Niko Kovac says Renato Sanches' future is at Bayern Munich, with the coach ruling out a move for Gareth Bale.

Sanches has struggled to break through since joining Bayern from Benfica in 2016, the 21-year-old midfielder starting four Bundesliga games last term.

But the Portugal international still has a future with the German champions despite his problems, according to Kovac.

"We've told Renato that we'd like him to stay," Kovac said ahead of Saturday's International Champions Cup clash with Real Madrid.

"He's obviously been considering his options after last season, but we explained the reasons behind his limited game time and he understood them. He sees his future with us."

Bayern are seeking attacking reinforcements after the departures of veteran wing duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Leroy Sane and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been confirmed as targets by the club but Kovac flatly denied a move for Madrid misfit Bale is possible.

Asked by a reporter if there was a place for the Wales forward in his squad, Kovac replied: "No."

He added: "I would like my German colleagues [journalists] to listen carefully to what I have to say. He [Bale] is a great player, like other players who are also great players.

"I can't tell you whether he really can play somewhere else apart from Real Madrid and if he will even succeed at other clubs. This is something that I don't know and I can't really predict."

Mesut Ozil has claimed his relationship with Arsenal head coach Unai Emery is "really good" despite struggling to maintain form and a starting berth last season.

Ozil became the club's highest-paid player in 2018 after signing a three-year contract extension, but has battled with injury and inconsistency, starting only 20 of the Gunners' 38 Premier League games last term.

But despite continued speculation surrounding his future at the Emirates, the German believes he can play a part in Emery's plans this season and insists he gets on well with the Spaniard.

"I have had a lot of coaches in my career so of course every coach is different and wants something different from you as a player, but of course I had a few injuries before the season started last season so I had a tough time," Ozil said.

"At the end of the day, especially the end of the season I played a lot of games. I have a really good relationship with the coach, so we are speaking a lot and he wants to help me and I want to help the team."

Ozil has appeared in Arsenal's first two pre-season matches of their America tour, with the Gunners' most recent result a 2-1 win against German champions Bayern Munich.

The 30-year-old linked up well with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the game and is feeling health ahead of the 2019-20 season.

"I am really happy," he said. "I am fit.

"We train really hard to be fit for the whole season and are doing our job very well. We work hard together and we showed, especially against Bayern Munich we look very fresh, we played our game and deserved to win.

"We are working hard and as an Arsenal player and Arsenal team we always have goals to win titles, so hopefully we can win titles this season with the team, and let's see what happens at the end of the season."

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is "not fit" to face suitors Inter in Saturday's pre-season friendly in Singapore, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Lukaku has not featured on the pre-season tour of Australia and Asia amid speculation over his future.

Serie A side Inter have identified the Belgium international as a suitable replacement for the unwanted Mauro Icardi, but will reportedly have to pay around £75million to prise him from Old Trafford.

United are yet to provide specific details about the nature of Lukaku's fitness problem, which has been described as minor.

"He is not fit, so he won't be available, no," Solskjaer said ahead of the International Champions Cup clash.

Asked about Lukaku's transfer situation, the Norwegian responded: "I don't have any updates from the last time."

Lukaku's ongoing absence has allowed Anthony Martial to stake a claim for a starting place in attack.

The France international scored from the spot in the 4-0 friendly victory over Leeds United in Perth and Solskjaer remains a keen admirer of the 23-year-old despite his struggles to completely convince in the Premier League.

"Anthony can be a world-class forward," the United manager said.

"I think if you have followed Anthony, the way he has come back to pre-season, his attitude is spot on.

"I think he has always got the quality and talent, so I expect him and Marcus [Rashford] to be even better than last season."

Star goalkeeper David de Gea and left-back Luke Shaw have been cleared to feature against Inter after sitting out the Leeds match.

Niko Kovac summoned positives from Bayern Munich's first pre-season run-out despite slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in California.

Eddie Nketiah's close-range winner near the end of a three-goal second half denied the Bundesliga champions any points in their International Champions Cup opener.

Robert Lewandowski had not long earlier cancelled out Louis Poznanski's own goal, the prolific Poland centre-forward having been introduced as a half-time substitute alongside Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.

Thomas Muller spearheaded a youthful attack that included new signing Jann-Fiete Arp throughout the opening 45 minutes and it was the performance going forward that pleased head coach Kovac.

"We saw a very entertaining game with a lot of dynamism and speed," the Bayern boss told reporters.

"At this stage of the pre-season it is possible for both teams to be very satisfied.

"Unfortunately, the result didn't go our way, but I liked what I saw from the team offensively.

"The viewers got their money's worth. The result is certainly secondary."

Bayern would have been on course for victory had Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno not produced a brilliant reaction save from Muller before the break.

The World Cup winner joined Kovac in opting not to dwell on the result.

"It doesn't feel super cool to lose, but we did a lot of things quite well," Muller said.

"It wasn't a focus for us to have the highlight of the season in this game. It was a very good match."

Unai Emery vowed to give high-performing youngsters a chance at Arsenal following Eddie Nketiah's late winner against Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup.

England Under-21 international Nketiah converted at close range in the 88th minute in California to give the Gunners a 2-1 victory over the German champions.

Nketiah, 20, also impressed in the recent 3-0 friendly defeat of Colorado Rapids and could be set to add to eight his Premier League appearances, all of which have come as a substitute.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, fresh from a productive loan spell at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, were among the others to win meaningful minutes at Dignity Health Sports Park.

"We have a responsibility with young players to give them chances," Emery told reporters.

"We want to use different young players to help.

"Some players will be with us in pre-season; some players will be with us in the season. Each minute they show their performance against big players. For example, the [duel] Nketiah [won] against [Niklas] Sule.

"Today was very positive. Against Colorado Rapids a lot of young players played. We need them for the moment but also in the future.

"Our responsibility in this club for the history, present and future is to give young players a chance."

Homegrown prospects could prove especially useful amid doubts over Arsenal's spending power, with teenager Gabriel Martinelli the only addition of the close season to date.

Freddie Ljungberg's promotion from Under-23 head coach to first-team assistant should expedite their emergence and Emery praised the Swede's "very positive" start to his new role.

"With Freddie we are working," the former Sevilla boss said.

"Above all he's helping us with the young players because he knows every young player better than us."

Eddie Nketiah scored a late winner to see Arsenal edge Bayern Munich 2-1 at the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

Nketiah tapped in an 88th-minute winner for the Premier League outfit at Dignity Health Sports Park in California.

A strong Arsenal line-up took the lead early in the second half when Bayern defender Louis Poznanski scored an own goal.

But the German giants equalised through Robert Lewandowski, who struck with a brilliant header in the 71st minute.

However, Nketiah would claim a win for Arsenal with a late tap-in after the contest opened up in the final half-hour.

Arsenal were the livelier of the two teams early on, with Mesut Ozil firing a sixth-minute effort across the face of goal from inside the area.

While Bayern – who handed a debut to Benjamin Pavard in the second half following his arrival from Stuttgart – looked dangerous on the counter-attack, it was Arsenal appearing more likely to break through.

However, the Bundesliga champions almost opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark.

Thomas Muller met David Alaba's low cross from the left, but the forward was denied by Bernd Leno from close range, before the Arsenal goalkeeper also pushed away a Daniels Ontuzans strike.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then led a blistering Arsenal counter-attack before playing in Ozil, who was denied by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer from an angle in the 38th minute.

Arsenal took the lead just four minutes into the second half thanks to a Poznanski own goal.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan picked out Aubameyang with a pass to the right and the attacker's cross was turned into his own net by Poznanski.

That led to a far more open encounter as chances start to come at both ends, with Leno tipping a Kingsley Coman strike over the crossbar in the 66th minute.

Bayern drew level five minutes later, Lewandowski – introduced at half-time – brilliantly heading a Serge Gnabry cross into the top corner.

Gnabry forced Emiliano Martinez, who replaced Leno at the break, into a diving save from 25 yards before Coman fired just wide of the goalkeeper's post in the 81st minute.

Moments after Nketiah forced a save from Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, the 20-year-old forward found a winner.

Tyreece John-Jules played a one-two with Calum Chambers before crossing for Nketiah to tap in and make it 2-1.

Robert Lewandowski is showing the right qualities to be a leader at Bayern Munich, according to coach Niko Kovac.

The Poland striker appeared to be agitating for a move away from the Allianz Arena last year but stayed at the club and scored 40 goals in all competitions to help them to the domestic double.

The 30-year-old said in March he could finish his career at the club and has now confirmed he is in talks over an extension to his contract, which expires in 2021.

Kovac now has little hesitation in trusting the former Borussia Dortmund forward as one of the vice-captains of his side.

"Last season, I wanted to give him the recognition he deserves as a player, due to his performances he has shown not only in Germany but also as the captain of the Polish national team," he said.

"You can see it means a lot to him to be the vice-captain. I'm really happy with his development and he shows what's expected of a leader."

Bayern looked at times last season as though their stranglehold on the Bundesliga was to be broken by Dortmund, but they ended the season in strong fashion to claim a seventh league title in a row and win the DFB-Pokal final against RB Leipzig.

Kovac expects Dortmund to challenge once more given their strong close season in which they have signed Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz, Julian Brandt and Mats Hummels, but he is not discounting one or two other surprise contenders.

"All we know is that it was a close race last season between Dortmund and us," he said. "There will be other teams chasing us, but of course we will be the team everyone in the Bundesliga wants to catch.

"I think Dortmund have made some good signings. As I mentioned before, it was a really close race between us two for the title. We'll have to see; you never know.

"I think maybe [Bayer] Leverkusen will play an important role with their new coach [Peter] Bosz, who plays very good football, very attacking football. We have to count them as well as a competitor for the German title.

"Leipzig were very strong last season. Now they have signed a new coach [Julian Nagelsmann], so we'll have to see. We have to give them some time, see how they develop with the new coach, but I think they'll be a serious opponent as well. And then maybe another surprising team, you never know in the Bundesliga, so we will have to see what happens."

Robert Lewandowski urged Bayern Munich to make more signings if the Bundesliga giants want to remain competitive and win the Champions League.

Bayern head into the 2019-20 season as seven-time reigning Bundesliga holders but without Champions League success since 2013.

The German champions have already signed World Cup-winning French duo Lucas Hernandez (€80million) and Benjamin Pavard (€35m) following the departures of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels, Rafinha and James Rodriguez.

But star striker Lewandowski insisted Bayern must splash the cash in their ongoing pursuit of domestic and European glory.

"We have to wait for more transfers to come in," Lewandowski told reporters in Los Angeles on the eve of Wednesday's International Champions Cup game against Arsenal. "It is difficult to win Champions League without new signings.

"To play at that top level, you need certain qualities and a strong team to be competitive. We haven't really done a big transfer in the past two years. We need new signings."

"Everyone knows it's not optimal that we have so few players in the first team right now," the 30-year-old added. "We need more players for the competition in training. I hope something will happen in the next few days."

On recruits Hernandez and Pavard, Lewandowski said: "Players like Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard can only help us. They are versatile, both World champions and ready to play at the top level at Bayern and we can be successful with them."

Lewandowski, who scored 40 goals in all competitions last season, is contracted until 2021 and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the Poland international could extend his deal.

"We are in talks," Lewandowski replied when asked about negotiations. "I don't know how long it will take but we are on the right track."

"I feel really well, not only with the team but I also love the city. It doesn't only depend on me, there's other factors," he continued. "We still have to finish our negotiations.

"It's a little too early to say I want to end my career in 2023. If I get this extension, I would like to play longer of course. I still feel young. How long I want to play, I have to figure it out still. I'm not thinking about it now."

Unai Emery said Arsenal are looking to sign "very big, very expensive players" as the Gunners try to boost their squad ahead of the Premier League season.

It has been a quiet transfer window so far for Arsenal, who have been linked with moves for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, Saint-Etienne teenager William Saliba and Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos.

Arsenal fans want to see investment amid frustration with the club's owners and last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich, Arsenal head coach Emery told reporters: "We are taking with the patience and with the calm because we really want to sign players who can help us with a big performance, and also because we think in the team we have very good players and young players and we also need to take the best player in some positions.

"Really, I can say to our supporters that we are going to have a very good team with the players that are there now and also with three or four players who can help us in a few days."

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke told fans to "be excited" over transfers and Emery added: "Yes. Really we are speaking about the big players and because we are starting thinking about our team and our squad now, and we have very good players and very good young players that can progress to take and get big performances with us.

"Other players can come here to help us. We need, really, that they will come with a big performance and also our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now.

"We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players and the first player in our list is our first target. And after, if we cannot achieve that, then the second. But we are thinking every time that they are going to improve our squad."

Ceballos is reportedly close to joining Arsenal from LaLiga giants Madrid on a season-long loan deal, having been linked to London rivals Tottenham and AC Milan.

Asked about Spain international midfielder Ceballos on Tuesday, Emery said: "I don't want to speak about the names. But Ceballos is a very good player."

Fiorentina opened the International Champions Cup with an entertaining 2-1 win over Guadalajara in Chicago.

Giovanni Simeone and Riccardo Sottil were on target for Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina in the 2019 ICC curtain-raiser at SeatGeek Stadium on Tuesday.

Scores were level at half-time after Simeone cancelled out Javier Lopez's 25th-minute opener and Guadalajara's Alan Pulido failed to convert a penalty.

But Sottil secured victory for Fiorentina – who ended last season without a win in their final 14 Serie A matches – courtesy of a great solo goal in the 52nd minute.

Italy star Federico Chiesa started on the bench amid growing links with Juventus, while midfielder Jordan Veretout was absent ahead of his reported move to Roma.

It was a lively start by both teams, with Fiorentina's Simeone and Guadalajara's Isaac Brizuela going very close inside the opening 11 minutes.

Guadalajara broke the deadlock against the run of play thanks to Lopez, whose seemingly harmless long-range strike wrongfooting goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski following a deflection.

The Mexican side's lead was short-lived, however, as Simeone's glancing header restored parity for Fiorentina two minutes later and Diego Simeone's son almost put Viola ahead after forcing Jose Rodriguez into a fine save.

Guadalajara had a golden opportunity to restore their advantage 10 minutes before half-time following a contentious handball on Aleksa Terzic, but Alan Pulido's awful penalty was easily saved by Dragowski.

Fiorentina took the lead seven minutes into the second half thanks to a fabulous piece of skill from Sottil, who turned his opponent and curled a shot past Rodriguez after the Guadalajara keeper had denied Marco Benassi from close range.

Dusan Vlahovic came off the bench to replace Simeone and rattled the crossbar with a ferocious effort in the 69th minute as the match finished with a host of substitutions.

Renato Sanches scored a free-kick as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the International Champions Cup. 

Jadon Sancho admits he had "a point to prove" in Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 International Champions Cup win over Manchester City. 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said there were plenty of positives to take from the club's International Champions Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund. 

Mario Gotze scored the only goal of the game as Riyad Mahrez made his Manchester City debut in a 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the International Champions Cup. 

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