into isolation, given they were part of the same travelling party to the training camp, while Karim Adeyemi also has to quarantine.

"The squad is still strong, and we will prepare for the two games in World Cup qualification from noon today and make them successful," said Bierhoff.

"The situation is not easy for the players, but there is no huge concern now."

Asked about Kimmich, Bierhoff said: "It was clear that if someone in his environment tests positive, he would be put in quarantine.

"Of course, that's difficult to accept when you have acted correctly and paid attention to everything."

Bierhoff was joined at the media conference by Germany's team doctor Tim Meyer, who explained the length of the quarantine will depend on the regulations set by the local health authority in Wolfsburg.

Asked if Gnabry, Musiala and Adeyemi were vaccinated, Dr Meyer said: "I won't give you any information about that. The vaccination plays a role in the decision, but also how close the contact was.

"I have already given my personal opinion on vaccination against COVID-19. Joshua Kimmich's opinion is also known. We have to accept that."

Dr Meyer added that four other players have been classed as contacts, though will be allowed to remain at the accommodation and will be tested again in the coming days.

Germany have also lost Florian Wirtz and Nico Schlotterbeck to muscular injuries, with Kevin Volland and Wolfsburg duo Ridle Baku and Maximilian Arnold added to the squad.

Leon Goretzka was delighted to send Bayern Munich into the international break on a high as his goal helped them to a 2-1 win over Freiburg.

The Bundesliga leaders ended Freiburg's unbeaten start to the season at the Allianz Arena, Goretzka's opener and a second-half strike from Robert Lewandowski proving enough for maximum points.

Julian Nagelsmann's team lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt prior to the last international break.

But they were dominant this time around against Freiburg, Bayern's 29 shots their most of the season so far.

Goretzka, who also hit the post in the second half, underlined the importance of approaching the break with a positive result.

"We shouldn't forget that we played against a good team today," Goretzka said to Sky. "The most important thing was to win the game, which we did.

"It was incredibly important to score the second goal, because you can always concede at any time. Our goal was to win today as it's the last game before the international break.

"It wasn't a good feeling when we lost just before the last international break. Therefore we are very happy today."

Bayern Munich solidified their position atop the Bundesliga as they ended Freiburg's unbeaten start with a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena.

Freiburg were the sole team yet to taste defeat in the league this season, but they were always second best against Julian Nagelsmann's side on Saturday.

Leon Goretzka opened the scoring on the half hour and Bayern saw several chances to pad their lead go begging.

But Robert Lewandowski could hardly miss as he eventually made it 2-0, Bayern at least temporarily going four points clear of Borussia Dortmund in second despite Janik Haberer's late consolation.

Freiburg's defence had conceded only seven goals going into this game, but Bayern found consistent joy in carving a way through the backline.

Alphonso Davies was a menace down the left and forced saves from Mark Flekken twice in the opening six minutes before Lucas Holer could have put Freiburg ahead.

Holer should have done better as he fired wide and, after some fruitless probing from Leroy Sane, Goretzka punished Freiburg's earlier profligacy with a confidently taken close-range finish at the end of another well-worked Bayern attack.

Only the right-hand post denied Goretzka a second as Bayern upped the ante in search of a second after the interval, with Sane then lashing over on the volley.

It was Sane who supplied the final pass as Lewandowski put the game beyond doubt. The Poland international tapped in from point-blank range after Sane had combined with Kingsley Coman, but there was late consolation for Freiburg, whose reward for a strong finish came in stoppage time as Haberer wriggled free in the box and beat a frustrated Manuel Neuer.

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