Manchester City star Leroy Sane shut down questions about Bayern Munich's interest in him while on international duty with Germany and offered a cryptic response over where his future lies.

Sane scored Germany's final goal in Tuesday's 8-0 Euro 2020 qualifying demolition of Estonia in Mainz, impressing throughout in attack.

The winger had an indifferent season at club level with Premier League champions City, scoring a respectable 10 goals, but only starting 21 matches, six fewer than the 2017-18 campaign.

Sane subsequently emerged as a primary target for Bayern, whose rebuild job will continue in the close-season after the departures of long-serving duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Bayern have rued City's "insane" valuation of the winger, though Sane failed to commit to Pep Guardiola's side post-match.

When asked about the Bayern speculation, Sane told reporters: "I'm going on holiday now. Everything else will be seen.

"That's it with the questions about Bayern Munich."

Sane, 23, has been at City since 2016, when they reportedly paid Bundesliga outfit Schalke an initial £37million.

Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry starred with two goals apiece as Germany hammered Estonia 8-0 in Mainz on Tuesday to maintain their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying.

Coach Joachim Low was absent again – having also missed the win over Belarus – due to an injury sustained in a "sporting accident" last month, but Estonia were so poor his unavailability was barely noticed in an emphatic win led by Reus and Gnabry.

The Borussia Dortmund star opened the scoring early on and also got Germany's spectacular fifth, with Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Gundogan netting in between. 

After scoring five in the first half for the first time since thrashing Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup, they appeared to ease off a little in the second 45, though Gnabry got himself a second, before Timo Werner and Leroy Sane rounded things off.

Germany remain three points behind Group C leaders Northern Ireland, who have played a game more.

Germany began with a swagger and carved Estonia open 10 minutes in, as Thilo Kehrer played a low first-time cross into the box from the right and Reus found the roof of the net.

Gnabry converted soon after with an easy close-range finish from Sane's squared pass, and Goretzka got in on the act with 20 minutes played, meeting Joshua Kimmich's lofted delivery with a glancing header into the bottom-left corner.

Joonas Tamm impeded Goretzka's off-the-ball run in the box a few moments later to concede a penalty, which Gundogan confidently dispatched.

And Reus made it 5-0 close to half-time – his gorgeous 30-yard free-kick finding the top-right corner.

After something of a lull, Germany resumed the battering and increased the deficit just past the hour, with Gnabry tapping in from Marcel Halstenburg's low delivery.

Werner – introduced for Reus in the 66th minute – beat the approaching Sergei Lepmets with a clever chip towards the end, and Sane rounded wrapped things up with a curling finish despite appearing to stray offside.

 

What does it mean? Professional Germany at their brutal best

A lot of questions have been asked of Germany in the last year, with the World Cup post-mortem seeing many players ditched. With fresh faces and lots of youth, Die Mannschaft are looking like themselves again.

Estonia were never likely to pose much of a threat, but it is three wins from three games now in Euro 2020 qualifying and their ruthlessness in Mainz is worthy of praise itself.


Rolls-Reus effortlessly leads the line

The central figure of Germany's attacking trident, Reus swiftly made his mark with a poacher's effort for the first. His hold-up and link play were strong, as he knitted attacks together, while the free-kick for his second goal was glorious.


A nightmare for Tamm

Germany attacked relentlessly and Tamm – one of Estonia's three centre-backs – struggled to cope. He did not help himself for the penalty, however, needlessly inviting Goretzka to go to ground.


What's next?

Germany face Netherlands when they return to Euro 2020 qualifying in September, with Low expected to be back on the touchline. Estonia will be hoping to end their run of defeats when they host Belarus in three months' time.

Germany scored five goals in the first half of a game for the first time since crushing Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup during Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

Joachim Low's side stunned world football when they beat tournament hosts Brazil at the Mineirao to secure a spot in the final five years ago, eventually going on to lift the trophy.

Things have not always been plain sailing since, as they disappointed as defending champions at last year's World Cup, but they look to be getting back to their best, with Tuesday's game evidence of that.

Marco Reus got Die Mannschaft off to a fine start with an easy finish in the 10th minute, and that was soon followed by a similarly straightforward goal courtesy of Serge Gnabry.

It was 3-0 with 20 minutes played – Leon Goretzka finding the bottom-left corner with a glancing header, and an Ilkay Gundogan penalty extended the advantage.

Reus got his second late in the half with a gorgeous 30-yard free-kick which found the top-right corner, capping a remarkable display in the opening 45 minutes.

Victory will see Germany continue their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying.

Marcus Sorg said he felt "strange" to be in charge of Germany against Belarus with head coach Joachim Low unable to attend the Euro 2020 qualifier.

Germany boss Low could not travel to Saturday's qualifier after suffering a "contused artery" while exercising last month.

In his absence, Germany ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Leroy Sane and Marco Reus to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group C.

Sorg, who will also be in the dugout for Tuesday's home game against Estonia, was satisfied with Germany's battling display at the Borisov Arena.

"It was a bit strange after such a long time," Sorg said to RTL. "I have not looked at my phone yet to see if anyone has sent messages.

"It was essential to win – and we did it. It was important to me to overcome difficulties and win. It was important, that the boys had to go to their limit. It was an impressive performance.

"We had to deal with a deep-lying opponent, but overall it was totally fine. We wanted to go to the opponent's goal by quickly winning the ball – and that's how we did it."

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was happy with Sorg deputising for Low.

"His speech was very good, he is extremely reliable," the Manchester City star told RTL.

"He may do it a bit differently than Jogi, but also very well. He set us up perfectly."

Gundogan was substituted by Sorg in the second half but he allayed injury fears.

"That was maybe a bit old age," he joked. "After a break of two weeks, I noticed something in the adductors, because the muscle has tightened.

"But I did not want to risk anything and got a change. That's something that you learn as you grow old."

Leroy Sane and Marco Reus scored as Germany won 2-0 away to Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Germany struggled for creativity at the Borisov Arena on Saturday despite a star-studded line-up, but Sane's first-half strike set up the Group C victory.

Manchester City star Sane - linked with a move to Bayern Munich - finished coolly to make it 1-0 and Reus struck to settle matters after the interval.

Aleksandr Gutor made a smart block to keep out Serge Gnabry's drive as Germany started well, but the Belarus goalkeeper was beaten in the 12th minute.

Joshua Kimmich slipped a pass through to Sane, who cut inside a defender to smash home.

Belarus rallied, though, and Lukas Klostermann made a superb block to deny Stanislav Dragun a clear strike, with Manuel Neuer tipping Nikita Naumov's header over from the resulting corner.

Despite not getting out of second gear, Germany doubled their advantage in the 62nd minute.

Matthias Ginter bisected the Belarus back line with an incisive pass from the right and Reus burst into the box and slammed his finish past goalkeeper Gutor.

Germany pushed to extend their lead in the closing stages but when Ginter delivered a fine cross into the box Sane saw his header bounce back off the foot of the post.

 

What does it mean? Germany scrape another victory

Germany needed a late Nico Schulz goal to see off Netherlands 3-2 in their Group C opener and another narrow victory ensured they still have a perfect record in the section.

But they lacked fluency and after a dreadful World Cup last year there remains a lot of work to do for Joachim Low, who was absent due to injury, with Marcus Sorg instead taking charge.

Kimmich shines in midfield role

Fielded in the centre of the pitch rather than in his usual position at right-back, Kimmich ran the game for Germany.

The Bayern star has indicated he prefers a midfield berth and made his case to play there in style by stylishly creating Sane's goal.

Kimmich's 158 touches was by far the most on the pitch, as was the 137 passes he recorded - 94.2 per cent of which reached their target.

Neuer gets away with latest theatrics

Barring an excellent reaction save to deny Naumov, Germany captain Neuer did not have much to do in goal. But he still managed to get himself in a tight spot by dribbling towards the corner flag, the goalkeeper escaping danger with a clever turn.

It appears he has not learned from his humiliation when he was caught well up the pitch at the World Cup as defending champions Germany crashed out.

What's next?

Germany continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at home to Estonia on Tuesday, with Belarus hosting Group C leaders Northern Ireland on the same day.

Leroy Sane "looks happy" at Manchester City and is unlikely to agitate for a move to Bayern Munich, according to Germany team-mate Julian Draxler.

Bundesliga champions Bayern want to sign winger Sane to replenish their attacking stocks following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

The German club's chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, suggested the 23-year-old will have to declare his interest in leaving the Etihad Stadium before a bid is lodged.

Paris Saint-Germain star Draxler played alongside Sane at Schalke and cannot envisage him causing problems for Pep Guardiola.

"I don't feel like he is forcing a transfer, but in football anything can happen," Draxler said.

"I didn't ask him personally if he's going or not, but there have been some jokes. I've just said to him 'mia san mia' (Bayern's club motto) all the time in the last few days.

"When the media discusses a possible transfer of a great player like him, then you are curious.

"But you have to leave him alone and not ask him personally about what he will do. That would be too much.

"I think he would help Bayern a lot, like every other team in the world. I'm curious to know what will happen, but I think he looks happy at City and doesn't necessarily want to leave."

Draxler and Sane are set to share a pitch over the next few days as they attempt to help Germany past Belarus and Estonia in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The former is one cap shy of 50 for the national team and second only to captain Manuel Neuer for appearances among the current squad.

"We're on the path to building a completely new team with a new hierarchy," Draxler said.

"It remains to be seen who will take responsibility and put in the effort. There are many new players on the team.

"With [almost] 50 caps, I obviously have a certain level of experience, but far be it from me to say that I'll take over complete responsibility.

"Everyone has to help out in order for us to be successful again - that goes for me as well."

Sven Ulreich has been called up to the Germany squad for the first time after a thumb injury ruled Arsenal's Bernd Leno out of Die Mannschaft's forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia.

Bayern Munich's Ulreich made just nine Bundesliga appearances as his side won the title in 2018-19 but Germany's goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke said he had earned his chance for the national team after deputising ably for Manuel Neuer at Allianz Arena.

Ulreich joins Neuer and Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp in Germany's squad for the qualifiers, the first of which is the trip to Belarus on June 8th. 

Kopke told AZ: "Sven deserves this call-up.

"When he was needed this season, he was there and showed top performances at Bayern, 

"That is a great quality."

Leno was an unused substitute in Arsenal's 4-1 Europa League final defeat to Chelsea but Kopke indicated the 27-year-old has been struggling for some time.

"I know Bernd is suffering from pain for weeks," said Kopke.

"The thumb is immobilised with a bracer so we have to do without him in the upcoming games."

Germany coach Joachim Low will miss the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia after he was injured in a "sporting accident".

The German Football Federation (DFB) confirmed Low's treatment is proceeding well, but the 59-year-old has been advised by doctors to rest for the next month.

Low will be replaced by his assistant Marcus Sorg and goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke for the trip to Borisov on June 8 and subsequent visit of Estonia three days later.

Nevertheless, Low plans to remain in contact with them and team manager Oliver Bierhoff around the fixtures.

"I'm feeling well again, but I have to relax a bit over the next four weeks," Low said in the DFB's statement.

"I'm in constant contact with my coaching team, and we'll be in close contact with each other around the two matches.

"Marcus Sorg, Andy Kopke and Oliver Bierhoff have a lot of experience and together we will bridge this short break. "

Bierhoff remains confident everything will run smoothly despite Low's absence, and that all decisions will be discussed with him.

He added: "The most important thing is that Jogi will be fit in a couple of days, and even though you know he would like to be at the training ground it is right for him to relax.

"Marcus Sorg and Andy Kopke know the procedures and the team very well, they discuss everything closely with Jogi anyway."

Germany began their Group C campaign with a 3-2 win away to Netherlands in March, as they set out to eradicate the underwhelming 2018 World Cup campaign from their memories.

Northern Ireland lead the pool heading into the next round of fixtures, having won both of their first two matches.

Canada scraped into the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship semi-finals with a dramatic victory over Switzerland, while defending champions Sweden were stunned.

The top-ranked Canadians were heading out of the tournament as they trailed 2-1 late in the third period until New Jersey Devils defenceman Damon Severson intervened.

Severson's point shot squeezed over the line with 0.4 seconds remaining and a video review confirmed the goal to take the game to overtime.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone then scored his second goal of the clash to clinch a precious 3-2 win.

"I saw the puck go in and that's all I could tell you really," said Severson. "I didn't know how much time was left.

"I knew that it was going to be close to the end of the period, but it ended up being the tying goal with 0.4 left, so that was awesome."

There was also a dramatic finish between Finland and Sweden as two late goals saw the 2018 winners beaten 5-4.

Marko Anttila took the contest to overtime, where Sakari Manninen was the Finland hero.

Russia's bid for a 28th gold medal – extending their own record – continues after they defeated the United States 4-3. They will play Finland, while Czech Republic thrashed Germany 5-1 to set up a meeting with Canada.

Toni Kroos and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have been left out of the Germany squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia due to injuries.

Midfielder Kroos, who signed a new four-year contract at Real Madrid on Monday, will be absent due to a muscular issue, while Ter Stegen is struggling with a knee problem that has made him a doubt for Barcelona's Copa del Rey final against Valencia on Saturday.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno consequently returns to the fold to provide competition for captain Manuel Neuer, whose spot will be determined by his recovery from the calf injury that curtailed his season in April.

Jonas Hector and Julian Draxler have also been recalled by Joachim Low.

Thilo Kehrer, Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner will not take part in the European Under-21 Championship despite being eligible.

However, Jonathan Tah and Lukas Klostermann are available to link up with Stefan Kuntz's team for the tournament after the games against Belarus and Estonia on June 8 and 11 respectively.

Germany director Oliver Bierhoff said: "The challenge for Joachim Low and Stefan Kuntz is to find the right balance. On the one hand, we want to present competitive teams who can win their games.

"On the other hand, the coaches must always keep an eye on the individual situation and the best possible development of individuals. This only succeeds with close work.

"The ultimate goal is to return German football to a world-class level."

 

Germany squad in full:

Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt); Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen); Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).

Canada defeated United States 3-0 to claim top spot in Group A of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while Russia's 7-4 win over Sweden meant they finished first in Group B.

Six matches on Tuesday concluded the group stage of the tournament in Slovakia.

The eight qualifiers for the quarter-finals – the top four teams in each group – were known, but final placings were up for grabs.

Canada's reward is a last-eight clash against Switzerland – who finished fourth in Group B – on Thursday, while Russia, who have a 100 per cent record after seven games, will take on USA in a mouth-watering tie.

Finland will play Sweden and Czech Republic face Germany in the other two quarter-final contests.

Canada made a fast start against USA with goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Turris in the first period setting them on their way.

Jared McCann of the Pittsburgh Penguins netted in the second to seal the win, while the impressive Matt Murray made 28 saves at the other end en route to a shutout.

They overhauled previous leaders Finland, who lost 4-2 to Germany, while hosts Slovakia ended their tournament on a high after beating Denmark in a shootout.

In Group B, Czech Republic won a lively encounter 5-4 against Switzerland and Latvia beat Norway 4-1 in a match between two teams who already knew they would be eliminated.

Borussia Dortmund have announced the signing of Nico Schulz from fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for a reported €25million fee.

Dortmund fell short in their bid to unseat Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich but have moved quickly to add to their squad for 2019-20.

Schulz has broken into the Germany team since swapping Borussia Monchengladbach for Hoffenheim in 2017 and feels joining Dortmund is a natural next step.

"Borussia Dortmund are a top club whose team plays a football that simply suits me and my style, and I think I can help the team with my way of playing and we can achieve great things together," he told Dortmund's official website.

Schulz, 26, will be reunited with a familiar face in Dortmund as he played under head coach Lucien Favre at Gladbach.

"Nico Schulz is a defensive player who has made another leap in performance over the past few years and, like the German national football team, we will benefit greatly from his physique, his pace and his extreme dynamism," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc added.

Schulz becomes the third biggest sale in Hoffenheim's history, although neither club disclosed the fee, behind Roberto Firmino and Kerem Demirbay who joined Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.

"Even though we agreed to the transfer at the end after weighing all the circumstances, of course we regret the loss of Nico," said Hoffenheim's director of football, Alexander Rosen.

"He has made a sensational development in just two years and is symbolic of the way players can improve at TSG."

Schulz, meanwhile, is grateful for the part Hoffenheim have played in his rise over the past two seasons.

"I know very well what I owe to TSG Hoffenheim, the people here in the club, the coaching staff, the fans and my team-mates," he told the club's official website.

"That's why I've been thinking about the change for a long time and, now I've chosen this path, I'm grateful to TSG for agreeing to the transfer."

The United States inched closer to a IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-final spot as Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane shone again in a 7-1 victory over Denmark.

Kane scored three points in the Group A success, as did Chicago team-mate Alex DeBrincat, with USA now virtually assured of a last-eight berth.

That would have been confirmed had hosts Slovakia not beaten Great Britain, but the hosts remain in the hunt after a convincing 7-1 triumph in which they scored three times in each of the first two periods.

With three of the top-four spots in Group A already sewn up, USA would join Finland, Canada and Germany in the quarter-finals if they beat the Germans on Sunday.

In Group B, Sweden's last-eight hopes were boosted by a thrilling 4-3 win over Switzerland in a repeat of last year's final.

Defending champions Sweden again came out on top thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson's game-winner in the third period.

Canada inflicted a first defeat on Germany, who went down 8-1 in Group A, while in Group B, Russia beat Latvia 3-1 and Norway overcame Italy 7-1.

Alex Ovechkin helped Russia continue their impressive start to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while the United States claimed a win on Wednesday.

Russia made it four wins from four in Group B with a 10-0 thrashing of Italy in Slovakia.

Washington Capitals star Ovechkin scored his first goal of the tournament, while Nikita Kucherov (one goal, three assists) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (two goals, two assists) each finished with four points.

Russia and Switzerland are the only unbeaten teams in the group after the latter overcame Norway 4-1.

In Group A, Patrick Kane scored and provided two assists in USA's 6-3 win over Great Britain.

The Chicago Blackhawks star became USA's all-time leading scorer at the tournament with 36 points.

It was USA's third win in four games and left them behind Germany, who maintained their perfect start by edging hosts Slovakia 3-2.

Germany and Switzerland maintained their perfect starts to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship with wins on Tuesday.

Moritz Seider, Matthias Plachta, Leon Draisaitl and Korbinian Holzer scored in Germany's 4-1 win over France in Group A.

Germany are three from three atop the group, but their toughest games are still to come in Slovakia.

Denmark recorded their second win in the group, thrashing struggling Great Britain 9-0.

The Washington Capitals' Lars Eller scored once and provided three assists, while Morten Poulsen finished with a hat-trick to boost the Danes' quarter-final chances.

In Group B, last year's runners-up Switzerland posted their third win in as many games by beating Austria 4-0.

Latvia claimed their second win in the group courtesy of a 3-0 victory over bottom-placed Italy.

Page 1 of 13
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.