Lucas Hernandez would be keen to see former Atletico Madrid team-mate Antoine Griezmann join him at Bayern Munich, where he could become "the best in the world".

Griezmann will follow Lucas out of the door at the Wanda Metropolitano in the coming weeks, with Barcelona widely tipped to sign the France forward.

But while a deal has yet to be finalised, Lucas is interested in linking up with his compatriot again, believing a move to Bayern would suit him.

"[Griezmann] is a big player and many clubs would like him," Lucas told a news conference.

"Of course, it would be great to have him here, although I do not know if the club are interested in him.

"I do not know if Barcelona would be perfect for him, but if there was a chance he could come here, he might become the best player in the world."

Lucas, introduced as a Bayern player on Monday, added: "Bayern are one of the biggest clubs in the world - and it will always be like that, everyone knows.

"They compete for the league every year and are always in the Champions League. Everyone in Italy, Spain, France and all of Europe sees and knows that."

The World Cup winner is taking Bayern great Philipp Lahm's number 21 shirt and acknowledges the need for him to subsequently deliver.

"That's a historic number," Lucas said. "A great former player like Philipp Lahm has worn it.

"Of course, it is an honour to be able to wear this number here and I will try to reward the club as much as possible."

Lothar Matthaus has accused Manuel Neuer of unacceptable behaviour following comments made by the goalkeeper's agent over his future at Bayern Munich.

Neuer has been first choice at Bayern when fit but is said to be considering a move away from the Allianz Arena, citing what he perceives to be a lack of ambition shown by the German giants in the transfer market.

The player’s agent, Thomas Kroth, told Suddeutsche Zeitung that Bayern have fallen too far behind their major European rivals and the 33-year-old may have to join a new team if he is to win the Champions League for a second time in his career.

"He wants to win Euro 2020 and he wants to win the Champions League again," Kroth said.

"Manuel is success-oriented. My impression is that the gap to the top four English top teams is already serious and the Munich squad is currently not yet as competitive or set up to tackle Manuel's goals seriously.

"When he realises that Bayern are responding, then he will probably blossom again."

But those comments have not gone down well with club legend Matthaus, who feels the Bayern skipper should have discussed the matter privately rather than let his representative speak to the media. 

"His behaviour is totally unacceptable," Matthaus told Bild. "As the captain of Bayern he should speak to the club if he has a problem with the situation over signings.

"The doors of the management are always open.

"I know his agent - he's someone who doesn't usually show up in public of his own free will. Manuel will have agreed with him. My representatives would not have been able to express themselves in this way without my consent."

Frank Lampard has earmarked Callum Hudson-Odoi for a prominent role at Chelsea as he urged the teenager to stay and fulfil his "world-class" potential.

England international Hudson-Odoi, 18, is out of contract in 2020 and wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

The German giants unsuccessfully attempted to sign him in January, after which the winger broke into Maurizio Sarri's first-team plans and made four Premier League starts.

New boss Lampard stopped short of offering a golden ticket into his XI but vowed to invest energy into the homegrown product's vast potential.

"I have seen Callum come through and he is a fantastic talent," Lampard said.

"We all know that and I will speak to him and I want him to stay.

"I know the club want him to stay and he is going to be central for us on the pitch. That is the opportunity that is really in front of him now, certainly from where I am sitting.

"There are things as a young player that he will want to improve and there are things through natural development that will improve, so I am not going to say things that are pie in the sky but with his talent he can be central to this team, he can be central to England.

"I want to work with him, I want to drive him forward and I want to improve him as a player.

"He can show, right here at Chelsea, at the club where he came through the academy, that he is going to be a world-class player, because I truly believe that."

Hudson-Odoi is on the comeback trail from a serious Achilles injury suffered against Burnley in April.

Recent reports suggest he could return to training ahead of schedule in August.

Bayern Munich and Netherlands great Arjen Robben has decided to end his playing career at the age of 35.

Robben enjoyed a glittering career at the top of European football, winning a host of trophies for PSV, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern.

But he has called time on his career instead of finding a new club following his release by Bayern, insisting this is a "permanent" decision.

"As everybody knows, I took some time after my last match for Bayern Munich to make up my mind for the future. And now I have decided to end my career as a professional player," Robben said in a statement.

"This has been without a doubt the hardest decision I had to make in my career, a decision in which 'heart' and 'head' bumped into each other.

"The love for the game and the conviction that you can still take over the world, versus the reality that it doesn't always go like you want it to and that you're no longer a 16-year-old boy, who doesn't know what it's like to be injured.

"At the moment I'm fit and healthy and, as a fan of many other sports, I'd like to keep it that way. My quitting is permanent, but it's all right this way."

It was at Chelsea – whom he joined in 2004 – where he established himself as one of world football's great promises, helping the club to back-to-back Premier League triumphs in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and an FA Cup win the following season.

His subsequent move to Real Madrid was less successful on a personal level, though he did win LaLiga in 2007-08.

Bayern snapped him up in 2009 and, though injuries were a regular occurrence, he still managed to enjoy a sparkling 10-year stay at the Allianz Arena.

He won eight Bundesliga titles in that time, plus the Champions League in 2012-13, making 309 appearances across all competitions.

Despite the injuries, Robben still managed to score 144 times for Bayern, including six in 19 matches in his final campaign.

The winger had been tipped to return to his first professional club Groningen after his Bayern contract expired, but he has since opted to end his career altogether.

"In December 2000 my adventure started as a player with Groningen," Robben's statement continued. 

"The career that followed after that is something I only could have dreamt back then. Groningen, PSV, Chelsea, Real Madrid and eventually Bayern Munich, and last but not least, my time with the Dutch national team.

"It might be a cliche, but there really is no better thing than playing for your own country. In the end I decided to quit in 2017 after 96 international caps.

"I got to play six big tournaments and was the captain during my last years with the team. Altogether it's an unforgettable time that I'll always cherish.

"It is too early to look back into the details of my career, but for now it's pride and thankfulness which dominates my feelings. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this from the bottom of my heart.

"My parents, my sister, family, friends, my personal coaching team, all of the clubs, team members, coaches, journalists and fans. Everyone who supported me for all those years and made me into the player and the person I am today.

"I have lived 19 years for my passion and tried to make the most of it. This asks a certain mentality and it for sure took a lot of energy, especially when things don't go as you want them to be and when you have to fight back after difficult moments. Top athletes are being known for their selfish attitude and I have definitely not been an exclusion to that.

"Therefore, I'd like to thank my family for their unconditional support, understanding and love. It's time for a new chapter and I'm looking forward to spending more time together with my wife and kids and to enjoy together from all the good things that still have to come for us."

On top of a glorious club career, Robben also won 96 caps for his country in 14 years, netting 37 Netherlands goals.

Joao Felix has become by far Benfica's biggest ever sale after completing a €126million move to Atletico Madrid, continuing the Portuguese champions' strong record of raking in massive transfer fees.

What makes the 19-year-old attacking midfielder's move even more remarkable is the fact he has spent just one full season in the first team.

It was certainly a successful campaign, however, as the teenager scored 15 goals and set up another seven in 26 league appearances, earning his first senior Portugal cap in the Nations League Finals.

A fine dribbler, good finisher and blessed with outstanding technical ability, Joao Felix has huge expectations to match at Atletico, given he is likely to be Antoine Griezmann's replacement.

Benfica will be delighted to receive such a hefty fee, as they have done for a host of other stars in the past, including these six…

 

Ederson - €40m (Manchester City)                   

Like Joao Felix, Ederson only played one full season in Benfica's starting XI before earning a move away. Nevertheless, he has settled in seamlessly at Manchester City with his combination of world-class shot-stopping and passing ability, winning back-to-back Premier League titles and establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Axel Witsel - €40m (Zenit)

Tipped for big things early in his career, Benfica snapped Witsel up from Standard Liege in 2011 and sold him on a year later, with Zenit – not one of the traditional European heavyweights he was linked with – making the move. He spent five years in Russia, then a season in China, before joining Borussia Dortmund last year. The 30-year-old enjoyed a strong first term in Germany.

 

Raul Jimenez - €38m (Wolves)

Jimenez's adaptation to Europe after leaving Mexico's Club America was difficult and he made little impact at Atletico. Benfica brought him to Portugal after a year and are reported to have eventually paid €22m for him. Despite a modest scoring record, the Aguias are said to have received €38m for him from Wolves in April after a strong debut season on loan in England.

Nelson Semedo - €35m (Barcelona)

An attack-minded right-back, Semedo was identified as the potential solution to Barcelona's post-Dani Alves full-back issue in 2017 and they paid Benfica a reported €35m fee. He is yet to truly establish himself in the starting XI, though signs at the end of the 2018-19 season suggested he was beginning to win the battle with Sergi Roberto for the right-back spot.

Victor Lindelof - €35m (Manchester United)

Five years at Benfica – split between the first team and reserves – saw Lindelof develop into one of Europe's most highly rated young centre-backs, as he mixed technical ability with uncompromising defending. After months of speculation, United completed a deal in 2017. After a difficult first season Lindelof was linked with an exit, but he stayed and was one of few to impress at Old Trafford in 2018-19.

Renato Sanches - €35m (Bayern Munich)

Sanches broke into Benfica's starting XI as a teenager and impressed with his explosive style in midfield, earning himself a call-up to the Portugal squad, whom he helped to Euro 2016 success. His subsequent big-money move to Bayern has not worked out, however, while he also struggled on loan at Swansea City. A move away in the next couple of months is a real possibility.

Chelsea youngster Jamal Musiala will move to Bayern Munich, according to the brother and agent of Die Roten target Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Musiala is among Chelsea's most highly rated young players and has represented England and Germany at youth level.

A dynamic forward who can lead the line or play in attacking midfield, the 16-year-old looks set to return to the country of his birth after his agent seemingly confirmed a move had been finalised.

Interestingly, Musiala's agent is Bradley Hudson-Odoi, the older brother of Chelsea winger Callum, a primary target of Bayern's over the past year.

And Bradley cited the opportunity to work with Bayern's Under-17s coach Miroslav Klose as one of Musiala's reasons for leaving.

Speaking to Sport1, the agent said: "He [Musiala] is smart, fast, technically strong and can play as a No.10, but also as a No.9.

"Jamal is looking forward to the challenge at Bayern and working with top coaches like Miroslav Klose, who believes in him."

Although Bayern retain an interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi, Musiala's move to Bavaria is reportedly not set to have any impact on the Bundesliga champions' pursuit of the 18-year-old.

Franck Ribery has told Bayern Munich they need to splash the cash ahead of the new Bundesliga season.

Bayern broke their club record to sign France defender Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, while Benjamin Pavard has also arrived from Stuttgart.

But the Bundesliga champions have yet to bring in a replacement for Ribery, as well as fellow veteran winger Arjen Robben, who also departed after helping the club clinch a seventh straight title.

Bayern have confirmed Leroy Sane as a transfer target but have been unable to seal a deal with Manchester City for the Germany international, while Chelsea have reportedly rebuffed new efforts to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Ousmane Dembele is also said to be on Bayern's shortlist but Barcelona are reported to have turned down a first offer for the France forward, while a representative for the player told Sky Germany there was "no chance" of his client joining Niko Kovac's squad.

Yet Ribery has urged his old club to spend heavily on reinforcements as they look to hold off the challenge of Borussia Dortmund again.

"Bayern needs quality, you have to invest!" Ribery told Bild. "I am very excited about what they do.

"Only with Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman it is perhaps too little to go into the new season.

"Sane would be a player who brings Bayern forward. Skills, can play on the right and left side, I'm curious to see if he will really decide for Munich and fancy the Bundesliga."

Ribery, 36, continues to consider his options having previously been linked with a surprise switch to Premier League new boys Sheffield United.

"Maybe they [Bayern] call me again, if there is no other solution," Ribery joked. "No, seriously: The chapter at Bayern as a player for me has ended fantastically in May.

"There are many good offers from Europe, but I also have to look at the family, my children. If you've been at Bayern for so long and it's your second home, moving away from here is not easy."

It is July 1, meaning players who had run down their contracts at former clubs are now officially free to move.

Some, such as Aaron Ramsey, Diego Godin and Adrien Rabiot have already signed with new clubs, while the likes of Ander Herrera seem to have transfers all but finalised.

However, there are plenty of players yet to have secured their next destination.

 

Aaron Ramsey

Wales international Ramsey called time on his 11-year stay in February, signing a pre-contract agreement with Serie A champions Juventus.

While Massimiliano Allegri was in charge when Ramsey agreed to join, it is Maurizio Sarri who will have the midfielder at his disposal for the upcoming season and, after an injury-hit end to 2018-19, the 28-year-old will be eager to quickly cement his place in the Bianconeri's starting XI.

Diego Godin

A mainstay in Atletico Madrid's defence since 2010, Godin announced his departure from the Wanda Metropolitano in May.

Inter were always favourites to sign the 33-year-old and that deal was officially announced on Monday, with the Uruguay international penning a three-year contract at San Siro.

Adrien Rabiot

France midfielder Rabiot did not play for Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 due to a dispute over his contract situation.

The 24-year-old has now officially left the Ligue 1 champions for their Serie A counterparts Juventus, who announced an agreement on Monday.

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery

After defining an era at Bayern Munich, Robben and Ribery have officially left the Allianz Arena.

Ribery has been linked with a move to the A-League, while PSV are one of the clubs to have declared an interest in Robben. However, neither of the veteran wingers have found a new home yet.

Ander Herrera

Manchester United tried in vain to keep hold of former Athletic Bilbao midfielder Herrera, who made 132 Premier League appearances after joining the club in 2014.

A move to Paris Saint-Germain is expected to go through in the first week of July.

Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge was a key figure in Liverpool's title challenge in 2013-14 but injuries have gradually taken their toll on the forward, who managed four goals from 27 appearances in all competitions last season.

Divock Origi usurped Sturridge as Jurgen Klopp's first-choice back-up striker and the 29-year-old is now on the lookout for a new club, with Rangers – managed by Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard – reportedly leading the chase for his signature.

Mario Balotelli

Former Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan striker Balotelli signed a six-month deal with Marseille in January and went on to score eight Ligue 1 goals.

The 28-year-old has not extended his stay at Stade Velodrome, though, and a return to Serie A is an option, with Parma having confirmed their interest.

Bayern Munich have signed New Zealand international Sarpreet Singh from A-League side Wellington Phoenix.

The 20-year-old has joined the Bundesliga champions on a three-year deal but will initially play for Bayern Munich II in Germany's third tier.

Singh made 26 appearances in the A-League last term and will now have a chance to prove himself in Europe.

"With Sarpreet we were able to sign a technically strong and very talented attacking midfielder," said Jochen Sauer, head of FC Bayern Campus. "We are very happy that he has chosen FC Bayern."

Singh, who earned his first senior New Zealand caps last year, cannot wait to get started.

"It is with great joy that I announce I have signed with Bayern Munich for the next three years," Singh wrote on Instagram.

"Words cannot describe how I'm feeling right now but I'm extremely excited for this opportunity to develop myself further here in Munich and represent my country and New Zealand football.

"I look forward to getting to know everyone and also learning German."

Phoenix have not disclosed the fee paid by Bayern but said the deal is "arguably the largest transfer of a New Zealand football player".

"We are thrilled for Sarpreet and his family and are extremely proud of what he has achieved to get to this stage of his career," said Phoenix general manager David Dome.

"We wish him all the best in Germany and look forward to seeing him progress all the way through to Bayern’s first team as he continues his development as a professional footballer."

Toni Kroos insisted the new documentary about his career has nothing to do with "hitting back" at Bayern Munich but said it does include "a review of good and bad things".

The 29-year-old Real Madrid midfielder recently spoke out about how he felt under-valued at Bayern, where he spent the first seven years of his career.

Since joining Madrid for €25million in July 2014, Kroos has won the Champions League three times, LaLiga, the Spanish Super Cup and three UEFA Super Cups, and Bayern president Uli Hoeness admitted the club may have made a wrong decision in selling him.

Kroos responded to suggestions he took the opportunity to take a swipe at his former club in the film, telling Omnisport: "People should watch the film and then they will understand everything. This has nothing to do with hitting back against Bayern.

"Of course, a documentary also includes a review of good and bad things. Everyone generally knows that I had a good time in Munich, otherwise I wouldn't have been there for seven years.

"I won the German championship three times and the cup three times. And for the most part I was as a regular player as well."

Kroos made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern in September 2007 and went on to make over 100 league appearances for the club.

He helped Bayern win the Bundesliga in his debut season and then land back-to-back titles in 2012-13 and 2013-14, and he made it clear he had many happy memories from that time.

Speaking about the documentary, which is entitled Kroos, he said: "It includes a review of how I felt at that time as an 18, 19-year-old. And there were also things that didn't satisfy me.

"But that has nothing to do with hitting back. I'm just reflecting how I felt back then.

"I am not saying that I was always right in the past, but it was simply how I felt. If you want to call that hitting back then you can, if you only read the headlines but not the text."

Manchester United's bid to improve their defence has seen them spend a reported £50million to acquire right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.

The 21-year-old is yet to win a senior England cap but impressed in his breakthrough 2018-19 campaign, with United hoping he can tighten up a backline that conceded 54 Premier League goals last term.

Wan-Bissaka has not cost United as much as their record signing Paul Pogba, who joined from Juventus in a then-world record £89.3m deal in 2016, but he is one of the most expensive defenders of all time.

We profile the men at the back who have cost a fair whack. 

VIRGIL VAN DIJK - Southampton to Liverpool, £75m

Liverpool tried unsuccessfully to buy Van Dijk in June 2017 and were accused of tapping him up by Southampton, but the defender's absence from several matchday squads thereafter meant a departure was never far away.

The Reds gave their fans a late Christmas gift in December of the same year, confirming the Netherlands international's arrival and he has looked worth every penny since making the switch to Anfield, winning the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year last term and helping the club clinch their sixth Champions League title.

LUCAS HERNANDEZ - Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich, £68m

Having featured as France's first-choice left-back in their triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign, it did not take long for other clubs to begin being linked with Lucas. Bayern were reported to have things tied up with the defender by the end of the year, though it was said they were trying to avoid paying his full release clause.

As it happened, Atletico received the €80m required to trigger Lucas' exit at the end of the 2018-19 season, meaning Bayern secured themselves a player who could cover two positions at the very top of the sport for the next decade. 


AYMERIC LAPORTE - Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, £57m

City had been put off by the fee Southampton wanted for Van Dijk but were more willing to part with a club-record £57m to sign left-sided French centre-back Laporte.

Though he remains without a senior cap for Les Bleus, Laporte has become a key figure under Guardiola and was City's best defender in 2018-19 as they won an unprecedented domestic treble.


BENJAMIN MENDY – Monaco to Manchester City, £51.75m

City broke the record for a defender when they signed Mendy from Monaco in July 2017, the left-back having quickly established himself as one of Europe's most exciting attacking full-backs as his side won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title and reached that season's Champions League semi-finals.

His arrival was part of a spectacular overhaul of the City backline, which saw them spend close to £165m on three defenders and goalkeeper Ederson, but two serious knee injuries have badly hindered his time in Manchester so far. 

 

DAVID LUIZ – Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain, £50m

Paris Saint-Germain paid a whopping fee to sign Brazil international David Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.

He won Ligue 1 in both of his seasons at the Parc des Princes and made it three top-flight titles in a row after he surprisingly returned to Chelsea for £34m in August 2016, claiming his first Premier League winners' medal.


KYLE WALKER – Tottenham to Manchester City, £50m

When Walker joined Spurs from hometown club Sheffield United for £5m in 2009, few would have guessed he would one day become the most expensive English player in history.

Walker, who recently signed a new long-term deal at the Etihad Stadium, quickly established himself as a key component at the back following his July 2017 arrival and he has won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and an FA Cup.


AARON WAN-BISSAKA - Crystal Palace to Manchester United, £50m

Walker now has company as his country's most costly player following fellow right-back Wan-Bissaka's arrival on the other side of Manchester.

Wan-Bissaka fits the mould for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who wants young players to spearhead a revival at Old Trafford, and he made 129 tackles last term, more than any other defender across the top five European leagues.


JOHN STONES – Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m

City have certainly shown a willingness to pay large amounts for English talent, with Stones joining the club from Everton in 2016.

The 24-year-old had a difficult first campaign as Guardiola's side under-performed. His displays have since improved considerably, although he largely spent the final weeks of last season among the substitutes. 


EDER MILITAO – Porto to Real Madrid, £42m

Another reinforcement for 2019-20, Madrid caught many by surprise when it was announced earlier in March they had paid the release clause of Porto's Brazil international Militao.

The 21-year-old was only brought to Europe from Sao Paulo in 2018 and appears to represent something of a gamble by Los Blancos.


DAVINSON SANCHEZ – Ajax to Tottenham, £36.6m

Spurs waited several weeks to make their first signing of the close-season transfer window in 2017, but they did so in some style, smashing their club record to bring Sanchez to north London.

The former Atletico Nacional man reportedly caught Barcelona's attention during Ajax's run to the Europa League final in 2016-17 and has looked a solid addition to the Premier League since arriving.

(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)

Fenerbahce have agreed to sign former Germany international Max Kruse from Werder Bremen after the forward decided against extending his contract at Weser Stadium.

The 31-year-old rejoined Werder, where he began his career, for a second spell in August 2016 and scored 32 goals in 84 Bundesliga appearances across the last three seasons.

Fenerbahce finished sixth in the Turkish Super Lig in 2018-19 and head coach Ersun Yanal will be expected to improve the club's fortunes next term. Kruse will join a strike force that already includes Andre Ayew and Michael Frey.

A statement on Fenerbahce's official website said: "As a result of meetings with the German national football player Max Kruse, whose contract with the Werder Bremen club is ending, our club reached an agreement with the football player and signed a preliminary contract.

"Max Kruse will come to Istanbul within the next week and after the detailed health check, will sign the official contract that will connect him to our colours for three seasons."

Kruse, who was named Werder captain in 2018-19, was linked with Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Inter before Fenerbahce confirmed his switch to the Super Lig.

Mats Hummels has completed a move from Bayern Munich to Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund and will join the list of players to have returned to their former club after a spell away.

The 30-year-old joined Dortmund from Bayern in 2008 and made 309 appearances for the club, before returning to the Bavarian giants for a three-year stint at the Allianz Arena.

But Hummels will wear the famous yellow strip of Dortmund once again next season and he will be hoping for a positive reaction from BVB supporters.

That is not always the case, of course, with many failing to match their previous highs when returning to a former side.

Here we look at six examples of players going back home in recent seasons, with varying degrees of success.

Mario Gotze - Borussia Dortmund

Hummels is not the first player to swap Bayern for Dortmund in the last few years, with Gotze doing likewise in 2016. The player best remembered for his extra-time winner in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina struggled to assert himself in Bavaria and has not had quite the same impact in his second spell with BVB. But he has slowly forced his way back into the side after battling back from a rare metabolic illness, ending last season with seven goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga.

Diego Costa - Atletico Madrid

Costa's dream return to Atletico, where he spent four years before joining Chelsea in 2014 and moving back again three-and-a-half years later, has turned into a bit of a nightmare. The Brazilian-born Spain international, well known for being an explosive character, scored a respectable seven goals in his first half-season back, including the winning goal in Atleti's Europa League semi-final win against Arsenal. But he went on a long scoreless run in 2018-19 and did not feature in the final month of the season after being given an eight-match ban for insulting referee Gil Manzano.

Wayne Rooney - Everton

Rooney's talents were on the wane long before he re-signed for boyhood club Everton in July 2017. He ended his first campaign back at Goodison Park as the Toffees' top scorer, but he opted to join Major League Soccer side DC United just a year after returning to Goodison Park and has somewhat revived his career Stateside with 21 goals in 38 league outings to date.

Paul Pogba - Manchester United

United splashed out a world-record sum at the time to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford from Juventus, where he spent four years between spells with the Red Devils. Pogba won eight honours in Turin, including four Serie A titles, but he has had far less success since making the return move in 2016. Despite a positive goal return in a trophyless 2018-19, Pogba often came in for criticism and he admitted earlier this month he is considering a move away from United.

Carlos Tevez - Boca Juniors

This one falls into the 'romantic' category as Tevez was lured back to the Argentinian giants from Juventus in 2015, 11 years after leaving his boyhood club. The much-travelled striker enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in Europe with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus, scoring 20 Serie A goals in his final season with the latter. Despite links with the likes of Liverpool, Atletico and Paris Saint-Germain, he stated his desire to sign for the club where he started his career and got his wish. It was not quite the dream return initially, with Tevez soon persuaded to head to the Far East for a 12-month spell with Shanghai Shenhua, but he is now back at Boca for a third stint.

Thierry Henry - Arsenal

Henry could not say no to a second crack in the Premier League with Arsenal in 2012, signing on a two-month loan deal some five years after bidding an emotional farewell to join Barcelona and then MLS side New York Red Bulls. The highlight of his second coming arguably came in his first game back when scoring the only goal of the game in an FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds United as a substitute, which he added to with a late decider against Sunderland - his final Premier League game for Arsenal and an appropriate way to bring down the curtain on an incredible career.

Bayern Munich will start the defence of their Bundesliga title at home to Hertha Berlin, while they face Borussia Dortmund on matchdays 11 and 28.

After a difficult start to his Bayern tenure, Niko Kovac heads into his second season at Allianz Arena having led the club to a domestic double in 2018-19.

After taking on Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup on August 3, Bayern face lower-league side Energie Cottbus in the DFB-Pokal before kicking off the Bundesliga season with a home clash against Hertha, who finished 11th last term and are now under the tutelage of Ante Covic.

Dortmund led the way for much of the Bundesliga campaign, only to be overtaken in the end by Bayern, and Lucien Favre's side visit Munich in the first Der Klassiker of the season in November, with the return fixture scheduled for early April - a clash that could well prove pivotal in the title race.

Bayern Munich's 2019-20 Bundesliga fixtures in full (all times local):

August 16: Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin (20:30)

August 23-25: Schalke v Bayern Munich (TBC)

August 30 - September 1: Bayern Munich v Mainz (TBC)

September 13-15: RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich (TBC)

September 20-23: Bayern Munich v Cologne (TBC)

September 27-29: Paderborn v Bayern Munich (TBC)

October 4-6: Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim (TBC)

October 18-20: Augsburg v Bayern Munich (TBC)

October 25-27: Bayern Munich v Union Berlin (TBC)

November 1-3: Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich (TBC)

November 8-10: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund (TBC)

November 22-24: Fortuna Dusseldorf v Bayern Munich (TBC)

November 29 - December 2: Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen (TBC)

December 6-8: Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich (TBC)

December 13-15: Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen (TBC)

December 17-18: Freiburg v Bayern Munich (TBC)

December 20-22: Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg (TBC)

January 17-20: Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich (TBC)

January 24-27: Bayern Munich v Schalke (TBC)

January 31 - February 3: Mainz v Bayern Munich (TBC)

February 7-10: Bayern Munich v RB Leipzig (TBC)

February 14-17: Cologne v Bayern Munich (TBC)

February 21-24: Bayern Munich v Paderborn (TBC)

February 28 - March 2: Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich (TBC)

March 6-9: Bayern Munich v Augsburg (TBC)

March 13-16: Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (TBC)

March 20-22: Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (TBC)

April 3-6: Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich (TBC)

April 11-13: Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf (TBC)

April 17-20: Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich (TBC)

April 24-27: Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach (TBC)

May 2-4: Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich (TBC)

May 9: Bayern Munich v Freiburg (15:30)

May 16: Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich (15:30)

Bayern Munich will launch their Bundesliga title defence with a home match against Hertha Berlin.

That match gets the campaign under way on Friday, August 16, and was announced when the new season's fixtures were released on Friday.

The champions head to Schalke on the second weekend before returning to the Allianz Arena to face Mainz.

Borussia Dortmund, who faded badly in the second half of last term, could field new signings Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz in their first outing at home to Augsburg.

Lucien Favre's side then meet two promoted sides in Cologne and Union Berlin. Union Berlin's top-flight debut begins with a visit from Julian Nagelsmann's RB Leipzig.

Leipzig's other early opponents include Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt and a team that narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga top four in 2018-19, Borussia Monchengladbach.

Dortmund kept the title race alive until the final day last season and will view their two Der Klassiker dates against Bayern as crucial to mounting another challenge.

The initial encounter takes place in Bavaria between November 8 and 10, with the reverse fixture scheduled for April 3-6.

Before then - on the last weekend in October - comes the first Ruhr derby as Dortmund look to atone for their costly April loss to close rivals Schalke.

Other opening weekend fixtures see Bayer Leverkusen entertain promoted Paderborn, with Werder Bremen welcoming Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Former Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner goes to Gladbach for his first Bundesliga match in charge of Schalke.

 

Bundesliga 2019-20 opening round in full:

Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin
Borussia Dortmund v Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen v Paderborn
Borussia Monchengladbach v Schalke
Wolfsburg v Cologne
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim
Werder Bremen v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Freiburg v Mainz
Union Berlin v RB Leipzig

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.