Bayer Leverkusen have secured the future of their coveted striker Patrik Schick by signing up the prolific Czech for the next five years.

Schick was joint-top goalscorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at last year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament, hitting five goals.

He carried that form into the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign, tallying 24 goals in 27 league games as Leverkusen finished third to earn a Champions League place.

Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scored more in the German top flight, and Schick had been linked with a host of clubs, including Premier League outfits Arsenal and Newcastle United.

He was prepared to forgo the possibility of such a switch as he extended a previous contract that ran to 2025 with the new deal that takes him through to the end of the 2026-27 season.

"I just feel good here," said 26-year-old Schick. "It's a lot of fun with these guys. Qualifying for the Champions League is a good next step. 

"A lot is possible here, which is exactly why I extended my contract at Bayer 04."

Leverkusen's departing sporting director Rudi Voller left a parting gift by playing a significant part in the negotiations, with the 1990 World Cup winner saying: "Renewing with such a player is an expression of our ambitions and a clear sign that things will continue at the top level at Bayer Leverkusen even after my departure.

"For me, Patrik Schick is currently one of the world's best centre forwards. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the Werkself shirt in the years to come."

Voller is vacating his position as former Leverkusen midfielder Simon Rolfes steps up to inherit the role.

Rolfes said: "There are only a few centre forwards of his stature internationally. Added to Patrik's exceptional sporting qualities as a full-fledged striker are the skills of a leader."

Schick came to international prominence thanks to his sensational long-range strike for the Czech Republic against Scotland, which was voted Euro 2020's goal of the tournament.

He showed brilliant vision to shoot from just inside the Scotland half, with the goal measured at 49.7 yards, making it the furthest distance from which a goal has been scored at the European Championship since such data was first recorded in 1980.

Sadio Mane cast doubt on his Liverpool future by saying he will reveal whether he is staying at the club after the Champions League final. 

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a move for Mane, who has one year remaining on his contract at Anfield. 

After missing out on Premier League glory at the weekend, the Senegal international hopes to help Liverpool lift the trophy in Europe's leading club competition for the seventh time. 

They will need to overcome Madrid at the Stade de France – a repeat of the 2018 final that was won by LaLiga's champions – for their third piece of silverware this season. 

Madrid's interest in Mane has reportedly stepped up after they missed out on Kylian Mbappe, and the 30-year-old intends to provide clarity on his future after the final. 

"I will answer after the Champions League. Whether I'm staying or not, I'm going to answer after the Champions League," he told Sky Sports. 

Mohamed Salah, whose Liverpool deal is also set to expire in June next year, confirmed on Wednesday that he will still be at the club next season. 

The Egyptian winger said the Reds want revenge over Madrid following the result in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv, but Mane does not feel the same way. 

"I think Mo is just Mo," he said with a smile. "For sure it's not a revenge. In four years a lot of things have changed, we have more experience and quality in the team. 

"I think we've all forgotten about what happened in 2018. For sure, Real Madrid were the better team and deserved to win the final, but it's going to be a different game." 

Mane added: "For me, relaxed, no pressure, nothing at all – just enjoy it. I think it's a dream moment for us, so let's enjoy it without putting pressure on ourselves. 

"Everybody is smiling and confident, which is amazing. We know it won't be an easy game against one of the best in the world, but that will make the game special." 

Borussia Dortmund fans will soon be able to "party like never before", says Edin Terzic, if they unite behind the side ahead of next season.

Terzic was named as Dortmund's new coach on Monday, replacing Marco Rose, who was dismissed after the culmination of the Bundesliga campaign.

Rose only had a sole season in charge, leading BVB to second place but exiting the Champions League in the group stage and failing to advance through a Europa League play-off against Rangers.

Terzic enjoyed an interim spell in charge of Dortmund in 2020-21 after Lucien Favre was sacked and led the club to DFB-Pokal glory, and he has now looked to rally the fans again.

"I would like to thank all those responsible at BVB around Hans-Joachim Watzke, Sebastian Kehl and Michael Zorc for this great trust, the great opportunity and the huge responsibility that is being handed over to me," said Terzic as he was presented as Dortmund coach.

"But now to you, dear BVB fans. Just under a year ago, we were allowed to celebrate the DFB-Pokal victory in Berlin. But it was far too quiet [due to COVID-19 restrictions].

"Nevertheless, for me, it was the best day in the life of a Borussian. Today it's similar. Especially for me. Therefore, a small request. Let's be as hungry as never before.

"Let's work as hard as never before. But let's also be as positive as never before. Most importantly, let's be louder than ever.

"Then I'm sure we'll have a great chance to party like never before. I'd love that. In this sense. See you soon in the most beautiful stadium in the world."

Former Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has warned the Bundesliga champions not to keep striker Robert Lewandowski at the club against his will.

Questions remain over Lewandowski's future after he confirmed last week that he wants to leave Bayern.

Lewandowski suggested no new terms had been proposed on his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season.

However, Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn insisted on Saturday that a "concrete offer" was on the table, while sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic accused the player's agent, Pini Zahavi, of attempting to turn his client's head.

Zahavi hit back at Salihamidzic as he warned Bayern it would not be sensible to risk losing Lewandowski on a free transfer, nor to deny him the opportunity to join Barcelona.

Ribery, who played alongside Lewandowski at Bayern between 2014 and 2019, agrees with that sentiment, but remains hopeful the 33-year-old can leave the club on good terms.

"There is such a risk [for Bayern]," he told Wirtualna Polska. "A footballer forced to stay can be frustrated and angry.

"However, I would love to find a solution that will make everyone happy. I understand the club because it will be very difficult to find a new Lewandowski.

"We are talking about the best striker in the world in recent years. Nobody sells such a player willingly.

"But Lewandowski wants this change; he is looking for a new spark, he needs a new challenge. This situation is not easy. May there be a good solution for everyone.

"If Robert leaves, nobody and nothing will erase what he has done for Bayern. But I would also like him to leave in style."

 

Lewandowski scored 50 goals in 46 matches for Bayern this season in all competitions, making him the top scorer across Europe's top five leagues.

And Ribery, who now plays in Serie A for Salernitana, believes the Poland international and LaLiga giants Barca would be a perfect fit.

"Barca is Barca," he added. "Sure, they have their problems, but even if they are not as strong as five or six years ago, they are still big.

"It is known that then they had an amazing team, players who played together for many years. [Lionel] Messi, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Gerard] Pique, [Dani] Alves, [Jordi] Alba.

"It's different now, but there is no shortage of talent there. Yes, if Lewy were to leave Bayern, Barcelona would be a good choice."

Robert Kovac has been appointed as Wolfsburg's new head coach following a topsy-turvy season for the Bundesliga side.

Wolfsburg began the 2021-22 campaign with Marc van Bommel at the helm, but he was dismissed in October after a promising start tailed off dramatically.

Successor Florian Kohfeldt inspired a brief upturn in form, only for a nine-match winless run to see the team fall from the European places in November to a potential relegation battle in January.

Kohfeldt remained at the helm as Wolfsburg recovered to secure a mid-table finish, although he was sacked following the final-day draw with champions Bayern Munich.

Next, Wolfsburg have turned to Kovac, who was last in work at Monaco in Ligue 1.

He has signed a three-year contract and will aim to repeat the successes of his previous Bundesliga stints, winning the DFB-Pokal with Eintracht Frankfurt and both the league and cup at Bayern Munich.

"I am a child of the Bundesliga," Kovac said, "and the desire and motivation are very great to open another successful chapter with the Wolves."

Former Bayern coach Kovac, who also has experience with Croatia, left Monaco during Ligue 1's winter break at the start of this year.

The principality club subsequently enjoyed a stunning late-season run under Philippe Clement to finish third and enter next season's Champions League qualifying rounds.

Real Madrid have set their sights on Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling after missing out on Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

The Spanish giants were widely regarded as favourites to land Mbappe until a late change of heart led to him signing a three-year extension to stay in France.

Madrid and City went head to head in the Champions League semi-final, but they may find themselves talking business soon for the England international.

 

TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS PREPARE BID FOR STERLING

Sterling has spent seven seasons with City, racking up 131 goals in 338 appearances in all club competitions, and has played no fewer than 46 games in any of those campaigns.

Despite this, his playing time waned in the closing stages of this season, culminating in the Champions League when he only played a combined 28 minutes across both fixtures against Madrid.

Sterling set a record at the time for the most expensive transfer of an English player when he was sold to City for £44million plus add-ons in 2015, but Madrid are not looking to overshoot that number by much, with the Daily Star reporting they will offer £50million.

ROUND-UP

– According to Sky Sports, Sadio Mane fancies a move to Bayern Munich in the upcoming transfer window.

– The Telegraph is reporting Tottenham will sign six players, heavily investing in an attempt to convince Antonio Conte to stay.

– The Telegraph is also reporting one player high on Tottenham's wish-list is Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, who also has strong interest from Arsenal.

Arsenal will try to sell as many as seven first-team players in the upcoming transfer window – with Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno named by The Sun. The Telegraph added that Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is a key target for the Gunners.

– The Times is reporting Leeds United are set to sign 21-year-old USA international Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for £23m.

Marvin Plattenhardt's second-half free-kick preserved Hertha Berlin's Bundesliga status as they fought back to beat Hamburg 2-1 on aggregate.

Hamburg won the first leg 1-0 last week, but they will remain in 2. Bundesliga after Felix Magath's side consigned them to a 2-0 defeat at Volksparkstadion on Monday.

Captain Dedryck Boyata levelled the play-off when he rose to head Plattenhardt's corner into the back of the net only four minutes in.

Hertha were in front after 63 minutes, when Plattenhardt's set-piece from wide on the right flew over Hamburg goalkeeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes and into the far corner of the net.

Stevan Jovetic could have sealed it when he went one-on-one with Fernandes but was denied by the keeper.

That miss did not prove to be costly as Hertha held on to remain in the top flight despite Lucas Tousart's stoppage-time sending off for a second bookable offence on a painful night for Hamburg.

There was a brief celebration from Magath, who was appointed as Hertha head coach until the end of the season in March, after his side stayed up at the expense of a club where he had great success as a player and also served as a coach.

Hamburg have been in the second tier since they dropped out of the Bundesliga for the first time in their history four years ago.

Edin Terzic has been named as the new head coach of Borussia Dortmund, the club have confirmed.

Terzic enjoyed an interim spell in charge of Dortmund last season after Lucien Favre was sacked in December 2020, and led the club to DFB-Pokal glory.

Marco Rose was eventually named as full-time head coach but was sacked earlier this month with Dortmund having finished eight points behind Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, and underwhelmed in both the Champions League and Europa League.

Terzic, who was first brought to Signal Iduna Park as an assistant to Favre and had been serving as technical director, consequently returns to the role on a deal until June 2025.

"By now, many people are likely to be aware of the special importance BVB holds in my life. I'd therefore like to express my sincere thanks to Aki Watzke, Michael Zorc and Sebastian Kehl for the great trust they have placed in me and for giving me this great responsibility," Terzic told the club's official website.

"We will do everything in our power every day to make the team and the entire club successful."

Soon-to-be sporting director Kehl added: "We held several intensive discussions with Edin Terzic last weekend and are convinced that this personnel decision is the right one for BVB. 

"Edin knows our club, the environment, a large part of the team and the areas we would like to fine-tune to be able to offer successful football to our fans. 

"The 2022-23 season constitutes a fresh sporting start. We will press ahead with this together with great joy and passion."

Dortmund have already been busy preparing for next season, with Salih Ozcan joining from Cologne on Monday – their fourth signing after Karim Adeyemi, Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck had already agreed to join.

However, Terzic will no longer be able to call on the talents of superstar striker Erling Haaland, who is moving to Manchester City.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bayern Munich are "history" to Robert Lewandowski as the talisman looks for a "dream" move to Barcelona, according to the striker's agent Pini Zahavi.

Questions remain over Lewandowski's future after he said he wants to leave Bayern and is refusing to sign a new contract.

Lewandowski suggested no new terms had been proposed on his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season with the Bundesliga champions.

However, Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn insisted on Saturday that a "concrete offer" was on the table, while sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic accused Zahavi of attempting to turn his client's head.

Zahavi hit back at Salihamidzic as he warned Bayern it would not be sensible to risk losing Lewandowski on a free transfer, nor to deny him the opportunity to join Xavi's Barca.

"For Lewandowski, Bayern is history," Zahavi told BILD. "Robert has the chance to move to the club he has always dreamt of. Why is Bayern denying him this opportunity?

"Actually, I didn't want to speak in public because I have great respect for this historic club. However, I cannot fail to react to Hasan Salihamidzic's statements.

"Of course you can keep Robert for another year, to be fair he has a contract until 2023, but I wouldn't recommend that to you."

 

Lewandowski scored 50 goals in 46 matches for Bayern this season in all competitions, making him the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland has recorded 29 goals in 30 games in all competitions this term, and has agreed to join Manchester City for the next season after the Premier League champions activated his £51million (€60m) release clause.

However, Zahavi suggested Bayern made their intentions to sign Haaland before City's announcement, with Lewandowski aware of the plans to replace him with the Norway international.

"[He is a] very intelligent person, not just the best striker in the world. He knows exactly what is happening around him and what FC Bayern had planned," he added.

"So Robert knew all along that Bayern wanted to replace him with Haaland. Erling's father even confirmed it, telling him in a personal conversation some time ago: 'My son comes to FC Bayern for 50 percent.' 

"The football world is big, but there are no secrets..."

Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions for the fourth time in five seasons, seeing off a spirited challenge from Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's men may not have won as many trophies as they would have liked this season, but they have been exceptional in defence of their league title in the face of stiff competition.

If City were not already intimidating enough, they will be adding one of the best strikers in world football to their ranks next season in the shape of Erling Haaland.

The lethal Norwegian will surely come in and plunder plenty of goals, just as he has in the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund before his £51million (€60m) move to the Etihad Stadium.

However, will his arrival realistically improve them all that much, or more to the point, can it?

That may sound like a ridiculous question, but looking at City's output this season, they have left themselves with very little room for improvement such are the levels they have consistently reached.

Stats Perform has broken down the numbers to try to predict just what kind of impact the impressive 21-year-old is likely to make in Manchester next season.

What Man City need

It has been a popular opinion that City have achieved what they have in the league in spite of not having a traditional striker.

Since Sergio Aguero left at the end of last season, Guardiola has mostly gone with any three of Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus in attack.

They did spend a lot of time ahead of this season trying to lure Harry Kane from Tottenham, but failing to do so has arguably allowed them to find another way to break down opposition teams. 

Playing without a striker, City have still clinched the league title while collecting 93 points, the third-biggest total they have ever achieved, and scored 99 goals.

By not having an obvious focal point, it has been tricky for the opposition to know who is supposed to be on the end of attacks, and given none of those mentioned has scored more than 11 non-penalty goals in the league, that seems to have been the plan all along.

The perception might be that Guardiola's team have become less direct without a striker, and while that was true last season when Aguero played just 12 league games (seven starts) and they averaged a shot every 42.82 passes, and a goal every 309.05 passes, that came down to a shot every 36.63 passes this season, and a goal every 263.85.

Given Aguero's injury issues in his final campaign at City, you could argue the last time they regularly played with a striker was the 2019-20 season, which was the last time they did not win the league and collected only 81 points.

Since Guardiola arrived at the Etihad until the end of that season, his team averaged a shot every 38.10 passes, and a goal every 271.16, so they have possibly become more direct this term than they were with Aguero in the team.

By comparison, you may assume Haaland has been playing for a more direct team in Marco Rose's Dortmund, and this season in the Bundesliga, BVB scored once every 230.95 passes.

However, they actually only took a shot at goal once every 43.34 passes, so if anything it seems City are more direct than Dortmund, or maybe German teams are simply better organised defensively to stop shots.

 

What Haaland can bring

When you think of Haaland, you think of those direct and explosive runs into the penalty area, usually followed by emphatic finishes. When you think of City, you, erm, don't.

His addition could mean a change in style for the English champions, and the thought of Haaland getting on the end of the ridiculous range of passing from Kevin De Bruyne does indeed make the mouth water.

Do City as a team generally produce more with an orthodox striker, though?

Their record with and without Aguero makes for interesting reading. In the Premier League, the Argentine made 125 appearances under Guardiola, while City played 65 games without him.

In that time, they actually had a win percentage of 72.0 with him and 76.9 without, and even had a slightly better goal average (2.4 goals per game with, 2.5 without).

It is almost just as interesting to see Dortmund's record with and without Haaland. Since signing for the German club in January 2020, he has played 67 games, with Dortmund winning 65.7 per cent and averaging 2.4 goals for. Without him, they won just 61.1 per cent, though averaging only a slightly fewer 2.2 goals for.

It is questionable therefore whether the addition of Haaland will actually generate many if any more wins than they currently enjoy, but will he suit the way City play and can he add to their already impressive haul of goals?

Despite scoring more than any other team in the Premier League this season, no side missed more big chances (a chance from which a goal would normally be expected) than City's 65, though only Liverpool (97) created more than their 87.

City finished fifth in the league for big chance conversion (46.72), and so they will be hoping that part of what Haaland will bring them is putting more of those opportunities away.

In terms of finishing off big chances in the Bundesliga, nobody who scored at least five goals could match Haaland's incredible rate of 78.26 per cent, with even Bayern Munich great Robert Lewandowski only managing 46.67 per cent.

It must be noted though that Haaland's big chance conversion went down to 42.86 per cent in the Champions League, which is probably where City will hope he can make the biggest difference.

 

The league has not been their issue this season, though, rather the big games in cup competitions.

Their defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley was relatively convincing, despite the 3-2 scoreline. With an xG (expected goals) of 1.75, it was more their leakiness at the other end that was their undoing, going in 3-0 down at half-time.

However, it is the Champions League where their biggest letdown occurred, despite what City fans will tell you about their apparent disdain for the competition.

Heading into injury time at the Santiago Bernabeu, City were 5-3 up on aggregate, only to somehow concede twice in two minutes, before a Karim Benzema penalty put them out at the semi-final stage.

Perhaps Haaland could have made a difference, particularly in that second leg where City slightly underperformed their xG of 1.37, though they did score four in the first leg off an xG of 2.70.

Again, you could argue it was more the defence that let them down, somehow conceding six goals despite largely dominating both legs, but in those key moments where City missed golden opportunities, you would think Haaland would have had more ice in his veins.

Match made in heaven?

How could one of the deadliest strikers in Europe not be a good signing? Haaland will almost certainly be a fan favourite and score plenty of goals in the sky blue of his father's former team.

In the league, it seems likelier he will more or less replace the goals of others rather than add to what they are already producing. It would be surprising to see the likes of Sterling, Mahrez, Foden and even De Bruyne score as many as they have this season if Haaland is already banging them in.

However, those fine margins in the cups could well be where he comes into his own, with Haaland either scoring important goals himself, or distracting defenders so that others can do the honours.

It will be interesting to see how City play with a striker, as it of course will mean they line up with one fewer attacking midfielder and will they therefore be able to dominate quite as much as they currently do?

Either way, it is difficult to see how they can do anything other than continue to be dominant with the big Norwegian around as Premier League defenders await what promises to be a busy season from August onwards.

Wantaway Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has had his head turned by his agent, according to the Bundesliga champions' sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

Lewandowski last week confirmed that he has informed Bayern he will not be extending his contract beyond the end of next season when it is due to expire.

The Poland international stated after the final game of the season against Wolfsburg that he had not received a proposal for new terms.

However, Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn insisted on Saturday that was not the case, with a "concrete offer" being tabled to his agent.

Salihamidzic has now accused Lewandowski's representative of talking his client into a move away from the Allianz Arena, where he has spent the past eight seasons.

"He got an offer. I don't know what the agent said to his player, but we definitely made an offer," Salihamidzic told Sport1 on Sunday.

"We had a conversation with the consultant and said very clearly how we imagined the future, with a very clear sum and terms.

"He has an advisor who has turned his head and has turned it all year round. It's not clean."

Reiterating earlier comments made by Kahn, Salihamidzic vowed Bayern will not look to sell Barcelona-linked Lewandowski in the upcoming transfer window.

"Robert has a contract until 2023 and he will fulfil it," he said. "We have the greatest respect for Lewy. FC Bayern have always behaved correctly."

 

Lewandowski has scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern in all competitions this season, making him the top scorer among players from Europe's top five leagues.

That is the second-most the 33-year-old has managed across his eight years in Bavaria, behind the 55 he netted in 2019-10.

While questions will inevitably continue to be asked about Lewandowski's future, Manuel Neuer looks set to extend his stay with Bayern.

Like Lewandowski, the Germany international's contract has just over 12 months left to run, but he is reported to have been offered a one-year extension on top of that.

"I'm very optimistic. Manuel is one of the keys to success," Salihamidzic said. "Please be patient, but we're on the right track. We're on the home stretch."

Ten-man RB Leipzig won the DFB-Pokal for the first time in their history after a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Freiburg at the end of a 1-1 draw in Berlin on Saturday.

Freiburg, who were competing in their first-ever major final, went ahead in the 19th minute thanks to Maximilian Eggestein's fine strike, despite a clear handball from Roland Sallai in the build-up.

Leipzig were reduced to 10 men shortly before the hour mark when Marcel Halstenberg received a straight red card for pulling down a clean-through Lucas Holer, yet they levelled in the 76th minute through Christopher Nkunku.

Domenico Tedesco's men had lost two finals in the last three years, but they finally got their hands on the trophy at the Olympiastadion as Freiburg's Christian Gunter and Ermedin Demirovic missed their spot-kicks in the shoot-out.

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn insists Robert Lewandowski was offered a new contract and will not be allowed to leave in the close season. 

Lewandowski has one year remaining on his existing deal and it was previously reported Bayern could look to sell the striker ahead of the 2022-23 campaign to avoid him going on a free.

The Poland international, who has scored 110 goals over the past three Bundesliga seasons, has asked to leave and said after their final game against Wolfsburg last week that he had not received a proposal for new terms. 

But Kahn denied that is true, telling Welt: "We submitted a concrete offer to his agent, otherwise we wouldn't have said that."

Asked what fee would be required for Bayern to grant Barcelona-linked Lewandowski an exit before the end of his deal, Kahn was defiant. 

"This isn't a question for us. Robert Lewandowski has a contract until 2023 and he will fulfil it," he said. 

"I cannot say how Uli [Hoeness] or Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] would have acted. When I started here, I was aware that the bar was set very high and that there would be situations where the past would always be brought up. 

"Every situation is different and I act as I believe is right." 

He added: "Bayern is not and will not become a development club. Bayern are still a big force. There are many players who would die to play for us. 

"A development club is forced to sell players every now and then. That's not us. We want to keep our top players for as long as possible.

"That's why we renewed [Joshua] Kimmich, [Leon] Goretzka, [Kingsley] Coman and [Thomas] Muller this season. Jamal Musiala is also key for the future." 

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