Marco Rose is under no illusions as to the importance of Erling Haaland to his team, but insisted Borussia Dortmund will not "whine" about the star striker's absence.

Dortmund coach Rose confirmed last Friday that Haaland would be out for several weeks due to a hip flexor injury.

Haaland has scored 13 goals in 10 appearances across all competitions so far this season, having missed three matches due to a muscular problem. He returned to feature in a 3-1 win over Mainz on October 16, netting twice.

The 21-year-old's absence was not felt as Dortmund claimed a 3-1 win at Armenia Bielefeld on Saturday, with Rose's team sitting second in the Bundesliga.

A home match against Ingolstadt in the DFB-Pokal comes up next on Tuesday, though Haaland was the main subject of Rose's pre-match news conference.

"Erling is incredibly important for us and we miss him, no question," said Rose.

"I once said that we would have to reinvent ourselves [in his absence]. But we don't have to do so by that much. We will not start all over again.

"We might not have Erling's physique up front now, but we have other types of players. In Bielefeld, we played with three strikers and had different ideas.

"We'll be happy when Erling does come back. But again, we have to get used to [his absence] for a few games now. So we shouldn't whine about it but find solutions and we are currently working on that right now."

 

Replacing Haaland?

Haaland has scored nine league goals already this season, averaging a strike every 60 minutes in the Bundesliga.

The Norway international has had 30 shots, registering a 30 per cent conversion rate, outperforming his xG of 6.13 by some distance. Haaland has also stepped up creatively, already providing three assists, the joint-highest in Rose's squad alongside Marco Reus.

Donyell Malen replaced Haaland up top against Bielefeld, though failed to get on the scoresheet from two attempts, one of which was a missed opportunity in the eighth minute from what was Dortmund's second-best chance of the game from open play, according to Opta (xG value of 0.232).

Malen arrived from PSV in the close-season, but in nine Bundesliga games, he is yet to find the net, from 11 attempts in total. 

Reus is another option in a central role, though the Dortmund captain is usually at his best deployed as one of the wide attackers in Rose's 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 systems.

The experienced forward leads Dortmund for chances created (16) but has scored just two goals, slightly underperforming his xG (2.26) in his eight Bundesliga appearances so far.

Youssoufa Moukoko could be utilised, however, he has only played 78 minutes across five league matches under Rose. The teenager became the youngest ever Bundesliga player when he made his debut in November last season, before becoming the competition's most junior scorer the next month.

Marco Rose believes Erling Haaland deserves his Ballon D'Or nomination, with the Borussia Dortmund head coach insisting he would vote for the "extraordinary" star.

Haaland is among the 2021 Ballon d'Or nominees following his exploits for Bundesliga side Dortmund.

The in-demand 21-year-old forward scored 41 goals in as many appearances over 2020-21 – including 27 from 28 in the Bundesliga as he was named the league's player of the season.

Haaland – linked with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona – has 24 goals for Dortmund in just 25 games across this calendar year.

As Dortmund prepare for Tuesday's Champions League fixture against Eredivisie giants Ajax, Rose hailed the Norway international.

"When Jule [Julian Brandt] says that he was better at headers," Rose told reporters. "Then you know exactly which huge step he [Haaland] has made forward in the last months but yes, it’s for sure something where he has made a great development.

"We are a little bit biased because Erling is our player and we always support our players. What he does is extraordinary. He is nominated and deserves it... If you see his experienced competitors who have more years of experience already then it’s just beautiful to have such a young player at this level.

"I think that Erling can win great individual titles in the next [few] years when he stays healthy but the beautiful thing about him is that he cares more about the team titles. That's the most important [aspect]. But if I could take a vote [in the Ballon D'Or], I would vote for Erling."

Haaland has scored nine goals in nine away Champions League appearances so far – a goal in this game will see him become the fastest player to score 10 away goals in the competition, breaking the record of 12 games set by Mario Gomez in February 2011 and Kylian Mbappe in February 2019.

Dortmund have won their last two major European matches in the Netherlands, winning 3-1 against PSV in October 2002 and 4-1 against Ajax in November 2012, both in the Champions League. Their last defeat on Dutch soil was in the 2002 UEFA Cup final, a 3-2 defeat in Rotterdam against Feyenoord under Matthias Sammer.

Meanwhile, Dortmund have won four of their last five away Champions League matches (L1) – more than they had in their previous 15 on the road (W3 D2 L10).

Erling Haaland is putting early-season pressure on Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga goal charts, with the Norwegian hailed as "massively important" to Borussia Dortmund after his latest heroics.

Bayern striker Lewandowski has finished as the German top flight's leading scorer in six of the last eight seasons, including each of the last four campaigns.

In 2020-21, Lewandowski hit 41 goals to break Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 40 in a Bundesliga campaign, yet it is no foregone conclusion that he will be top of the pile this term.

Haaland is the rising force, and the 21-year-old returned from a thigh injury lay-off to score twice in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Mainz.

The double – a penalty followed by a stoppage-time clincher – took Haaland to nine goals in six Bundesliga games this season, lifting him two clear of 33-year-old Ballon d'Or contender Lewandowski.

It was the fourth time this season in the Bundesliga that Haaland has scored twice in a game, and the 17th double of his league career with Dortmund, which only began in January of last year. He also has a Bundesliga hat-trick and a four-goal game on his Dortmund resume.

In all, Haaland has 49 goals in 49 Bundesliga games for BVB, a startling return and one that has drawn attention from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Marco Reus, who scored Dortmund's opener against Mainz, said: "We have obviously missed Erling in the past few games. Today, we have seen it again: he is massively important for us because he always occupies two or three players. The fact that he scored two goals on his comeback is fantastic. That's why we signed him."

 

Head coach Marco Rose said, quoted on the club's website: "We needed him, including for defending set-pieces. He defended well towards the end. And then he went and scored another goal in the 95th minute. That came in handy."

Whether Haaland stays at the top of the scoring chart remains to be seen. Bayern were in action against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, with Lewandowski looking to end what for him represented a worryingly long lean patch: two Bundesliga games without a goal.

Dortmund sat top of the table ahead of that game, and would stay there in the event of a draw. Should either team win at the BayArena, however, they would displace Rose's side from first place.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose is optimistic Erling Haaland will return to action this weekend, though he will not take any unnecessary risks regarding his star forward.

Haaland has missed three consecutive league games due to a thigh injury as Dortmund prepare for Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Mainz, while he was also absent for Norway during the international break.

As Haaland nears a comeback, Rose told reporters: "One by one, the boys are coming back. As a matter of fact, we don’t have [exact] comeback dates for certain players.

"Erling is in a sort of integrative training. We will see how the situation will be on Saturday. We will try everything and Erling wants to play so bad. But time is running thin.

"Our game changes substantially when Erling is not with us, that's for sure. But we could already win a Champions League game and a Bundesliga game without him. So we were capable of compensating for his absence. Still, it is very important that he comes back because he gives us a lot. Especially goals, they are very important.

"We will see how it will be on the weekend. We won't complain - we will be happy with whatever is possible. If Erling is not ready to start on the pitch, he will start on the bench. That's not an issue. For him, it is about the fact that he wants to help the team and enter the pitch.

"For Saturday, we will see what is possible. When he can start, he will start. We would be happy about that. If [he's not feeling fit] enough yet but he is feeling well for a few minutes, we will have him on the bench. If he can't play at all, we'll leave him out. This should not be an issue here."

Haaland has scored 68 goals in 67 appearances for Dortmund since arriving from Salzburg in January 2020.

The in-demand Dortmund star opened the season by scoring 11 goals across seven games in all competitions.

Dortmund are third in the Bundesliga standings, a point behind defending champions Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.

Rose's Dortmund have won each of their last eight Bundesliga matches at Signal-Iduna-Park, scoring at least twice in each. The last time the club celebrated more consecutive league victories at home was in 1994 under Ottmar Hitzfeld (12 – club record).

If his side beat Mainz, Rose would become the first Dortmund coach ever to win each of his first five Bundesliga home games in charge of the team.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose asked to ease the pressure on Erling Haaland and let him recover from a thigh injury amid question marks over his availability for Norway ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.

Haaland was absent again as Dortmund defeated Augsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga thanks to goals from Raphael Guerreiro and Julian Brandt on Saturday.

Dortmund sensation Haaland also missed last weekend's defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach and the Champions League victory over Sporting CP on Tuesday.

As Norway prepare for qualifiers against Turkey (October 8) and Montenegro (October 11) on the road to Qatar 2022, Rose stressed that both the national team and Dortmund need the 21-year-old forward back.

"It is not my job to finish someone's hope," Rose said following the victory over Augsburg. "All I can tell you about is the status quo. Erling has been trying to play for days now. Who knows him also knows that he always wants to play.

"He didn't make it for the Champions League. It started in Gladbach and didn't work today. And he told me very timely 'Manager, I would love to play, but I can't move the way I want to. I can't even walk'. 

"This is the status quo we are working with, and I think it would be clever if we could all stop speculating. I understand the Norwegian federation. He is a human being, not a machine. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. We have to get him healthy for Borussia Dortmund but also for the Norway national team.

"We had two games without him now and at the moment, things don't look good for Norway either. This is also what Erling says, and we should release the pressure and not ask about his status every day. We should let him recover."

Haaland has scored 68 goals in 67 appearances for Dortmund since arriving from Salzburg in January 2020.

The in-demand Dortmund star opened the season by scoring 11 goals across seven games in all competitions.

Without Haaland, Dortmund recorded their eighth straight Bundesliga home triumph as Marco Reus teed up Brandt for the 51st-minute winner.

Dortmund captain Reus is the third Bundesliga player since detailed data collection to assist 100 goals in competitive matches after Thomas Muller (176) and Franck Ribery (132).

Dortmund are second in the Bundesliga, a point behind rivals Bayern Munich, who are due to host Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

Borussia Dortmund boss Marco Rose has welcomed Gareth Southgate's decision to leave Jude Bellingham out of England's latest squad.

Teenage midfielder Bellingham was a surprise omission from Southgate's 23-man group on Thursday after impressing for Dortmund in his second campaign at the club.

Southgate explained he left out the 18-year-old due to fears of burnout, with Manchester United's Mason Greenwood overlooked for the same reason.

Bellingham's 802 minutes of playing time this term is the most of any England-qualified player in Europe's top five leagues when taking all competitions into account.

Since making his Dortmund debut on September 14 last year, the Birmingham City academy product has played 56 matches, 43 of those coming from the start.

Rose is therefore grateful that the youngster will be given a chance to rest up.

"I think it's a good decision," Rose said at a news conference on Friday previewing his side's Bundesliga clash with Augsburg. "The reason is obvious to me.

"In spite of his capabilities, he is an 18-year-old and has very little rest. We have to take care of the boys and not burn them out. That's why I welcome the decision."

 

Bellingham's team-mate Erling Haaland will play no part in Saturday's visit of Augsburg as he continues to recover from a thigh injury that has ruled him out of the last two games.

Haaland has been named in Norway's squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Montenegro, but Rose revealed the striker will not link up with his national side.

"We're going to keep him here for the time being and make the best possible use of the time," Rose said.

"He's asked every day when he can return, so the rest will do him good. He's going to stay here for the time being."

The loss of Haaland for another game will be a major blow for Dortmund, as he has scored 68 goals in 67 games since making his debut in January 2020.

Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, with 86 goals in 71 games in all competitions, has scored more times during that period among players from Europe's top five leagues.

Dortmund have won their past three Bundesliga home matches against Augsburg, with their only defeat in the last 10 meetings coming in February 2015. 

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

"Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

"He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

"When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

"He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

"If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose heaped praise on "extraordinary" teenage sensation Jude Bellingham following the team's 2-1 Champions League victory at Besiktas.

Bellingham opened the scoring against Turkish champions Besiktas in the 20th minute on Wednesday, before setting up Erling Haaland just prior to half-time as Dortmund kicked off their Group C campaign with three points.

England international Bellingham (18 years, 78 days) became the youngest ever player to score in consecutive Champions League games, surpassing Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe (18 years, 85 days in March 2017).

The 18-year-old Bellingham also became the youngest Englishman to score away from home in the Champions League.

"Jude is just a great guy. In every single way," Rose said during his post-match news conference.

"His mentality, the willingness to work for the team, the intensity with which he plays football, the will to win and of course the solutions he finds on the football pitch.

"The way he assists the second goal and scores the first himself is extraordinary. That's why we're glad to have such a boy with us."

Dortmund have maintained their 100 percent winning record against Turkish opposition in the Champions League, winning all five matches by an aggregate scoreline of 15-3 – their best 100 per cent record against teams from a specific nation in the competition.

Since making his Champions League debut in September 2019, no player has scored more non-penalty goals in the competition than Haaland (18 – level with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski).

Following his goal midweek, Haaland has now scored against nine of the 10 opponents he has faced in the Champions League, only failing to find the back of the net against Manchester City.

"It was a very difficult game for us," Rose added. "The atmosphere was great here. Besiktas are a very good team. The first 20 minutes they played with more intensity than we did. This caused us problems. We changed the system and the goal helped us to control the game a bit better.

"After that we scored the second goal just before the break and then we played well in the second half. We couldn’t manage to score the third goal and Besiktas put a lot of pressure on us in the end. A great performance. A great team. So that’s why we are very happy that we won here."

Erling Haaland may stay at Borussia Dortmund beyond next season, Marco Rose has suggested.

Haaland was reported to be a target for Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City – among other major European clubs – heading into the current transfer window.

However, with many clubs on the continent struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic and, Chelsea having signed Romelu Lukaku, United moving for his former team-mate Jadon Sancho and City targeting Harry Kane, Haaland has stayed at Dortmund, with the Bundesliga club refusing to entertain offers for the 21-year-old who has scored a remarkable 62 goals in as many games since his arrival from Salzburg in January 2020.

Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who came out on top in a head-to-head tussle with Haaland in the DFL-Supercup on Tuesday, has scored more in the same timeframe across all competitions (76 goals in 64 appearances). 

Meanwhile, Haaland's expected goals (xG) total of 50.19 demonstrates he is finishing chances at a rate above what would be anticipated, while his minutes per-goal ratio of 82.19 ranks him third out of players to have netted at least 20 goals in the same period, trailing Lewandowski (72.87) and Atalanta's Luis Muriel (73.74). 

The Norway international signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Dortmund, though it is widely expected that BVB will be unable to their prized asset ahead of the 2022-23 season, with a reported €75m (£66m) release clause coming into effect next year.

New coach Rose, however, insisted that is not necessarily the case, pointing to Haaland still having three years left on his contract.

"He still has a long-term contract with us. Just because the public is constantly talking about him leaving next summer, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case," former Borussia Monchengladbach boss Rose told Sport Bild after Dortmund's Supercup defeat to Bayern.

"In the end, Erling has to decide for himself where he sees his future. In any case, we are happy that he is currently playing for us.

"Who knows, possibly it'll be even more than just one season if we write an extraordinary story here."

Dortmund have been tipped to challenge a Bayern team that are going through something of a rebuild under Julian Nagelsmann this season, though it was the Bavarians who came out on top at Signal Iduna Park.

Lewandowski netted a double on his former stomping ground, with Thomas Muller helping himself to Bayern's other goal in a 3-1 win for the Bundesliga champions - Marco Reus' stunner proving a mere consolation for Dortmund.

Eight of Haaland's goals for Dortmund have come from fast breaks, a record which trails only Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe (11) out of players to have scored at least 20 times since January 18, 2020 (when Haaland debuted for BVB).

Haaland's pace and power was on show again on Tuesday, but he failed to get on the scoresheet, having a goal disallowed for a marginal offside decision, and seeing his only effort on target saved superbly by Manuel Neuer.

Dortmund's number nine started his Bundesliga campaign with two goals and two assists in the 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. He finished third in the league's scoring charts last term with 27 strikes, behind Andre Silva (28) and Lewandowski (41).

Haaland's exploits have not just been reserved for the Bundesliga. He burst onto the scene with Salzburg in the Champions League and thrived for Dortmund in the competition last term, scoring 10 times in total.

In March, he became the fastest player to reach 20 goals in UEFA's flagship club competition with a double against Sevilla, meaning he achieved the feat in just 14 Champions League appearances.

Erling Haaland has been backed to get even better ahead of Borussia Dortmund's DFL-Supercup showdown with Bayern Munich.

Haaland is Dortmund's outstanding star, having scored 62 goals in 61 games in all competitions since his debut for the club in January 2020.

Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (74 in 63) has scored more in that time, while Haaland's shot conversion rate of 33.3 per cent is the best among those with 20 goals or more.

After a cup hat-trick at Wehen Wiesbaden and then a league double against Eintracht Frankfurt, Haaland's 2021-22 tally of five in two games already leads the way. His 15 shots represent another high, as does their expected goals value of 4.6.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann praised Haaland ahead of Tuesday's game against Dortmund but said Lewandowski's class was "proven over several years".

Meanwhile, Marco Rose, Nagelsmann's opposite number in the BVB dugout, suggested Haaland could yet get much better.

"Erling wants to be a complete player – he says that himself – and he's making clear progress," Rose said.

 

"He is still young and has so much potential for development. He knows that, too.

"Just imagine he takes full advantage of that, what a footballer he will become. We're working on that together."

Haaland also provided an assist against Frankfurt, with Thorgan Hazard the beneficiary. Hazard will miss the game against Bayern, however.

It is a match Dortmund enter ahead of Bayern in the Bundesliga, with the champions having drawn at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Rose is keen to send a message.

"Every game is a measuring stick. You should definitely try to win," he said.

"It's a prestige duel against Bayern and you can win a title – that's why we should try to win that. We want to show that we are there and ready for the season."

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. 

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose is confident Borussia Dortmund can adapt to life without Jadon Sancho once the winger completes a move to Manchester United.

BVB confirmed on Thursday an €85million (£72.9m) agreement is in place with United for the England international, which will make him the Red Devils' fourth-most expensive signing.

The transfer will officially go through once the 21-year-old completes a medical and agrees personal terms following the conclusion of England's Euro 2020 campaign.

Sancho arrived at Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017 and scored 50 goals and provided 57 assists in 137 appearances for the German side across all competitions

He is the only player from Europe's top five leagues to have scored 10 goals or more and had at least 15 assists across all competitions in each of the past three seasons.

Rose accepts Sancho's exit will leave a void in attack, but the new BVB boss intends to adapt in order to get the most out of the players available to him.

"Jadon's qualities are unpredictable. Every coach likes to have a player like Jadon Sancho on his team," Rose said at his introductory news conference on Thursday.

"We knew there was a chance Jadon wouldn't be here next season. We'll try to replace him and find solutions. We see opportunities in repositioning ourselves in certain areas."

 

Only champions Bayern Munich (99) scored more Bundesliga goals than the 75 Dortmund managed last season, but they let in 46 at the other end of the field.

That tally was bettered by Bayern, Union Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig, and Rose hopes to improve on that record in his first season in charge.

"BVB conceded too many goals last season. We will tackle that," he said. "We want to stabilise the defence without neglecting other aspects of our game.

"We have to be flexible and play different ways. We want to master three at the back and four. The diamond is an interesting system, too.

"What matters is where the boys feel comfortable. We have to play the type of football that people here can identify with.

"The way we want to play is already clear in my head. It then depends on which players you have in the squad and the basic structure also depends on it."

While Sancho's future is close to being resolved, there remain plenty of questions regarding fellow attacker Erling Haaland.

Haaland has scored 57 goals in 59 games in all competitions since arriving at Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020 and has been linked with numerous heavyweight clubs.

The Norway international previously worked with Rose at Salzburg and the Dortmund head coach has not been surprised by the prolific striker's development.

Asked how he would describe the past 18 months for Haaland, Rose said: "Like a rocket! But I have to say it didn't surprise me.

"We have spoken on the phone and exchanged messages. He is not in training yet and has another few days off."

Bayern Munich will launch their quest for a 10th successive Bundesliga title with a trip to Borussia Monchengladbach – and an early reunion with RB Leipzig awaits Julian Nagelsmann.

New Bayern boss Nagelsmann will take his team to Leipzig in the fourth round of the campaign, on the weekend of September 11-12, having chosen to leave the Saxony club to join the champions.

Nagelsmann, who has replaced Hansi Flick in the Bayern top job, will be expected to keep up the high levels of success the Bavarians have enjoyed in recent years.

They won the league by 13 points last season, with Leipzig finishing second and Borussia Dortmund taking third place.

Bayern will host Leipzig on the weekend of February 4-6, the 21st matchday of a 34-game campaign that is due to wrap up on May 14.

Leipzig and Dortmund are again expected to be in the hunt for silverware in the new campaign, yet toppling Bayern could be a tall order as they attempt to extend their record-breaking streak of championships.

Last season's top three will all have new coaches in 2021-22, with Nagelsmann at Bayern, Jesse Marsch coming in at Leipzig and Marco Rose moving from Gladbach to Dortmund.

 

Bayern open at Monchengladbach on Friday, August 13, while Dortmund will host Eintracht Frankfurt on the same weekend and Leipzig travel to face Mainz.

Nagelsmann will take charge of Bayern in Der Klassiker for the first time when they face Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park on the weekend of December 3-5, ahead of the final round of Champions League group matches.

The return fixture in that great rivalry sees Dortmund visit the Allianz Arena on the weekend of April 22-24.

The clashes between Leipzig and Dortmund could be telling in terms of who mounts the most serious challenge to Bayern, and Leipzig will have home advantage in their first meeting (November 5-7), with the return game set to take place on the weekend of April 1-3, as the season heads towards its decisive stage.

Where will Kylian Mbappe be playing next season is a question being asked across Europe.

The Paris Saint-Germain star has been tipped to join Real Madrid.

Should Mbappe depart Paris, PSG are reportedly drawing up a list of replacements.

 

TOP STORY – KANE AND SALAH WANTED IN PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain have set their sights on Tottenham forward Harry Kane and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah as possible replacements for Kylian Mbappe, according to Telefoot.

Mbappe has been heavily linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, though PSG remain in negotiations over a contract extension.

While PSG are still hopeful, the Ligue 1 holders are eyeing the Premier League should Mbappe leave the French capital.

Kane is reportedly wanted by Manchester United and Manchester City, while Salah has previously been linked with Madrid and Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are chasing Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella. The Sun adds Chelsea are also interested in the Italy star.

Juventus and PSG could exchange Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala in a swap deal, says Corriere dello Sport. Icardi's future is up in the air, despite only joining PSG permanently from Inter last year, while countryman Dybala is reportedly nearing an exit.

- AS Diario claims United are keeping tabs on Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, who has also been linked with neighbours City. United have also been credited with interest in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, RB Leipzig's Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate as well as Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and team-mate Raphael Varane.

- Eintracht Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter is set to replace outgoing boss Marco Rose at Borussia Monchengladbach, reports Kicker. Rose is poised to take charge of Borussia Dortmund.

Xabi Alonso's immediate future has been decided, with the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star signing a new one-year contract with Real Sociedad.

Alonso first took up a coaching role at Madrid, but left Los Blancos to take over La Real's B team in 2019, penning a two-year deal.

In a season curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, Alonso guided the reserve side to a fifth-placed finish in Segunda Division B.

This week, he was the subject of intense speculation linking him with a switch to Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, whose current head coach Marco Rose will be joining Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.

Rumours of the move being all but done proved to be premature, however, and though several clubs are said to have been interested in the former midfielder, Alonso has now agreed an extension with La Real until 2022.

"I want to continue to grow in this project and continue the final push for education at [La Real's training ground] Zubieta," Alonso told La Real's official website.

"We have more goals and the intention to challenge ourselves this year."

Reports suggest Gladbach, who exited the Champions League at the hands of Manchester City and sit a disappointing 10th in the Bundesliga, had already moved on from the possibility of drafting in Alonso.

Gladbach snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Schalke 3-0 last time out. The run of defeats followed on from the club announcing Rose's impending departure on February 15.

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