Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch says he expects to stay with the club regardless of whether the Whites can "outpoint" Burnley in the Premier League relegation battle.

Marsch inherited a struggling side from Elland Road favourite Marcelo Bielsa and has been unable to transform their fortunes, with Leeds in 18th due to an inferior goal difference compared with 17th-placed Burnley.

Everton secured their Premier League status with a dramatic 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday, when Burnley took the lead but were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.

Leeds must better Burnley's result on Sunday to escape the drop but face Thomas Frank's Brentford, who are unbeaten in their last 10 home league games against the Whites (W6 D4) since a 2-1 loss in 1950.

Marsch, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Friday, acknowledged the game with Brentford likely represents a must-win clash otherwise Leeds will be reliant on Burnley faltering against Newcastle United.

"[There were] lots of emotions watching it. We can learn a lot from how the other players can handle the pressure differently," he said of watching Thursday's Premier League games.

"We're excited for this challenge – we know we have to be at our best. I never came here to think it would be easy. I knew we'd have to fight for everything. I'll make sure we'll do this on Sunday.

"It would have been a lot easier if we were locked into the league already, but the fact that we have to outpoint Burnley makes it very clear for us. A win gives us the best opportunity.

"I slept well last night because I still have confidence in our group. [It is] better when we control our fate, but that's not the case. [We need] to do whatever we can to get the points."

Marsch will be hoping to call upon Patrick Bamford, who has been out since mid-March with a foot injury, but is yet to make a final decision.

"More than anything, we're not risking him at any level," he said of his star striker. "At the moment I don't believe we would be able to.

"We will have one more meeting tomorrow with Patrick on what it looks like, what the loads have been, how he feels and then do a final assessment of is he available, how many minutes, what's the best strategy and then we have to be ready to let him go and play. That's where we are at."

Regardless of whether Leeds will be playing Championship football next campaign, Marsch plans to still be in charge.

"I'm still planning to be here even in relegation," the American added. "It's a long-term project and the club committed to me in that way. The connections we have made mesh well together.

"The support from everyone has been amazing, but I'm not thinking about the long-term project, only about Sunday and preparing for that."

Thomas Tuchel is worried Mateo Kovacic may have sustained a "major injury" in the awful challenge from Dan James that reduced Leeds United to 10 men in Chelsea's 3-0 win on Wednesday.

Needing three points to get back on track in their pursuit of Champions League qualification, Chelsea's task was made easier at Elland Road by James' first-half red card.

In similar fashion to Luke Ayling's dismissal at Arsenal in Leeds' previous game, James lunged in on Kovacic, getting the ball but then planting his studs in his opponent's ankle.

That earned the 99th card of Leeds' league season and was soon followed by a landmark 100th (Kalvin Phillips' booking) – a Premier League first and evidence of the relegation battlers' ill discipline.

Chelsea, already 1-0 up through Mason Mount, took advantage with goals from Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku, although Tuchel surely would have preferred to play against 11 men and not lose Kovacic to injury days before the FA Cup final.

"If we did not have the major injury to Mateo Kovacic, it would have been close to a perfect evening," Tuchel told BBC Sport. "It was a very strong performance from the start.

"We accepted all the obstacles we'd have to face – a physical team and an emotional stadium. We were strong from the beginning and deserved to win.

"We never dropped in concentration. We stayed very disciplined to avoid any chance of offensive transition. We did what we had to do at a very high level."

On Kovacic's injury, the Chelsea coach added: "It looks swollen and painful. It's the same ankle he had injured already. It doesn't look good."

Kovacic was involved in an exchange with Leeds supporters as he made his way off, with the strugglers' home stadium again proving anything but a fortress.

Leeds have lost nine games and conceded 37 goals at Elland Road this season, both their second-worst home returns in top-flight seasons (10 defeats in 1946-47, 46 goals conceded in 1959-60).

It allowed Chelsea to complete their first top-flight double over Leeds since 1936-37.

"I'm gutted," Jesse Marsch added. "We give up an early goal and go down a man again – deja vu from the Arsenal game – against a real big opponent."

Erling Haaland is "destined to be one of the best players in the world" ahead of an anticipated move to Manchester City, says Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch.

A move to the Premier League champions for the Borussia Dortmund striker at the end of the season will reportedly be confirmed this week, ending a prolonged saga of speculation over his future.

Marsch has first-hand experience of working with Haaland, having previously coached the Norway international – who was coincidentally born in Leeds – during their time together at Salzburg.

Speaking ahead of the Whites' clash with Chelsea on Wednesday, the American coach predicted bigger things are to come from Haaland and joked that he should have gone to Elland Road instead.

"Erling Haaland is destined to be one of the best players in the world," Marsch told his pre-match media conference. "It's his quality, but it is also his talent.

"I wish he was coming back home to Leeds... but I understand the decision for him to go to Man City.

"It will be interesting. He's an explosive player in transition and Man City often play a lot in possession. He can play any style of play.

"Certainly, I believe it makes Man City – one of, if not the best team in the world – even better. So credit to them for getting that done.

"I always wish the best for Erling, he's an incredible human being."

Marsch also commented on the tough run his own side now faces to survive in the Premier League, with Leeds' destiny effectively out of their own hands.

Everton are a point ahead with a game in hand while Burnley are level on points, albeit with a vastly superior goal difference, and need only to match the results of their rivals to survive.

"We knew coming into these three matches with City, Arsenal and Chelsea that it was going to be very, very difficult to pick up points," Marsch added.

"So it's proved to be that, just like we knew it was, and we still have so much to play for. So our focus is really on controlling every moment and being prepared for every moment.

"Credit to Burnley and Everton. In a difficult moment they've also fought for their lives and done whatever's possible to claw their way back into this situation, and we'll do the same."

Jesse Marsch vowed his Leeds United side will "fight for our lives" after dropping into the Premier League relegation zone with a 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier gifted Eddie Nketiah an early opener, and the Arsenal striker, who spent 2019-20 on loan at Elland Road, added a second with just 10 minutes played.

The visitors inflicted more damage on themselves after 27 minutes when Luke Ayling, making the 500th appearance of his career, was sent off for lunging in on Gabriel Martinelli.

Diego Llorente did manage to pull one back through Leeds' first effort on target in the 66th minute, but they were ultimately left with too much to do.

A second loss in a row for Leeds, coupled with Everton's 2-1 win at Leicester City, means they will end the day in the bottom three for the first time since October 30.

Leeds have spent 16 days in the relegation zone this – five fewer than Arsenal, who made a poor start to the season with three defeats in a row.

Marsch accepts Leeds were victims of their own mistakes at Emirates Stadium but is hopeful his side will respond in their remaining three fixtures.

"I think we had a really bad start and dug a hole for ourselves, which we didn't need to," Marsch, who succeeded Marcelo Bielsa in late February, told BBC Sport. 

"At half-time we talked about keeping our composure and treating the game like it was 0-0. That's what we did.

"We are in a difficult situation. We have to regroup and figure out what we can do. Our backs are against the wall. We are in the relegation zone, but we have to fight for our lives.

"When I arrived two months ago I knew this wasn't going to be easy. The group's stayed strong. Our second-half performance highlights the character of the people we have.

"The fans and the support at this club is unreal. We want to put a performance on the pitch that honours that support."

With their 95th and 96th yellow cards of the season, Leeds set a record for the most bookings for a club in a single Premier League campaign.

They now host Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion in successive home games before travelling to Brentford on the final day of the season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have won four successive league games while conceding at least once each time for the first time since a run of five in February and March 2012.

Following Tottenham's 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday, the Gunners now hold a four-point lead over their fierce rivals in the battle for fourth place.

Should Arsenal make it five top-flight wins a row by beating Spurs on Thursday, they will secure a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17.

"We know that, and we have earned the right to play that game in that context," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who signed a contract extension this week, told BBC Sport. 

"Winning any match is extremely difficult. We are going to prepare for the game as best as we can.

"We started extremely well today and were determined, creating chance after chance. And then playing against 10 men it is always more complicated.

"We controlled the game really well. It became nervy, and you start to defend that result."

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch is keen to continue developing the "fantastic" Raphinha while he is still with the club as reports circulate of a move to Barcelona.

The Brazil winger was linked with a big-money move to West Ham in January but has remained at Elland Road, with Leeds battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Raphinha, who left Rennes for Leeds in October 2020, has caught the eye of some of Europe's elite clubs, with Barca seemingly favourites to secure his signature.

Barca president Joan Laporta has confirmed an interest in the 25-year-old, having received positive reports from Raphinha's agent and ex-Blaugrana midfielder Deco.

While Marsch acknowledged his star player is in demand, the American expressed his desire to make the most of having Raphinha for as long as he stays at Leeds.

"He is a massive talent and my challenge, despite all of the talk outside, is to have a relationship where we can focus on his development in helping the team while he is here," he told reporters on Thursday.

"I haven't had a word with him about Deco or Barcelona. It [Barca’s interest] should be out there because he is fantastic.

"I just want him to become the player I know he can be. Everyone here wants to enjoy the football he can play and of course we want him to stay as long as possible. He's a fantastic player and very good person."

Raphinha has been Leeds' standout performer in the Premier League, laying on 56 chances this season along with his nine goals and three assists – all team-leading figures.

In the English top flight only James Ward-Prowse (57), Bruno Fernandes (76) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (77) have created more opportunities than Raphinha, who Marsch says he has not discussed his future with past the end of the season.

Marsch will be hoping Raphinha, who missed the win over Wolves due to COVID-19, can boost Leeds' survival hopes when his side host Southampton on Saturday.

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch was delighted with his side's dramatic late 2-1 win against Norwich City as the Whites earned three vital points in the fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League on Sunday.

Leeds looked to have been denied victory by the Canaries when Kenny McLean equalised Rodrigo's first-half opener in the 90th-minute.

But deep into stoppage time, England youth international Gelhardt, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, turned in Raphinha's cross to snatch the three points back for Marsch's men and hand the American his first win in charge at Elland Road.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, the former RB Leipzig boss spoke of his delight at finally getting off the mark after succeeding Marcelo Bielsa at the helm last month.

"I'll remember it on my deathbed," he stated. "I don't think Joffy [Gelhardt] will ever forget that either.

"We really brought the crowd into the game, and gave them something to root for and attach to. Jack [Harrison] said when people come to Elland Road, they know they will see a fight."

Leeds' first victory since January gives them a welcome boost in the battle to avoid the drop to the Championship, with the Yorkshire club maintaining a four-point lead over 18th-place Watford, who won at Southampton on Sunday.

The Whites now sit four and five points ahead of Everton (17th) and Burnley (19th) respectively after both lost this weekend, but the Toffees and the Clarets have three and two games in hand respectively.

Liverpool closed the gap on leaders Manchester City with victory over West Ham, while Chelsea tightened their grip on third place in Saturday's Premier League action.

The Blues saw off Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor, a scoreline that was matched by Aston Villa in their statement victory against Southampton.

Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Brentford also picked up wins, but it was a bad start to life under new management for Leeds in their early kick-off against Leicester City.

Following another eventful day of Premier League action, Stats Perform delves into the key Opta facts from each of the games.

Leeds United 0-1 Leicester City: New manager, same Leeds

Jesse Marsch's first game as Leeds boss ended in defeat to Leicester as United fell to a fifth successive league loss for the first time since April 2015, when they were in the Championship.

Leeds have failed to score in three straight league matches for the first time in a year, this despite registering 19 shots in their latest blank against Leicester.

United's expected goals (xG) return of 1.95 is their highest without scoring in a league game since June 2020, and the familiar failings were also on show at the other end.

Harvey Barnes' second-half winner means Leeds have gone 13 league games without a clean sheet, their longest-such run since 14 without a shutout ending in August 2016.

This was the fifth straight league game Barnes has scored against Leeds – four of those while playing for Leicester and one for West Brom, making them his favourite opponent.

 

Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton: Coutinho's home comforts

Villa are firmly back on track after registering back-to-back victories under Steven Gerrard for the first time since his opening two games in charge in November.

The Villans put four unanswered goals past Southampton at Villa Park for their biggest Premier League win since thrashing Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020.

Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho once again played a big part in the victory by scoring one and assisting another for Douglas Luiz.

Coutinho has now been directly involved in six goals in his first four home league games for Villa, scoring three of his own and setting up as many.

Ollie Watkins had earlier opened the scoring with his 21st Premier League strike since the start of the 2020-21 season, while Danny Ings added to his two assists with Villa's fourth goal.

 

Newcastle United 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Fraser helps end Magpies' duck against Seagulls

For a while things looked incredibly bleak for Newcastle, even after their big-money takeover, but they now find themselves seven points above the relegation zone.

The Magpies held off Brighton to make it eight Premier League games without defeat – no team is on a better such run – with five of those matches ending in victory.

Ryan Fraser opened the scoring to make it two goals in five Premier League outings, matching his tally from his previous 70 appearances, before setting up Fabian Schar.

That was the earliest United have scored twice in a Premier League home game since January 2007 and, despite Lewis Dunk's header, Eddie Howe's side saw out the win.

It marks the first time Newcastle have defeated Brighton in the Premier League in their 10th such encounter, having previously failed to so much as score against them at home.

 

Norwich City 1-3 Brentford: Bees buzzing thanks to Toney treble

After a run of eight Premier League games without a win, Brentford bolstered their survival ambitions with a well-earned victory away at bottom side Norwich.

Ivan Toney was the hero for the Bees with three goals, two of those from the penalty spot, making Brentford the 40th different team to boast a hat-trick scorer.

The Brentford striker now has nine Premier League goals for the season, each of those coming via his right foot.

Teemu Pukki scored a consolation but it was another miserable day for Norwich, whose goal difference of -42 is the worst at this stage since Derby County in 2007-08 (-44).

Not that it will matter a great deal in the grand scheme of things, but Brentford are the first team Pukki has scored home and away against in a single Premier League season.

 

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace: Shaky Wanderers lose again

Wolves' European hopes suffered another blow as they fell to a third successive Premier League defeat, as many as they lost in their previous 13.

Bruno Lage's out-of-form side have now conceded six goals in their last four league games, after shipping just five in 12 before that.

Jean-Philippe Mateta came up with the breakthrough from close range for his fourth goal in eight Premier League starts, and Wilfried Zaha doubled Palace's lead from the penalty spot.

Ivory Coast international Zaha has now been directly involved in 83 goals in the competition, the joint-ninth best total for an African player, level with Nwankwo Kanu.

With this latest loss, it is the first time Wolves have lost three games in a row against Palace in their entire league history.

 

Burnley 0-4 Chelsea: Blues cruise at Turf Moor

It was business as usual for Chelsea as they won for a third Premier League game running without conceding in what proved to be a straightforward victory at lowly Burnley.

The Blues scored all four of their goals in the second half as they enjoyed their biggest away league win since October 2018 when also beating Burnley by the same scoreline.

This was the biggest margin of victory for an away side in a game that was goalless at half-time since Tottenham beat Aston Villa 4-0 in December 2012.

Reece James started the scoring and in the process became the first defender from Europe's top five leagues to both score and assist five goals this term in all competitions.

Kai Havertz also netted twice before Christian Pulisic added some gloss to the scoreline – his fourth goal at Turf Moor, matching a record for an away player set by Tottenham's Harry Kane.

 

Liverpool 1-0 West Ham: Reds roll on thanks to Mane

Sadio Mane's first-half goal made it seven wins in a row for Liverpool in the Premier League, their best such streak since a run of 18 when they claimed the title two years ago.

That close-range finish was Mane's 12th of the season in the league, nine of those coming at Anfield – no player has scored more home goals in the division this season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played the ball into the box for Mane's goal for his 16th assist in all competitions this term, more than he has ever registered in a single campaign.

Liverpool were not at their best and that was particularly true of Mohamed Salah, who failed to score from six shots – only against Stoke in April 2018 (seven) has he fared worse.

Incredibly, Virgil van Dijk has never been on the losing side for Liverpool in 60 Premier League home games at Anfield, setting a new record in that regard.

 

Pep Guardiola hailed the "attractive" high-intensity philosophy that German-influenced managers have implemented in the Premier League, but insists he will stick with his own principles.

There are several Premier League bosses whose experiences include coaching stints in Germany, with Jesse Marsch, Ralf Rangnick, Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Ralph Hasenhuttl among them.

The fast-paced style of play, designed to profit from regaining possession high up the pitch, has many advocates, with current Manchester United interim boss Rangnick a key figure behind its success.

New Leeds United head coach Marsch was Rangnick's assistant at RB Leipzig, where Southampton's Hasenhuttl took charge when the current short-term Old Trafford chief departed in 2016.

Chelsea boss Tuchel pinpointed Rangnick as a mentor after playing under him at Ulm, while Liverpool's Klopp has utilised similar ideas to challenge Guardiola's Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Going into the weekend, City sat six points clear of Liverpool, who had the chance to cut the gap to three when they played West Ham on Saturday. The Manchester derby awaits City on Sunday.

"With Jesse Marsch arriving at Leeds it is already a tendency," Guardiola told Sky Sports of the Bundesliga influence. "Five teams, important ones, playing this way, it is because what happened in Germany arrived here.

"Five important teams and managers all playing this way. Transitions, playing inside, high pressing, everybody together, it doesn't matter if we lose the ball because I recover the second one and attack you again, you lose it again and you lose it again.

"This incredibly good methodology, it is the deep tendency here in England."

Asked whether the approach was for him, the Spaniard said: "It is so attractive when they do it well. It is so attractive for the spectators, and they have had success.

"Of course, I learn a lot in Germany. I adapt. Listen, I am from Catalunya, you know. My education, my football education, comes from there. And I learn a lot here, I learn a lot in Germany, but my principles come from there."

Guardiola's emergence through the Barcelona system means he is indoctrinated in that way of playing. Regardless of the trophy achievements of the likes of Klopp, the Spaniard says that when it comes to his method, he "cannot change it because they have success".

He expects a difficult task against United, who entered the weekend on the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League (eight games), as City eye a league double over the Red Devils for just the second time under Guardiola.

But the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona chief insists he is learning that, whatever the result, he must be more patient on the touchline whichever way the game goes.

"I understand more that the players can make mistakes," he said. "Before, I was more anxious, more angry. Sometimes I am, but I understand because I know they want to do well. I know they want to win against Manchester United.

"I know they want to win the Premier League. I know they want to win the Champions League."

He spoke of always being "anxious and angry".

"But after the action is done, it is gone. I cannot correct this action. So why am I shouting about how they have behaved?" Guardiola said.

The 51-year-old City boss is learning that his players are not automatons, and that while he might complain that "they don't listen to me", he is reconciled to the limitations of his pitchside influence.

Guardiola added: "I have to understand at the end that as much as I want to change, I will not change."

Leeds United have appointed Jesse Marsch as their new head coach.

The former RB Leipzig boss will succeed Marcelo Bielsa on a deal until June 2025, subject to international clearance.

Bielsa left the club following last weekend's 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham. It was their fourth consecutive loss in the top flight and meant they conceded 20 goals in February alone, the most in a single calendar month by any team in Premier League history.

Leeds director of football Victor Orta said: "We are delighted to welcome Jesse to the club and excited for him to lead us into this new chapter.

"Jesse is someone we identified a number of years ago during his time at Red Bull Salzburg, and we believe his philosophy and style of football aligns with that of the club and will suit the players very well.

"We have a long-term plan and firmly believe he can take Leeds United to the next level and are excited for what the future holds."

Marsch was named Leipzig boss prior to the start of the season after initially joining the club in 2018 as assistant to Ralf Rangnick.

He won the Austrian domestic double with sister club Salzburg in 2018-19, which saw him named as successor to Julian Nagelsmann at Leipzig, but the 48-year-old was sacked last December after winning just five of his first 14 Bundesliga games in charge.

Leeds face Leicester City away in their next league game on March 5.

Leeds United have parted ways with Marcelo Bielsa, in the wake of their 4-0 thrashing by Tottenham on Saturday.

The defeat came at the end of a dire week in which Leeds suffered a 4-2 home defeat to rivals Manchester United and a 6-0 hammering by Liverpool at Anfield, leaving them mired in a battle to retain their Premier League status.

Leeds are winless in six Premier League matches since beating West Ham United in mid-January, having lost five of those games, conceding 21 goals, meaning fan favourite Bielsa's reign has been brought to an end, after over three-and-a-half seasons in the Elland Road dugout.

The news was confirmed on Sunday in a statement released on the club's official website.

"This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club," said Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani.

"With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all.

"The moments created, particularly in the 2019-20 season and winning promotion to the Premier League, will of course live long in all our memories, myself and the fans included.

"However, I have to act in the best interest of the club and I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.

"We find ourselves in a precarious league position and I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season.

"Naturally, myself, along with everyone else at the club would like to thank Marcelo for his efforts and achievements and we wish him the very best for the future."

Bielsa had earlier insisted that he was the right man to keep Leeds in the division despite the run of heavy defeats, telling BBC Sport: "I always have confidence in what I can do."

However, Leeds' dire defensive record, which has seen them ship 60 goals in just 26 league outings, has forced Radrizzani to act, with former RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch widely considered a leading candidate to replace Bielsa, who according to director of football Victor Orta has "created a legacy" at the club.

Leeds are aiming to make an announcement on the new appointment on Monday.

Bielsa enjoyed success in his first three seasons at Elland Road, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2018-19 season, before ending their 16-year absence from the top flight by securing promotion one year later.

Upon their return to the big time, Leeds' swashbuckling style of football saw them secure a surprise ninth-placed finish, but Bielsa's team found the going far harder this campaign, with injuries to key players including Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford not helping.

Leeds United are being drawn into the relegation battle, mounting pressure on manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The Whites enjoyed a top-half finish in their return to the Premier League last season but have struggled this term.

Leeds have managed one point from their past six league games, conceding 20 goals in their past five.

TOP STORY – BIELSA EXITS STRUGGLING LEEDS

The Sun claims Marcelo Bielsa has quit as Leeds United manager with ex-RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch set to replace him.

Bielsa resigned after Leeds were hammered 4-0 by Tottenham on Saturday, having conceded 14 goals in their past three league games.

The Argentinean's exit from Elland Road is being thrashed out between lawyers, with Fabrizio Romano claiming that Marsch – who left Leipzig in December and previously managed Salzburg and New York Red Bulls – is the favourite to take over.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have slapped a £50million price tag on goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who is wanted by Newcastle United, reports the Daily Star. The Blues signed Kepa in 2018 as the most expensive goalkeeper in history.

Manchester United are lining up two young talents according to the Mirror. The Red Devils are set to table bids for PSV's Cody Gakpo and Sporting CP's Joao Palhinha.

Liverpool target Darwin Nunez is interested in joining the Reds according to Football Insider. The 22-year-old Uruguay international is currently with Benfica.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona are ahead of Bayern Munich in the race to sign Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen.

For so long, Paulo Dybala has been tipped to extend his Juventus contract.

However, Dybala is yet to put pen to paper as his current deal winds down.

Liverpool are reportedly monitoring the situation and are ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA EMERGES AS LIVERPOOL TARGET

Liverpool are interested in signing soon-to-be Juventus free agent Paulo Dybala, according to Calciomercato.

Dybala is out of contract at the end of the season and while there have been negotiations, the Juve star is yet to re-sign in Turin.

The situation has reportedly alerted Premier League giants Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- El Nacional claims Real Madrid are eyeing Rennes sensation Lovro Majer as the successor to fellow Croatian Luka Modric at the Santiago Bernabeu. Modric is out of contract at season's end and has been linked with Premier League champions Manchester City.

Ousmane Dembele wants to rebuild his career away from Barcelona, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Frenchman has been linked with Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Chelsea.

- United forward Edinson Cavani is an option for Barca as they look to bolster their attack, says Mundo Deportivo. Basel's Arthur Cabral has emerged as a possible January option.

Jose Mourinho's job at Roma is not in danger, according to Fabrizio Romano. Roma have only won three of their past nine Serie A fixtures.

- Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is still set to join Serie A champions Inter despite interest from Barca, per Romano.

- Former RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch is an option to join Ralf Rangnick's coaching staff at United. Marsch was sacked by Bundesliga side Leipzig earlier this week.

RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch has left the club my mutual consent following Friday's 2-1 loss at Union Berlin, their third straight Bundesliga defeat. 

Marsch arrived from Salzburg as the successor to Julian Nagelsmann, who left for Bayern Munich, but has overseen a series of disappointing results, with the loss to Union and Saturday's results leaving them 11th in the table. 

Leipzig have already been eliminated from the Champions League and could yet miss out on a spot in the Europa League too as they sit level with Club Brugge on four points in Group A. 

Marsch has struggled to combine a high-intensity press with a solid defence, with the departure of France international centre-back Dayot Upamecano clearly still hurting the team. 

Only Cologne (8.6) have a better PPDA than Leipzig (8.6) in the Bundesliga this season – a measure of the number of opposition passes allowed before a defensive action – while the Red Bulls lead the league in high turnovers (159) and shot-ending high turnovers (26), though they have been unable to score from any of them. 

However, the defence has been Leipzig's downfall. They have already committed six errors leading to shots in the Bundesliga (an increase of one from the entirety of last season) and three of those have ended in goals. None of their mistakes directly resulted in goals conceded under Nagelsmann in 2020-21. 

Leipzig have conceded 18 goals in the top flight but have an expected goals (xG) against of 23.6. Their xG against in the 2020-21 top-flight campaign was 29.6. 

Leipzig entertain Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday and face Borussia Monchengladbach, Augsburg and Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga before the mid-season break. 

Ralf Rangnick has been tasked with restoring the fortunes of struggling Premier League giants Manchester United.

His previous work at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga has sparked speculation regarding possible transfers.

That has led to talk regarding Amadou Haidara.

 

TOP STORY – HAIDARA WANTED AT OLD TRAFFORD

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick wants to make RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara his first signing, according to The Sun.

Rangnick has been appointed until the end of the season and talk of January incomings have already emerged.

The German brought Haidara to Leipzig during his time at the Bundesliga club and he is believed to be interested in reuniting with the 23-year-old star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and El Nacional reports United want Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, having rebuffed a proposal for Philippe Coutinho.

- Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida claims Jose Mourinho's job as Roma head coach is in danger following another defeat, this time 3-0 to former club Inter in Serie A on Saturday. Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure amid just three wins in nine league games. Mourinho has also been linked with Everton as pressure mounts on Rafael Benitez.

Chelsea and Arsenal are both interested in Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi, says Ekrem Konur. The Argentina international has been linked with Barca, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Juventus.

- According to The Sun, Ligue 1 giants PSG are lining up a bid for Wolves' left-back star Rayan Ait-Nouri.

- Widespread reports claim Leipzig are seriously considering the sacking of head coach Jesse Marsch, who only replaced Julian Nagelsmann at the start of the season. Leipzig have lost three consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time in their history.

Julian Nagelsmann has long seemed destined to be Bayern Munich coach, and the 34-year-old now has his chance after succeeding Hansi Flick.

He has a lot to live up to. Flick, in his 18-month tenure, Flick led Bayern to two Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal, a Champions League triumph, Club World Cup glory, the DFL-Supercup and the UEFA Super Cup – a remarkable seven trophies.

While Nagelsmann settles into life in the hottest of coaching seats in Germany, his former team RB Leipzig will look to finally make a title challenge last, this time under new coach Jesse Marsch.

Borussia Dortmund scraped into the Champions League places thanks to a super run late in the season, and now Marco Rose will look to build on their DFB-Pokal success in his first season in charge.

Just what can we expect from each of Germany's big three in 2021-22?


Bayern Munich

Bayern ultimately claimed their ninth successive Bundesliga title with ease last term and Robert Lewandowski was once again the driving force. He had to wait until the last kick of the last day, but he finally broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record of 41 goals in a single campaign.

Unsurprisingly, Bayern scored the most goals in Germany's top tier in 2020-21, netting 99 times across their 34 fixtures. Their tally of 483 chances was also by far the most in the division, 54 ahead of second-ranked Leipzig (429) in that regard, though they conceded 44 times while the Leipzig defence under Nagelsmann was the stingiest, with only 32 goals conceded. 

Bayern averaged 65.39 per cent possession and had 1,304 touches in the opposition box, over 400 more than any other side.

However, Nagelsmann does have to contend with the loss of some players who have been crucial to Bayern's dominance. David Alaba has joined Real Madrid, while fellow stalwarts Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng also left on free transfers.

Dayot Upamecano has made the same switch from Leipzig as Nagelsmann, and the young centre-back adds pace and dynamism to Bayern's backline. Other than that, the squad remains largely the same, with Sven Ulreich having returned after a spell at Hamburg, while Omar Richards arrived on a free transfer from Reading.

Even without much more in the way of incomings, it is difficult to see Bayern letting the chance to make it 10 titles in a row slip from their grasp.

 

Dortmund

Last season was a difficult campaign for Dortmund, but it was one which ultimately ended successfully. They clinched Champions League qualification and ran riot against Leipzig to lift the DFB-Pokal.

It was a fine parting gift from Edin Terzic, who took over on an interim basis after Lucien Favre was relieved of his duties, and now Rose – whose Borussia Monchengladbach team slumped in the back half of the season and missed out on Europe – will look to reshape Dortmund in his own way.

Renowned for attacking, front-foot football, Rose's style, if all goes to plan, is bound to be a hit with the Dortmund fans upon their return to Signal Iduna Park.

Dortmund may have sold Jadon Sancho, but they still have Norway sensation Erling Haaland, who scored 27 Bundesliga goals last season from 93 attempts, giving him a shot conversion rate of 29.03 per cent, the third-highest in the league out of players to have scored 10 or more times.

Donyell Malen has arrived as Sancho's replacement, and Rose has already been talking up the Netherlands youngster, while goalkeeper Gregor Kobel has arrived from Stuttgart. Like Bayern, Dortmund said goodbye to a club legend in the form of Lukasz Piszczek, but with Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard, Malen and Haaland complemented by the likes of Julian Brandt and Jude Bellingham, there should be plenty of cause for optimism.

It might well be Haaland's final season at the club, and you would not put it past the youngster, who also set up six goals last term, to propel Dortmund into the title race, back where they belong.

 

RB Leipzig

There are plenty of quality teams competing with the three leading lights, and it would certainly not be surprising to see Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt or Gladbach mount a serious push for Champions League football.

However, Leipzig have well and truly established themselves as a Champions League regular now, and will be looking to Marsch, who has made the transition from sister club Salzburg, to continue Nagelsmann's work.

Leipzig sold Timo Werner to Chelsea in 2020, and netting just 60 times, they clearly missed the striker. Indeed, midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, with eight goals, was their leading scorer, with forwards Alexander Sorloth and Yussuf Poulsen only managing five each.

In Andre Silva, signed from Frankfurt, Leipzig have a forward who scored more than Haaland in the Bundesliga last season, with the Portugal international finding the net 28 times in 32 appearances.

Silva boasted an impressive 'big chance', as defined by Opta, conversion rate of 55 per cent, while only Lewandowski (137) had more than the former Milan man's 117 attempts. Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku – who supplied nine and six assists respectively last season – can provide the creativity, with Poulsen and Sorloth able to offer Marsch a variety of attacking options. Caden Clark, who is starring in MLS, will arrive before the turn of the year, while Dominik Szoboszlai is almost like a new signing, given he is yet to feature for the club since his arrival in January due to injury.

Leipzig have faced a reshuffle in what had been a strong defence, with key man Upamacano departing while Ibrahima Konate has also left for Liverpool, though the acquisition of Salzburg's highly rated Mohamed Simakan shows the production line is still ticking along, and a Champions League place will be the minimum expectation. 

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