Bayern Munich have completed the signing of winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Sane, 24, has agreed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, who confirmed the transfer on Friday.

The Germany international will initially cost Bayern €49million (£44.5m), rising to €60m (£54.5m), Stats Perform News understands.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "We're very happy to welcome Leroy Sane to FC Bayern. He is an outstanding player who has proven his qualities over the past few years, especially in the national team.

"Our goal is to gather the best German players at FC Bayern and the signing of Leroy emphasises this goal. I would like to congratulate Hasan Salihamidzic on successfully concluding the transfer."

Speaking ahead of the move on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola wished the player all the best at the City boss' "fantastic" former club Bayern.

Sane joining Bayern is a switch that has been mooted since last year, however the German side were said to be unwilling to match City's previous asking price.

He then suffered a serious knee injury in the Community Shield last August and only returned to the pitch last month.

Sane joined City from Schalke in 2016 in a deal reportedly worth an initial £37m (€40m) and went on to show flashes of immense ability during his first campaign.

He elevated his game to the next level in 2017-18 and won the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award as Guardiola's side clinched the Premier League title.

Sane helped City to another top-flight crown the following year and scored 16 goals across all competitions, though links with Bayern became commonplace towards the end of 2018-19.

Much of Sane's time on the sidelines through injury coincided with strengthening reports of him desiring a move to Bayern, and on June 19 Guardiola confirmed the club had been informed he would not be signing a contract extension.

As such, Guardiola accepted Sane was either to be sold this year or leave on a free transfer in June 2021.

City have at least avoided the latter scenario, though the fee of up to €60m is significantly less than the £137m (€150m) asking price they are alleged to have set in 2019.

For Bayern, the addition of Sane comes two days after they signed highly rated defender Tanguy Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain, his contract with the French champions having expired.

Lionel Messi's future is often a topic of discussion.

Messi has an early break clause in his Barcelona contract.

As Barca look to re-sign Messi, the 33-year-old superstar is reportedly ready to walk away next year.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS BARCA EXIT

Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of 2020-21, according to Cadena SER.

Barca captain Messi – previously linked to Inter and Manchester City – has reportedly been in talks over a new two-year deal at Camp Nou.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner and Barca's all-time leading scorer is reportedly tired of being blamed for issues at the club, with the LaLiga champions set to be dethroned by Real Madrid.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and club legend Xavi has agreed to become Barcelona head coach next season. Mundo Deportivo journalist Francesc Aguilar says the Al-Sadd boss has agreed a €6million salary to replace under-fire coach Quique Setien.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United and neighbours City have asked Barca about the availability of out-of-favour forward Antoine Griezmann. A big-money signing from Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, Griezmann has struggled and found himself on the bench in recent weeks. However, the report claims Barca are not considering a transfer.

Liverpool are poised to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, says Sport. Thiago is out of contract at the end of 2020-21 and the Spaniard is not willing to re-sign. Now, Liverpool are believed to be in advanced negotiations as Bayern seek £31m (€35m) for Thiago.

- Everton full-back Lucas Digne has emerged as a target for City and Chelsea if they fail to land Leicester City star Ben Chilwell, according to ESPN.

Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham, reports Bild. United were also chasing the 17-year-old sensation.

- After signing Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, Sky journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Inter have opened talks with Chelsea for Italian full-back Emerson Palmieri.

Juventus are hoping to settle Paulo Dybala's new contract between July and August, says Calciomercato.

- The Telegraph reports Chelsea are ready to step up their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz after Saturday's DFB-Pokal final against Bayern. Havertz has been linked to Bayern, Madrid, United, Liverpool and Barca.

- Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could be shipped out on loan to Sevilla, claims The Sun. The world's most expensive keeper has been criticised for his performances this season.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane wants Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to remain in LaLiga amid speculation of a possible departure.

Messi, 33, is contracted to Barca until 2021 but a report emerged on Thursday, claiming the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is considering an exit.

According to Cadena SER, Messi has halted contract negotiations due to his frustrations with Barca – who are on track to be dethroned by bitter rivals Madrid this season.

Zidane was asked about the rumours regarding Messi after Madrid moved four points clear of two-time defending champions Barca thanks to Thursday's 1-0 win over Getafe.

"I don't know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league," Zidane said post-match.

Sergio Ramos was the hero for Madrid against Getafe, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot in the 79th minute at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.

The victory was Madrid's sixth in a row as Los Blancos extended their advantage over stuttering Barca with five matches remaining in LaLiga.

Zidane hailed captain Ramos, who took his LaLiga tally to nine goals in 2019-20 following his 450th league appearance for Madrid.

"Our captain is our leader on the field, but also outside," Zidane said of the Spain skipper, who took his career total to 100 goals.

"He is an unrepeatable player. He is unique and we know what he transmits to everyone else. I'm happy for him for his goal because when it comes to shooting a penalty, he has a lot of confidence. 

"It's almost in the 80th minute and Dani Carvajal's effort in goal is from the whole team. We know that with patience and tranquillity we can score goals. This is what happened.

"The last 20 minutes with freshness we claimed a very important result. We have to congratulate all the players because what we are doing is not easy."

Zidane also provided an update on star centre-back Raphael Varane, who took a blow to the head and had to be replaced in the first half.

"Right now he's not right because it's a blow to the neck," Zidane added. "He has gone home and the doctor is going to see him and we will see from tomorrow [Friday]. 

"We are not going to risk anything. It was a strong blow and tomorrow we will see exactly what he has."

Western United captain and former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti has signed a new contract, the A-League club announced on Friday.

Diamanti will remain with Western United in Australia on a two-year deal – a boost for the league's newest team as the 2019-20 season prepares to resume on July 16 following the COVID-19 crisis.

The 37-year-old former West Ham, Bologna and Atalanta attacker – who had been linked to rivals Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City – arrived as a marquee signing in July last year.

Diamanti has flourished in the A-League, scoring five goals and supplying seven assists in 19 appearances prior to the coronavirus-enforced break in March.

"We've started something special this year at Western United and I'm excited to re-sign and continue the journey we have started together," Diamanti said.

"Our coach Mark Rudan has supported me since I arrived and given me the freedom to enjoy my football and express myself, so I thank him for that. Both he and the club are building something special and I want to be part of it as long as I can.

"I was honoured to be the first captain of Western United, and I hope I can continue to help the club be successful and entertain our great fans."

"From the day he walked into the football club Alessandro has been a marquee in every sense of the word," Western United head coach Mark Rudan added.

"He's been fantastic on and off the park. His footballing skills has had the whole competition in awe, equally his positive attitude and personality has been adored by not just our fans but every football fan around the league.

"We're ecstatic as a football club to extend Diamanti's contract as we continue to build and grow Western United."

In May, Diamanti told Stats Perform News that the A-League had reignited his passion for football following his arrival from Serie B side Livorno.

"Virus or no virus, I would have kept playing anyway," he said. "For sure I will still be playing football as long as I feel physically and psychologically like this, being able to offer great performances and loving to train everyday.

"Then to be honest, to come here gave me back that lightness and that passion you always tend to lose in Europe. I will stay here in Australia next season."

Western United were sixth after their 20 matches when the league was halted due to COVID-19.

Diamanti and Western United are scheduled to resume their season against the Victory on July 16, though a location for the fixture is still to be determined due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

Zidane explained why Achraf Hakimi was being sold hours before he sealed his Inter Milan move.

Achraf Hakimi has joined Inter in a permanent move from Real Madrid, the Italian club confirmed.

Hakimi, 21, has reportedly cost Antonio Conte's side an initial €40million and he joins on a five-year contract.

A statement issued by Madrid read: "The club wants to thank Achraf for all these years of dedication, professionalism and exemplary behaviour since he came to our academy in 2006 and wishes him good luck in his new phase."

The Spain-born Morocco international has spent the past two seasons on loan at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, particularly impressing this term when deployed as a right-sided wing-back ahead of a three-man defence.

On top of an impressive haul of five goals, Hakimi also had 10 assists in the Bundesliga this term – the best of any defender.

Dortmund were not shy about their desire to see Hakimi remain at Signal Iduna Park, but the writing appeared to be on the wall when BVB confirmed the capture of Thomas Meunier on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain following reports of Inter closing in on their target.

Hakimi had been at Madrid since 2006 and broke into the first-team squad in 2017-18, playing back-up to Dani Carvajal.

He was sent out on a two-year loan to Dortmund and, although he enjoyed a wonderful 2019-20 in Germany, there are those who are unconvinced by his defensive qualities, particularly in a back four.

Similarly, Hakimi's contract with Madrid was due to expire in 2021, and a potential unease at being behind Carvajal in the pecking order again could have given rise to the possibility of losing him for free next year.

Their loss is Inter's gain, however, as Conte finally gets his hands on a world-class wing-back, having had Ashley Young, Victor Moses, Antonio Candreva, Cristiano Biraghi and Kwadwo Asamoah as his options in 2019-20.

Everton have completed the signing of France Under-19 left-back Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer from Marseille, fending off reported interest from Juventus.

Nkounkou has agreed a three-year deal with Everton following the expiration of his contract at Marseille.

The 19-year-old played 14 times for Marseille's B team in the National 2 in 2018-19, France's fourth tier, while also being named on the bench for the first team twice.

He was a rumoured target for Serie A champions Juve but will now be working under Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park, though Nkounkou will first bolster David Unsworth's U23 side.

Everton, who are unbeaten since the resumption of the Premier League, have Lucas Digne and Leighton Baines as their options at left-back.

Baines, however, is yet to agree to a contract extension, with the 35-year-old's current deal set to run out at the end of the season.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has no interest in leaving the LaLiga giants.

Speculation over the France international's future has increased amid his, and Barca's, struggles.

But the 29-year-old seemingly wants more than one season at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT INTERESTED IN BARCELONA EXIT

Griezmann has no interest in leaving Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million, Griezmann has managed just 14 goals in 43 games this season.

Griezmann was introduced as a 90th-minute substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw with his former club on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and Quique Setien's future as Barcelona head coach remains a talking point after one win in four games. AS reports Setien is not in immediate danger but is far from safe, while Sport says his future is uncertain, although the club are hoping to keep him at the helm until the end of the season.

- Manchester City look set for a rebuild in the close season. The Guardian claims Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, who is out of contract next year, is a target for the Premier League giants.

- After making a stellar start to the season with Lyon before suffering a serious knee injury, Memphis Depay has been linked with a move. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want the attacker, who has 14 goals in 18 games this season.

- Carlos Tevez's future remains uncertain. Ole says the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward, 36, could retire as he struggles to agree to a new contract with Boca Juniors.

- With Bruno Lage on his way out as Benfica coach, the Portuguese giants are searching for a new boss. According to A Bola, Benfica have looked at the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, but are now considering former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

- Tottenham defender Serge Aurier could be set for a move. Sky Sports reports Monaco are interested in the Ivory Coast right-back.

Eintracht Frankfurt sports director Fredi Bobic admitted star winger Filip Kostic could leave the Bundesliga side.

Kostic has previously been linked to Antonio Conte's Inter, while there is reported interest in the Serbia international from the Premier League.

The 27-year-old enjoyed another fine campaign, scoring four goals and tallying 11 assists, having contributed 10 goals and 13 assists across all competitions last season.

Bobic was asked about the future of Kostic and he said: "Filip is happy here. He feels very comfortable with us, but it may also be that we are ready to release him.

"That depends not only on us, but also on the player. But I can imagine that he will play here next season: fans happy, players happy, me happy."

Bobic, who sanctioned the big-money departures of Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) and Sebastien Haller (West Ham) at the start of the season as Eintracht made significant profits, is anticipating a difficult transfer period due to the COVID-19 crisis.

"The goal was clearly to break the €300million mark in the 2019-20 season," he said. "But suddenly there was a stop sign at €280m."

"There are an incredible number of players on offer right now, including interesting ones. But we have to look at the books to see what is possible. Because we do not know how long the situation will last.

"We have to be patient, it will be tough and long. It won't be an easy time. We already have a few players we would like to sign but if the money is not there, you cannot buy."

Bobic – who is also planning to offer head coach Adi Hutter a new contract – was also asked about Ante Rebic and loanee Andre Silva.

Rebic joined Milan on a two-year loan deal at the start of the season as Silva moved to Eintracht on the same terms.

Milan are reportedly keen on signing Rebic permanently, while Silva scored 16 goals for Eintracht.

"We have agreed with the owner of Milan that we will get together soon and talk about the topic," Bobic said. "I don't think Ante wants to get back to our salary level.

"Andre knows that we are happy with him. He is also happy to be here in Frankfurt and can imagine staying longer."

Raul Jimenez insisted he was "very happy" at Wolves amid links to Manchester United.

Jimenez, 29, is enjoying another prolific season, scoring 24 goals in 47 games for Wolves to lead to apparent interest from United.

But the Mexico international said he was happy at the Molineux, where he arrived from Benfica in 2018, initially on loan.

"It feels very good. Two years here have been unbelievable, I think we made that connection since the beginning, since my transfer here," Jimenez said, via the club's website.

"I'm very happy to be here."

Jimenez has helped Wolves sit sixth in the Premier League, with his team-mate Adama Traore also attracting interest from elsewhere.

The forward praised Traore, who has scored four goals and provided nine assists in the league this season.

"Every striker wants a team-mate with his conditions. He can cross from anywhere, you know he's going to be at the final line and he's going to cross, so you have to be there at the right time to score," Jimenez said.

"We train on it in the week. We talk to each other before the games, or in the training sessions, so we know where we’re going to be, his crossing and where I have to move.

"It's not a coincidence, it's something we train and work for."

Wolves are next in action on Saturday when they host Arsenal.

Newell's Old Boys vice-president Cristian D'Amico is still hopeful Barcelona star Lionel Messi may one day return to the club.

Messi, 33, left Newell's for Barcelona in 2001 and has developed into one of the best players of all-time, winning a record six Ballons d'Or.

The Argentina captain has spoken about potentially returning to Newell's previously and D'Amico is hopeful, with the club having seen Diego Maradona arrive in 1993 after he starred in Europe.

"I don't know if it's impossible," he told TNT Sports.

"It's a decision exclusively made by him and his family. We have to have the best possible context to help make a decision.

"When Maradona came to Newell's, nobody thought that he would come either. I hope to do something similar with Leo."

Messi is contracted at Camp Nou until next year, although will reportedly extend that deal until 2023.

D'Amico is staying calm about the star's potential return to Newell's, saying: "Obviously, that's not to be selling smoke.

"It's a difficult topic. What Newell's fan would not dream to see the best player in the world with the jersey of their team on? Time might allow such things, you have to be calm."

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said the Nerazzurri have not discussed signing star midfielder Sandro Tonali with Brescia.

Tonali is highly coveted following his exploits for Brescia – the Italian attracting interest from the likes of Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, Manchester United, Manchester City and Barcelona.

Inter are tipped to prise Tonali from Brescia amid reports a five-year contract has already been agreed with the 20-year-old, who has been compared to Italian great Andrea Pirlo.

Asked about an advertisement televised in China, showing head coach Antonio Conte painting an Inter jersey on Tonali, CEO Marotta – speaking prior to Wednesday's 6-0 Serie A rout of Brescia – told DAZN: "I think he painted the youngest player in the game, so it might be an auspice of youth that Inter would like in future.

"Tonali is admired not just by me, but by all fans of Italian football.

"He is still a Brescia player and we have not discussed it with them, despite having a good rapport."

Tonali, who played a key role in Brescia's promotion from Serie B in 2018-19, has scored one goal and supplied five assists this season.

The Italy international is reportedly set to follow Achraf Hakimi to Inter, who are poised to announce the signing of the Real Madrid full-back following a two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

Jose Mourinho believes Tanguy Ndombele can turn around his situation at Tottenham, highlighting Luka Modric's difficult start to life with Real Madrid.

Ndombele is a club-record signing following his £55million arrival from Lyon last year but the French midfielder has struggled in London, and he has reportedly told Mourinho he no longer wants to work with him.

The likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Ndombele, who was an unused substitute in last week's 2-0 Premier League win over West Ham.

But Tottenham boss Mourinho has backed Ndombele, pointing to Modric's impact at Madrid. Following a tumultuous start in the Spanish capital after leaving Spurs in 2012, the Croatian has gone on to win the Ballon d'Or, four Champions League titles and LaLiga.

"Nothing happens when the players have no talent. So when a player has no talent, nothing happens. When you are born with no potential, you die with no potential. When you have talent lots of things can change and lots of things can happen," Mourinho said ahead of Thursday's clash against Sheffield United.

"As you say I didn't know it, one year since he arrived, but maybe six months since I arrived. So for the first six months I'm not the guy to go through what happened in the first six months, which I think is very important when a player arrives from a different club, different country, football culture – I don't know what happened in this first six months, I know when I arrived that there were problems.

"Injuries, small injuries, physical condition and that broke that initial impact that when a player starts working with a manager, immediately broke that impact you can have with other players.

"Now it’s the situation where everyone has to adapt to it, I want everyone to adapt to it, the club wants everyone to adapt to it, which is the fact that we are a big club and we want to be a bigger club. 

"When you are a big club that wants to be bigger, you have lots of good players, you don't have fix or six, or 10 or 11, you have lots, and when you have that you have lots of options.

"You can face all the competitions, but then the players, fans, you the press, everyone must understand you can only start with 11, and in many other clubs it looks like it's normal to have great players on the bench. 

"You go to Manchester United, you go to Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and lots of top players on the bench, and that is normal.

"In Tottenham, what I feel is every time a top player is on the bench, that's a drama, and players have to understand that is not a drama, you have to understand it's not a drama and everyone has to understand I hope next season we have even more top players on the bench because it means we want to be bigger than we are now. 

"When a top player is on the bench, that doesn't mean there is a story behind it, it means we have lots of options. So the other day when I played [Moussa] Sissoko and [Giovani] Lo Celso in midfield, there is no drama that [Harry] Winks is not playing or Ndombele is not playing. There is no drama [Erik] Lamela isn't playing, that's life in a big club.

"So, no problem with Tanguy, he is in a big club, period. He's in a big club and he has to compete with the other guys. He's an option for me, he's a very good player, he probably will be playing tomorrow, the next match, there is no problems."

Asked if Ndombele can turn his situation around, Mourinho added: "Of course I believe – I started my answer, if there is no talent, there is nothing to do, with talent there is a lot to do. You don't have talent, you have no chance. You don't have talent, you have no chance. 

"Football is full of players with difficult starts. Luka Modric in Real Madrid, after six months he was elected the worst signing of Real Madrid history by the fans and press, a few months later he was champion, then European champion and then voted the best player in the world. When the talent is there, many things can happen with adaptation, but if the talent is there anything good can happen."

Quizzed on whether Ndombele has a problem with his mentality, Mourinho replied: "That's a question for him, not a question for me.

"I've known him six months and it's not for me to define the psychological profile of a player. One thing is feelings, another is the reality. I'm no genius to in six months get into someone's brain to describe 100 per cent how the person is feeling, you have to ask."

Pep Guardiola is not looking to bring Jadon Sancho back to Manchester City as Leroy Sane's replacement as the manager plans for a rebuild he insists is "a normal situation".

Stats Perform News understands Sane is set to sign for Bayern Munich after an initial €49million (£44.5m) deal - potentially rising to €60m (£54.5m) - was agreed between the clubs.

Sane has missed much of the season due to injury but had previously been linked to Bayern and has now played his last match for City.

Yet if City are to recruit a winger in the Germany international's place, Sancho – who has been linked with a Borussia Dortmund exit – does not appear a viable candidate.

Sancho left City for Dortmund in 2017 in pursuit of first-team football, soon establishing himself in the Bundesliga.

The England star has been linked with Manchester United, among a host of other elite clubs, but Guardiola does not foresee a return to City.

"No, he decided to leave," Guardiola said of Sancho. "Why should he decide to come back?

"We wanted him to stay - like Eric [Garcia] and Phil [Foden], like Leroy now. So when he decided to move to Dortmund, it's not because he's going to decide to come back a year later.

"He didn't want to be here, so I don't think he wants to come back here."

He added: "Players are being considered important by the club but they decide to leave.

"They don't want to be here, which is the case of Jadon Sancho and especially Leroy - Sancho was in the academy, but especially Leroy.

"I said many times: if a player doesn't want to stay, they have to leave, because we are not getting the best out of a player in his mind if they are not happy here."

Guardiola acknowledges City have work to do in the transfer market, though, saying: "It's part of another process.

"We would like to stay with the players who give this club what they gave us for the last decade. We grow and sometimes we have to replace them, and we are going to do it and replace with new players.

"In some [positions, City need to rebuild] - not for a lack of quality, but for the absences of Vinny [Vincent Kompany] and now David [Silva, out of contract at the end of the season].

"With Fernandinho and [Sergio] Aguero, next season's the last year of their contracts and we don't know if they're going to extend or not, so partly yes, some players we have to rebuild a little.

"But it's not like a disaster or a bad thing, it's part of the age, it's a normal situation and circumstances. It happens in all the clubs."

Arsenal could be getting their hands on the next Patrick Vieira if they manage to sign Porto captain Danilo Pereira.

That is the view of Abel Xavier, who tipped his Portuguese compatriot to shine in the Premier League if given the chance.

Defensive midfielder Pereira, who moved to Porto from Maritimo in 2015, has been heavily linked with the Gunners, with whom Vieira won three league titles.

And former Portugal international Xavier thinks it would be a good move for both Pereira and Arsenal.

"Danilo I think is a great midfield player who gives a lot of balance in the team," Xavier told Stats Perform News.

"He plays very simple football and his physical presence is important on the field.

"When I look back, he's a kind of player like Patrick Vieira when we're talking about a physical presence.

"I think if Arsenal are interested in him, for the style they play at the moment, a team trying to use forward-thinking players who are always very positive, it's very important to have balanced players – Danilo is this kind of player.

"I think it can be very good for both if there is a concrete interest."

Porto turned down a bid from Monaco for Pereira's services in July 2019.

 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.