Bayern Munich are not interested in selling David Alaba, according to interim head coach Hansi Flick, who described the Austria international as a leader.

Alaba impressed at centre-back alongside Javi Martinez, Benjamin Pavard and Jerome Boateng in a string of Bundesliga victories before the mid-season break, and his performances fuelled speculation over a possible move to Chelsea.

But Flick, who has overseen five wins and two defeats in the league since being placed in temporary charge of the champions on November 3, said there were no plans to allow the versatile defender to leave the club.

"Alaba is doing very well at centre-back at the moment," Flick told reporters at the club's training camp in Doha.

"He's not for sale.

"He can lead a team, he showed that. He fulfills the criteria of a player who can marshall a defence."

Flick was reluctant to comment on the signing of goalkeeper Alexander Nubel from Schalke in a deal that will see the 23-year-old arrive in Munich at the end of the season.

Manuel Neuer has been ever-present in goal for Bayern this season and Flick said he is happy with Sven Ulreich in the role of deputy to the Germany international.

Nubel is seen as a potential long-term successor to Neuer, but Flick said: "I'm not interested in that now.

"Bayern took the chance to bring a talented goalkeeper to Munich. But Nubel will be a Bayern player in July.

"I'm satisfied with the current situation and Sven Ulreich is doing very well. Competition enables performances."

David Wagner has confirmed Alexander Nubel will no longer be Schalke's captain after the goalkeeper agreed to join Bayern Munich.

Nubel - touted as a possible long-term successor to Manuel Neuer - will move to the Bundesliga champions at the end of the season on a free transfer.

The 23-year-old has signed a five-year deal with Bayern, which starts on July 1, having last month informed Schalke he would not be renewing his contract amid links to numerous sides, including Tottenham.

Schalke coach Wagner has now confirmed Nubel, who will be suspended when the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break due to a red card he received for an ugly challenge on Eintracht Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic in December, will hand the armband to midfielder Omar Mascarell.

"We have mutually agreed that Alex will step down from his role as captain," Wagner said in quotes reported on Schalke's official Twitter page.

"We looked at all the pros and cons and decided that it's better for the team if he gives up the armband. This way we avoid constant unrest.

"In the coming months, there are bigger things to think about than this. It cannot be that one player is put under the spotlight. Alex remains an important member of the group. We need to continue to completely support every player."

Wagner also confirmed the club do not plan to bring in a new goalkeeper to replace Nubel, with Ralf Fahrmann - who is currently on loan at Norwich City - and Germany under-21 international Markus Schubert considered as suitable options for next season.

"In Schubi and Ralf Fährmann, we have two great goalkeepers for next season. We needn't worry about this position," Wagner said.

Jochen Schneider, Schalke's head of sport, added: "We tried everything to convince Alex to stay. Unfortunately it didn't work out."

Nubel was appointed as Schalke's captain in August, replacing Fahrmann, after making 18 Bundesliga appearances in 2018-19.

Bayern Munich have confirmed an agreement has been reached to sign goalkeeper Alexander Nubel once his Schalke contract expires at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old informed Schalke last month he would not be renewing his deal amid links with a number of clubs, including Premier League side Tottenham.

Bundesliga champions Bayern announced on their official website on Saturday that Nubel has agreed to a five-year contract at Allianz Arena, starting from July 1.

Ex-Germany Under-21 international Nubel made the switch from Paderborn to Schalke in 2015 and has been dubbed in some quarters as the new Manuel Neuer.

He made headlines in December for an ugly challenge on Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Mijat Gacinovic, resulting in a four-match ban.

Schalke are fifth in the Bundesliga table and three points adrift of third-place Bayern, who recently placed Hansi Flick in caretaker charge until the end of the campaign.

Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Javi Martinez will all miss Bayern Munich's training camp in Doha, which begins on Saturday.

Striker Lewandowski had groin surgery last month and will stay in Germany to continue his recovery, despite having initially planned to be part of the group heading for warm-weather training.

Coman, who has a torn capsule in his left knee, and Martinez, who has a muscle problem, will also miss the trip.

So too does Niklas Sule, who is continuing his recovery from a knee ligament tear sustained in October.

The Bayern squad comprises the available senior players and six youngsters: Joshua Zirkzee, Sarpreet Singh, Leon Dajaku, Oliver Batista-Meier, Chris Richards and Bright Akwo Arrey-Mbi.

The Bundesliga champions will spend a week at the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, with interim head coach Hansi Flick promising "an intensive, tough training camp" before they return for a friendly against Nurnberg on July 11.

Their season resumes with a league trip to Hertha Berlin on January 19.

Manchester United have identified James Maddison or Jack Grealish as their top January transfer targets.

With Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay injured, United have concerns in midfield to begin 2020.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said United were looking at "one or two" January additions, and it appears their targets are also Premier League players.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD IDENTIFY MADDISON, GREALISH AS JANUARY TARGETS

Manchester United are prioritising a move for Leicester City's Maddison or Aston Villa's Grealish, according to the Independent.

United are looking to find greater consistency in the second half of the Premier League season, although they sit fifth in the table.

Grealish has provided five assists in the Premier League this campaign, while netting six times. Maddison also has six goals.

ROUND-UP

- Thomas Lemar is attracting interest from Tottenham. AS reports that if the midfielder joins Spurs from Atletico Madrid, the LaLiga club would be able to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.

- Tottenham may have more pressing concerns in January. Harry Kane could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury as Spurs await the results of a second scan, according to The Telegraph.

- Benfica are prepared to let 20-year-old midfielder Gedson Fernandes leave. A Bola reports the club are ready to negotiate for the Portugal international, who has been linked to Manchester United, Lyon and Milan.

- Arsenal are aiming to strengthen their defence with the signing of Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng, according to Sky Sports. Calum Chambers is set for a long spell on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, and Boateng could be set for a return to the Premier League.

- Jean-Clair Todibo is expected to leave Barcelona in January and a surprise potential destination has emerged. Bild reports Schalke are thinking about a loan move for the 20-year-old defender.

- Borussia Dortmund have set their price for forward Paco Alcacer. The Bundesliga club want €40million for the Spaniard, who has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.

Some of Europe's top clubs are already making signings ahead of the January transfer window, but Real Madrid's focus, at least for now, looks to be on securing the services of a current player.

Karim Benzema remains one of Madrid's key men, with 12 goals in 17 LaLiga matches this term.

Los Blancos will reportedly reward the striker's fine form with a contract renewal in the coming months, keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu for another two seasons.

 

TOP STORY – BENZEMA TO STAY UNTIL 2022

Karim Benzema has agreed to sign a new contract with LaLiga giants Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Benzema's current deal had been set to expire in 2021, but an extension is imminent. The newspaper reports the Frenchman will be rewarded improved terms on a new contract to run until 2022 due to his outstanding form.

With Madrid enjoying a midseason break, they are said to have agreed a deal with Benzema that will be made formal at the end of the campaign.

Benzema's future is apparently a priority for Madrid, with the report suggesting the deal was only capped at an additional year as the player is determined not to outstay his welcome, leaving before his outstanding career wanes.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United reportedly have an interest in Benfica star Gedson Fernandes. Sky Sports say the 20-year-old midfielder, who has fallen out of favour with his club, could be available for £34million (€39.8m) following a loan, rather than for a loftier release clause of £102m. United are desperate to bolster their midfield, with Nemanja Matic tipped to join Inter, Milan or Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Suns says United are eyeing £50m-rated Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Erling Haaland signed for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Emirates Stadium at the end of the season in pursuit of silverware. Aubameyang has 18 months remaining on his contract.

Chelsea have made enquiries about the release clause in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner's contract, says The Telegraph. Werner has been linked to Liverpool, United and Bayern Munich.

- El Desmarque says Everton are leading the race to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti worked with James during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Serie A champions Juventus lead the race to sign Dejan Kulusevski, according to Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 19-year-old, on loan at Parma from Atalanta, has been linked to United, Arsenal, Napoli, Inter and Liverpool. But Juve are reportedly poised to pay Atalanta €40-50m, while allowing Kulusevski to remain on loan at Parma until the end of the season.

- Calciomercato.com reports Jean-Clair Todibo has an offer from Milan. A deal is said to be done for the Barcelona defender - an initial loan, followed by a €20m fee with no buyback option - but he has not yet agreed to the transfer.

- Having already signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan must move on others in the next month. However, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are only interested in selling Ricardo Rodriguez and Suso, rather than accommodating loan deals that would suit Watford and Sevilla, respectively.

Napoli are set to announce the signing of Stanislav Lobotka for an initial €16m, according to Calciomercato.com. The midfielder will leave Celta Vigo and sign a contract with the Partenopei until 2024.

Hansi Flick says defender Jerome Boateng will have the final say over his own future after falling out of favour at Bayern Munich.

Boateng has started eight of Bayern's 17 Bundesliga matches this term and has been strongly linked with an exit in the January transfer window.

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been tipped to move for the Germany international, while Arsenal are rumoured to have already made an approach.

And stand-in boss Flick will let Boateng, who is out of contract at the end of next season, decide whether he stays on at the Allianz Arena or finds a new challenge elsewhere.

"I get along with him and we talk openly," Flick told German sports magazine Kicker. 

"Against Wolfsburg he came into the side and had some problems, but then he showed he has the quality to play for Bayern. 

"Jerome has to make the decision about his future because it's about his career."

Regardless of Boateng's future, Flick has set his sights on bringing in a new right-back in the coming weeks.

"Benjamin Pavard does well in every position but especially well at centre-back," he said. "Therefore an addition at right-back would be helpful.

"Winter transfers always bring something to a team if they help immediately - and this is difficult to find. I am in exchange with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Hasan Salihamidzic."

Bayern are third in the Bundesliga at the midway stage, four points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig after an indifferent first half to the campaign that saw Flick replace Niko Kovac in November.

Flick has overseen eight wins from 10 games in all competitions and will remain in charge of the German champions until the end of the campaign.

He previously worked as assistant to Germany coach Joachim Low for eight years before linking up with Kovac earlier this year, but that is no longer a role that appeals to him.

"I can imagine a lot of things, but I can't imagine that at the moment," he said.

"It's been a lot of fun, especially working with this coaching team and this squad. 

"We've found a really good team spirit. Bayern Munich is a club with a lot of power, so I really like this job. The idea of always wanting to be successful suits me perfectly.

"I feel a lot of trust. There's nothing to stop us from continuing if we're successful. Let's just assume that our matches and results will remain satisfying. And if not, the club will have plenty of time to look for another coach."

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the 2010s in terms of individual awards and moments of pure inspiration.

Future generations will look back on this past decade as a period obsessed with the two generational talents - their often-exaggerated rivalry exacerbated by spending such a long time on opposite sides of the Clasico divide.

But, while Ronaldo and Messi have filled more column inches than any other player on the planet, there are plenty of others who have been world leaders in their respective positions.

Having looked back over the last 10 years, using Opta data for inspiration, we have selected a Team of the Decade. But who makes the cut?

Is David de Gea selected in goal? Does Luis Suarez join Messi in attack? Has Virgil van Dijk done enough for inclusion? Find out below...

OMNISPORT TEAM OF THE DECADE

Manuel Neuer

There is not much more Manuel Neuer could have achieved over the past 10 years. For much of that time he has been one of the globe's most dependable goalkeepers, even if he has shown signs of decline since a spate of foot injuries. A veteran of seven Bundesliga title triumphs and a World Cup winner with Germany, Neuer boasts a save percentage of 74.2 per cent and has comfortably the most clean sheets (139) this decade in the German top flight.

Dani Alves

Has there ever been a better right-back than Dani Alves? The Brazilian stands to leave an impressive legacy, not just through his thrilling style of play, but with his record-breaking trophy haul of 43 after captaining Brazil to Copa America success this year. Despite being a right-back, he claimed 67 assists in league action through the 2010s, though his greatest contribution came in LaLiga with Barcelona, for whom he set up 51 goals. Marcelo (48) is the closest to him, but he has played 77 times more than the current Sao Paulo star.

Vincent Kompany

Although a brilliant player at his best, it is understandable to suggest Vincent Kompany never reached his ceiling due to injuries. Nevertheless, the Belgian will go down as a Premier League great such has been his impact with Manchester City, with whom he enjoyed four title wins. Kompany recorded 83 Premier League clean sheets in the 2010s, just 10 fewer than record-setter Kyle Walker, who has played 57 more matches. His leadership qualities have been missed by City this season.

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a player who often polarises opinion, but he's one of only three players to have been at Madrid for the entire decade, so he must be doing something right. An undisputed leader and fierce competitor, Ramos is a big-game player like few others and boasts a goal-scoring record even many midfielders would be happy with, having netted 43 times in LaLiga since the start of 2010, more than any other defender. Over the past 10 years, he's helped Los Blancos to a remarkable four Champions League titles, while he won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

Jordi Alba

At his best, Jordi Alba was almost unstoppable. The flying left-back became a staple and key outlet for one of the great Barcelona teams, with his driving runs – on or off the ball – often creating havoc. A master at making a darting run into the box before cutting a pass back to create a chance, Alba has 38 LaLiga assists to his name for Barca, a record bettered by only Dani Alves and Marcelo among defenders. He gets the nod ahead of his Madrid counterpart as his assist haul is from 72 fewer matches.

Luka Modric

The only player to break the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or duopoly, Luka Modric has enjoyed a wonderful decade. A vital part of the Croatia team that enjoyed an historic run to the 2018 World Cup final, Modric also played a big role in Madrid's incredible Champions League domination. Toni Kroos (11,260) is the only midfielder to have completed more passes in LaLiga than Modric (10,759), while he laid on 42 assists and created 522 chances.

N'Golo Kante

If there was an award for the most likeable player of the decade, N'Golo Kante would surely be a frontrunner. Sadly there is no such thing, so he'll have to contend with inclusion in this team. Arguably the key cog in Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title win, Kante followed that up with similarly impressive form at Chelsea and with France, winning the World Cup with Les Bleus last year. He has made 912 tackles and interceptions in the Premier League, putting him fifth among players with 200 appearances or fewer this decade, and each of those who rank higher have played at least 20 matches more.

David Silva

When David Silva leaves Man City at the end of the season, there will inevitably be a debate as to whether he can be regarded the Premier League's greatest 'import'. That this will even be suggested tells you the impact he has had. No one gets close to Silva's record of 89 Premier League assists in the 2010s, with the Spaniard almost certainly the most consistent creator the division has seen in the past 10 years. He was similarly important for Spain until his post-World Cup retirement last year, having previously lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2010 and at Euro 2012, eventually accumulating 125 caps.

Lionel Messi

Where does one even begin with Lionel Messi? If any single player has defined the 2010s – from an individual perspective – in world football, it is surely the Barcelona talisman. In LaLiga, Messi has amassed 505 goal involvements (369 goals, 136 assist) in 343 matches since the start of the decade, routinely carrying Barca to victory. He has won every trophy possible with the Blaugrana over the past 10 years and claimed five Ballons d'Or, with his 2019 victory giving him a record-breaking sixth. Although now 32, he remains frighteningly decisive – all that eludes him is international success with Argentina.

Robert Lewandowski

A long list of immense strikers have starred throughout the 2010s, but arguably chief among them – Ronaldo aside – is Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Having moved from Borussia Dortmund, whom he helped turn into Champions League contenders, the Poland international has developed into a remarkable all-round striker. In 307 Bundesliga games he has 221 goals from 1,163 attempts, meaning he scores every 5.2 shots – by contrast, Ronaldo needs 6.4 efforts per goal. Although he is yet to win Europe's elite club competition, there is little doubt the Pole appears to be getting better with age having already notched 19 league goals this term, just three short of his total for 2018-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the somewhat tiresome 'Ronaldo or Messi' debate about which superstar is "better", the former can at least point to his international successes with Portugal as something that sets him apart, having lifted Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League. That is just the tip of the iceberg for his brilliance in the 2010s, however. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo has scored 335 league goals and laid on 95 assists. With Los Blancos he helped inspire four Champions League successes, also winning a couple of LaLiga titles. What a privilege it has been to see Ronaldo and Messi in the same era.

Bayern Munich have tied promising defensive midfielder Adrian Fein down to a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Fein, 20, spent last season on loan at Jahn Regensburg and has been plying his trade at Hamburg in the 2. Bundesliga this term, making 20 appearances in all competitions.

The Germany Under-21 international's contract was set to expire in 2021, but the fresh terms will keep him at the Allianz Arena for another two years.

"I was born in Munich, I spent many years of my youth at Bayern, so I'm very happy I could extend my contract," said Fein.

"The time at Hamburg is very important for me. I can gain match practice and make progress."

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "Adrian has gained a lot of match practice in the 2. Bundesliga over the last one and a half years, making a lot of progress in his development.

"We're convinced of his potential, so we've bound him to Bayern over the long term."

Manuel Neuer insists suggestions of a rift with fellow Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen were blown out of proportion.

Earlier this year, Bayern Munich's first-choice keeper Neuer criticised his Barca counterpart for making "inappropriate" comments over his disappointment at not playing more regularly for Die Mannschaft.

However, Neuer later talked up the qualities of Ter Stegen, who has become one of the best number ones in the world at Camp Nou, and the former Schalke stopper says there was never an issue between the two.

"In principle, far too much was made of it," Neuer told Kicker. "I've never had a problem with Marc. 

"We train for the national team together. We sit together at breakfast, have a normal conversation - as team-mates, not as competitors.

"Each of us tries to show our best performance for the team so that we can be successful. This is important because we play in a team."

On Sunday, Bayern confirmed Hansi Flick would remain in charge at the Allianz Arena until the end of the season having overseen eight wins from 10 matches across all competitions since taking over from Niko Kovac.

Neuer says Flick has earned his chance to lead Bayern.

"He's been doing great so far. He has a great connection to the team, communicates things very clearly," he added. 

"He definitely deserves the chance right now."

Bayern Munich are unlikely to sign Manchester City winger Leroy Sane in January, according to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

The Bundesliga champions were tipped to try to bring Sane to the Allianz Arena in the previous transfer window before a serious knee injury prevented any potential deal.

Bild reported this week that Sane would be keen on moving to Bayern in the January window, even though he is unlikely to be fully fit again until the spring.

Salihamidzic, though, does not think it likely there will be much movement in the market next month.

"It's not good to speak about players from other clubs," he told Sky ahead of Bayern's clash with Wolfsburg on Saturday.

"We will leave all options open for us in the transfer market, but I don't think much will happen."

Speaking this week, interim Bayern boss Hansi Flick said the Sane talk was "not an issue" as he promised to focus on ending 2019 with a positive result.

Bayern went into Saturday's game four points behind Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig and second-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.

Everton have completed a major coup in appointing Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Ancelotti, who previously managed in the Premier League with Chelsea, returns to England after he was sacked by Napoli on December 10, despite guiding the Serie A club to the Champions League knockout stages.

He replaces Marco Silva, who was dismissed on December 5 following a 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, with Duncan Ferguson having been in temporary charge since then.

The Italian – the first coach from his nation to win the Premier League – has had a glittering career, taking charge of 735 top-flight matches in total thanks to spells at Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli.

As Ancelotti takes over at Goodison, we have used Opta data to take a look at his glittering career in numbers.

 

Parma

33 - Of his 68 league matches at the helm at Parma between 1996 and 1998, Ancelotti won 33 times, suffering 14 defeats.

2 - Parma finished second in Serie A in their first season under Ancelotti, though could only manage a sixth-place finish in the following campaign.


Juventus

61 - Ancelotti took charge of 82 top-flight games in Turin, managing 50 wins – giving him a 61 per cent win ratio. 

0 - Across 23 seasons in management, Ancelotti has never finished outside of the top seven in any domestic league, coming seventh only once, with Juve in 1998-99.


Milan

282 - Ancelotti's longest spell at one club came at Milan, where he spent eight seasons, managing the Rossoneri in 282 league fixtures.

1 - His first league title came in 2003-04, when Milan finished top of Serie with 82 points.

3 - Milan's Serie A success came on the back of glory in the Champions League in 2002-03. Ancelotti has won Europe's biggest prize on three occasions, with only Zinedine Zidane and former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley able to match that total. 


Chelsea

4 - Only four coaches to have managed 30 or more games in the Premier League have a higher win percentage than Ancelotti's 63.2 – Jurgen Klopp, Alex Ferguson, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola.

103 - Chelsea set a Premier League goals record for a single season when they netted 103 times under Ancelotti during 2009-10. It is a record which was only surpassed by Manchester City in 2017-18.

172 - In total, Chelsea scored 172 goals in 76 league fixtures while Ancelotti was in charge at Stamford Bridge.


Paris Saint-Germain

47.4 - Fixing Everton's leaky defence will be a top priority for Ancelotti, who during his time at PSG had a clean sheet percentage of 47.4, with the Ligue 1 giants not conceding in 27 out of 57 matches.

297 - In total during his two seasons at Parc des Princes, PSG had 297 shots on target. That was, however, significantly fewer than Ancelotti's Chelsea (532) or Madrid (583) sides managed.


Real Madrid

1428 - Los Blancos had almost 1500 shots during Ancelotti's time at the club.

867 - However, they were also the most open at the back when compared to Chelsea, PSG, Bayern and Napoli, allowing 867 attempts at their own goal.

1 - Spain is the only country in which Ancelotti has not won a league title. He also won his third Champions League crown with Madrid, in 2014.


Bayern Munich

68.6 - Having taken over from Guardiola, it is no surprise to see that possession was the order of the day for Ancelotti at Bayern, who averaged 68.6 per cent of the ball under his tutelage.

89 - In Ancelotti's only full campaign at Bayern, they scored 89 Bundesliga goals, conceding just 22 in return.


Napoli

29 - From 53 matches in charge of Napoli in Serie A, Ancelotti claimed 29 victories. His record in 2019-20 was a comparatively poor one, however, with four defeats and six draws from 15 games.

735 - After leaving Napoli, Ancelotti has taken charge of 735 top-tier league fixtures, with a win percentage of 60.5.

998 - Napoli had just under 1000 shots at goal during Ancelotti's spell.

Robert Lewandowski will have groin surgery straight after Bayern Munich face Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The striker will be available to play at the Allianz Arena in the champions' final match of the first half of the league season.

Interim head coach Hansi Flick says Lewandowski will then have an operation with a view to being fully recovered when they play Hertha Berlin on January 19.

"Robert will undergo groin surgery straight after Saturday's game," Flick told reporters on Friday. "We don't want to waste any time. We'll have to see how the recovery process goes.

"In the situation we're in, we're glad to have him available. The downtime should be 10 to 14 days."

Lewandowski has already scored 30 goals in a remarkable first half of the season, with 19 of those coming in the opening 16 matches of the Bundesliga.

Flick is relieved to have the Poland international to call on given Bayern are likely only to have 11 senior players fit for Wolfsburg's visit.

With long-term absentee Nikas Sule not likely to return until April and both Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman sidelined, the loss of Thiago Alcantara to suspension for this weekend is a blow to Bayern's thin squad.

Flick does at least hope to have David Alaba available, despite the defender having been hurt in the win at Freiburg.

"We have 11 healthy first-team players, plus five youngsters," he said.

"David got a knock on the ankle in Freiburg. He was training individually today [Friday], but he should be on board for tomorrow."

Bayern go into the Wolfsburg game in third place in the table, four points behind the top two of RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Hansi Flick said rumours Bayern Munich are again interested in signing Manchester City winger Leroy Sane are "not an issue for now".

Bundesliga champions Bayern were heavily linked with a move for the Germany international before a serious knee injury sustained in August put the buffers on a potential deal.

Reports in Germany suggest Bayern are once again interested in signing Sane and could push for a deal as soon as January.

But Bayern interim head coach, speaking after Wednesday's 3-1 win at Freiburg, kept his counsel.

"That is a player who is under contract with Manchester City and that is why it is not an issue for me at the moment," Flick told reporters.

"I have to concentrate on the game on Saturday against Wolfsburg and there I have my players who were there today and maybe one or the other will be added. So my attention is 100 percent on these players."

Bayern looked certain to drop points again at Freiburg with Robert Lewandowski's opener cancelled out by Vincenzo Grifo and the hosts missed a host of chances to move in front.

But teenager Joshua Zirkzee – on his first Bundesliga appearance – and Serge Gnabry scored in injury time to leave Bayern four points off top spot.

Flick was delighted for Zirkee, of who he said: "I simply thought that when another winger came on he could score, he is a striker and he shoots well.

"He's been with [the first team] for three weeks and the development has been noteworthy."

Joshua Zirkzee marked his first Bundesliga appearance with a late goal while Serge Gnabry also scored in injury time as Bayern Munich stole a scarcely deserved 3-1 win at Freiburg.

Robert Lewandowski, fresh from a brace in a 6-1 hammering of Werder Bremen, netted a 19th league goal of the campaign to put Bayern ahead at Schwarzwald-Stadion.

Freiburg, having kept it to one during that early storm, levelled through Vincenzo Grifo's excellent equaliser, and the enterprising hosts had plenty of chances to earn the three points

But teenage substitute Zirkzee kept a cool head in the 91st minute to steer past Mark Flekken, and Gnabry added undeserved gloss as Bayern moved third and four points off the top of the Bundesliga.

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