Wissam Ben Yedder has been called up to the France squad as Kingsley Coman struggles with a calf injury. 

Coman played just over an hour of France's 1-1 draw with Ukraine on Saturday – their fifth straight match without a victory. 

With the Bayern Munich winger a doubt to face Finland in Les Bleus' next World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, head coach Didier Deschamps decided to call up a reinforcement. 

Ben Yedder was added to the squad on Monday for France's third game in seven days. 

Deschamps confirmed Jules Kounde would miss the Finland match through suspension following his red card in last week's 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Aurelien Tchouameni and Thomas Lemar were struggling for fitness. 

The France boss called on his team to be more proactive against Finland and bring an end to their winless streak. 

"In those two matches [against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine], we were more reactive than proactive, with chances not in our favour," said Deschamps. 

"We are aware of it and tomorrow we must reverse this trend. Defence is important, too, but this is a less happy time because of the results. We know what we have to do to stay in control of our destiny. 

"The players are not happy. They cannot be satisfied with these results. We will do everything to reverse the trend.  

"I will redouble my efforts. The players are in the same state of mind, to add a little more and get what we want." 

England cannot just focus on Robert Lewandowski in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier with Poland, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has warned his players.

Lewandowski scored three times across Poland's victories over Albania and San Marino last week to make it 72 goals for his country in 124 caps.

Picking up from where he left off in 2020-21, when setting a new record for the most goals ever scored in a single Bundesliga campaign (41), the prolific striker has been in fine form this term.

He has scored in all six matches he has played for club and country, and netted 10 times in total to strengthen his status as arguably the finest striker on the planet.

The Bayern Munich man was injured when Poland lost 2-1 at Wembley in March but is fit and firing for this latest encounter between Group I's top two teams.

But while acknowledging Lewandowski's quality in front of goal, Southgate insists there is more to Poland than just one player, as Paulo Sousa's men showed in the reverse fixture six months ago.

"They played at Wembley without him and they gave a very good account of themselves," he said.

"We only scored really late on in the game to win it, so of course it's no different if we didn't have Harry Kane or Raheem [Sterling], then they would be a big loss to us.

"The very top players for any team in the world are a loss if you don’t have them and every coach will feel the same way.

"But when we're preparing the team to play against Poland, we're not just looking at Lewandowski.

"We absolutely respect what he brings and we know what a threat he is, but they've got some other very dangerous players as well."

 

Lewandowski's run of goals includes scoring in 13 successive Bundesliga matches stretching back into last season – only the late Gerd Muller (16 in 1969-70) found the net in more consecutive league games.

The 33-year-old surpassed 300 goals for Bayern with his recent hat-trick against Hertha Berlin, reaching 301 in just his 333rd appearance for the German giants. 

Again, that is a haul only bettered by Muller (566 goals in 607 matches) in Die Roten's history.

Lewandowski's goals in September's qualifiers have helped Poland to two wins from as many games, but they remain five points adrift of group leaders England at the midway point.

England have yet to drop any points and will be as good as assured of a place at Qatar 2022 should they extend that winning run in Warsaw this week.

"Clearly with Hungary's last result [losing 1-0 to Albania], Poland look like being the nearest challengers, which we probably thought when this group was drawn," Southgate said.

"It's a great incentive for us now. If we can go to Warsaw and win then we really are in control of the group."

Could a Premier League return be on the cards for Leroy Sane?

Sane swapped Manchester City for Bayern Munich in 2020, however, it has not gone according to plan in his native Germany.

Chelsea are reportedly trying to lure Sane back to England.

 

TOP STORY – SANE TO MAKE ENGLAND RETURN?

Chelsea are keen to sign Leroy Sane from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, according to the Express.

Sane left Manchester City for Bayern in 2020 but the Germany international has struggled for form in Munich.

Champions League holders Chelsea – led by German boss Thomas Tuchel – are reportedly targeting Sane and are willing to include Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic in any deal.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United could target Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic in January, per Manchester Evening News. Brozovic is nearing the end of his Inter contract, with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona also among the Croatia international's admirers. The report has also linked United with Barca's Pedri and Borussia Monchengladbach forward Dennis Zakaria, who has been previously linked to City and Inter.

Liverpool are continuing contract talks with star Mohamed Salah, says the Liverpool Echo, which claims Salah is not asking for £500,000 per week, despite previous reports. Salah has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona previously.

Franck Ribery is set to join Serie A newcomers Salernitana on a free transfer, according to Fabrizio Romano. The former Bayern and France star has been without a club since leaving Fiorentina at the end of 2020-21.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Roma are hoping to sign Zenit star Sardar Azmoun on a free transfer at the end of the season.

- The front page of Monday's Tuttosport claims Inter are eyeing soon-to-be free agents Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli and Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso. Insigne has previously been linked with Milan and Liverpool, while the likes of United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Roma have been credited with interest in Tolisso.

- Calciomercato reports Inter are considering Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana as a long-term replacement for Samir Handanovic.

Bayern Munich have raided RB Leipzig once again with the signing of Marcel Sabitzer on a four-year deal.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed on Saturday that the champions were working on a deal for the Austria international, and reports suggest he will cost approximately €16million.

Ordinarily Sabitzer would have been expected to fetch a significantly larger fee, but the 27-year-old – who joined Leipzig from Rapid Vienna in 2014 – has less than 12 months to run on his contract.

Sabitzer will link up once again with Julian Nagelsmann, who left Leipzig for Bayern at the end of last season, as did centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

The attacking midfielder enjoyed arguably his best season in Germany's top flight under Nagelsmann in 2019-20, scoring nine Bundesliga goals (none of which were penalties) and setting up another seven – though 12 players had a hand in more (excluding spot-kicks).

That season was also his best for chances created (59). Although that was only enough to rank joint-eighth for that metric, Sabitzer's 52 key passes from open play was bettered by just Thomas Muller (81), Kai Havertz (57), Jadon Sancho (55), Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner (both 53).

His output did decrease last term, managing just four goals (excluding four penalties) and three assists, while his chances created from open play nearly halved (28).

But that does not appear to have perturbed Nagelsmann.

Leipzig look set to pull of something of a coup in signing Sabitzer's replacement, with Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba expected to join.

Moriba, a technically gifted midfielder, broke into the Barca first-team set-up last season and went on to feature 18 times across all competitions.

On February 13 this year, he became the youngest player this century to provide an assist on his LaLiga debut at the age of 18 years and 25 days.

The teenager particularly impressed with his confidence and ability on the ball, with his average of 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes across 14 league appearances bettered by only four team-mates.

His 2.8 completed dribbles every 90 minutes gave him a success rate of 89.3 per cent – granted, it is a small sample, but the only Barca player to attempt at least one per 90 minutes and boast a better completion record was Miralem Pjanic.

Barca had been very eager to tie Moriba down to a new contract, with his deal set to expire next year, but president Joan Laporta suggested the midfielder was being unrealistic regarding his renewal demands.

Laporta said Moriba would not feature for the first team without committing his future to the club and added that he would sold as soon as possible to avoid him leaving for free next year if an agreement could not be met.

Leipzig have seemingly used the situation to their advantage, though their reported €20m outlay is not insignificant for a player with just 14 top-flight appearances to his name.

Hansi Flick has handed three players their maiden international call-ups as he named his first squad as Germany coach for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

Flick ended an 18-month, trophy-laden spell at Bayern Munich in order to take over from Joachim Low as Germany boss after Euro 2020.

Germany reached the last 16 of that tournament, crashing out to England at Wembley.

World Cup-winning midfielder Toni Kroos has since retired from international duty, though the rest of Germany's squad remains largely intact.

Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland represent Flick's first opponents, and he has given Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck and David Raum their first call-ups.

The squad, as would be expected given Bayern's dominance of German football, includes eight players from Flick's former club, while Borussia Dortmund attacker Marco Reus has earned a recall after opting out of Euro 2020.

Thomas Muller – who was ostracised by Low before being recalled for Euro 2020 – Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Joshua KImmich, Leon Goretzka, Niklas Sule, and Manuel Neuer make up the Bayern contingent.

Wolfsburg's exciting right-back prospect Ridle Baku, who has made one friendly appearance for Germany, has also returned to the fold, as has Bayer Leverkusen youngster Florian Wirtz.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thilo Kehrer is something of a surprise inclusion, while Dortmund's Mahmoud Dahoud has been given the chance to impress in Kroos' absence.

Mats Hummels misses out through injury, while Matthias Ginter recently tested positive for coronavirus.

Germany squad in full:

Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt); Ridle Baku (Wolfsburg), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), David Raum (Hoffenheim), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich); Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen); Karim Adeyemi (Salzburg), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (Chelsea).

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to be playing back at Old Trafford again in 2021-22 after Manchester United confirmed they have reached an agreement with Juventus for the transfer of the Portugal great.

While personal terms, a medical and visa are still to be sorted out for Ronaldo, it would take something remarkable to stop him from joining now after a deal reportedly worth up to €23million (£19.7m) was agreed with Juve on Friday.

For a short while it looked as though Ronaldo – who had asked to leave the Bianconeri – was heading to Manchester City after they missed out on the signing of Harry Kane.

But apparent interventions from Ronaldo's former United manager Alex Ferguson and old team-mate Rio Ferdinand may have swung the race in the Red Devils' favour.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed to open the door to Ronaldo during his news conference on Friday, and just a few hours later United confirmed a deal had been struck with Juventus.

Following confirmation of the deal, Stats Perform takes a look at greats who went back to their spiritual home, starting with the Portugal captain…

Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United

Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford during his last spell, arriving as a lanky teenager who probably averaged four stepovers per minute before leaving as a Ballon d'Or winner and an ice-cold finisher. His then-world record move to Real Madrid had been a long time coming and he spent nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu, becoming the club's all-time top scorer as he continued his transition from winger to out-and-out 'number nine'. There he won four Champions League titles before moving on to Juve, for whom he plundered 81 goals in 98 Serie A matches and picked up two Scudetti. But now he is all set for a return to England – whether he can match the standards he set last time remains to be seen, with his 31-goal haul of 2007-08 only bettered once in a 38-match season, though United fans will be convinced he can fire them to a first league title since Ferguson left.

 

Arjen Robben – Groningen

Robben's first retirement lasted just a single season, having announced last year he would be returning to his boyhood club Groningen for the 2020-21 campaign. Robben, now 37, initially brought an illustrious playing career to an end in July 2019 shortly after his 10-year spell with Bayern Munich finished. Although at the time he was linked with a potential return to the team that gave him his professional debut, Robben – who suffered with numerous injury problems throughout his career – opted to retire. He then caused something of a shock as he finally went back to the place where it all began, but once again injuries blighted his availability, restricting him to just seven Eredivisie appearances in 2020-21. Club director Mark-Jan Fledderus wanted him to stay on for another year, but when Robben said at the end of the season that he was going to have a long think about his future, the writing was seemingly on the wall. Another U-turn appears unlikely.

Juan Roman Riquelme – Argentinos Juniors

Perhaps more synonymous with Boca Juniors, where he made his professional debut and also spent most of his final years, Riquelme also had a strong affinity with Argentinos Juniors. He came through the club's academy in the early-to-mid 1990s, before then finishing his immense career at Estadio Diego Maradona in 2014, having also played for Barcelona, Villarreal and Argentina. Although the iconic attacking midfielder appeared close to joining Paraguay's Cerro Porteno the following year, the move never materialised.

Dirk Kuyt – Quick Boys

Kuyt briefly came out of retirement three years ago to help Quick Boys, with whom he spent 13 years as a youth. Playing in the Derde Divisie Saturday league, Kuyt was already working as assistant at the time, but made himself available for selection during a striker shortage and he made three appearances. The former Netherlands and Liverpool forward had retired the year before following a second spell with Feyenoord, where he had made his initial breakthrough in the mid-2000s, his form at the time earning a move to Anfield.

Rafael Marquez – Atlas

One of Mexico's greatest players, Marquez's longevity at such a high level was nothing short of incredible, as he accumulated 147 international caps. After breaking into the Atlas team as a teenager having come through their academy, the elegant centre-back enjoyed a sparkling career in Europe, winning 14 titles across spells with Monaco and Barcelona. Time with New York Red Bulls, Leon and Hellas Verona followed, before a final two-year stint back at the Jalisco ended in 2018. Although plagued by off-field allegations towards the end of his career, Marquez went on to become the club's sporting president, before standing down last in 2019 to focus on other areas of the sport. He was expected to be taking up a youth coaching role at Barca this season, but the deal ultimately fell through.

Henrik Larsson – Hogaborgs

While the Swedish club most may associate with Larsson is Helsingborgs, he actually made the breakthrough at a smaller side – Hogaborgs. It was here where he trained from the age of six, before eventually becoming a regular in the senior side and earning a move away. A trophy laden career followed, taking him to Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United. Although he retired in 2009, he returned to the pitch for Raa in the Swedish third tier three years later, before then finding himself back in the team at Hogaborgs in 2013, helping out due to an injury crisis despite him only previously being registered to a casual team for 'seniors'. This gave him the chance to play alongside his son, Jordan.

Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors

The Tevez-Boca love affair has dominated most of the striker's successful and complex career. After coming through their youth ranks, the feisty forward was seen as the heir to Maradona. A brief stint in Brazil with Corinthians followed, but Europe had long since beckoned, even if West Ham was by no means the expected destination. He went on to play for Man Utd and City, increasing tension between the clubs, before then going to Juventus, but throughout this time Tevez seemed to long for a return to Boca. He went back to La Bombonera in 2015, his homecoming interrupted by a brief spell with Shanghai Shenhua in 2017 in the Chinese Super League, though even Tevez acknowledged he saw his time in China as a "holiday". "He filled Santa's sack with dollars and now he has returned to Boca," was Maradona's assessment upon 'El Apache's' return from the CSL. His third spell with Boca ended in June 2021 and it remains to be seen if he ever plays for another club.

Gianluigi Buffon – Parma

Buffon likes a comeback. Having returned for a second spell at Juventus in 2019, the goalkeeping great departed the club for a second time at the end of 2020-21. The Italy legend suggested he had not finished playing yet and Parma quickly emerged as a potential destination despite their recent relegation to Serie B. After a few weeks of contemplation, it was confirmed that Buffon was heading back to the club where he made his name. Now 43, the iconic stopper is wearing Gialloblu for the first time in 20 years, and he is set to remain with them until he turns 45, given he signed a two-year contract. What happens after that is anyone's guess but calling it a day with his first club could be a satisfyingly romantic conclusion to a remarkable career – that or he ends up at Juve again!

He is back where he belongs.
He is back home. #SupermanReturns @gianluigibuffon @Kyle_J_Krause @ParmaCalcio_en pic.twitter.com/bh2FO6P8YX

— Parma Calcio 1913 (@1913parmacalcio) June 17, 2021

Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi will go up against each other in the Champions League after Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were drawn into the same group.

Messi and Guardiola enjoyed a close relationship during their time together at Barcelona, but for the first time they will meet with neither of them representing the Catalans.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi left Barca at the end of June when his contract expired, and while he was expected to sign on with them again, the Blaugrana's hands were tied due to financial restrictions.

As such, Messi was swiftly snapped up by PSG despite previous links with City and a potential Guardiola reunion.

Another narrative could yet enter the conversation with respect to City versus PSG, as Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo – Messi's long-time rival – has been strongly with a move to the Etihad Stadium.

If Ronaldo does not leave Juve, he will go up against the holders Chelsea – who beat City in last season's final – in Group H.

There will be a repeat of the 2020-21 Europa League final in Group F as Manchester United have been offered the opportunity for revenge against Villarreal, who defeated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in a remarkable penalty shoot-out in Belfast at the end of May.

Three of Spain's other representatives have tough groups to contend with: Barcelona were drawn with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev; Real Madrid will again face Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk as they did in 2020-21; and Atletico Madrid must go up against Liverpool, Porto and Milan.

Sevilla, on the other hand, are in the seemingly even Group G with Ligue 1 winners Lille, Salzburg and Wolfsburg, the latter of whom are back in the competition for only the third time.

First-time qualifiers Sheriff of Moldova joined Madrid, Inter and Shakhtar in Group D.

 

Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge

Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, Milan

Group C: Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas

Group D: Inter, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff

Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev

Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys

Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg, Wolfsburg

Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo

Bayern Munich's merciless 12-0 demolition of Bremer in the DFB-Pokal left the minnows' player-coach Sebastien Kmiec watching with "one eye crying and one eye lit up".

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting hit four goals as a strong Bayern side that included Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich tore apart their fifth-tier opponents with "brutal" efficiency.

Bayern had 37 shots, which is the most they have had since also having 37 in a Bundesliga clash with Darmstadt in February 2016, a game in which the Bavarian giants came from behind at the interval to seal a 3-1 win.

There were no such difficulties this time, with Wednesday's deadly dozen capped by Colentin Tolisso late on.

The French midfielder had a team-high nine goal attempts and got his reward last of all by grabbing the 12th goal in the 88th minute.

Jamal Musiala also grabbed a double as Bayern put their foot down and crushed Bremer beneath their might.

Kmiec, who is an assistant to head coach Benjamin Eta, played the first 58 minutes and departed the scene with Bremer 7-0 in arrears.

"The quality is brutal, of course. We had very little to counter with. We didn't get into the 50-50s and just ran after every ball," Kmiec said, quoted on Bayern's website.

"You see it with one eye crying and one eye lit up, because it's just brutal.

"They made substitutions, but even the ones who came on wanted to put themselves forward and played their part.

"Here on the pitch you can see how fast they are, but also how quickly they think. You just have to say: outstanding."

 

Bayern had an 89.9 per cent passing accuracy and 68 per cent of possession against their outclassed hosts at the Weserstadion. That is now Werder Bremen's home, but was once shared by Bremer.

Bremer substituted goalkeeper Malte Seemann after 70 minutes, giving deputy Ole Bahr the final 20 minutes against the rampant Bundesliga champions. The score moved on from 8-0 to 12-0 after the switch.

In the face of Bayern's brilliance, Seemann was determined not to be deflated, labelling the game as "unbelievable" and "an indescribable feeling".

Seemann even added: "It was fun. Our boys were great and the Bayern players were all nice. That's something we'll remember."

Julian Nagelsmann insisted there is more to come from Jamal Musiala following the teenager's brace in Bayern Munich's 12-0 DFB-Pokal demolition of Bremer.

Musiala scored twice on his first start of the season as Bundesliga champions Bayern put 12 past their helpless fifth-tier opponents at the Weserstadion on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old brilliantly executed a neat one-two with four-goal star Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for his opener, while rifling home a 20-yard thunderbolt for his second just after half-time.

Germany sensation Musiala carried a constant threat with his pace and ball retention down the right flank, and would have claimed a hat-trick had his goal-bound first-half shot not been turned over his own line by Jan-Luca Warm.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann is certainly excited by what the academy graduate has to offer.

"Jamal is incredibly good in possession, but there's more to him," Nagelsmann told the official club website post-match after Bayern secured their second-highest winning margin in all competitions since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 – they defeated DJK Waldberg 16-1 in the DFB-Pokal.

"There's a lot of potential in Jamal. The way he handles the ball; it does seem as if he has magnets in his boots. 

"He's got great quality. No doubt, this is a very talented 18-year-old."

Nagelsmann also hailed the performance levels of Leroy Sane, who scored a goal for the German giants and provided seven key passes including two assists.

One of four survivors in a much-changed side from Sunday's win over Cologne, the former Manchester City attacker also successfully completed 30 of his 38 attempted passes.

"He was super involved; he defended extremely well and scored a goal," Nagelsmann added.

"I think he could have scored three more if other players had passed the ball to him; he was in a very good position several times. 

"What some people accuse him of doing is not going to the limit, but today it was really obvious that he went to the limit. He gave it his all and I'm super happy."

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored four times as Bayern Munich launched their DFB-Pokal campaign with an emphatic 12-0 rout of Bremer.

Jamal Musiala grabbed a brace while Malik Tillman, Leroy Sane, Michael Cuisance, Bouna Sarr and Corentin Tolisso were also on target as Julian Nagelsmann’s side eased through to the second round of the competition.

On top of his four goals, Choupo-Moting also provided assists for Musiala and Sarr on a miserable day for fifth-tier Bremer, who had Ugo Nobile sent off later on.

For Bayern, it was the second-highest margin of victory in their history after a 16-1 thrashing of Waldberg in 1997.

Though much-changed by Nagelsmann, Bayern never looked in danger of suffering only a second defeat in 24 competitive matches against sides below Germany's top three divisions.

Just eight minutes had passed when Sane's cutback was fired in off the underside of the crossbar by Choupo-Moting, who turned provider in the 16th minute with a neat lay-off for Musiala to slot home.

That same combination unlocked Bremer once more 11 minutes later, with Jan-Luca Warm turning Musiala's shot over his own goal line.

Choupo-Moting tapped in his second as the hosts were caught out from the subsequent kick-off, before completing his hat-trick with a 35th-minute header from close range.

Bayern picked up from where they left off with two goals within three minutes of the restart. Substitute Tillman pounced on poor play before slotting home, while Musiala rifled in his second less than 60 seconds later.

Sane got in on the act in the 65th minute, before Nobile was sent off for dragging back Tillman as he raced into the box.

Four goals followed in the final 10 minutes. Cuisance and Choupo-Moting took the visitors' tally into double figures, while further strikes from Sarr and Tolisso completed the rout.

What does it mean? Bayern breeze through

On the front foot from the very start, Bayern endured little difficulty as they progressed to the second round of the competition for the 27th consecutive season.

You must go back to August 1994 for the last time they fell at the first hurdle, going down 1-0 against third-tier Vestenbergsgreuth.

Choupo-Moting proves his worth

With Robert Lewandowski rested, Choupo-Moting was handed a rare opportunity to lead the line and build some momentum.

The Cameroon international did not let Nagelsmann down with four goals, while providing five key passes including three assists.

Muller struggles to make an impact

One of four surviving players from Sunday's win over Cologne, Muller was handed the captain's armband by Nagelsmann.

However, the Germany international only managed 25 touches and completed 12 passes before he was substituted at half-time.

What's next?

Bayern return to Bundesliga action on Saturday as they welcome Hertha Berlin to the Allianz Arena, while Bremer travel to Leher in the Bremen-Liga next Thursday.

Joshua Kimmich is confident the best is yet to come for him at Bayern Munich, after the versatile Germany international signed a contract extension.

Bayern announced on Monday that Kimmich, who joined the Bundesliga champions from RB Leipzig in 2015, had agreed terms to keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Since breaking into Bayern's first team, Kimmich has established himself as one of Europe's top players, capable of playing in midfield or at full-back.

"It means a lot to me, both in a footballing and personal sense," Kimmich told a news conference.

"It's a decision that covers the next few years, and hopefully the best years are still to come.

"The feeling I get from the club and from our coach [Julian Nagelsmann], who has also signed a five-year deal, is one of security. Signing a coach on a five-year contract was also a sign. We are all looking forward to working together."

Using Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed just what Kimmich brings to Bayern, who are also looking to secure the future of another key player.

How important is Kimmich?

The heir to Philip Lahm's throne, Kimmich is perfectly adept playing either as a right-back or in central midfield.

With exceptional vision and a passing range to match, he ensured Bayern did not feel the absence of Thiago Alcantara following the Spaniard’s move to Liverpool, while his ability from distance has also helped him score 30 goals.

Since Kimmich's arrival from RB Leipzig in 2015, he has played in 175 Bundesliga matches – only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (188) and Robert Lewandowski (190) have played in more.

Kimmich's 10,672 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first out of outfield players for recoveries, having completed 970.

In all competitions, only Lewandowski (282) and Muller (279) have made more appearances than Kimmich (264), who has helped Bayern to 204 victories.

He trails only Muller (581) in terms of chances created. Kimmich has set up 499 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in total, with 206 of these coming from set-piece situations.

Muller is again the only player to register more assists than Kimmich – 97 compared to 68.

Per 90 minutes, Kimmich plays 8.44 passes or crosses into the area, more than any player still with Bayern. Indeed, his total in that metric (1,936) is way clear of second-ranked Muller (1,058). In fact, since his Bundesliga debut for Bayern, Kimmich has played 2588 successful passes ending in the final third, more than any other player over that period

Defensively, Kimmich has made an impressive 282 interceptions, ranking him fourth for Bayern players since he made his debut in August 2015, while he has successfully completed 63.91 per cent of 363 attempted tackles.

 

One down, one to go?

With Kimmich's future secured, Bayern's attention might well now be on tying Leon Goretzka down to a similar long-term contract.

The former Schalke midfielder became a key cog under Hansi Flick and is arguably among the best box-to-box midfielders in world football.

However, his deal runs out at the end of the season, and Europe's biggest clubs would no doubt be circling for a player of such quality on a free transfer.

In 115 games for Bayern, Goretzka has racked up 25 goals and provided a further 20 assists, while his knack of making timely runs into the box has seen him be presented with 31 big chances – as defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

Only four players have had more big chances than Goretzka, though his conversion rate of 35.48 per cent demonstrates he still has work to do in that area.

Goretzka's work off the ball must also not be undervalued.

Of Bayern's current midfield options, only Kimmich has managed more recoveries than the 655 Goretzka has made since making his debut. Goretzka has also won 100 of 166 attempted tackles, registering an impressive success rate of 60.24 per cent.

Reports last week suggested a new deal for Goretzka had been agreed, so Bayern's number eight may well have his reward in the coming days.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels Leroy Sane's situation at Bayern Munich is similar to the difficulties Arjen Robben went through in his early years at the club.

Sane, signed from Manchester City in July 2020, has struggled to string together a consistent run during his time with the Bundesliga champions.

The flying winger was one of the Premier League's most exciting attackers during his time with City yet found himself a peripheral figure under Hansi Flick last term. On Sunday, he was taken off at half-time after drawing jeers from Bayern's support in Julian Nagelsmann's first competitive home game in charge.

Sane had 28 touches, two attempts – neither of which were on target – and created one chance in the first half against Cologne, with his replacement Jamal Musiala coming on to make an impact by teeing up Robert Lewandowski's opener in an eventual 3-2 win for Bayern.

Rummenigge, who left his role on the Bayern board at the end of last season, believes the Germany international's predicament, and the treatment he received from some Bayern fans, is akin to the reaction Robben initially received.

Robben joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009 and went on to become a club legend, but Rummenigge recalled that, the Netherlands attacker once considered leaving.

"At first I didn't like it, I feel sorry for him [Sane]," Rummenigge said on Bild's Reif ist live podcast about what happened on Sunday.

"He tries but has no confidence. He didn't play a good game. With his transfer fee and salary, the criticism of the fans is slowly coming up.

 

"I remembered 2012 in the stadium. There was the famous home final [in the Champions League]. It reminded me of the sad Arjen Robben. He missed a penalty in the final. 

"Arjen was almost ready to ask for his release. But we said: 'No, we won't do that.' He was an important player for Bayern Munich. We supported him. 

"Jupp Heynckes built him up as a coach. He was extremely ambitious. The result: a year later he was the match-winner in the Champions League final against Dortmund."

Since starring with a goal and two assists against former club Schalke on his debut, Sane has featured 46 times across all competitions for Bayern, which ranks him third behind stalwarts Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller (both 48).

However, only 28 of those appearances have been starts, while he has been taken off 22 times – Sane trails only Serge Gnabry (23) and Kingsley Coman (29) in that regard.

Sane has contributed nine goals and eight assists. His tally of 45 chances created is just above former team-mate David Alaba (38) but way behind Muller, who tops the list for Bayern across the period with 125.

Bayern Munich have tied down Joshua Kimmich until 2025.

Capable of playing in midfield or at full-back, Kimmich joined from RB Leipzig in 2015 and has gone on to win 17 trophies with Bayern, who are chasing a 10th successive Bundesliga title this season.

He had two years left to run on his previous deal, though talks had been ongoing over a long-term extension.

Last week, club president Herbert Hainer insisted Bayern would not bow to excessive demands, even to keep such talents as Kimmich and his midfield partner Leon Goretzka, whose deal runs out at the end of 2021-22.

"They will certainly not be kept at any cost," Hainer told Kicker. "The players know what they have at Bayern, they are paid very well here too, everyone gets their salary.

"And they can win titles with us now, and also in the future."

It appears any impasse in negotiations with Kimmich was swiftly resolved, however, with the 26-year-old agreeing terms on a two-year extension.

"The most important reason for my contract extension is that I can pursue my passion with joy every day here at FC Bayern," Kimmich said.

"I have a team where I can achieve everything, and a lot of team-mates have become real friends. That’s why I started playing football in the first place, because it should be fun.

"I still don't think I'm at the end of my development and I'm convinced there's a lot possible at FC Bayern in the next years.

"On top of that, my family feels at home here. Munich has become a second home. The combination we have here isn’t found all over the world."

Bayern sporting director and board member Hasan Salihamidzic, meanwhile, believes securing Kimmich on fresh terms is a clear message of intent.

"With this contract extension, Bayern is sending a clear signal, both internally and externally," he said.

"We want to sign our best players over the long term. Joshua will develop his great quality as a leading player at Bayern in the next few years and make history."

The transfer window is not even closed but attention is already turning to next season.

Kylian Mbappe is into the final year of his Paris Saint-Germain contract, while Erling Haaland's Borussia Dortmund deal has clubs queuing up.

Manchester United are reportedly set to pursue both.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE, HAALAND FUTURE RED DEVILS?

Manchester United have made Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe a target for next season, according to ESPN.

Mbappe has long been tipped to join Real Madrid and Saturday's Marca and Diario AS claim the LaLiga giants are still trying to sign the PSG star before the end of the transfer window.

Liverpool have also previously been linked with Mbappe, but United are keeping tabs on his situation, with the Frenchman out of contract at the end of 2021-22.

French journalist Julien Laurens, meanwhile, also suggests next year could be the perfect time for United to prise Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland has no shortage of suitors, linked with Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich as his release clause comes into force at season's end.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail says City are willing to sell defender Aymeric Laporte for £60million (€69m). The Spain international is reportedly wanted by Juventus and Madrid.

Chelsea remain interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, per The Telegraph. The Blues have also been linked with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, who has also caught the attention of United and Liverpool.

- Diario AS says wantaway Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is eyeing a switch to Madrid, Barca or Bayern.

Real Sociedad are tracking PSG star Pablo Sarabia, according to Le Parisien. Sevilla could also reportedly rival Sociedad for the Spain international.

- Sky Sport Italia reports Juve are set to meet with Paulo Dybala's agent to discuss a new contract.

Erling Haaland is one of the most in-demand players in Europe.

Clubs from across the continent are queuing up to sign the Borussia Dortmund forward.

Real Madrid, however, are firmly placed to make a move for the Norwegian.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID STILL EYEING HAALAND

Real Madrid believe a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland could be done next year, according to the front page of Friday's Marca.

Kylian Mbappe – out of contract in 2022 – has dominated headlines as Madrid target the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

But Madrid have not forgotten about Haaland, who is also reportedly wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Athletic says Bernardo Silva has turned down a move to Tottenham as part of a potential deal that would help send Harry Kane to City. Atletico Madrid and Barca have also been linked with City's Silva.

Pedri could sign a new four-year deal with Barca by September, reports Sport. The 18-year-old has been a revelation at Camp Nou.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Milan are nearing a deal to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko from Chelsea. Bakayoko spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Milan. Di Marzio, meanwhile, says Milan are interested in bringing Monaco's Pietro Pellegri to San Siro on loan.

- Staying in Milan and Tuttosport reports the Rossoneri are interested in Sassuolo and Italy star Domenico Berardi. Leicester City are also reportedly among his admirers.

- Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga is dreaming of a move to PSG, according to Le Parisien. United have also been linked with the France midfielder.

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