Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland must still convince Lucien Favre of his match fitness despite a sensational start to life in Germany.

Haaland arrived at Signal Iduna Park from RB Salzburg last month, billed as one of the hottest properties in European football, and the teenage striker has certainly not disappointed.

He scored a hat-trick from the bench to inspire a 5-3 comeback win over Augsburg on debut and followed that with a brace in a 5-1 rout of Cologne.

The Norway international was at the double once more on his first start, with Union Berlin dismissed 5-0, although he was a substitute once more for the DFB-Pokal tie at Werder Bremen in midweek.

Naturally, Haaland scored after his introduction, although BVB fell to a 3-2 defeat.

Asked whether he regretted not starting the in-form forward, Favre kept his sights trained on the bigger picture at a Thursday news conference.

"As I said, I am the first one to [know whether to] let him play from the beginning," he said.

"You don't know his fitness like I do. So, we have to be careful. We have to be reasonable.

"Of course, I would like to let him play all games, but we still have to be careful with him sometimes.

"He is 19 years old and I speak about the pre-season and old injuries. We have to be reasonable."

Favre's hand might be forced, however, given his forward line will be without Marco Reus when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. 

"Unfortunately, Marco is injured now. It happened in the last minute. I am very sorry for him," said Favre, with his captain set for a four-week spell on the sidelines due to a muscular complaint that will cause him to miss the Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"But Marco is still very important and will be important for the team. There are several options how to replace him, but it depends on the system. Today it’s still not decided."

Emre Can, a deadline-day arrival on an initial loan from Juventus, made a substitute cameo against Werder and could make his league debut for Dortmund against old employers Leverkusen.

"We have to see him in training, how he feels. He did not play a lot [at Juventus this season]," Favre added.

"He made a good impression yesterday. The training was very long and intense. He did very well.

"He has to show in training what he is able to do. We know he can play as a defender with a back three but also in the midfield as six or eight, also in a 4-3-3.

"We will see because right now I cannot tell you exactly."

Manchester City are reportedly lining up a move for Lionel Messi in a free transfer amid the star's troubles at Barcelona.

Messi, 32, has been involved in a public disagreement with the club's technical secretary Eric Abidal, leading to immediate questions over his future at Camp Nou.

City, and former boss Pep Guardiola, look ready to make their move.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY EYE MESSI FOR FREE AMID BARCELONA TROUBLES

Manchester City will swoop for Messi for free if the star cannot resolve his problems at Barcelona, according to The Sun.

While Messi is contracted until 2021, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed last year the Argentina international was free to leave after the 2019-20 season.

Messi worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, with the duo winning three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns among numerous other trophies at the club.

ROUND-UP

- There could be major changes coming at Arsenal. The Sun reports Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil are at risk with Arsenal perhaps prepared to sell their stars to finance a spending spree.

- Manchester United and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head in a bid to sign Lyon forward Moussa Dembele at the end of the season, according to The Mirror. Dembele, 23, has scored 12 Ligue 1 goals in 22 matches this season and has been linked with a move to Old Trafford previously.

- Staying in Manchester and City must wait until April to resolve the future of Leroy Sane after the attacker's switch of agent, according to The Telegraph and Bild. Sane is a reported target for Bayern Munich and Manchester City will have to wait to discuss the Germany international's future due to a clause in his deal with his previous agency.

- With Ousmane Dembele facing a long spell on the sidelines, Barcelona are eyeing Girona forward Cristhian Stuani, according to Deportes Cuatro, which reports the 33-year-old Uruguayan has a €20million release clause. Barca would need approval to complete the deal outside the transfer window.

- Could Liverpool have to search for a new back-up goalkeeper? Estadio Deportivo reports Real Betis are considering a move for their former shot-stopper Adrian, who is contracted to the European champions until 2021, with the club holding an option for a further year.

Hasan Salihamidzic insisted Bayern Munich were in no rush to enter contract talks with their stars, preferring to focus on challenging on several fronts.

Bayern moved into the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals by overcoming Hoffenheim 4-3 on Wednesday.

They are top of the Bundesliga and into the last 16 of the Champions League, and that is the focus for the German giants despite the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara coming out of contract next year.

"We will certainly have talks, but in the next few weeks we will concentrate on the competitions," Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic told reporters.

"It's important that we are totally focused on the games in the upcoming weeks. That's where the focus lies."

Asked if he was worried about other clubs potentially looking at the stars coming out of contract, Salihamidzic said: "No. Sure, this can happen with top players, but we have had good experience with concentrating on the competitions first and that's what we will do.

"But like I said before, we will have talks, the players know about it and there are no problems."

Bayern are back in action with a top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash at home to RB Leipzig on Sunday.

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

Marco Reus will be sidelined for at least four weeks after suffering a muscle injury in Borussia Dortmund's DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen on Tuesday. 

Lucien Favre's side were beaten 3-2 by the Bundesliga strugglers as Reus was forced off in the closing stages of a damaging evening for the visitors. 

Dortmund tweeted on Wednesday to confirm their captain would not be fit to return to training until next month, ruling him out of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"Captain Marco Reus contracted a muscle injury in the DFB-Pokal," the tweet read.

"According to the current status, he will be able to start training again in around four weeks."

That timeframe would rule the attacking midfielder out of the next four top-flight matches, but he could be back in the reckoning for the trip to Paris on March 11.

Bayern Munich failed with a late bid to sign Dani Olmo from Dinamo Zagreb, according to the Croatian club's sporting director Zoran Mamic.

Spain international Olmo joined RB Leipzig during the transfer window for a reported initial fee of €20million.

According to Mamic, the deal, which includes bonuses and a 20 per cent sell-on clause, represents "by far" the biggest sale in Dinamo's history.

However, Mamic claims they could have held out for even more had they ignored the forward's wishes and accepted a late offer from Bayern.

"Dani didn't want to go to Italy or England," he told Sportske Novosti. "He insisted on Leipzig.

"If we had had more time, he would have ended up at Bayern.

"We could certainly have got more out of the deal, but it wasn't just our decision. We could have said to Dani that we didn't accept the offer from Leipzig, but that wouldn't have been fair to him."

Having missed out on Olmo, Bayern have reportedly turned their attentions towards a bid for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz with a view to a transfer at the end of the season.

The 20-year-old, who is said to be admired by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, could cost as much as €130m according to reports in Germany.

Former Bayern midfielder Michael Ballack is not convinced Havertz is ready for such a step, though.

"At Bayern, you need other characteristics to assert yourself. Just being good is not enough there," he told Sport1.

"He needs time and the robustness to be prepared mentally for Bayern. He is still in the development phase and there are still mistakes in his game."

Hertha Berlin forward Krzysztof Piatek revealed he took every chance he got to learn from Poland team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

Piatek joined Hertha from Milan for a reported €27million in January, having struggled to get to his best at San Siro.

The 24-year-old made his debut for the Bundesliga club off the bench in a 0-0 draw against Schalke on Friday.

With one of the world's best strikers in Lewandowski alongside him at international level, Piatek said he watched the Bayern Munich star closely when he had the chance.

"He is the best striker in Germany and one of the best in the world," Piatek told the Bundesliga website.

"When I train with Robert in the national team I always watch him. I watch everything he does and see what he does best.

"I speak with him all the time because I want to learn, and I hope I will learn all the time."

Piatek only managed four goals in 18 Serie A games for Milan this season before making the move to Hertha, who face Schalke in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday.

Timo Werner is open to a move to the Premier League or LaLiga when the time comes for him to leave RB Leipzig.

Germany international Werner was expected to join Bayern Munich ahead of the 2019-20 as he entered the final year of his contract, but a switch did not materialise and he instead signed a new four-year deal with Leipzig.

The 23-year-old continues to be linked with English giants Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Werner has scored 25 goals in 28 games in all competitions for Leipzig this season and is happy with how things are going at the Red Bull Arena.

However, the striker is not ruling out testing himself overseas in the future.

"I can imagine playing abroad at some point, but there's no specific place will go. I'm open to everything," Werner told Kicker.

"When I was on holiday in America, English football was on all the time. But there also very well-known and big teams in Spain where it would for sure be fun to play.

"When you have scored 20 goals this season so far at the age of 23, you obviously attract interest. That's clear. But at the moment, I'm not thinking about what will happen in the future.

"We are now facing important matches that will be decisive for the rest of the season. That's what I want to concentrate on. I'll think about my future at a later point in time."

He added: "What do you say if in two weeks a club that is a contender for winning the Champions League wants to sign someone and makes a great offer? Every player would think about it.

"In my opinion, career planning is always relative. It comes how it comes – and then you have to deal with it at the right time."

Hansi Flick was disappointed Bayern Munich took their foot off the pedal after 30 minutes of a 3-1 win at Mainz, although he was "thrilled" with a dominant initial spell.

Bayern all but sealed victory inside 26 minutes of Saturday's Bundesliga clash, scoring through in-form trio Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Thiago Alcantara.

But Mainz hit back through Jeremiah St. Juste on the stroke of half-time, and the defending champions, who moved top with victory, failed to rediscover their impressive early rhythm.

Head coach Flick was left a little disappointed by what he saw from his side in the final hour.

"I am happy that we won a sixth game in a row," he said. "I was thrilled with the first 30 minutes. After that, we showed too little, we slowed down.

"At the corner [from which St Juste scored] just before the break, I would have liked the team to be a little different. Then after the break, we slowed it down.

"You have to say that these 60 minutes were not 'Bayern-like'.

"But Mainz have their qualities in attack, which they have shown a few times today. We defended against them well and are going home with three points."

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic had little issue with the way Bayern saw the game out, however.

"This Mainz team is very dangerous with fast players up front," he said. "That's why we always had to be careful.

"So, we are satisfied, we won. We played through to the end and did our job."

In the league, Bayern next face title rivals RB Leipzig, who rescued a late point at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday but still dropped to second.

Erling Haaland's sensational start to life at Borussia Dortmund continued on Saturday as he scored twice in his side's 5-0 rout of Union Berlin.

The brace means he is the first player in Bundesliga history to score seven goals in his first three appearances in the competition.

Incredibly, each of the forward's first seven shots in Germany's top flight have ended as goals.

The 19-year-old netted a hat-trick on his debut against Augsburg on January 18 after being introduced as a 56th-minute substitute, following his move from Salzburg earlier in the month.

He followed that up with two more goals in the thumping 5-1 win over Cologne on January 24 after coming on with 25 minutes to go.

He was included from the start against Union Berlin and repaid coach Lucien Favre's faith, scoring in either half to help Dortmund move up to third in the table, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

Christopher Nkunku's late stunner saw RB Leipzig fight back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Bundesliga title rivals Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Mainz earlier on Saturday had set the stall out for Leipzig, and Julian Nagelsmann's side looked to be heading to a second straight defeat when they went 2-0 down in the first half.

Alassane Plea scored a stunning goal for Gladbach in their defeat of Mainz last time out and was on target again to put the visitors ahead 24 minutes in, slotting home after fine work from Marcus Thuram and Oscar Wendt.

Gladbach doubled their lead 11 minutes later when Jonas Hoffman scored his first league goal of the season.

Leipzig rallied after the break, though - half-time substitute Patrik Schick making a quick impact with a low strike before Plea then saw red after receiving two yellow cards in the space of seven seconds, both for dissent.

And Leipzig finally made their numerical advantage count in the 89th minute, Nkunku thumping in a superb shot from the edge of the box to keep his team in second place, a point behind new leaders Bayern.

A fine goal from Thiago Alcantara was the highlight as Bayern Munich cruised to a 3-1 victory away to Mainz, their sixth straight Bundesliga triumph.

Bayern go two points clear at the top ahead of RB Leipzig, who have a chance to return to the summit when they play Borussia Monchengladbach later on Saturday.

The visitors were three up inside 26 minutes at Opel Arena, with Robert Lewandowski's 22nd top-flight goal of the campaign setting them on their way.

For the third straight game, both Thomas Muller and Thiago scored, as Jeremiah St. Juste's first-half header no more than a consolation.

Having reached 58 goals in their first 20 matches, a club record, Hansi Flick's side have huge momentum going into a huge match against Leipzig next week.

Mainz, meanwhile, have lost six of their last seven league matches and sit just three points off the bottom.

They had conceded six times in their last two meetings with Bayern and it only took eight minutes for the German champions to move in front, Lewandowski sending a thumping header past goalkeeper Robin Zentner from eight yards after Benjamin Pavard picked him out with a pinpoint cross from the right.

It was two just six minutes later, as Lewandowski ran in on goal and collided with Zentner, prompting Leon Goretzka to gather the loose ball and square for Muller to convert with a simple finish.

A clever Leandro Barreiro effort struck the post at the other end and Mainz were left to rue that near miss after 26 minutes, when Thiago took a pass from Alphonso Davies 25 yards and embarked on a weaving run past Pierre Kunde, St. Juste and Barreiro, before firing in with a left-footed finish.

St. Juste got one back in the last minute of the first half, heading in Daniel Brosinski's corner via a heavy deflection off Goretzka.

A quiet second period almost had a tense finale only for Thiago to make a decisive challenge as Mainz substitute Adam Szalai bore down on goal, while Lewandowski screwed wide from a late chance to make it four.

What does it mean? Bayern flying ahead of top-of-the-table clash

A key contest against Leipzig awaits next week, where depending on their rivals' result against Gladbach they will either go in top or just one point behind. With six straight wins, in which they have scored 23 times, Bayern are in great shape.

Lethal Lewandowski not slowing down

Lewandowski's impressive early header set the tone and he also created four chances for his team-mates. The clinical 31-year-old frontman has already matched his league goals tally for the whole of last season, though he should have added a late second.

Mainz lacking creativity

Jean-Philippe Mateta did not have his finest outing, substituted after 74 minutes having not had a shot or created a single chance for Mainz. But he did not have much help, with the trio behind him - Robin Quaison Jean-Paul Boetius and Levin Oztunali – not producing a single key pass between them.

What's next? 

In-form Bayern host Hoffenheim in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday, while Mainz are away to Hertha Berlin next Saturday.

How close did Gareth Bale come to reuniting with Tottenham on transfer deadline day?

According to reports, the Premier League club went so far as to send representatives to Spain in an audacious attempt to lure the Wales international back to north London.

But even Jose Mourinho's backing could not force the deal over the line on Friday.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS INVESTIGATED AUDACIOUS BALE BID

Tottenham's interest in re-signing Bale prompted chairman Daniel Levy to skip across Europe for talks with Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez, according to the Times.

Spurs reportedly believed a "breakthrough" had been made in the hours before the window closed and had "growing confidence" a deal could be agreed.

But, per the Daily Mail, Bale's reluctance to take a pay cut on his £600,000-per-week wages meant negotiations came unstuck.

The report claims head coach Mourinho was "fully behind" the ultimately fruitless attempt to pull off what would have been a statement of intent.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham's near misses did not end with Bale. Sky Sports say Spurs and Antonio Conte's Inter attempted to sign Odion Ighalo before the Nigerian striker sealed his last-gasp loan switch to Manchester United.

- Serie A champions Juventus are certain to maintain their interest in United star Paul Pogba and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, claims CalcioMercato.

- Arsenal made two January additions but boss Mikel Arteta still wants a holding midfielder to arrive before next season, reports The Athletic.

- Crystal Palace called off their deal for Nathan Ferguson after the West Brom defender's medical revealed a knee issue, according to the Evening Standard.

- MLS expansion side Nashville are set to capture West Ham defender Winston Reid on a six-month loan, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Manchester United left it very, very late, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the extra striker he wanted in the form of Odion Ighalo.

With a move for Bournemouth's Joshua King dead in the water, the Red Devils focused their efforts on a loan deal for the 30-year-old, who has been playing for Shanghai Shenhua since last February.

Ighalo's deal, which Omnisport understands does not include a purchase option, will give Solskjaer another option up front during the injury absence of Marcus Rashford.

He is expected to travel to England in the coming days before United publicly announce the signing.

Ighalo was far from the only major deal to be concluded late in the transfer window, though, as West Ham just managed to finalise the signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported initial fee of £22million.

Aston Villa also announced a new striker signing about 10 minutes before the window closed, Borja Baston joining on a free transfer from Swansea City.

Elsewhere in England, Tariq Lamptey took the decision to leave Chelsea and sign for Brighton and Hove Albion on a contract until 2023. The Seagulls have also brought back Alexis Mac Allister from Boca Juniors, where he was on loan.


LOANS GALORE

Sheffield United had a busy end to the window, securing the arrival of Panos Retsos - initially on loan but with the option of a permanent deal - from Bayer Leverkusen, while Ravel Morrison has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough, having made one Premier League appearance this season.

Leicester City have loaned Ryan Bennett from Wolves, with Filip Benkovic allowed to leave for Bristol City for the remainder of the campaign with a view to earning regular game time.

Everton have sent Jonas Lossl back to Huddersfield Town on loan, while Connor Wickham is also heading to the Championship, the Crystal Palace striker moving to Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

Wolves have secured the signing of Luke Matheson, who famously scored at Old Trafford in September as a 16-year-old, and loaned him back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season.

Leverkusen have also brought in a signing for the future, with Edmond Tapsoba arriving from Vitoria SC for a fee said to be between €16m and €18m.
 

SERIE A FLURRY

Italy's window closed a little earlier than some others and there was a flurry of deals around the deadline.

Marko Pjaca will get the chance to kick-start his career with Anderlecht, Juventus having allowed the winger to leave on loan for the remainder of the season as he looks to earn regular first-team football.

Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers, a highly rated 20-year-old from Anderlecht who arrives on loan with the option of a permanent move.

Fiorentina have had a busy end to the window. Kevin Agudelo has joined the Viola from Genoa on an 18-month loan deal, while Valentin Eysseric has been sent to Hellas Verona until June.

Maya Yoshida secured a switch to Sampdoria from Southampton, while Gaston Pereiro's move from PSV to Cagliari was ratified. He will be joined in Sardinia by Alberto Paloschi, with Alberto Cerri heading the other way to SPAL.

Gervinho, meanwhile, has taken another step in his nomadic career by moving to Al Sadd from Parma, who brought in Vasco Regini on loan from Samp.
 

BUSY BARCA

Barcelona will give new €10m signing Matheus Fernandes for time to acclimatise to LaLiga, spending the rest of 2019-20 with Real Valladolid.

Barca have also sent Moussa Wague on loan to Nice, who have the option of a €10m permanent deal, while Ligue 1 rivals Lyon have signed Camilo Reijers de Oliveira for €2m.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a shock signing for Barca 12 months ago and the experienced forward is on the move again, this time heading to Besiktas on loan from Fiorentina.

Leganes bolstered their attacking depth with two loan deals, bringing in Roger Assale from Young Boys and former player Miguel Angel Guerrero from Olympiacos.

Getafe have landed Erick Cabaco on a permanent deal, the defender joining from Levante, Granada have signed Gil Dias on loan from Monaco, and Real Sociedad have sold Ruben Pardo to Bordeaux.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have loaned Emre Mor to Olympiacos, while a late, late deal that saw Nicolas Gaitan sign for Lille for the rest of the season was completed in time.

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

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