Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick is well aware of the expectations Die Roten fans have, acknowledging winning the double will effectively be "mandatory" every year.

Flick joined Bayern before the 2019-20 season as assistant coach to Niko Kovac, but after the Croatian's departure in November, Joachim Low's former right-hand man stepped up to the main job at the Allianz Arena.

Initially hired on an interim basis and then until the end of the season, Flick oversaw an improvement on the field that also returned Bayern to the top of the table, having previously been floundering below the Champions League qualification spots.

With Bayern at the summit when the coronavirus pandemic led to the Bundesliga's suspension, the club handed Flick a three-year contract earlier this month, though he accepts such a deal does not necessarily buy him security – only success can do that.

"At FC Bayern, the double is basically mandatory and everyone longs for the treble," he told Bayern's 51 magazine.

"You always have to aspire to constantly improve and get the most out of your dispositions or skills. I don't exempt myself from that.

"Of course, in the end it's about titles, [but] today, winning alone is not enough. But I can fully identify with the fact that Bayern have the ambition to inspire their fans beyond 1-0.

The Bundesliga playing games behind closed doors could cause "devastating" scenes of fans gathering outside stadiums, the deputy chairman of the German Police Trade Union has warned.

Germany's top flight, like the majority of European leagues, is suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The top two tiers in Germany are suspended until at least April 30, with mass gatherings having been prohibited by the government until the end of August.

However, this month German Football Federation (DFL) chief executive Christian Seifert said discussions were in place over a return to action in early May with matches behind closed doors.

Seifert confirmed the DFL's plans to continue with the season and that the start date will be May 9 so long as the plan gets government backing.

But senior union official Jorg Radek believes doing so would pose a risk to public health.

"Maybe it is possible to control what is happening in the stadium. This does not apply to the public space in front of it. The stadiums become a potential target for fans who want to support their team," Radek said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

"That would be devastating. We can't have large crowds outside the stadium gates. It's not only forbidden, it would be irresponsible.

"It becomes relevant to the police at that moment, we then have to ensure that the requirements that currently apply to behaviour in public space are complied with - the requirement of a distance of one and a half metres, the ban on the assembly of large groups, the wearing of masks.

"We will have to intervene in terms of maintaining security and order if this is not guaranteed.

"I want to state that we as a police union are not fundamentally against football games.

"I can also understand that there is a need for many people to stop watching old international matches or old Bundesliga games, but we must not forget what special situation we are all in - this includes the police.

"Games behind closed doors are a danger, even if the organiser does everything in the stadium to ensure that hygiene regulations are observed in order to keep the risk of infection as low as possible."

He said the DFL plans do not appear to cover such aspects and spoke of the prospect of an "additional burden" on police.

"Running the league on the weekends is a huge burden for us even without a corona pandemic," said Radek. "By pausing, we gained a personnel reserve that we could fall back on to increase our presence elsewhere."

The Bundesliga playing games behind closed doors would be "irresponsible" as it may encourage fans to gather outside stadiums, the deputy chairman of the German Police Trade Union has warned.

Germany's top flight, like the majority of European leagues, is suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The top two tiers in Germany are suspended until at least April 30, with mass gatherings having been prohibited by the government until the end of August.

However, this month German Football Federation (DFL) chief executive Christian Seifert said discussions were in place over a return to action in early May with matches behind closed doors.

Seifert confirmed the DFL's plans to continue with the season and that the start date will by May 9 so long as the plan gets government backing.

But senior union official Jorg Radek believes doing so would pose a risk to public health.

"Maybe it is possible to control what is happening in the stadium. This does not apply to the public space in front of it. The stadiums become a potential target for fans who want to support their team," Radek said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

"That would be devastating. We can't have large crowds outside the stadium gates. It's not only forbidden, it would be irresponsible.

"It becomes relevant to the police at that moment, we then have to ensure that the requirements that currently apply to behaviour in public space are complied with - the requirement of a distance of one and a half metres, the ban on the assembly of large groups, the wearing of masks.

"We will have to intervene in terms of maintaining security and order if this is not guaranteed.

"I want to state that we as a police union are not fundamentally against football games.

"I can also understand that there is a need for many people to stop watching old international matches or old Bundesliga games, but we must not forget what special situation we are all in - this includes the police.

"Games behind closed doors are a danger, even if the organiser does everything in the stadium to ensure that hygiene regulations are observed in order to keep the risk of infection as low as possible."

He said the DFL plans do not appear to cover such aspects and spoke of the prospect of an "additional burden" on police.

"Running the league on the weekends is a huge burden for us even without a corona pandemic," said Radek. "By pausing, we gained a personnel reserve that we could fall back on to increase our presence elsewhere."

Saturday should have seen Barcelona host Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and pit Antoine Griezmann against his old club once more.

Griezmann left Atleti for Camp Nou in the second most expensive transfer of the previous close season, his €120million move eclipsed only by Joao Felix, the man bought to replace him.

Neither player has exactly enjoyed a resoundingly triumphant season, which is an affliction to hit many of the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2019.

We look at each of those players and whether their signings have, until now, been a hit or a miss...

 

JOAO FELIX: Benfica to Atletico Madrid (€126m)

Benfica and Portugal's golden boy scored in pre-season victories over Juventus and Real Madrid to give Atleti fans reason to believe the post-Griezmann future was bright.

However, just six goals in 28 competitive appearances later, doubts have been growing as to whether the 20-year-old forward will ever truly suit Diego Simeone's system.

VERDICT: MISS

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN: Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (€120m)

Griezmann vowed to stay at Atletico in 2018 only to change his mind a year later, and his performances for Barca are in keeping with a man not quite at ease in his surroundings.

Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez better his goal involvements for the Blaugrana in LaLiga this term (eight goals and four assists), while he is second only to Messi for chances created (26), but fans were entitled to expect more from the club's latest mega-money forward.

VERDICT: MISS

EDEN HAZARD: Chelsea to Real Madrid (€100m)

Chelsea fans feared the worst when their star man was lost during a transfer embargo, but things have hardly gone swimmingly for Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Injury problems have restricted him to just nine starts and a solitary goal and assist in LaLiga. He has also only created 14 chances, as many as James Rodriguez (who has started just four league games) and Lucas Vazquez (who has started six).

VERDICT: MISS

HARRY MAGUIRE: Leicester City to Manchester United (€87m)

The world's most expensive central defender might not be thought of as the world's best, but that should not detract from his impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

He leads the way for duels won, aerial duels won, blocks and interceptions among United defenders in the Premier League this season, helping them to eight clean sheets. Oh, and he's already been made club captain.

VERDICT: HIT

MATTHIJS DE LIGT: Ajax to Juventus (€85m)

The most coveted centre-back of the window after Ajax's remarkable Champions League run, De Ligt delivered a dreadful performance on his Juventus debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli.

He has won the most aerial duels and has the pass success rate of any Juve defender to feature more than five times in Serie A this term, but there are already doubts about his long-term suitability to Maurizio Sarri's side.

VERDICT: MISS

LUCAS HERNANDEZ: Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (€80m)

Bayern smashed their transfer record to sign defender Hernandez, but injuries have made it difficult to assess whether the money will prove to be well-spent.

A knee problem in September was followed by a serious ankle injury that kept him out for nearly four months, meaning he has started only nine games in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions.

VERDICT: MISS

NICOLAS PEPE: Lille to Arsenal (€80m)

Pepe was something of a symbol of Unai Emery's problematic final few weeks in charge as he struggled badly to find form for the Gunners.

He has certainly shown signs of improvement in 2020 – only Mesut Ozil (38) has created more chances in the league than Pepe (34) for Arsenal – but fans will have hoped for more from their record signing.

VERDICT: MISS

FRENKIE DE JONG: Ajax to Barcelona (€75m)

Another Ajax star who became coveted by clubs across Europe last year, De Jong opted for Barca and immediately became a regular in midfield.

He has not quite adapted to life in LaLiga - Ernesto Valverde's exit and Quique Setien's arrival as coach did not help - but, in turbulent times for the club, he looks to be a safe bet as the beating heart of Barca for years to come: he had created more chances (24) than any other Barca midfielder this term and only Sergio Busquets has more recoveries and interceptions.

VERDICT: HIT

RODRI: Atletico Madrid to Manchester City (€70m)

Manchester City's record signing has proved a smart bit of a business given midfield-anchor supreme Fernandinho has spent much of this season in defence.

Rodri has attempted more passes (1,996), recorded a better passing accuracy (92 per cent) and more recoveries (181) than any other City midfielder in 2019-20. He looks very much at home in Pep Guardiola's system.

VERDICT: HIT

ROMELU LUKAKU: Manchester United to Inter (€65m)

Lukaku's move to Inter seems to have been that rarity in modern-day transfers: a deal that has worked out well for everyone concerned.

United's attack is taking the more fluid shape Solskjaer wants, Antonio Conte at last got the forward he tried to bring to Juventus and Chelsea, and Lukaku has looked in the form of his career, with 17 goals and two assists in Serie A as part of a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez.

VERDICT: HIT

Arsenal may have gone 16 years without an English league title, but the last time they landed the trophy it was an unforgettable triumph for Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles'.

They secured the silverware for the competition then known as the Premiership on this day in 2004, with a 2-2 draw against bitter north London rivals Tottenham.

On the same day, Sri Lanka humiliated Zimbabwe in an ODI cricket clash in Harare, bowling out the home team for 35 - the lowest innings total for a one-day international.

In 2012, Bayern Munich denied Real Madrid a place in the Champions League final when they beat Los Blancos, whose star names faltered in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

And 12 months ago, Kyler Murray chose American football ahead of baseball when he was drafted first by the Arizona Cardinals.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 25.

2004 - Wenger wonders toast title at White Hart Lane

Alan Shearer's winner for Newcastle United against high-flying Chelsea earlier in the day meant Arsenal had the chance to scoop the Premier League title at Tottenham's White Hart Lane home.

Unbeaten in the league all season, Wenger's side were not in the mood to let such an opportunity pass them by and swept into a 2-0 lead by half-time thanks to goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.

Jamie Redknapp pulled one back and Robbie Keane fired a late penalty equaliser for lowly Spurs, but Arsenal had needed just one point, so the 2-2 draw was enough to spark celebrations among the visitors.

2004 - Harare horror show

Zimbabwe lost the ODI series 5-0 and suffered back-to-back huge innings defeats in a 2-0 Test trouncing by Sri Lanka - and this surrender in the third ODI was perhaps the worst of that grisly set of results.

Dion Ebrahim top-scored for Zimbabwe with seven runs as the hosts were skittled for 35 in 18 overs, Chaminda Vaas taking 4-11 with the ball for merciless Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka missed out on a 10-wicket victory when Russel Arnold fell cheaply, but they sauntered to a nine-wicket success to ease 3-0 up in the series.

There were extenuating circumstances, with Zimbabwe hugely weakened due to their established players going on strike in a protest over political interference.

2012 - Penalty woe for Ronaldo and Ramos

Armed with a 2-1 semi-final lead from their home leg, Bayern nevertheless appeared to be seeing the Champions League final slip out of sight when Cristiano Ronaldo fired Madrid 2-0 up inside 15 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, only for ex-Real winger Arjen Robben to revive the Germans' hopes with a penalty.

The tie was locked at 3-3 on aggregate after half an hour of a breathless second-leg battle and it remained that way after 120 minutes, meaning penalties would decide who joined Chelsea in the final.

The usually reliable Ronaldo and Kaka saw their kicks saved by Manuel Neuer, and Sergio Ramos fired over the bar, allowing Bastian Schweinsteiger to convert the winning penalty.

Jose Mourinho's Madrid still won LaLiga that season, while Bayern finished empty-handed after losing the Champions League final to Chelsea - on penalties - and seeing Borussia Dortmund land a domestic double.

2019 - Cardinals take Murray with first pick

Kyler Murray was the ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft in June 2018, having had his choice of sports. But his continuing success with the Oklahoma Sooners in college football meant Murray was coveted by NFL teams too, and he soon gave up the approaching prospect of a baseball career.

A quarterback, he was drafted first overall by the Cardinals and became a resounding hit in his first NFL season, winning the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

He bettered all other first-year players with 349 completions - the third-most by a rookie in NFL history - and 3,722 passing yards.

Philippe Coutinho will be sidelined for two weeks after undergoing ankle surgery, Bayern Munich announced on Friday.

The Brazil international had surgery to remove loose fragments in his right ankle joint, with the Bundesliga club confirming the procedure was a success.

Coutinho, who is on a season-long loan at Bayern from Barcelona, contributing nine goals and eight assists in 32 appearances, will begin his recovery programme in 14 days.

The 27-year-old may not miss any matches, however, as it is still unclear when the campaign will resume in Germany following the coronavirus outbreak that has halted most football across Europe.

On Thursday, the German Football League (DFL) announced the top two tiers are on course to be back in action in May, though the final decision on a restart date lies with the nation's politicians.

Mass gatherings have been prohibited by the government until the end of August, but DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said the governing body is working towards playing fixtures behind closed doors.

Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Barcelona over Philippe Coutinho, while Real Madrid are preparing a "grand revolution".

Coutinho is expected to leave Barca permanently this close season, with the playmaker on loan at Bayern Munich in 2019-20.

With a Premier League return touted for the former Liverpool star, it seems Coutinho is close to getting back to England.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA START COUTINHO TALKS

Chelsea have already started talks with Barcelona over Coutinho, according to Sport.

Bayern will reportedly not use their €120million purchase option on the Brazil international, opening the door for Chelsea.

Barcelona have set a starting price of €90m (£79.5m) for Coutinho, who joined the club from Liverpool for a reported initial fee of €118.8m (£105m).

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are preparing for a "grand revolution". The cover of Sport says president Florentino Perez is getting ready to make changes at Los Blancos, with Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and 14 players out on loan the main problems.

- With Newcastle United reportedly on the verge of a takeover, the Premier League side are being linked with a new manager. The Mirror says former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is among the top targets for the club once the sale is complete.

- Ashley Young has impressed at Inter. The Guardian claims Young, 34, will get a one-year extension at the Serie A club.

- Despite only arriving at Manchester United in June 2018, Diogo Dalot could be set for an exit. The Sun says United are willing to listen to offers for the 21-year-old Portuguese full-back.

- It seems Roma have received some good news. Corriere dello Sport reports Manchester United's Chris Smalling and Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, will remain at the club on loan until the end of the season, even if it goes beyond June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- Cengiz Under could be on his way out of Roma. CalcioMercato reports Everton, Milan and Napoli are interested in Under and Roma may be willing to lower their initial demand of €40m.

Alphonso Davies was rewarded for a brilliant breakout season with a contract extension that ties him to Bayern Munich until 2025 on Monday.

The Canada teenager won a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal medal last term, but only made his appearances for Die Roten off the bench.

However, Davies converted to a left-back this season to ease a defensive crisis that has seen David Alaba play mainly as a centre-back for Bayern.

Davies was excelling in the role prior to the suspension of the Bundesliga due to the coronavirus pandemic and here we take a closer look at the 19-year-old with the help of Opta.


MIXING IT WITH THE BUNDESLIGA'S BEST

In the Bundesliga, Davies is comparing favourably to his fellow left-backs. Indeed, his four assists can only be bettered in that position by the five of Freiburg's Christian Gunther.

Among all players with at least 100 take-ons this season, Davies has the best success rate (58 per cent).

His open-cross success rate (of players with at least 30) is the best in the Bundesliga at 37 per cent, while a passing accuracy of 87 per cent is only improved upon by Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerriero (89) among left-backs.

Davies also has the most take-ons and has had more duels than any other left-back in the league this term.


KEEPING UP WITH THE PACE

Davies' speed and ability to recover have been a crucial aspect for Bayern and it speaks volumes that he is the only player to start each of the 21 competitive matches since Hansi Flick took charge.

His top speed in the Bundesliga this season is 35.3 km/h. Of Bayern players only Kingsley Coman has clocked a quicker time (35.7 km/h).

Ivan Perisic is the only Die Roten player with more sprints per 90 minutes (39) than Davies (37).

In total, Davies has completed 112 take-ons, while he has a goal involvement once every 318 minutes.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, all four of his four assists in the Bundesliga have come away from home. Indeed, his only top-flight goal involvement at the Allianz Arena was his goal against Mainz on match day three.

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is optimistic Manuel Neuer will extend his contract with the club.

The 34-year-old's deal expires at the end of 2020-21 and there has been no breakthrough in talks over fresh terms.

There were reports Neuer was demanding a five-year deal worth €20million annually, but he rubbished those suggestions in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.

Neuer also made it clear he is unhappy with the way certain details around the discussions were being leaked to the media.

Rummenigge, though, is confident both parties will find a way to keep the Germany goalkeeper at the Allianz Arena.

"We both know what we have in each other," he told Bild on Monday. "And under these circumstances, I am optimistic that we will find a solution in the end and that Manuel Neuer will sign a new contract.

"We have the world's best goalkeeper and we have already won everything with him."

When asked about Neuer's anger at the leaks of his contract talks, Rummenigge replied: "His interview was only yesterday, so we could not react to it yet."

Neuer's future has been further complicated by the fact Bayern will sign Alexander Nubel from Schalke on a free transfer on July 1.

The 23-year-old's arrival has also cast doubt on the prospects of Sven Ulreich staying at the club, but Neuer's present understudy plans to fight for his place.

His agent, Jurgen Schwab, told Kicker: "Bayern are a meritocracy, where sporting decisions are made.

"Let's see who ends up behind Manuel Neuer on the bench."

Alphonso Davies has penned a two-year extension to his Bayern Munich contract, which now runs until 2025.

The 19-year-old was signed by the Bundesliga champions in July 2018 and started training with the club in November of that year after completing the MLS season with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Davies made six first-team appearances off the bench last term and has made a further 29 in all competitions this season after converting to left-back, with David Alaba having featured predominantly in the centre of defence to help Bayern's injury woes at the back.

The Canada international's previous deal was due to expire in 2023 but Bayern confirmed he has put pen to paper on fresh terms.

"I am very happy. FC Bayern is one of the best clubs in the world and it was a dream come true for me to be able to play here," he told the club's website.

"I felt comfortable from day one. I want to get as many titles as possible with this club. The mentality of always wanting to win everything is FC Bayern's DNA."

CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "Alphonso has developed very well at FC Bayern and has earned this contract extension with his impressive performances.

"We are happy that he will remain with FC Bayern in the long term. He delights our fans not only with the way he plays, but also with the way he is off the pitch."

Davies won a league and DFB-Pokal last season and was also part of the Bayern reserves side who won promotion to the third tier.

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "I am very pleased that FC Bayern and Alphonso have made a long-term commitment to each other.

"With his speed, his enthusiasm and his professional attitude, Alphonso is an ideal fit for our team. He is also a real asset in human terms.

"It is up to all of us here to ensure that Alphonso continues to stabilise his very good performance, that he takes the next steps in his development with the same concentration and courage as he has up until now."

After months and months of speculation, Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved.

The 20-year-old attacker has been tipped to return to England, having left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

And City's neighbours are reportedly set to snap up the in-demand sensation.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED THINK THEY'VE WON SANCHO RACE

Borussia Dortmund's Sancho to Manchester United is a done deal, according to The Sun.

England star Sancho has been heavily linked to United, as well as Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid following his exploits for Dortmund.

However, United believe they have won the race for Sancho after months of secret talks, with just an agreement of a fee with Dortmund remaining.

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain are ready to offer Neymar a salary worth €38million if he stays at the Ligue 1 champions amid links to former club Barcelona.

Sandro Tonali is a real target for Milan, claims Calciomercato. The Brescia star has attracted interest from Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, PSG, Manchester City and others. But Tonali is Milan's big transfer goal as the Rossoneri board tries to rebuild around the 19-year-old.

Mauro Icardi to Napoli and Arkadiusz Milik to Juve? FCInterNews.it says Napoli are back in the hunt to sign Icardi, who is on loan at PSG from Inter. The Argentina forward has been heavily linked to Juve but he could join Napoli if Milik moves to Turin. The front page of Tuttosport also claims Federico Bernardeschi leaving Juve for Napoli could be the key in Milik's future.

Inter are interested in signing RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner if Lautaro Martinez swaps the Nerazzurri for Barca, reports Calciomercato. Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been linked to Werner.

- AS Diario says Real Madrid are ready to sell Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez. Colombian midfielder James has been linked to United and Juve. Madrid are also prepared to part with Lucas Vazquez, Mariano Diaz, Alvaro Odriozola and Nacho Fernandez.

Arsenal and United have set their sights on Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Sport. Dembele has struggled for form and fitness at Camp Nou and the Frenchman has reportedly asked Anthony Martial about playing for United.

Antoine Griezmann is seemingly not ready to accept that his Barcelona career could be over.

The LaLiga giants have been heavily linked with moves for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

It had been reported Griezmann could head to San Siro as part of a deal, but the France international will not move so easily.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN READY TO FIGHT NEYMAR, MARTINEZ FOR BARCELONA PLACE

Griezmann is prepared to battle for his future at Barcelona despite links to Neymar and Martinez, according to Marca.

The former Atletico Madrid star had scored 14 goals in 37 games this season before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, the 29-year-old forward is ready to fight for a spot even if Martinez and Neymar arrive in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- A player that seems certain to leave Barcelona is Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich this season. Goal reports the LaLiga giants are still aiming to sell the playmaker and are hoping for a suitor in the Premier League.

- Staying at Camp Nou, Arturo Vidal has been linked heavily with a move to Inter. However, Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United and Newcastle United are also interested in the midfielder. Apparently, Newcastle would be the frontrunners if the Premier League club manage to appoint Massimiliano Allegri, who coached Vidal at Juventus.

- Could Arsenal and Atletico Madrid be prepared for a swap deal? The Sun reports Arsenal are ready to offer Alexandre Lacazette to the LaLiga club to seal a deal for midfielder Thomas Partey. Also with Arsenal, the Mirror says the Premier League side have asked Valencia about Rodrigo Moreno, with Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang potentially leaving.

- Out of contract in 2022, Marc-Andre ter Stegen appeared set to earn a new deal at Barcelona. However, AS reports the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is set to make a renewal for the goalkeeper – linked with Juventus and Bayern Munich – a lot harder.

- Perhaps Thiago Silva will remain at Paris Saint-Germain. Le 10 Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are offering the defender – whose deal expires at the end of the season – a one-year contract.

- In the first year of a two-season loan deal at AC Milan, Ante Rebic has netted seven times. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A side are keen to make the Eintracht Frankfurt forward's move permanent soon, before his asking price rises further.

Manuel Neuer is irritated that details from his contract negotiations with Bayern Munich appear to be getting leaked.

The Germany international has a deal with Bayern running until June 2021 but has grown frustrated with ongoing talks over a potential extension.

Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nubel will arrive on a free transfer ahead of next season, leading to suggestions the Bavarian giants are preparing to phase Neuer out.

It was reported this week Neuer was demanding a new five-year contract worth €20million per year, but he scoffed at the suggestions.

However, the fact that any information was being leaked into the public domain gave him cause for concern.

"I want to play as long as I'm fit. But the most important thing for me is trust," Neuer said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.

"It is clear to me that it would be fantasy for me to want a five-year contract. I'm 34 and can't predict how I'm going to be at 39. That is why what has been publicly suggested makes no sense at all.

"I want a contract where FC Bayern and I have a win-win situation that everyone is happy with.

"I want to perform, be there for the team and do everything we can to ensure we have maximum success, with 100 per cent passion. The conditions must be right; that's what it's about.

"What irritates me is that all the conversations I've had here since I joined have always been conducted with great confidence. Nothing ever got out.

"Now, however, details from the current talks are constantly in the media, which are often not even correct. I've not experienced that at FC Bayern.

"It was always important to me to be able to work with the employees in management positions in a spirit of trust – as loyal as I am to the club as a player and captain.

"If things are now apparently being leaked out, it affects the area of 'appreciation'."

Neuer explained that Bayern's decision to appoint Hansi Flick as coach on a permanent basis encouraged him to stay at the Allianz Arena.

He also believes Nubel is a great signing but does not believe there is any truth to suggestions his impending competition has been guaranteed regular games.

"He's a good goalkeeper, no doubt," Neuer said of Nubel. "I understand the transfer in perspective, although with Sven Ulreich we already have a strong number two. He would be the first choice at many other clubs. Nevertheless, Nubel is of course a great signing.

"There is no such thing [as guaranteed games] in competitive sports… I don't think you can tell a coach who manages a team like Bayern who to play."

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has received no contact from Liverpool or Bayern Munich regarding Timo Werner.

Werner has been consistently linked to both Liverpool and Bayern, with a season in which he has scored 27 goals in 36 games in all competitions only fuelling the speculation.

The forward is under contract until the end of the 2022-23 season and Mintzlaff sees Leipzig as the perfect place for Werner to continue his development.

"Neither Jurgen Klopp nor [Bayern chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge contacted me," Mintzlaff told General-Anzeiger. 

"We are happy that we were able to extend the contract with him until 2023. He played a really strong first half of the season.

"We also believe that we are still a very good stage for Timo Werner, on which he can develop as a Germany international."

 

Dayot Upamecano should think twice about swapping RB Leipzig for Bayern Munich or another European heavyweight at the end of the season, according to Lothar Matthaus.

Bundesliga giants Bayern are rumoured to have joined Real Madrid and a number of other big-name clubs in the race to sign the 21-year-old.

France Under-21 international Upamecano has made 76 league appearances for Leipzig since joining from Salzburg in 2017, particularly catching the eye in his 21 outings this season.

Interest in the central defender may be growing, but Bayern great Matthaus suggests leaving the Red Bull Arena later this year may not be the right choice.

"I can see him playing for all the big club when he gets more experience," Matthaus told Sky Sport Germany.

"If he does leave, he needs to make sure his new coach or club gives him the confidence to play regularly - as he is doing at Leipzig.

"He's a young player, highly rated, fast, has a good positional game and uses his body well for a 21-year-old. But a year or two in Leipzig would not hurt him.

"Leipzig are a top team - one of the last eight remaining in the Champions League.

"I can still see one or two per cent where he can learn, but he's a huge player and that's why I'm not surprised that top clubs in Europe are after him.

"But you can't speculate much about change because you need to see how the [coronavirus] situation develops."

Upamecano is under contract with Leipzig until the end of the 2020-21 season.

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