Niklas Sule has begun training with a ball again as the Bayern Munich defender continues his recovery from a knee injury.

The 24-year-old has not played since rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in October and it was initially feared he could miss the rest of the domestic season and Euro 2020.

Sule suggested his recovery was ahead of schedule in December as he vowed to return to fitness in time to make Joachim Low's Germany squad for the tournament.

On Thursday, the centre-back said he felt "fantastic" to be out on the pitch with a football at Bayern's Sabener Strasse training base, despite the inclement weather.

"After more than four months, it feels great to be back on the ball again. It's really fantastic," Sule told the club's website.

"It could have snowed today or [Storm] Sabine could have returned, but I wouldn't have cared. I'm just happy to be training with the ball again and taking the next steps in my rehab.

"So far I haven't had any problems at all. I've made a lot of controlled movements with the ball, and next week we’ll gradually introduce directional changes with the ball as well."

There was a further boost for Bayern as Javi Martinez and Lucas Hernandez put in extra work despite having a scheduled day off.

Martinez returned to the squad for the 6-0 Bundesliga win at Hoffenheim last weekend, having been out since December with a thigh problem, while Hernandez has been struggling with a ligament complaint.

Bayern hope both defenders will be available for Sunday's game with Augsburg.

Kingsley Coman, who pulled a muscle in the 3-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League last 16, is also hoping to be available for this weekend's match after resuming running this week.

Bayern, who are three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, will then head to Union Berlin on March 14 before the second leg at home to Chelsea four days later.

They then host Eintracht Frankfurt before the latest international break.

Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga as they swept aside Cologne 4-1 on the back of three goals in the opening 12 minutes.

RB Leipzig leapfrogged Bayern with a 3-0 victory over Werder Bremen on Saturday, but Hansi Flick's side responded the following day by blowing away their hosts early on.

Thomas Muller laid on goals for Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman before Serge Gnabry rifled in a third from a Joshua Kimmich corner.

Gnabry added a second 24 minutes from time, with Mark Uth pulling one back for Cologne, as Bayern went back above Leipzig, who now trail the reigning champions by one point after 22 games.

Lewandowski reached 40 goals for club and country this season in the third minute, collecting a Muller pass and smashing into the roof of the net to make it 12 goals in 14 games against Cologne.

The home side were being cut open at will and Lewandowski and Muller were involved again when the latter found Coman, whose effort deflected in off Rafael Czichos to make it 2-0.

Bayern refused to let up and they had a three-goal lead when Gnabry brought down Kimmich's delivery to the far post and steered into the bottom-right corner of the net.

Only the woodwork prevented the Bavarian giants' lead from being greater at the interval as an off-balance Gnabry hit the crossbar and Timo Horn tipped Kimmich's long-range effort against the post.

Cologne might have found a way back had Jhon Cordoba not had two goals disallowed for offside inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

Bayern had eased off but scored a fourth in the 66th minute when Gnabry cut in off the left and curled home his second before Cologne finally got a consolation, Uth remaining onside to apply the finish to Florian Kainz's cross.

Gnabry squandered a glorious chance for his hat-trick when he fired wide after a lovely backheel from Muller, who missed out on a treble of assists in the process.

 

What does it mean? Bayern deliver perfect response to Leipzig win

Bayern, 29-time Bundesliga champions, are not used to playing catch up but Leipzig's win on Saturday added some extra pressure to this fixture.

Cologne were in good form too having won four top-flight home games in a row, yet Bayern's blistering start meant the result was a foregone conclusion after just a dozen minutes.

Muller's here to assist you

With another two assists, Muller reached 14 for the season, already equalling his personal best from the 2017-18 season.

The 30-year-old's contract expires at the end of next season and his recent form shows Bayern would be wise to agree fresh terms.

Katterbach caught out all too often

None of Cologne's back four came out of the early exchanges with any real credit but Noah Katterbach in particular struggled against Coman.

Katterbach's rotten afternoon was ended by injury inside the opening half an hour and it did not help that his replacement Kainz was arguably Cologne's best player.

What's next?

Bayern have the chance to move four points clear of Leipzig as they next play on Friday when they host Paderborn. Cologne head to Hertha Berlin the following day.

Kingsley Coman returned to Bayern Munich training on Thursday as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Coman has been out of action since suffering a capsule tear in his left knee during Bayern's Champions League clash with Tottenham in December.

However, having previously returned to the pitch to undergo some individual sessions, the France international rejoined his team-mates for the first time on Thursday.

Bayern confirmed the 23-year-old, who had scored four goals across all competitions this season prior to his injury, completed 45 minutes of the session, taking part in passing and shooting drills before continuing on an individual rehabilitation programme.

The club also revealed only Niklas Sule – who is recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury – was missing from training, though Javi Martinez took part in an individual session as he deals with a thigh issue.

Hansi Flick's side sit second in the Bundesliga, just a point behind leaders RB Leipzig.

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.

Bayern Munich will be without Kingsley Coman until after the Bundesliga's mid-season break, but the winger suffered no serious damage after sustaining a knee injury against Tottenham.

Coman, who had opened the scoring, went off early in the Champions League encounter at Allianz Arena after appearing to suffer a hyperextension of his left knee while attempting to chase down an errant pass.

Bayern then said Coman had suffered a "capsule tear in the left knee" but a further update from the club on Thursday delivered a more positive update.

The France international is expected to be fit enough to return to action next month, says the club's chief medical officer Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.

"Naturally, we were all extremely worried at first. But Kingsley is very lucky," Muller-Wohlfahrt told the club's official website.

"Our tests have shown that he will only miss the next three games and will be back in time to join mid-season training in Doha."

Coman has endured terrible injury problems during his young career, missing three months of action at the start of the season due to ankle ligament damage sustained on the opening weekend.

The attacker previously signalled he would consider early retirement if his injury issues persisted, torn knee ligaments and serious ankle problems having marred his 2016-17 season.

"It was a very difficult year," Coman told TF1. "When I hurt myself, it was the end of the world for me.

"I hope I don't have to relive what I've been through, enough is enough. I will not accept a third operation – it will mean maybe my foot is not made for this level. I will then lead another life, an anonymous life."

Kingsley Coman faces another injury lay-off after sustaining a capsule tear and pulled tendon in his left knee during Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Tottenham on Wednesday.

Coman was replaced just prior to the half-hour of the Champions League encounter at Allianz Arena after appearing to suffer a hyperextension while attempting to chase down an errant pass midweek.

The France international had earlier opened the scoring and appeared exasperated with his bad luck as he received treatment on the touchline.

Coman has a history of ankle problems and suffered lateral collateral ligament damage in his knee in 2016.

"The diagnosis of club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt late Wednesday evening revealed a capsule tear in the left knee," read a Bayern statement.

"In addition, Coman has pulled the biceps tendon and compressed the knee joint. The knee is immobilised with a splint for some time."

The setback places Coman in doubt for the club's three remaining Bundesliga fixtures before the mid-season break.

Bayern went on to secure victory against a weakened Tottenham team but interim head coach Hansi Flick admitted: "His injury obviously overshadows the win."

Thomas Muller replaced Coman in the 27th minute and restored the home side's advantage on the stroke of half-time, Ryan Sessegnon having equalised for Spurs.

Philippe Coutinho put the seal on a perfect Group B campaign with a classy curling finish after the interval, delighting his coach.

"It's important for him to have such a great feeling of success," Flick said of the Brazilian, who is on loan from LaLiga champions Barcelona.

"Things went well in the first half, the second half was even better. It was important for him he scored a goal today.

"I'm happy with the way we played. We kept trying to break our opponents down, we created chances that we didn't take, but still won 3-1, deservedly."

The result sealed a Champions League record for Bayern, who were already assured of finishing above second-placed Spurs.

The Bavarians' six victories and +19 goal difference cemented their status as the best group winners in the competition's history.

Bayern Munich completed a perfect Group B campaign with a 3-1 win over a weakened Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Both clubs had already confirmed their places in the knockout stage, and several starting XI changes - including six made by Jose Mourinho - led to an open affair.

Bayern were superior for long periods after Kingsley Coman's early opener, although Ryan Sessegnon marked his full Tottenham debut with the equaliser six minutes later.

Thomas Muller replaced an injured Coman and restored Bayern's advantage on the stroke of half-time before Phillipe Coutinho curled the Bundesliga side out of sight, the goal confirming a second defeat for Mourinho in charge of pool runners-up Spurs.

Tottenham were given two warnings before Coman cushioned Serge Gnabry's deflected pass and stroked the 14th-minute opener into the bottom-right corner.

Spurs quickly responded through Sessegnon. The 19-year-old rifled past Manuel Neuer at the near post after Jerome Boateng turned the ball into his path and, in the process, became Tottenham's youngest Champions League goalscorer.

But after losing Coman to a suspected hyperextension of his left knee, Bayern's advantage was restored by replacement Muller, making amends following a gilt-edged Thiago Alcantara miss on the rebound from a Gnabry shot against the post.

Muller was perfectly placed to convert the loose ball in the 45th minute after the upright denied Alphonso Davies at close range.

There was time left in a breathless first half for Coutinho to unleash a long-range shot that Gazzaniga tipped against the crossbar.

The Brazilian would not be denied in the 64th minute, his curling finish from the edge of the area giving the besieged Tottenham goalkeeper no chance.

Son Heung-min appeared off the bench for Spurs but the Premier League outfit were largely toothless in the absence of the rested Harry Kane as they slumped to a second loss in three games in all competitions.

Kingsley Coman was forced off with a suspected knee problem shortly after scoring the opener for Bayern Munich in their Champions League game against Tottenham.

The winger guided the Bundesliga side ahead in the 14th minute at Allianz Arena but had to make way prior to the half-hour mark following an awkward fall on the touchline.

As he chased down an errant pass, Coman's right knee appeared to get stuck in the turf before becoming hyperextended as his weight transferred forward.

The 23-year-old France international, who has a history of ankle injuries, received treatment and looked to be exasperated by his misfortune. 

Thomas Muller replaced Coman and restored Bayern's lead before the interval, Ryan Sessegnon having equalised for Spurs.

Hansi Flick's side entered the match with top spot in Group B already confirmed, while Tottenham are assured of finishing second.

Kingsley Coman was back running at Bayern Munich's training ground after leaving the France squad early with a muscle problem.

Coman was forced off in the 88th minute of France's 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Moldova on Thursday. He was sent home early by France, meaning he missed Sunday's 2-0 away win in Albania.

An examination by Bayern's chief medical officer Dr. Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt revealed a muscle hardening in his thigh.

Bayern said the former Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus forward would undertake a reduced training programme following the injury but he appeared to making progress at the club's Saebener Strasse training ground on Tuesday.

The defending Bundesliga champions are third in the table, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayern visit Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday, before travelling to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Could Jose Mourinho find a new home at a third Premier League club?

According to one report, the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager is keeping a close eye on Tottenham and the uncertainty that lingers over Mauricio Pochettino's future.

The potential of a job opening in north London might even lead to him turning down a big-name former employer.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO SETS SIGHTS ON SPURS

Jose Mourinho has told friends he is "confident" of being offered a return to Real Madrid but may hold out for the Tottenham job, according to The Sun.

Zinedine Zidane is in his second stint in charge of Madrid, while Mauricio Pochettino has spent more than five years at the Spurs helm.

The report suggests it is the latter position that Mourinho covets more, meaning he "would not necessarily accept" another spell in the Spanish capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could launch a January move for Gareth Bale, reports The Sun. According to the newspaper, Real Madrid know of United's interest in Wales winger Bale and would be happy to let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu, providing they can do a deal that involves Paul Pogba moving in the other direction.

- Spanish outlet ElDesmarque reports news that could complicate any Bale-Pogba exchange, stating that although Madrid are indeed keen on France playmaker Pogba, so too are the player's former club Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo said to be supportive.

Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be United's strongest rivals for Jadon Sancho and the Ligue 1 side could make a surprise play for another England international. The Mirror claims PSG are interested in poaching Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana on a free transfer. His contract is due to expire in 2020.

- Premier League champions Manchester City will look to sign Kingsley Coman from Bayern Munich if Leroy Sane agrees on a move to the Bundesliga giants, according to Sky Sports. Coman, 23, joined Bayern from Juve in 2015, initially on loan.

- Mainz are seeking a new head coach and the Bundesliga club are reported to be targeting former Cologne boss Achim Beierlorzer. Kicker reports Mainz want a new face in charge by early next week, and Beierlorzer is said to be in the frame. The club sit in the relegation zone after eight defeats in 11 games this term. Beierlorzer would be making a rapid return to bench duty if he lands the job, having left Cologne on November 9.

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller earned Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade as they moved top of Champions League Group B.

In-form France winger Coman struck in the 34th minute for the German giants at the Allianz Arena, his sixth goal of the campaign for club and country.

They were given a scare in the latter stages when Marko Marin curled agonisingly wide, but Lewandowski and substitute Muller struck late on to add gloss to the result.

Tottenham's draw with Olympiacos leaves Bayern as the only side with maximum points in the group after matchday one.

Philippe Coutinho was a lively presence throughout and he threatened with a driven shot just over the bar from the edge of the penalty after the visitors failed to clear their lines.

Jander wasted a chance for Red Star when he selfishly shot from a wide angle and could only find the side-netting and soon the Serbian champions were made to pay.

With a drop of the shoulder, Ivan Perisic beat his man before whipping in an inviting left-wing cross, which Coman converted emphatically with a diving header.

Coutinho almost made it two with a trademark effort, cutting inside before wrapping his foot around a bending shot that agonisingly missed the top-right corner.

Marin was inches away from levelling when he shot just wide with Manuel Neuer rooted, and Lewandowski made Red Star pay when, with 10 minutes left, he took advantage of some tired defending to poke in from close range.

Muller added another in added time when he superbly latched onto Thiago Alcantara's free-kick cheekily flicked over the wall.

 

Didier Deschamps has praised Kingsley Coman's "efficiency" after his strike in France's 3-0 win over Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

The Bayern Munich winger scored his first goals for Les Bleus since March 2016 in Saturday's 4-1 win over Albania.

He followed that with the opener against Andorra, firmly staking his claim to start France's Group H double header against Iceland and leaders Turkey next month.

"I already told you that he's added efficiency since last season," Deschamps told a media conference.

"Dribbling, creating danger, he knows how to do it. To see him play this well is good for me. 

"In a month, I will make choices but I'm happy for him; he needed that. What he has done in these two games is the same level as what he has done with his club lately."

France were guilty of squandering a host of chances against a side ranked 133 places below them in the world – most notably through Antoine Griezmann's second missed penalty – but Deschamps refused to be too hard on his players after the game.

"It's good, even if the score should have been heavier because of the chances we created," he told TF1.

"We did what we had to do in these September games. We had to take the six points. The six points is good, but the next six will be important too."

Kingsley Coman, Clement Lenglet and Wissam Ben Yedder were on target as a below-par France registered a 3-0 win over Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying at the Stade de France on Tuesday.

Fresh from his two goals in Saturday's 4-1 win over Albania, Coman opened the scoring after 18 minutes with a cool finish.

Antoine Griezmann missed his second penalty in three days soon after but teed up Lenglet early in the second half to double Les Bleus' advantage, before Ben Yedder's late third.

The win means France are level on 15 points with Group H leaders Turkey, three points ahead of third-place Iceland.

France were far from their fluid best in the opening stages, with their less illustrious opponents comfortably keeping them at arm's length.

They did find a way through in the 18th minute, though, Coman latching onto Jonathan Ikone's pass, taking a touch and then clipping over Josep Gomes.

Moments after pawing away Olivier Giroud's instinctive half-volley, the Andorra goalkeeper had a moment to savour.

Moises San Nicolas pulled down Griezmann in the area in the 28th minute, but the Barcelona forward saw his resulting spot-kick superbly kept out by Gomes.

Perhaps frustrated with his side's inability to break down Andorra's stubborn defence, Raphael Varane tried his luck from 30 yards. Gomes was equal to it, though, tipping over to ensure the visitors went into the break just one goal behind.

France started the second half in more positive fashion and were rewarded in the 52nd minute when Lenglet headed home Griezmann's free-kick from six yards.

Gomes then kept out Coman's header, which looked destined for the top corner, before Moussa Sissoko thumped a header of his own against the crossbar from point-blank range.

Coman then scooped an effort onto the crossbar before substitute Ben Yedder added a third in stoppage time, slotting home after Nabil Fekir's free-kick had been parried into his path.

France coach Didier Deschamps praised Kingsley Coman's performance in a comfortable 4-1 win over Albania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

Coman struck twice at the Stade de France to go with goals from Olivier Giroud and Jonathan Ikone, while Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty as the hosts cruised to victory in Group H.

The goals were the Bayern Munich attacker's first at international level since March 2016 and Deschamps hailed the 23-year-old.

"It's been a while since he's with us. He was there before the Euros [in 2016] and before, younger," he said, via L'Equipe.

"His match is more like what he has been doing for a year with Bayern Munich. He is more attracted to the goal and decisive.

"He always had this ability to destabilise the opponent … it's nice to see him on such a level."

France's win moved them onto 12 points, the same tally as Turkey and Iceland at the halfway stage.

Deschamps' men were stunned by Turkey in June and while the coach has been pleased with France's response, he said the defeat would not be forgotten.

"We will not erase it. We had already answered three days later with the victory in Andorra," he said.

"We cannot erase it and it will not compensate for what we did not do. We had not done anything good that night.

"[Against Albania] we put what we are used to putting, beyond the quality of football, in commitment and aggression.

"I had no doubt or fear that my group no longer has the capacity. They have already shown it enough times. It was early June, we will not stay on it."

France host Andorra in their next outing on Tuesday.

Kingsley Coman scored twice as France's march towards Euro 2020 qualification continued with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Albania.

Antoine Griezmann's penalty miss was all that marred a dominant display from the world champions, who were without Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba in Paris.

Coman's second international goal got France up and running in the eighth minute, with Olivier Giroud doubling the hosts' lead prior to the half-hour.

Griezmann failed to convert an international spot-kick for the first time soon after, but made amends with a sublime assist for Coman to double his tally midway through the second half.

Substitute Jonathan Ikone helped himself to a debut goal late on, as Didier Deschamp's side – who conceded through Sokol Cikalleshi's penalty late on – moved back to the top Group H in style.

Albania's dismal night began before a kick-off, with the Andorran anthem aired on the Stade de France tannoy instead of that of the visitors.

France were quick to compound Albania's frustration – Coman prodding in after latching onto Raphael Varane's exceptional throughball.

Giroud should have made it two with a close-range header four minutes later, but he made no mistake with his next chance, sweeping home from Lucas Hernandez's cross.

Mergim Mavraj's foul on Hernandez handed France a chance to make it 3-0, but Griezmann's spot-kick crashed off the crossbar.

Ardian Ismajli made a last-ditch block from Thomas Lemar's effort after the restart, while Thomas Strakosha frustrated Griezmann.

But Griezmann found a way through Albania's defence again in the 68th minute – drilling an exquisite cross into Coman, who finished excellently on the turn.

There was time for more action, with Nabil Fekir playing in his fellow substiute Ikone for a debut goal, before Cikalleshi snatched a consolation following Hugo Lloris' foul.

What does it mean? Les Bleus look in good shape

France's slip-up against Turkey in June seems to have served as a warning sign to Les Bleus' stars, who hammered Andorra in their last outing and showed no signs of complacency against weaker opposition on Saturday.

Les Bleus are now on 12 points, level with Iceland and Turkey, and they should have no issues in pushing on to secure qualification from their remaining five fixtures.

Coman fills in for Mbappe

With Mbappe out injured, Coman took on the role of being France's main goal threat from out wide and excelled. The Bayern Munich forward displayed fantastic skill and composure for both of his goals, and was unlucky not to add at least one assist, given the chances he created for Giroud.

Albania's troubles on the road rumble on

While Albania were always going to be hard pressed to get a result in Paris, they offered little resistance, and Edoardo Reja's side are relying on maintaining their form at home – where they have won two qualifiers so far this campaign – to give them a chance of progressing.

What's next?

France should have no concerns over maintaining their winning run when they host Andorra on Tuesday, while Albania face Iceland.

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