Bayern Munich interim head coach Hansi Flick has suggested Thomas Tuchel's football philosophy would fit the Bundesliga club.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel has been among those linked with the Bayern job following the dismissal of Niko Kovac at the start of November.

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and previous Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri have all been mentioned as candidates for the position.

Tuchel, who was in charge of Borussia Dortmund between 2015 and 2017, is under contract with PSG until 2021.

"All the names linked with Bayern are great coaches," Flick said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

"Thomas is one of the great German coaches. The way he wants his team to play and approach football is good.

"My private connection with him will stay private. I am just concentrating on this job right now."

Flick was coy when asked whether he envisaged working in a coaching set-up at Bayern with Tuchel.

"I have said so many times I can imagine many different situations," he added.

"It doesn't change the agreement I have. We are waiting to see what happens.

"We have a couple of games in 2019 and after the last game against Wolfsburg see what happens."

Flick has largely got Bayern back on track, leading them to four straight victories before last weekend's surprise 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen.

The 54-year-old revealed the club's players are eager to make amends for that result when they face Bundesliga leaders Gladbach.

"They were angry after the Leverkusen game because we had so many chances but lost 2-1," Flick said.

"It's the quality of the team to keep pushing. We have confidence despite the defeat that we can beat any opponent.

"Bayern Munich wants to be a champion every year, and the squad has that quality. But there are more teams this year that have tremendous quality, which makes the league exciting."

Flick claimed his players have nothing to fear about facing Gladbach, who are four points above them at the top of the table.

"Gladbach are in the lead, we are fourth, but we are traveling with confidence," Flick said.

"The way they interpret football may be different than last year, but they've been playing good football too. They're attacking very dynamically and with a lot of speed.

"But the game against Leverkusen has shown that we are on the right track, we created a lot of chances, we showed good football and we've worked on some other things this week in training."

Massimiliano Allegri vowed he will not take on a new job until midway through 2020 as the former Juventus boss continues to be linked with Bayern Munich and Arsenal.

Allegri has been out of work since parting ways with Juventus following an eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19 and fifth under the Italian's leadership.

The 52-year-old – who is taking English lessons – has emerged as a target for some of Europe's biggest clubs after Bundesliga champions Bayern sacked Niko Kovac and Arsenal dismissed Unai Emery.

But ex-Milan coach Allegri intends to wait until after the end of the 2019-20 season before launching his coaching comeback.

"In June. I don't know if you can call it a sabbatical or not," Allegri told ESPN FC when asked if he is hungry to get back into management. "Giovanni [Branchini, Allegri's agent] and I immediately came to that decision. As soon as the relationship with Juventus came to an end the decision was to take a year out."

He added: "Next year will be an important year. Important for the choice I end up making and the need to be prepared for it.

"After a year out and five years at Juventus, I don't want to go back into the game and do badly. That would do my head in."

On his English lessons, Allegri – who has also been linked to Premier League giants Manchester United – said: "I am taking lessons here in Milan. I manage to speak quite well. I find the listening part a bit more difficult.

"If I'm talking to someone who helps me out by speaking a little slower then I understand. I watch films [in English] and if I read something in English I understand it fine."

Chelsea are seemingly eager to sign Jadon Sancho, but they may have to wait until the end of the season.

The Borussia Dortmund star, 19, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga club, with numerous Premier League sides reportedly interested.

And Chelsea could be ready to spend big to land the England international.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA READY TO BREAK TRANSFER RECORD FOR SANCHO

Chelsea are prepared to break their transfer record to land Sancho, according to Goal.com.

Sancho has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City after impressing at Dortmund.

Chelsea broke their own transfer record last year, when they paid Athletic Bilbao a reported £71.6million (€80m) for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Premier League club are appealing their transfer ban, at this stage unable to buy players in January.

That may not be such a problem when it comes to Sancho, though, with Sport Bild reporting the attacker may not want a January move.

ROUND-UP

Edinson Cavani is struggling for game time at Paris Saint-Germain and the 32-year-old forward could be set for a move. AS reports the Uruguay international likes the idea of a switch to Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at the Wanda Metropolitano and Athletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, 22, will join Atletico in a €30m transfer next year, according to Marca.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears safe for now at Manchester United, but The Sun reports the Premier League club could turn to England manager Gareth Southgate if they decide to make a change at the end of the season.

- Carlo Ancelotti remains under pressure at Napoli. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will wait until the Champions League clash against Genk on December 10 before considering a change. Napoli are winless in eight matches and sit seventh in Serie A.

- Metz and France youth international defender Lenny Lacroix, 16, is attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- With Everton in the Premier League relegation zone after their Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, Marco Silva could be sacked. The Sun reports Silva said goodbye to his Everton players after the loss at Anfield.

Mats Hummels insists there are no problems between himself and under-fire Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre.

Dortmund snapped a winless run of three matches in all competitions by beating Hertha Berlin 2-1 last Saturday, despite Hummels receiving a 45th-minute red card in the German capital.

On their return from last month's international break, BVB were forced to come from 3-0 down to claim a 3-3 draw at home to bottom side Paderborn.

Speaking after that match, Hummels appeared to question Favre's initial defensive setup when he said:  "Let's just put it this way, it would be easier to press in a 4-1-4-1 and I'll leave it at that."

But the 2014 World Cup winner told Sport Bild he remains behind former Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice boss Favre.

"There are no differences with the coach, this is nonsense," he told Sport Bild.

"We have a very good relationship and we talk a lot, we talk a lot.

"I like his ideas, I am very surprised if they interpret my words as criticising the coach. I do not think so at all."

Specifically addressing his post-Paderborn comments, Hummels added: "If we have to press and press, my opinion is that we are better in this system.

"I feel that the coach had the same impression against Paderborn, otherwise he would not have switched to it."

Bayern are fifth in the Bundesliga, five points behind leaders Gladbach heading into their weekend match against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Bayern Munich are destined to stave off their challengers and secure a record-extending eighth successive Bundesliga title, according to two-time German champion Hamit Altintop.

The Bavarian giants have been slow starters this season and sit four points off the pace after 13 games.

Results have improved since Niko Kovac was moved aside in November and Bayern chiefs appear comfortable with the health of their title prospects under interim head coach Hansi Flick.

RB Leipzig and surprise leaders Borussia Monchengladbach look to be credible threats but Altintop, who spent four seasons at Allianz Arena, tipped his old club to fight back.

"I think, considering the last few weeks, I cannot give the fans too much hope that anybody else but Bayern will become German champions," the former Turkey international told Omnisport.

"I think it's nice that every now and then teams are able to achieve great results by playing great football and doing that consistently.

"Borussia Monchengladbach are examples of that, Schalke have had a little boost.

"But I think Bayern with their experience, their set-up, their chairmanship and their fans, they are always a step ahead. They worked hard over the last years to be in that position.

"It will be very hard for other teams. Leipzig has a good team, but to be consistent on a great level in the Bundesliga as well as in the Champions League is difficult."

Altintop left Bayern as a free agent in 2011, a year on from starting in the Champions League final, and linked up with Real Madrid, where he won LaLiga.

The now-retired 36-year-old originally rose to prominence with hometown club Schalke and has been keeping a close eye on the team's impressive development under new boss David Wagner, who has them riding high in third.

"I think Schalke found their old virtues," said Altintop, a Puskas Award winner in 2010.

"They fight together. Of course they play good football, but the decisive factor is to fight for the club and for the jersey. When you do that, the fans are happy.

"And this season, with the good results, I think they can achieve a top-six place.

"Wagner, because of his experience in England, brings a little bit of extra fire, which is great."

Leon Goretzka praised Hansi Flick following reports Bayern Munich are looking to unite him with Thomas Tuchel in a new coaching team.

German publication Bild suggested interim boss Flick could be kept on as an assistant at Allianz Arena if the Bundesliga side succeed in prising Tuchel from Paris Saint-Germain.

Flick took charge in a caretaker capacity following Niko Kovac's departure in November and has overseen four wins and a defeat in all competitions.

Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reaffirmed his support for the 54-year-old following the weekend loss to Bayer Leverkusen, a result midfielder Goretzka insisted was not Flick's fault.

"He told us what we did well and what we did badly," the Germany international told news portal T-Online.

"We knew how we wanted to defend the counter-attack, but in the moment we did not do it well. But that will be different in the next games."

Goretzka added: "He's doing a very good job.

"The coach question is not for me to decide, that's what others do. But he definitely recommended himself [through Bayern's results] in the last few weeks."

Goretzka made his second Bundesliga start of the season in the Leverkusen encounter and will hope for further opportunities to press his case for Euro 2020 selection with Germany.

Joachim Low's men have been dealt a tough draw for the tournament, with holders Portugal and World Cup winners France joining them in Group F.

"What is difficult for me to understand is how such a group can come about," Goretzka said.

"I don't think we will go in as favourites, as we would normally expect at a European Championship.

"Nevertheless, we always have the claim to progress. I do not see any problem either. They are big challenges.

"We will try to spark euphoria in the country with the fans behind us and then continue on our way."

Jurgen Klopp has moved to quash reports Liverpool are in line to move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho in January.

After a stellar season at Klopp's former club Dortmund last term, England winger Sancho has had a more difficult spell in November, taken off in the first half in a 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich before he started on the bench against Barcelona in a crucial Champions League match.

Under-pressure Dortmund coach Lucien Favre claimed he preferred to select players who are "focused and ready", though Sancho then scored after he was brought on in a 3-1 defeat at Camp Nou.

However, rumours of a return to England for the former Manchester City youngster, who joined Dortmund in 2017, have persisted, with Liverpool the most recent team to be heavily linked.

Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said on Friday that he does not expect Sancho to leave in January, and Klopp insists any speculation of Liverpool moving for the teenager is not surfacing from Merseyside.

"He's a very good player," Klopp said of Sancho in a news conference ahead of Liverpool's derby clash with Everton.

"I have no clue where these kind of things [the rumours] are coming from, but it cannot come from us because we never speak about it.

"If we would be involved, nobody would know about it apart from a person who wouldn't speak about it. There's nothing to say. I know how it sounds, but I cannot change that.

"There's nothing to say about it, which can mean there's absolutely nothing to say about it."

Reports have suggested Dortmund could value Sancho – who has scored seven goals in 19 appearances in all competitions this season – as high as €140million (£120m).

"That's one issue, 100 per cent an issue," Klopp said when asked if Liverpool would be able to afford such a high fee.

Klopp did, however, acknowledge Liverpool, who hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, may attempt to bolster their squad in January.

"We don't speak about it, but we are pretty much always ready to do something if it will help us," he said.

"If not, then not. We will see. I think the summer window is more difficult because of the different moments when it closes in Europe. That makes it really difficult. We will see how that will be in the future. The summer window only hurts the English clubs."

Christoph Kramer has signed a new deal that will keep him at Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach until 2023.

The 28-year-old Germany international joined Gladbach in 2016 from Bayer Leverkusen after enjoying the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons on loan at Borussia-Park.

Kramer's contract was due to run out at the end of the season, but he has agreed fresh terms to stay on for another three-and-a-half years.

Sporting director Max Eberl told the club's official website: "Christoph has become one of the leading figures in our team in recent years. Both as a footballer and as an opinionated character in the dressing room, he's become massively important and we're pleased to be extending his contract."

Midfielder Kramer has appeared 171 times for Gladbach in all competitions, scoring 10 goals.

Marco Rose's side lead the way at the top of Bundesliga after winning nine of their opening 13 matches.

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski labelled Lionel Messi "one of the best in history" after the Barcelona star claimed a record sixth Ballon d'Or.

Messi finished ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award in Paris on Monday.

Lewandowski, who placed eighth, paid tribute to Messi for his dominance for more than a decade.

"For sure he is a great player. I can only say congratulations to him," he told reporters.

"It's not the first time for him, one of the best in history not just the last few years.

"I'm glad to be close to so many players because we only get to meet each other on the pitch and now this is something different.

"For sure he is a great player, not just the past year but for 10, 15 years."

Lewandowski, 31, is enjoying another brilliant season for Bayern, already up to 27 goals in 21 games in all competitions.

The German giants are fourth in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, but Lewandowski feels his side will only grow.

"I think everything that we are doing now this season and in the Champions League group stage will pay dividends in the future for next year, next season and I think with Bayern Munich we can play better and better," Lewandowski said.

"We have so many great players with potential and I think next season will be something special and I think we can do big things."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been crowned the first ever winner of the Yachine Trophy at 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.

The 27-year-old beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson to be crowned the best keeper in the world.

Alisson played a crucial role in Liverpool's Champions League success and started six times for Brazil in their triumphant Copa America campaign.

He also won the Golden Glove in the Premier League last season with 21 clean sheets as the Reds fell just short of Manchester City in the title race.

Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen finished second in the voting, while Alisson's compatriot Ederson was third.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Samir Handanovic, Manuel Neuer, Andre Onana and Wojciech Szczesny were also in the running for the inaugural award.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has been voted 18th in the final list for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, a fall of 15 places from last year.

Griezmann finished behind only Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo 12 months ago after winning the World Cup with France and impressing for Atletico Madrid at club level.

However, an underwhelming end to his Atletico career and a tough start to life at Barcelona - who he joined in a €120million deal in July - has seen him drop down the list.

It marks the second time the 28-year-old has slipped from third to 18th, having done likewise in 2017.

Griezmann's Barcelona team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen finished 24th and Frenkie de Jong, who spent the first half of the year with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, was voted 11th in the standings.

Three Liverpool players missed out on the top 10, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in 26th, 19th and 17th, respectively.

Fellow Premier League side Manchester City were also heavily represented in the 30-11 rankings, as were Dutch champions Ajax following their run to the final four of last season's Champions League.

Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk are the frontrunners to win the most prestigious individual accolade in world football during Monday's ceremony.

Ballon d'Or 30-11 list in full:

=28. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

=28. Donny van de Beek (Ajax)

=28. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

=26. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

=26. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

=24. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

=24. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

=20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

=20. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

14. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Jadon Sancho has been named Borussia Dortmund's player of the month for November amid rumours he is keen on a move away from the Bundesliga club.

The England international endured a difficult start to the month, as he was hauled off in the first half of a 4-0 Klassiker rout at the hands of Bayern Munich on November 9.

He bounced back from that disappointment, though, to score goals in Bundesliga games against Paderborn and Hertha Berlin, as well as in 3-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Sancho – linked with a host of top clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool – has scored seven goals in 18 appearances across all competitions so far this season.

Niklas Sule is determined to prove Uli Hoeness wrong as the injured defender aims to recover full fitness in time for Euro 2020.

The Bayern Munich centre-back tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a Bundesliga game in October.

The serious injury was expected to end Sule's season and former Bayern president Hoeness told him to forget about representing Germany at the Euros.

But the 24-year-old said his rehabilitation is going well and could lead to an early comeback.

"The knee's fine, I'm ahead in the healing process. That speaks to the good work of the surgeon," Sule told reporters at a Bayern fan event.

"For me, the European Championship is clearly the goal and I assume that I can and will do it.

"I work for it every day. I hope to return to the team in March or April and then it's absolutely within feasible range. It's a tough journey but I know I can do it."

Asked about the likelihood of achieving his target, Sule added: "For my part, 100 percent."

Sule made his international debut in 2016 and has gone on to win 24 caps for Germany.

Joachim Low's men will face holders Portugal and World Cup winners France in a tough Group F at next year's tournament.

On-loan star Philippe Coutinho said he would "love" to stay at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Coutinho is on a season-long loan deal from LaLiga holders Barcelona, however, the Brazilian is yet to convince in Bavaria.

Since swapping Camp Nou for Allianz Arena, Coutinho has scored three goals in 18 appearances for Bayern.

"I feel really good," said Coutinho. "I'm planning to stay here for a year and focus on the here and now.

"But if everything fits, then I'd love to stay."

Coutinho came off the bench in Bayern's shock Bundesliga loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

It was Hansi Flick's first defeat since replacing Niko Kovac as head coach until the end of the year.

"We understand his way of training and playing well," Coutinho added. "Things are going well because of that.

"Flick makes everyone feel important and we're happy, but we know there's a lot of work to do."

Bayern – fourth in the Bundesliga and four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach – face the German pacesetters on Saturday.

Bayern Munich's disappointing loss to Bayer Leverkusen will not harm Hansi Flick's chances of seeing out the season, according to CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Leon Bailey's brace consigned Bayern to a 2-1 home defeat on Saturday and brought an end to Flick's perfect start as interim boss.

The champions are now three points adrift of RB Leipzig as their Bundesliga title defence continues to splutter almost a month on from Niko Kovac's dismissal.

Concern over the widening gap and the sudden availability of Mauricio Pochettino led to the suggestion that Bayern could hasten their search for a new head coach.

But Rummenigge insisted the latest setback would not alter the club's opinion of Flick and hinted the caretaker coach could yet remain in charge for the rest of the season.

"The most important thing in football is the quality of play, the game plan and we have that with Hansi Flick," Rummenigge told reporters.

"For me, nothing has changed after last night's game. We're very satisfied with him. We've agreed that we will continue until winter.

"After the last game we will sit down and discuss it and possibly continue beyond that."

Bayern have four Bundesliga fixtures and a Champions League game against Tottenham to negotiate before the mid-season break.

The loss to Leverkusen was their first since the 5-1 failure at Eintracht Frankfurt that spelled the end for Kovac.

Rummenigge said of Saturday's match: "It was the best Bundesliga game of the season but unfortunately ended with the wrong result for us.

"We have to forget the defeat and carry on with the same quality of play."

Flick's side head to high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach next Saturday.

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