Borussia Dortmund would benefit from the experience of Bayern Munich outcast Jerome Boateng, according to Stefan Effenberg.

Dortmund were top of the Bundesliga table for long periods of the 2018-19 season but ultimately fell short as Bayern sealed a seventh consecutive title on the final day of the campaign.

And former Bayern star Effenberg feels Dortmund's young side suffered for their lack of experience in such situations.

Boateng has featured throughout the champions' run of triumphs but appears set to leave this close-season, prompting Effenberg to suggest Dortmund as an ideal landing spot.

"At Borussia Dortmund, they were missing one or two experienced players for the title - especially in central defence," the 2000-01 Champions League winner said in quotes published on t-online.de.

"BVB should therefore really think about Jerome Boateng. He would be the perfect stabiliser to seriously fight for the title and even win. Boateng is the player you need for the next step.

"And it would be quite realistic, because Boateng is done in Bavaria. Dortmund are definitely the only club in the Bundesliga that could do it."

Boateng, 30, held talks with Paris Saint-Germain last year and has been advised by Bayern president Uli Hoeness to leave the club.

Dortmund have already signed Nico Schulz, Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt.

Niko Kovac is "100 per cent" certain to be in charge of Bayern Munich next season but Jerome Boateng should look elsewhere, according to Uli Hoeness.

Head coach Kovac successfully guided Bayern to the Bundesliga title at the first attempt and completed a domestic double with a routine 3-0 victory over RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday.

The Croatian is now receiving strong backing from above after courting criticism during the earlier stages of a campaign that started slowly and featured limp elimination at the hands of Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, speaking after the Olympiastadion success, denied Kovac's future has ever been in question and president Hoeness gave further guarantees as the celebrations continued on Sunday.

"A team wouldn't be able to play such good football if the understanding with the manager wasn't good," Hoeness told reporters.

"These reports [about a potential change] were all fairytales."

Asked directly whether Kovac will continue in his role, Hoeness responded: "100 per cent, yes."

Centre-back Boateng's future at the club is not so assured.

The 30-year-old, who held talks with Paris Saint-Germain last year, watched from the bench against Leipzig as he has done for long periods since the World Cup and could have his stay in Bavaria cut short of a ninth season.

Hoeness said: "As a friend I would advise him to leave the club. He needs a new challenge, he has seemed out of place recently."

Meanwhile, Bayern have confirmed assistant coach Peter Hermann will not return for a second season under Kovac.

Hermann remained with the Bavarian heavyweights after returning from Fortuna Dusseldorf in October 2017 to serve a second stint as Jupp Heynckes' lieutenant at the Allianz Arena.

Jerome Boateng will miss Bayern Munich's Bundesliga clash with Bavarian rivals Nurnberg on Sunday after suffering a knee injury in training.

The 30-year-old – who played the full 90 minutes in his side's DFB-Pokal win over Werder Bremen on Wednesday – was left bruised by a collision on Saturday.

While Boateng will miss the trip to Max-Morlock-Stadion, Arjen Robben has travelled with the squad for the first time since November.

The Dutchman – who will leave the club at the end of the season – has endured a torrid campaign with injuries but could play some part as Bayern look to take advantage of Borussia Dortmund's slip up on Saturday.

Dortmund's 4-2 defeat to Schalke means Niko Kovac's side can open up a four-point lead over them at the Bundesliga summit.

Niko Kovac has demanded defensive "responsibility and discipline" from his Bayern Munich side in Saturday's mouth-watering clash against Borussia Dortmund.

Kovac was stunned by his side's defending in their dramatic 5-4 DFB-Pokal quarter-final win against second-tier Heidenheim on Wednesday.

Bayern host Dortmund, who are two points clear of them at the Bundesliga summit, on Saturday and Kovac wants every member of his team to contribute to keeping their opponents at bay – regardless of their position.

"It's about responsibility and discipline," he told a media conference on Thursday. "I do not just start with the defenders, it starts earlier. You have to be ready, no matter what your level.

"France have become world champions because they played well but also defended well.

"It is not for nothing that titles are decided at the back. We have to come back to defending well, as individuals and as a team.

"That's what we have to go back to, but you have to want it even if you're an artist.

"It will be an interesting game. The team that makes fewer mistakes will win."

Kovac also waded into the debate over Jerome Boateng's reported plan to throw a party hours after the clash with Dortmund.

The club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic believes Boateng's decision is ill-advised – a view the Bayern boss broadly agrees with.

"Personally, I do not think he should have started this party, but on the other hand, everyone has to decide for themselves what they do in their free time," he explained.

Manuel Neuer missed the tie against Heidenheim with a calf injury, while Robert Lewandowski was only fit enough to be named as a substitute after suffering from illness.

Kovac said a late decision will be made on Neuer's fitness but he thinks Lewandowski – who came off the bench to score Bayern's winning goal from the penalty spot – will be "fine".

He also confirmed that David Alaba, who has missed his side's last two games through injury, has returned to training and could feature, but James Rodriguez has a problem with his adductor and could miss out.

Jerome Boateng's plan to throw a party hours after Bayern Munich's Bundesliga clash with title rivals Borussia Dortmund is ill-advised, says the club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

Boateng is reportedly set to hold a glitzy affair shortly after Bayern host Dortmund at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, a game that could decide the destination of the title.

Salihamidzic, though, is unimpressed with the move and said he would have advised Boateng to select another date, with Bayern sitting two points behind the leaders.

"I said I would not do this as a player," Salihamidzic told reporters after Wednesday's thrilling 5-4 DFB-Pokal quarter-final defeat of Heidenheim.

"Especially if I have this kind of game ahead and you don’t know what the result will be. I hope and I am sure that we will play a good game but, if he had asked, I would have told him he shouldn't do it."

Thomas Muller was central to Bayern's comeback against second-tier Heidenheim, scoring to make it 2-2 before setting up Robert Lewandowski to put Bayern in front, although the Poland striker still had to convert a late penalty to settle matters.

"Conceding four goals at home is too much," Muller said in the post-match mixed zone. "But for us it's going to be important to improve where we made mistakes and be better on Saturday.

"Offensively we can continue like this, but defensively, the whole team has to improve and we have to grow with the challenge. Another thing that was off today was that we probably thought we could just easily continue like this, but in the cup, that can't happen.

"I am still a bit overwhelmed after the game. It's maybe a bit easier for you to analyse the game than a player who was on the pitch. It was a 'crazy thing'. Many things happened that we didn't like and that should bother us."

Coach Niko Kovac was also frustrated with the defending on show from Bayern despite his side showing character to fight back with 10 men, Niklas Sule having been dismissed after Leon Goretzka's early header opened the scoring.

"I'm very upset, because we have many international players, many players who have achieved so much, who play on a very high level in international competitions," he told a news conference. "And yet, they didn't manage to control the game to the end like they should. The way it is in Bundesliga and all other leagues, too.

"I'm satisfied with the morale the team has shown, with one player down, to come back and go up 4-2, and win it 5-4 in the end. That shows we have a lot of quality. But one thing is for sure and I said it time and again, including at half-time, before the game, during the game, we have to be more compact. Being compact is the very basis for being able to play forward.

"But when you concede four goals, I can't remember someone winning 5-4 in recent history, somebody should check the history books. So, I'm saying, you cannot concede four goals, with all due respect to Heidenheim, that can't happen.

"No matter if it's the second league, third league, fifth league or first league. That can't happen. That's what upsets me, but we won't play two games like this one within a week. You can be sure of that."

Bayern Munich will splash out a Bundesliga-record €80million on Lucas Hernandez after agreeing a deal with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Lucas is to join Benjamin Pavard in moving to Bayern for the start of next season as the Bavarian giants look to improve on a disappointing 2018-19 season under Niko Kovac.

But having spent such a huge amount on the Atleti star - almost double the previous league record - what are Bayern getting for their money?

With the help of Opta data, we take a look at how France international Lucas compares statistically to Europe's other elite defenders.

 

GOALS CONCEDED

Lucas has played just 14 times in LaLiga this season, yet his tally of only eight goals conceded is still mightily impressive. New Bayern team-mates Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng have played 15 and 17 times respectively this term, conceding 14 and 15 goals.

With the France international on the field, Atleti have conceded 0.57 goals per game. Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk has been on the pitch for 0.58 goals per game.

 

TACKLES

Lucas averages a huge amount of tackles compared to his peers, making 35 in total this season - or 2.5 per game.

That figure is more than double the number per match from Hummels (1.2), Boateng (1.12) or Van Dijk (1.06). Leonardo Bonucci averages only 0.59 and Thiago Silva just 0.68, although Milan Skriniar is a little closer with 2.0.

PASSES

One area in which Lucas might need some time to adapt is in how Bayern's defenders work on the ball. Playing for the pragmatic Diego Simeone at Atleti, the 23-year-old plays just 36.36 passes per match. Team-mate Diego Godin averages 33.86.

Unsurprisingly, those at other elite clubs make far more. Aymeric Laporte plays a massive 85.67, with Silva on 80.27 and Van Dijk on 79.68. Bayern pair Hummels (82) and Boateng (78.24) are also among the most prolific passers.

 

ERRORS

What cannot be questioned is Lucas' reliability at the back. He might have made only 14 league appearances in 2018-19, but he has not made a single error leading to a shot. The same is true of Boateng and Skriniar.

Van Dijk has made one, while Gerard Pique has been guilty of a concerning five.

Germany fans thanked Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng prior to Wednesday’s friendly against Serbia after Joachim Low said they were no longer in his plans.

Head coach Low shocked German football earlier this month when he announced the three Bayern Munich players were to step aside at international level.

The experienced trio all played an important role in Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph, but following an embarrassing title defence in Russia last year that saw them dumped out in the group stage, followed by a dismal Nations League campaign, Low opted to make radical changes.

Many have come out in support of the ostracised trio, criticising Low for publicly ending their careers for the national team instead of just dropping them, while the players themselves have voiced their displeasure.

Germany’s supporters showed their gratitude at the Volkswagen Arena, creating a display before kick-off that said "thank you" and included the respective squad numbers for Hummels, Muller and Boateng underneath.

RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann will make his international debut in a new-look Germany team against Serbia on Wednesday, while Manuel Neuer is preferred to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Head coach Joachim Low shocked German football earlier this month when he announced Bayern Munich stars Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels were no long in consideration for international selection.

The experienced trio all played an important role in Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph, but following an embarrassing title defence in Russia last year which saw them dumped out in the group stage and a dismal Nations League campaign, Low has opted to make changes.

Many have come out in support of the ostracised trio, criticising Low for publicly ending their international careers instead of just dropping them.

Bayern goalkeeper Neuer is one of the few experienced campaigners remaining in the squad and Low's show of faith also extends to keeping him in the starting XI, despite pressure to play Barcelona's Ter Stegen.

But the decision to ditch the World Cup-winning trio has given others the opportunity to impress, with right-back Klostermann earning his first cap.

His Leipzig team-mate Marcel Halstenberg lines up on the other side of defence at left-back, while Jonathan Tah and Niklas Sule are the ones to benefit from the absences of Hummels and Boateng.

Julian Brandt, Leroy Sane and Kai Havertz will support Timo Werner in attack, but Toni Kroos and Marco Reus have been left out of the starting XI, with Germany due to face Netherlands in their first Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.

Eintracht Frankfurt star Luka Jovic leads the line for visitors Serbia in Wolfsburg.

Oliver Bierhoff insists Germany are not in a "doomsday" scenario as a new era begins following the controversial omissions of Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller.

The Bayern Munich trio, who all played a key role in Germany's World Cup triumph in 2014, have been left out by head coach Joachim Low for the start of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Team manager Bierhoff suggested after relegation in the Nations League last year Germany should keep faith with their experienced players, but there appears to have been a change of heart.

Muller reacted angrily to being dropped while Bayern complained at the timing of the announcement, made just days before their Champions League last-16 second leg at home to Liverpool, and former coach Jurgen Klinsmann criticised the decision.

Germany play Serbia in a friendly ahead of facing Netherlands in Euro 2020 qualifying, with RB Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann, Hertha Berlin midfielder Niklas Stark and Werder Bremen forward Maximilian Eggestein the new faces in Low's squad.

Parallels have been drawn to 2004, when Germany invested in a new generation of talent after being knocked out in the group stage of the European Championship, but Bierhoff is unsure whether their current situation can be compared.

"Jurgen has a view from the outside in," Bierhoff told a news conference. "I do not want to set a doomsday scenario, we are in a better situation compared to 2004.

"There are fewer and fewer potential players in the U16, U17 area, but at the moment we still have a lot of good players we can develop. Other nations are better off, but we can look back on a good base, not as good as 2010, but we still have good players.

"I think the most important thing was that the players learned it [being dropped] from us, from Jogi Low. It was the right step to keep it short. This question of respect has surprised me, and for me as a player, the truth has always been the most important thing, and my impression is that after the first annoyance, some calm is restored."

Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt conceded he did not expect Muller, Hummels and Boateng to be left out by Low but suggested they may return one day.

"I was surprised when I read about it, I do not know the national team without the three of them," he told reporters on Monday. 

"We take the situation and we want to continue to be successful with the DFB, you never know what's going to happen in the middle of it all, you always see each other twice in your life.

"Of course we have a lot going on, the team is a bit younger now, and a lot of young players, including myself, want to be more responsible, and we need to do that over time.

"I have to find my own way, I do not worry, one says more on the pitch. Manuel Neuer and Toni Kroos are still there, they bring a little more experience."

Joachim Low has called up three new players in his first Germany squad since controversially axing senior trio Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.

Low confirmed last week that the World Cup-winning trio will not be part of his plans for their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, which starts against Netherlands on March 24, four days after a friendly with Serbia.

Low has instead turned to RB Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann, Hertha Berlin midfielder Niklas Stark and Werder Bremen's exciting forward Maximilian Eggestein as he looks to reverse Die Mannschaft's fortunes after a calamitous World Cup campaign in Russia last year.

Muller, Hummels and Boateng have all expressed disappointment with the communication surrounding the decision to drop them from the squad and Low says he understands their frustrations.

"I understand that the players are incredibly disappointed," he told a media conference.

"I told them that I would be planning without them for the European Championships qualification and I wanted to be honest."

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan have been recalled after missing the squad for November's Nations League meeting with Netherlands and friendly against Russia.

There is no place, however, for Jonas Hector, Julian Draxler, Sebastian Rudy and Mark Uth, who were all included in the initial squad for their last fixtures.

Germany squad in full: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona) Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt - on loan from Paris Saint-Germain); Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin); Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Manchester City); Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Maximilian Eggestein (Werder Bremen).

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp backed Joachim Low's decision to drop three Bayern Munich stars from his Germany squad, but he expects the trio to respond.

Low axed Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels from his squad for upcoming matches against Serbia and Netherlands.

Klopp, whose side visit Bayern for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday, said he understood Low's move.

"This can be. I don't think one of the three thought about being kicked out," he told a news conference.

"I know Mats from my experience and they will show a reaction of course. They have a break now in the national team and will have more power."

Low pointed to a "new beginning" for Germany in dropping the trio, who helped their nation win the 2014 World Cup.

Klopp said decisions over squad selection were entirely up to Low, although the former Borussia Dortmund coach was unsure if the 59-year-old could tell players they would never be picked again.

"A small detail I'd like to say. I'm a coach and I take decisions. But I find Jogi Low has 100 per cent the right to not nominate them as he has other players," he said.

"I'm not really sure if we can say I just nominate you never again, I don't know how it works with a national team.

"My players have a contract and I can say it's better if you leave and we can talk. But no contracts with the national team.

"I as a coach decide who plays but I don't know why it is so determined, maybe they can explain it's a decision forever.

"I understand he wants to make a change but everything else we will see what we deliver at the end and that's how our careers are measured."

Liverpool face Bayern at the Allianz Arena with the tie locked at 0-0 on aggregate.

Joshua Kimmich says Joachim Low's handling of the decision to sideline Bayern Munich team-mates Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng from Germany duty "was not okay".

On Tuesday, Germany boss Low confirmed in an interview with Bild that the World Cup winners are not part of his Euro 2020 qualifying plans.

Low explained that his ruthless decision was borne out of a desire to blood Die Mannschaft's future following a dismal 2018 that saw Germany's World Cup defence end in group-stage disgrace, while they were also relegated from the top-tier of the inaugural Nations League.

Bayern later released a statement saying they were "irritated" by the timing of Low's decision, which came before Saturday's 6-0 Bundesliga hammering of Wolfsburg and the upcoming Champions League last-16 second leg against Liverpool – a tie locked at 0-0.

Muller himself admitted he was angered, while Bayern coach Niko Kovac said it "wasn't right" and Kimmich has questioned Low's thought process.

"I first heard about it from the press, one day later the three boys told me," Kimmich told reporters after the Wolfsburg game. "Yes, I was [surprised]. 

"I know the national team only with these three players. Over the past 10 years, they have shaped the team and made us world champions. They are also my team-mates. 

"From a player's point of view, the way was not okay, so I understand that the guys are disappointed.

"Especially when you consider that they are only 29 and 30 years old. Thomas has made 100 games for Germany, for example. Then you have earned another departure. 

"Football is often talked about old and young - I think that none of the boys are too old to play in the national team."

All three ostracised players were involved against Wolfsburg, with Muller scoring Bayern's fourth goal, and Kimmich felt the trio were playing with a point to prove.

"You do not shake things off that easily," he added. 

"I am a national player myself and I know how special it is to play for Germany. 

"I do not think you can get that out of your head after two days, but they showed what they got. They have played a very good game."

Former Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner has warned Liverpool to expect an "angry" backlash from the Bundesliga champions on Wednesday following Joachim Low's decision to axe three senior stars.

Germany head coach Low announced this week that Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels will no longer be considered for international duty as he attempts to usher in a new generation of talent.

Bayern released a statement hitting out at the timing of Low's decision, with a Bundesliga game against Wolfsburg on Saturday followed by next week's Champions League last-16 second leg at the Allianz Arena.

And Wagner, a Bundesliga champion with Bayern for the second time last season before leaving for Tianjin Teda, thinks Niko Kovac's side will take out their frustrations on Liverpool.

"I'm sorry for the guys. All three are great players, world champions and great people - each in their own way," he told Bild.

"But I'm sure it'll be a positive for Bayern's season. Mats, Jerome and Thomas will now want to show everyone they are still at the absolute highest level.

"With this anger, the boys will blow Liverpool away in Munich."

Bayern held Jurgen Klopp's side to a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg.

They will first look to keep pace with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga when they take on Wolfsburg this weekend.

Mats Hummels is not happy with the way Joachim Low dumped him from the Germany squad.

Low announced on Tuesday that Hummels, along with Bayern Munich team-mates Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller, would no longer be considered for selection.

Hummels has made 70 appearances for Germany and, along with Muller and Boateng, helped his country to glory at the 2014 World Cup.

The 30-year-old has now broken his silence to reveal that he is not impressed with how Low and the German Football Association [DFB] have handled the situation.

"With some distance, I would also like to comment on the decision of the national team coach," Hummels wrote on Twitter.

"Regardless of what I think is a reasonable sporting decision (which, of course, I respect), I can't comprehend the way it has been delivered.

"In my opinion, I have always had a good relationship with the people at the DFB and we have always been fair with each other.

"Thomas, Jerome and I gave everything for the national team for years and the way this has been handled doesn't do justice to what we've accomplished and achieved in my eyes. And that leaves me far from cold because I loved playing for Germany!

"For me, I can say: they have been wonderful years, 70 caps, far exceeding everything I once dreamed of as a kid. I was allowed to take part in four major tournaments.

"It was crowned by winning the 2014 World Cup. I will carry this feeling inside me forever and I would have really liked to have given everything again to repeat something similar."

Muller, meanwhile, took to social media on Wednesday to blast Low, saying: "The longer I think about it, the more I get angry about the way this happened. I was totally dumbfounded by this decision out of the blue."

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac admits he was surprised by Joachim Low's ruthless decision to declare he will no longer call up Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng or Mats Hummels for Germany.

Low confirmed in an interview with Bild on Tuesday that the World Cup-winning trio will not be part of his plans for Euro 2020 qualifying.

Bayern issued a statement to criticise the timing of the announcement, with the Bundesliga champions facing Wolfsburg on Saturday before the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Liverpool on Wednesday.

Kovac says the three players are upset by the decision, but he is backing them to respond by performing well on the pitch.

"I know that my players are disappointed - especially by the finality of it. To say a player is past it at 29, 30 isn't right," he told a news conference.

"The boys are fully focused now and I'm convinced that they will let their performances do the talking." 

Bayern head into Saturday's game level with Borussia Dortmund on 54 points at the top of the table.

Kovac thinks closing the gap to Lucien Favre's side has stimulated his Bayern players, although he is wary of underestimating a Wolfsburg side who have only lost four times in 15 away games this season in all competitions.

"I'm convinced catching up has inspired us," he said. "We were obviously dependent on the teams that played against BVB, but we had to do our job. Now it goes to the finish.

"This is a very important game for us. We're on a good run and we want to continue that at the weekend. Wolfsburg are also in good form - they are the second-best away team in the league. We need to be on red alert." 

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