Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski traded blows in a training ground bust-up, Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has confirmed.

German publication Bild reported Coman and Lewandowski clashed following a heated exchange on Thursday and Kovac admitted the fight took place.

Defenders Niklas Sule and Jerome Boateng are said to have separated the pair in an incident that could disrupt squad harmony ahead of the final six games of the Bundesliga season.

The club have not handed down any sanctions and Kovac insisted the star attackers have resolved their spat.

"There was a fight between two players who were named in the media," Kovac said on Friday.

"The three of us discussed it after training, and both apologised for their behaviour and were sorry for what happened.

"No one is being fined because both players were understanding, and being understanding is very important now. The matter is done and dusted.

"No further questions will be answered. Now it's all about the upcoming game [against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday]."

Lewandowski's future in Munich remains unclear as despite previously expressing an interest in a new challenge, with Real Madrid regularly mentioned as a possible destination, he is reportedly close to signing a contract extension.

Jose Mourinho says he hopes Niko Kovac keeps his job at Bayern Munich despite being touted as a potential replacement for the Croatian at the Allianz Arena.

Kovac took over from Jupp Heynckes in the close season and, despite a tough start to the campaign, the Bavarian side now sit one point clear atop the Bundesliga following their 5-0 hammering of title rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Mourinho, who has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December, says Bayern are a great club but he is not lobbying for the top job.

"Of course, Bayern are a giant," he told Sport Bild.

"I honestly assure you that I hope Niko keeps his job because he has worked very hard to reach that level."

Mourinho is also now backing Bayern to win their seventh straight German title, despite a tricky run-in which includes a difficult trip to RB Leipzig.

"They have their fate in their own hands. There are still three away games, Leipzig especially will not be easy. But it is hard to imagine that Bayern don't win the title," he added.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss hailed the overall competitiveness and spectacle that the Bundesliga provides.

"The Bundesliga provides an exciting competition for me, especially the teams in mid-table, who are constantly improving," he said.

"There are full stadia, good organisation and good tactical approaches in many teams – I think the Bundesliga is really interesting."

Robert Lewandowski's 200th Bundesliga goal underlines the Bayern Munich striker's status as one of the modern era's most prolific scorers.

The Poland international reached the milestone with the first of his brace in Saturday's crushing 5-0 victory over former club Borussia Dortmund, a result that sent the champions hurtling back to the top of the table.

No overseas player has scored as many Bundesliga goals as Lewandowski, who is on track to win the league's top goalscorer prize for the fourth time.

To mark his 200th strike across spells for Bayern and Dortmund, Omnisport picks out five of Lewandowski's most memorable Bundesliga goals.

 

5. Hannover 0-3 Borussia Dortmund, March 22 2014

Although undoubtedly a complete striker, Lewandowski has arguably earned himself a reputation for instinctive finishes more than goals which have seen him do all the leg work, but this effort proves what he is capable of. After picking up possession on the left, he darted into box, squeezed between a pair of defenders and then rifled home to make it 2-0 to Dortmund.

4. Bayern Munich 6-0 Borussia Dortmund, March 31 2018

Since leaving Dortmund for Bayern in 2014, it is fair to say Lewandowski has made a habit of scoring against his former employers. Last season's crushing 6-0 win saw the Poland international lead the assault, scoring three times, and his first was brilliantly mischievous. With just five minutes played, Lewandowski peeled away from his marker to race on to Thomas Muller's throughball and he fooled Roman Burki with an excellent feint, before rifling into the roof of the net with the goalkeeper still reeling from the trickery.

3. Bayern Munich 6-0 Werder Bremen, August 26 2016

Lewandowski started the 2016-17 season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick in a demolition of Werder Bremen. The best of his three goals had an air of simplicity about it, but it left the visitors' defence bamboozled. The striker nipped in front of his marker at the last second to reach a low cross from the right at the near post, delicately meeting the delivery with a back-heeled effort which found the net.

2. Bayern Munich 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt, April 11 2015

It is difficult to separate Lewandowski's two best goals, but this one was just edged out due to the nature and context of the other. After controlling the ball on his chest just outside the area, he subsequently flicked the ball over his head and a defender, before then unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top-left corner as it dropped down perfectly for him, showcasing his technical ability, control and power.

1. Bayern Munich 5-1 Wolfsburg, September 22 2015

A remarkable match remembered for an incredible scoring feat by Lewandowski, who scored all five of Bayern's goals in the space of nine minutes just after coming off the bench. The pick of the bunch, however, was undoubtedly his final strike, as he met a cross from the right with a stunning scissor-kick on the edge of the area. The ball cannoned off his right foot and into the top-left corner, leaving Pep Guardiola – his coach at the time – looking astonished.

Bayern Munich's chances of ripping the momentum away from Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race were massively enhanced with a stunning four-goal first-half blitz in Saturday's crunch Der Klassiker.

The champions started the match two points behind Lucien Favre's men but ran roughshod in a dazzling opening 45 minutes at the Allianz Arena.

Mats Hummels nodded the hosts into a precious early lead before a fellow former Dortmund player, Robert Lewandowski, doubled the advantage, punishing Dan-Axel Zagadou's error in the 17th minute as he clinically tucked away his 200th Bundesliga goal.

Bayern were relentless going forward and their dominance was further rewarded late in the half as Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry added two more in just over two minutes to send Niko Kovac's men marching towards a pivotal three points.

Robert Lewandowski has scored the 200th Bundesliga goal of his career, fittingly saving it for a potentially season-defining Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund.

The Bayern Munich striker punished a Dan-Axel Zagadou error in the 17th minute to double his side's early lead against his former employers at Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Lewandowski pounced on a turnover, strode through on goal, brilliantly dinked the ball over Roman Burki and stroked home into the unguarded net to reach the mark in style.

The 30-year-old's milestone strike fittingly arrived against the side at which he established himself as one of the most exciting strikers in European football, having joined Bayern from Dortmund in 2014.

It was at the Signal Iduna Park where he really rose to prominence, scoring 74 Bundesliga goals in 131 appearances, a remarkable record considering he managed just eight in 33 games during his first campaign.

Despite his exceptional form at Dortmund, the club did not manage to get a transfer fee for him, as he departed on a free transfer to Bayern.

Since then, he has gone on to score 126 times in the Bundesliga for Bayern.

He has taken just 153 appearances to reach that figure for the German champions, while he hit the 200 milestone in 284 top-flight outings.

Of the 200, 187 were scored inside the penalty area, while 22 of a possible 25 came from the penalty spot.

Unsurprisingly he has been most prominent with his right foot, which has provided 131  goals, and his favourite opposition is Wolfsburg, whom he has scored against 20 times in 17 games.

Lewandowski is the Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign scorer and is on course to top the division's scoring charts for a fourth time this season. Only Gerd Muller (seven) has done so more times.

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre says the outcome of Saturday's clash with Bayern Munich will not decide which club wins the Bundesliga title.

Dortmund travel to Munich with a two-point advantage over their title rivals, Bayern having dropped points against Freiburg last time out.

With only six games to play after this weekend's match at the Allianz Arena, a win would be a huge boost for either side.

However, Favre expects a few more twists and turns before the end of the campaign.

"This game is very special: Bayern v Dortmund," he told a media conference. "The table is close, seven games remain, and two great teams.

"If we win, nothing is decided, if we draw, nothing is decided, if we lose nothing is decided...it is completely open!"

Bayern come into the game after a less-than impressive 5-4 victory over second-tier Heidenheim in the DFB-Pokal, and Favre says he has spotted some areas Dortmund can exploit.

"Like all teams, they do have some weaknesses," he added. "Every team has that, even the best teams in the world.

"But [they do not have] too many, not many. And they have a lot of strengths of course, we know that.

"We have to concentrate on a lot of things."

Sporting director Michael Zorc is confident BVB can go to Munich and get a result, particularly given they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in the first meeting of the season.

"We showed that in the first match this season that we are able to win against them and can come back after a deficit," he said. 

"We had a look at the statistics since 2011 and we've won five times in Munich, including DFB-Pokal. 

"But the players from today don't really care about the past years. We do need a top performance and courage to survive there, that's for sure. So we need a top performance and one that is better than the one we showed last week."

Favre will make a late decision on the fitness of Paco Alcacer prior to the clash, with Lukasz Piszczek also a doubt.

"It's difficult to determine now, but we think there is a chance he [Alcacer] will play," added the coach. "We will know more tomorrow.

"With Piszczek, we will decide whether he joins the squad after tomorrow's training session.

"Abdou Diallo ran today as well, his condition will be decided tomorrow too."

Borussia Dortmund head to the Allianz Arena on Saturday for what could be a decisive showdown in this season's Bundesliga title race.

Late goals secured a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg last time out, a result that moved Lucien Favre's side two points clear at the top, with Bayern Munich slipping up in a 1-1 draw at Freiburg.

Dortmund prevailed 3-2 in the reverse fixture in November, but Bayern have won 13 of their 16 league games since then to propel themselves firmly back into Germany's most interesting title battle in recent years.

But who will lift the trophy? Two Omnisport writers go head to head to (try to) settle the debate...

 

DORTMUND BELIEVE - SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE
By Joe Wright

"In the last 15 minutes, we absolutely wanted to score a goal and so we took a bit more of a risk," said Favre post-Wolfsburg. And score they did.

Paco Alcacer's last-gasp double means Dortmund head to Munich knowing that anything but a defeat will keep them top of the table with six games to go.

The last few minutes of that Wolfsburg game typified Dortmund under Favre: bold, impetuous, and, yes, imperfect. But they were good enough to win the match, and they are good enough to win the league. And they believe it.

Dortmund twice came from behind against Bayern in November, again thanks to Alcacer. They have won five league games this season after conceding the first goal. "We always keep battling, we have a lot of belief in ourselves," as Thomas Delaney said.

Okay, they had a rotten run in February that saw their lead at the top eroded and ended their DFB-Pokal and Champions League challenges, but the argument of a lack of experience holding them back in the title race just does not hold water.

Marco Reus and Mario Gotze have won domestic trophies, while the latter netted the winning goal in the World Cup final. Axel Witsel is a league champion in two countries. Alcacer, Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer have bulging trophy cabinets. Christian Pulisic and Jadon Sancho might not, but when has that ever stopped them leaving defenders in their wake?

Favre's side is a strong marriage of youthful exuberance and established quality. It is something Bayern are trying to be once again, if their recruitment drive of young talent is anything to go by. And if Bayern think a model is worth copying, then it's one that works well.

Dortmund could get a hand on the trophy if they beat Bayern, and they'll take the risk to get those three points. But even if they don't, they won't think the title race is over. It's that belief - in their chances, their tactics and their style - that will carry them to glory.

 

BAYERN ARE SERIAL WINNERS - THAT FREIBURG DRAW MEANS NOTHING
By Guy Atkinson

If you think Bayern are going to give up a seventh consecutive Bundesliga crown easily, think again.

Had they not slipped up at Freiburg at the weekend, few would have argued against them coming out on top against Dortmund, puffing out their chests and sauntering towards another title.

As it is, that surprise draw has given their rivals a points advantage and perhaps the whiff of a vulnerability ready to be exploited.  

Do not write off the Bavarian juggernaut just yet, though.

After the weekend draw, head coach Niko Kovac said: "We have to show Dortmund that we want to become champions and I expect us to put them under pressure and be aggressive." I expect them to as well.

This is a side that has domestic dominance woven into its very fabric, a side that sneers at challengers and swats them aside with arrogance, aggression and no little skill.

Despite that Freiburg result, this is still a Bayern side in rude Bundesliga health. Since that 3-2 defeat to Favre's men five months ago, they have stumbled in just three games – a run that saw them devour the nine-point lead Dortmund had opened up after gameweek 15.

No-one is pretending that this is a vintage Bayern team. At times this season, they have looked laboured and uninspired. What they do have, though, is an army of serial winners to call upon.

Expect Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben et al to do what they do best on Saturday and stamp their authority all over this title race.

Niko Kovac insists Bayern Munich will not be distracted by the looming Klassiker when they face Heidenheim in Wednesday's DFB-Pokal quarter-final.

A 1-1 draw at Freiburg saw the Bundesliga champions slip to second in the table behind Borussia Dortmund, who earned themselves a two-point cushion thanks to Paco Alcacer's late brace in a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.

The top two meet on Saturday at the Allianz Arena but Kovac is adamant that his side's attention will not be diverted from the visit of second-tier Heidenheim before that.

"I am able to hide the Dortmund game," he told a media conference. "And I told my players, it is not relevant now what will happen next weekend. We want to reach the semi-final. BVB comes after this game.

"My focus is on Heidenheim. This is my next job. The match against Dortmund is on Saturday and the game on Wednesday hopefully gives us a positive feeling for the Dortmund game."

Meanwhile, Kovac has confirmed that Corentin Tolisso is making good progress on his recovery from an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury and could feature before the end of the season.

Tolisso has been sidelined since suffering the injury against Bayer Leverkusen on September 15.  

"He is making good progress, we are very satisfied with that," Kovac said. "He looks very smooth, has no problems and his knee is in absolute top shape.

"We will now increase the intensity step by step. He has to confirm how he feels every day. How his knee feels, but also how he feels mentally.

"And I hope he can play some minutes this season, to get his feeling back for the pitch, the opponents, the stadium and the pressure."

Bayern Munich will contest the Allianz China Cup against the Chinese national team in Beijing next month, the Bundesliga club have announced.

After the conclusion of their domestic season, Bayern will travel to Beijing to play in the fixture on May 29.

The match will see the continuation of a partnership between Bayern, sponsors Allianz and the Chinese Football Association (CFA), with the reigning German champions building academies in the cities of Shenzhen and Taiyuan to add to the one in Qingdao.

Beijing's National Stadium will play host to the match, and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is hopeful they can continue to aid the development of football in the country.

"Our club has been active in China for many years and supports the development of Chinese football through numerous initiatives," Rummenigge said.

"We are delighted to have our partner Allianz on board and look forward to making a sustainable contribution to Sino-German football relations together."

Bayern Munich failed to produce a second-half winner against a gutsy Freiburg as they were held to a 1-1 draw that allowed Borussia Dortmund to move two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Lucas Holer put the hosts in front after just three minutes but Robert Lewandowski soon got the champions back on level terms with his 199th Bundesliga goal.

The visitors began to dominate but Freiburg stood firm, with a fantastic defensive performance and a series of saves from Alexander Schwolow denying Bayern, who also hit the post late on through Leon Goretzka.

Dortmund's win over Wolfsburg ensured they moved two points clear of Bayern at the top of the table ahead of the two clubs meeting in next weekend's Der Klassiker.

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.

Bayern Munich shattered the Bundesliga transfer record on Wednesday when they agreed a deal for Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez.

The World Cup winner will join Bayern at the end of the season for a massive €80million - almost double the previous incoming record when the Bavarian giants signed Corentin Tolisso two years ago.

Bayern have typically spent the biggest fees in Germany, but the Bundesliga lagged behind Europe's other top leagues in this regard.

We take a look at the largest deals in the league's history after Lucas shook things up.

 

LUCAS HERNANDEZ (€80m - Atletico to Bayern, 2019)

After establishing himself as a star at both centre-back and left-back for club and country, Lucas will leave his first club Atleti for a five-year deal at Bayern.

CORENTIN TOLISSO (€41.5m - Lyon to Bayern, 2017)

Lucas' international team-mate Tolisso was long linked with a move away from Lyon before finally joining Bayern in 2017, scoring six goals in his first Bundesliga season.

JAVI MARTINEZ (€40m - Athletic Bilbao to Bayern, 2012)

Another big Bayern signing from overseas, the versatile Martinez has become a key man since leaving Athletic, winning the Bundesliga in each of his six seasons at the club.

MATS HUMMELS (€38m - Borussia Dortmund to Bayern, 2016)

Another example of the expenditure Bayern have committed to boosting their backline, Hummels left Dortmund as they lagged behind the champions in the Bundesliga three years ago.

ARTURO VIDAL (€37m - Juventus to Bayern, 2015)

Juventus reached the Champions League final in 2014-15 but then lost Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Vidal in quick succession, with the Chile international joining Bayern before moving on to Barcelona.

MARIO GOTZE (€37m - Dortmund to Bayern, 2013)

Hummels was following a well-trodden path when he left Dortmund for Bayern. Gotze had made the same switch in 2013 - the season before his World Cup heroics - although he later returned and said he regretted the transfer.

JULIAN DRAXLER (€35m - Schalke to Wolfsburg, 2015)

The first player in this list not to join Bayern, Draxler's performances for Schalke took him to Wolfsburg, but he was soon seeking another move. He transferred to Paris Saint-Germain 18 months later.

BENJAMIN PAVARD (€35m - Stuttgart to Bayern, 2019)

The full-back on the opposite side of the field in France's 2018 World Cup triumph, Pavard, like Lucas, has agreed to join Bayern ahead of next season.

RENATO SANCHES (€35m - Benfica to Bayern, 2016)

With Sanches starring for Portugal at Euro 2016, this looked set to be a smart move by Bayern. It has proved anything but, with the midfielder struggling in Germany and during a loan stint at Swansea City.

ANDRE SCHURRLE (€32m - Chelsea to Wolfsburg, 2015)

Wolfsburg's first big spend in 2015 saw Schurrle join the club in the window before Draxler's arrival. Schurrle too was soon on the move, though, joining Dortmund the following year.

Lucas Hernandez thanked Atletico Madrid after turning down a new contract to seal a switch to Bayern Munich and start a "new challenge" in Germany.

Months of speculation ended on Wednesday when France defender Lucas finalised an €80million move to the Bundesliga giants from the end of the season, meaning he will leave Atletico after 12 years at the club.

The 23-year-old refused an offer of an extension at the Wanda Metropolitano to sign a five-year deal in Bavaria but stated it was difficult to depart after an "unforgettable" spell at the club. However, Lucas is confident he has made the right choice.

"This is the most difficult and important decision I have had to make in my sports career," he said in an Atleti statement.

"Atletico mean a lot to me because this is where I grew up as a player, as a person and I have become the player that I am. It has been difficult for me to say no to Atletico, but my decision is to undertake a new challenge at Bayern Munich.

"I want to thank all the Atletico officials, coaches, team-mates and fans for these 12 incredible and unforgettable years in which I have been part of the club.

"Atletico will always be in my heart."

In a release issued by Bayern, Lucas added: "Today is a very important day in my football career. Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in Europe and the world. I am proud to be able to fight for all titles for Bayern in the future."

Lucas made 110 appearances for Atleti and was part of the side that won the Europa League last term and reached the Champions League final in 2015-16.

He came into the first team the season after their incredible 2013-14 campaign in which Diego Simeone's men won LaLiga and lost to rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Lucas played all seven matches for France as they won the 2018 World Cup and will link up with international team-mates Benjamin Pavard, Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso at Bayern next season.

Gareth Southgate urged Callum Hudson-Odoi to maintain the effort he has shown over his first two appearances with England.

Having made a cameo against the Czech Republic on Friday, Hudson-Odoi – who is yet to make a Premier League start for Chelsea – was handed his full England debut in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

The 18-year-old repaid Southgate's faith with an impressive performance, which included an assist for Ross Barkley for England's second goal in a 5-1 victory.

And Southgate set Hudson-Odoi, who was the subject of interest from Bayern Munich in January, the task of continuing to push to become an elite player.

"Young Callum Hudson-Odoi, a fabulous performance, he's shown us what he's shown us all week," Southgate told ITV.

"I don't need to speak; his performance spoke really. With young players it is always up to them [how good they can be].

"He's got the talent. His application with us has been excellent, he's got to continue that. This is a great step forward for him but like any player you've got to constantly work and constantly look to improve."

England fell behind in the 17th minute but equalised through Michael Keane before Barkley's double put the three points beyond doubt, though alleged racist abuse from a section of the home support overshadowed the result.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling were also on target in the closing and Southgate was pleased with another vibrant performance.

"Really pleased," he added. "The game was a simple one in that we talked all week about using the width, making sure we didn't turn down the option of using our wingers, and our wingers were incredibly productive.

"The team recovered from going behind in a place that has been very difficult for us before. They showed good character and it was a good test for them."

Bayern Munich's interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi proves England's future is in good hands, according to former Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth.

Chelsea youngster Hudson-Odoi is yet to start a Premier League game this season, but was the subject of several big-money offers from Bundesliga champions Bayern in January.

Hudson-Odoi has impressed when given the chance in domestic cup competitions and the Europa League and that has been enough to earn a first national team call up for England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro, while Jadon Sancho – who has starred at Borussia Dortmund this term – is also in Gareth Southgate's squad.

And Ashworth, who left his role at the FA to join Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion, believes foreign interest in England's youth players bodes well for the future.

"The standard of young player coming through now, compared to when I started in youth development 20-something years ago, is chalk and cheese," Ashworth told the Telegraph. 

"There's a massive difference. If our players are playing at the top end, the top leagues, for top clubs such as Dortmund, it means other nations are looking at our players and recognising the talent that is in the system [and] they are getting big-match experiences, and big games. 

"These are some big-hitters like Bayern after some young English talent and that can only be good for the English game. It means we are producing players and people that others find attractive."

Joining Hudson-Odoi for his first international call up is West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who has been drafted into Southgate's squad after switching allegiance to England from the Republic of Ireland, who he played for at youth level as well as making three friendly appearances for the first team.

And though acknowledging that England cannot expect talented players of dual nationality to represent them, Ashworth insists the FA should have no concerns in attempting to recruit players also eligible for other countries.

"A lot of people have a lot of different ties, emotions," Ashworth said. "We have 75 under-15s on our radar, our 'long list', and 55 have dual or more nationality.

"That gives us a bigger and better pool of players to pick from, but it also brings words of warning to governing bodies and national associations, don't assume they are locked into your particular nation because, like in club land, there might be more suitors looking.

"You look at other sports and countries, and you want to recruit from the biggest pool you possibly can. Every other nation is using those rules to expand their pool of players. Why isn't England?"

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