Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick said his side's 8-0 demolition of Schalke on the opening day of the Bundesliga season should serve as a benchmark for the rest of the campaign.

The reigning champions were in scintillating form against a hapless Schalke, storming into a 3-0 lead by half-time thanks to goals from Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and a Robert Lewandowski penalty.

It got even better for Bayern after the interval as Gnabry completed a hat-trick before Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala completed Schalke's misery.

While Flick was pleased his side laid down an ominous marker for the 2020-21 season, he still believes they should have scored more in the first half.

"We have had our first game but we need to take things slowly," he told reporters. "We played brilliantly but should have scored two, three, maybe four more goals in the first half.

"But it was important to show that we are on the right track this season as well. I am very satisfied with the performance. This is now a benchmark for both Gnabry and Sane and the whole team."

Sane - making his debut following his July move from Manchester City - felt he slotted in seamlessly with his new team-mates and was pleased with their appetite for goals.

"It felt very good to be on the pitch with the boys," Sane said. "It was a very good day. I feel completely at ease and knew that it would work out well with the team. Everyone was hungry. Everyone just wanted to attack and give full throttle."

Sane started his professional career at Schalke before his move to the Premier League in 2016 and he admitted to feeling sympathetic towards his former side after such a crushing defeat.

"Of course, I was at Schalke for a long time," he added. "To get such a defeat at the start of the season and it goes so haywire is difficult. I'm of course a little sorry."

Schalke have now failed to win in their last 17 Bundesliga games, with head coach David Wagner left to rue his side's "naive" approach against the domestic and European champions.

"That was bad," Wagner said. "We didn't play well; Bayern were outstanding. We have to shake ourselves now, accept this bitter defeat and show the reaction against Werder Bremen that we expect of ourselves.

"It was naive that we wanted to continue going forward after the fourth or fifth goal."

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool new boy Thiago Alcantara as an "exceptional" player who can bolster an already formidable side.

The Premier League champions confirmed on Friday they have brought in the 29-year-old from Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to £25million (€27.5m).

Thiago has arrived at Anfield on a four-year contract, with the Reds paying an initial £20million (€22m), plus an additional £5million (€5.5m) in potential bonuses.

The Spain international played an instrumental role in Bayern Munich's Bundesliga and Champions League triumphs last season and Klopp is delighted to have secured the services of such a talented player for a relatively small fee.

"It's pretty simple: he is – and nobody would see this in a different way – an absolutely exceptional player," Klopp told a news conference.

"It is difficult to improve the team in a normal way. Again, nothing to do with other teams, but if you take out £300million or £400million then maybe we could find a player, but even then it's not easy.

"In this specific case, he really brings a different dimension to our game and has some skills that are in general pretty rare and that suits us well. He's different and that's what I was very interested in.

"As well as that, he was pretty excited about the opportunity and did not need a lot of convincing. It always helps when a player really wants to be part of a specific project so all the things came together, and that's a win-win situation. I'm really happy we could do it."

Thiago is not available for Liverpool's Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday but could make his debut against Lincoln City in the EFL Cup on Thursday.

Bayern Munich started the defence of their Bundesliga title in ominous fashion as a Serge Gnabry hat-trick helped them to a stunning 8-0 win over Schalke at the Allianz Arena on Friday. 

A mere 26 days after winning the Champions League, Hansi Flick's side showed no signs of tiredness and powered into a fourth-minute lead thanks to Gnabry's superb strike.

That was added to by Leon Goretzka after 19 minutes before Robert Lewandowski swept home a third from the penalty spot shortly after the half-hour mark.

Gnabry completed his hat-trick with two goals inside the opening 15 minutes of the second half before Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane - making his debut following his July move from Manchester City - and 17-year-old Jamal Musiala completed Schalke's humiliation.

Bayern started in blistering fashion as Gnabry controlled Joshua Kimmich's long pass over the top, turned away from his marker with a deft turn and whipped a superb left-footed strike past Ralf Fahrmann from 18 yards.

Flick's side bamboozled Schalke's backline with relentless pressure and the hosts were unsurprisingly undone again shortly before the midway point of the first half when Goretzka slotted home from the edge of the penalty area after being picked out by Muller.

Lewandowski - who scored 55 goals in all competitions last season - opened his account for the 2020-21 campaign from the spot in the 31st minute after he had been brought down by Ozan Kabak, while Niklas Sule crashed an effort against the post shortly before the interval.

Bayern started the second half like they did the first, Gnabry slotting into an empty net two minutes after the restart after Sane had pushed the ball past an onrushing Fahrmann.

Sane was the provider again after 59 minutes, teeing up Gnabry to seal his hat-trick from 10 yards, while an outrageous rabona from Lewandowski set up Muller to add a sixth in the 69th minute, the 31-year-old's side-footed volley squirming underneath Fahrmann.

Sane capped a fine display with his first Bayern goal two minutes later, slotting past Schalke's woefully exposed goalkeeper after being played through by Kimmich, while substitute Musiala scored his first Bayern goal nine minutes from time to complete the nightmare for Schalke.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed he only recently considered the prospect of signing Thiago Alcantara after previously believing he would be "out of reach".

The Premier League champions confirmed on Friday that they had captured the 29-year-old from Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to £25million (€27.5m).

Thiago has arrived at Anfield on a four-year contract, with the Reds paying an initial £20m (€22m), plus an additional £5m (€5.5m) in potential bonuses.

Klopp said has been a long-time admirer of the midfielder, but did not think the Spain international would be prepared to leave Champions League holders Bayern anytime soon. 

"Thiago – settled that much at Bayern – is usually out of reach for pretty much everybody," Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "If the player doesn't want [to move] massively then you have no chance. 

"You see that Bayern have long, long, long-term contracts with their main players and Thiago was a main player for Bayern over the years. 

"I know all the people at Bayern wanted to keep him desperately; that's normal and understandable because he played an important role last season as well. 

"He just was ready for a new challenge and he decided it was with us. But did I think about him earlier? I thought a lot about him but never as a potential transfer, to be honest."

Thiago arrives at Anfield as a Champions League and Bundesliga winner but Klopp says his squad will not be in awe of him given their own European and Premier League success over the past two seasons. 

"The players are happy," he added. "Since they knew about it they are really excited about it as well. And when they meet him, they will know he is a guy who doesn't need any special treatment. 

"He won the Champions League this year but all the other guys won it last year. Yes, he became German champion this year; our guys became English champions. 

"It's not that somebody is coming in and now we have to roll red carpets out or whatever; not at all. He wants to be part of the team, work hard and be as successful as possible."

Klopp confirmed that Thiago will not be part of the squad for their top-flight clash with Chelsea on Sunday, meaning he could make his debut in the EFL Cup meeting with Lincoln City on Thursday.

Liverpool have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to £25million (€27.5m).

Thiago was rumoured to be a target of Jurgen Klopp's before the transfer window opened, with the Reds boss aiming to add more creativity to his midfield unit.

The Premier League champions have now got their man, with the 29-year-old – whose deal at Bayern was due to expire in June 2021 – signing a four-year contract at Anfield.

Stats Perform News understands Liverpool will pay an initial £20m (€22m), with an additional £5m (€5.5m) in bonuses.

Liverpool's pursuit of Thiago developed into something of a saga, with the midfielder acknowledging his signing has felt "a long time" in the making, but he is now relishing further success on Merseyside, where he has been impressed by a feeling of unity.

"I think it's an amazing feeling. I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here," he told the club's website.

"When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can – and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well; I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.

"It also [has] this kind of family [feeling] that I need because we [like to] have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.

"[The supporters] are not more excited than I am, for sure not! It is not about saying words, it is about doing the things. I will give my heart on the field to my teammates, the club and also to the fans."

Spain international Thiago has thrived since joining Bayern in 2013, having been brought to the Bundesliga giants by his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

After coming through at Barca as an attacking midfielder, Thiago has dropped into a deeper role in recent seasons and was integral to Bayern's treble success in 2019-20.

In total, Thiago made 235 appearances in all competitions across his seven seasons with Bayern, scoring 31 goals and providing 35 assists.

Thiago, who will wear the number six shirt for Liverpool, helped Bayern to seven successive Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokal wins and one Champions League triumph.

He becomes Liverpool's second signing of the transfer window following the arrival of left-back Kostas Tsimikas.

Liverpool have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in a deal reportedly worth up to £25million (€27.5m).

Thiago was rumoured to be a target of Jurgen Klopp's before the transfer window opened, with the Reds boss aiming to add more creativity to his midfield unit.

The Premier League champions have now got their man, with the 29-year-old – whose deal at Bayern was due to expire in June 2021 – signing a "long-term contract" at Anfield.

It is understood Liverpool will pay an initial £20m (€22m), with an additional £5m (€5.5m) in bonuses.

Thiago Alcantara is reportedly close to completing his switch to Liverpool from Bayern Munich.

Stats Perform News understands the Reds have agreed a deal that could eventually be worth £25million (€27.5m) to sign Thiago from the Bundesliga champions.

Thiago is expected to sign a four-year deal and wear the number six shirt at Anfield, ending Liverpool's lengthy pursuit of the talented midfielder.

The 29-year-old was rumoured to be a target for Jurgen Klopp before the transfer window opened, with the Liverpool boss aiming to add more creativity to his midfield unit.

Liverpool are understood to have agreed to pay Bayern £20m upfront for Thiago, who has a year left to run on his contract at the Allianz Arena, with another £5m to be potentially paid in add-ons.

Having come through at Barcelona as an attacking midfielder, Thiago has dropped into a deeper role in recent seasons and was integral to Bayern's treble success in 2019-20.

In total, Thiago has made 235 appearances in all competitions across seven seasons with Bayern, scoring 31 goals and providing 35 assists.

He helped Bayern to seven successive Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokal wins and one Champions League triumph.

Gareth Bale is returning to Tottenham.

Linked with a move from Real Madrid after being frozen out, the Wales international was reportedly a target for Manchester United.

But it seems Bale is heading back to Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – BALE TO COMPLETE TOTTENHAM RETURN

Bale is completing a return to Tottenham from Madrid, according to The Daily Mail.

The report says Bale has agreed to a season-long loan deal worth more than £13million, part of which will be financed by Madrid.

It comes as ESPN reported Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho sanctioned the move despite being warned Bale would struggle to meet expectations in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Tottenham and Sergio Reguilon will complete a medical at the club on Thursday before sealing a move from Madrid, according to the Evening Standard. The left-back, who was also linked to United, is set to cost around £25m (€27.5m) and the deal will include a buy-back option for LaLiga's champions. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports Danny Rose is set to leave Tottenham and join Genoa.

- Arsenal could be set to make a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Telefoot reports Arsenal are set to make a £36.4m (€40m) offer for Aouar, who is also apparently a target for Manchester City.

- Still linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, United are also apparently targeting other attackers. The Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are considering a move for Atalanta's 18-year-old attacker Amad Traore.

- Barcelona may be close to strengthening. The Daily Telegraph claims the Catalan giants are set to sign Ajax defender Sergino Dest, who was also linked to City and Bayern Munich.

- Could Inter make a move for United defender Chris Smalling? The centre-back seemed set to join Roma, where he was on loan last season, but no switch has materalised. Now, CalcioMercato reports Inter could step in and offer one of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Joao Mario to the Premier League club.

- Leicester City are set to land Cengiz Under from Roma. Fabrizio Romano says a £2.7m (€3m) loan bid with a £21.8m (€24m) obligation to buy the 23-year-old attacker has been accepted.

There will be no 2020 Ballon d'Or due to the coronavirus pandemic, seemingly costing Robert Lewandowski his shot at the top prize.

While perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi each made relatively early Champions League exits last term, Lewandowski was the best player for the best team in Europe.

Bayern Munich won the treble, aided in no small part by an outstanding haul of 55 goals in all competitions from their number nine.

It was the best campaign of Lewandowski's career, yet there appears no reason to believe he cannot hit similar heights in the season to come as we use Opta data to reflect on a stunning year.


LIKE RONALDO... BUT BETTER!

Lewandowski brings plenty to the table, but above all he is a goalscorer - as he proved in 2019-20. The 32-year-old's 55 goals came from just 47 matches as he netted once every 75 minutes on average.

Rather than a feat of finishing, however, Lewandowski put on a movement masterclass, taking up goalscoring positions time and again. Of his 55 goals, 52 were scored from inside the area - including 33 of 34 in the Bundesliga, where he also dispatched each of his five penalties.

The Poland international only outperformed his expected goals value of 51.0 by four, yet the next highest xG in Europe's 'top five' leagues - Ronaldo's - was way back at 35.8.

Lewandowski was expected to score 1.09 goals per game, comfortably the only star averaging more than one a match in this respect, with Kylian Mbappe next on 0.82 xG per game

Ronaldo prides himself on his goalscoring tally in much the same way but hit the net 'just' 37 times, also putting him behind Lazio's Ciro Immobile (39), who was still a long way short of Lewandowski.


BEATING THE VERY BEST

Last term was actually the first season in Lewandowski's career in which he scored more goals than both Ronaldo and Messi (31). He has topped Ronaldo in consecutive campaigns, too.

Lewandowski is only a year younger than Messi but scored just nine times in the 2010-11 season as the Barcelona forward was tallying 53, tied with Ronaldo. The Bayern star - then of Borussia Dortmund - scored 30 the next season to start to close the gap yet still had a long way to go to reach his current standards.

Given his age, it seems unlikely Lewandowski will be able to extend his peak years over such a spell as the big two have, but he should certainly back himself to dominate in the coming season.

Lewandowski has a better, more settled team than Ronaldo, meaning there is little reason to doubt he can edge out that particular rival again. Meanwhile, partly due to Lewandowski's Bayern, Barca are in crisis, with Messi unhappy even as he sticks around for another season.

Other contenders will emerge, such as Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward is already missing games in 2020-21 due to coronavirus and fluffed his lines against Lewandowski's Bayern in last season's Champions League final.

As Ronaldo and Messi enter the final stages of their careers and the next generation take time to hit the heights, Lewandowski looks primed to be the middle man as European football's statistical phenomenon and, perhaps, the world's best player.

Bayern Munich were transformed from pre-Christmas shambles to European football's dominant force after Hansi Flick's appointment midway through last season.

Niko Kovac's successor masterminded a 30-match unbeaten run, beginning last December 11 and spanning all competitions.

That march culminated with a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final, after Bayern authoritatively outlasted Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig to win an eighth straight Bundesliga crown and swatted aside Bayer Leverkusen to lift the DFB Pokal.

They are achievements to place Flick's side among the finest of the modern era, but is a prolonged run of success guaranteed for those who conquer all before them?

Here, with the help of Opta, we look at what some recent treble winners did next.

Manchester United (won the treble in 1998-99)

Despite the departure of Peter Schmeichel leading to some issues in the goalkeeping position, the Red Devils retained their Premier League crown the following season. They became the first English team to win the Intercontinental Cup but did not defend the FA Cup after opting to play in the inaugural Club World Championship, where they finished third in their group. Real Madrid brought an end to their hopes of becoming the first club to win the Champions League in successive seasons in the modern era with a 3-2 win at Old Trafford in the second leg of their quarter-final.

KEY STAT: United improved in terms of wins, goals scored and points – their haul of 91 remains their second-biggest in the Premier League era – and they held an 18-point advantage at the end of the campaign, a record that was only broken by Manchester City in 2017-18. 

Barcelona (2008-09)

A positive start saw Barca secure the Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup before 2009 was out but reports of a rift between Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who was signed from Inter in a player-plus-cash deal that sent Samuel Eto'o to Milan – and Pep Guardiola soon emerged. The Blaugrana were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Sevilla in the last 16 in January 2010 and a month later they suffered their one and only LaLiga defeat in another title-winning season. Jose Mourinho's Inter ended their Champions League defence with an iconic semi-final display at Camp Nou, which enabled the Nerazzurri to complete a treble of their own.

KEY STAT: Despite scoring seven fewer goals in LaLiga compared to 2008-09, Barcelona had more points (99 to 87) as they won four more games and conceded 11 fewer goals. Only once - in 2012-13, when they reached 100 points - have Barca accrued more points in a campaign.

Inter (2009-10)

Mourinho swapped San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu and Rafael Benitez was appointed as his replacement at Inter. Despite winning the Supercoppa Italiana and the Club World Cup, a 13-point deficit to Serie A leaders Milan in December resulted in Benitez's dismissal and Leonardo taking over. Losses to the Rossoneri and Parma in the space of a fortnight in April all-but-ended their quest to keep hold of the Scudetto and, although they won the Coppa Italia again, they suffered a humiliating exit from the Champions League quarter-finals at the hands of Schalke.

KEY STAT: Inter went from losing seven games in all competitions across 2009-10 to 14 the following season and saw their average for goals conceded per game increase from 0.8 to 1.2.

Bayern Munich (2012-13)

Despite leading Bayern to their first treble, Jupp Heynckes made way for Guardiola at the Allianz Arena. Under the Catalan they went undefeated in their first 28 Bundesliga games, including a record 19-game winning streak, and dropped just six points. Only after wrapping up the title did they suffer their first loss of the campaign – a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg ending their 53-game unbeaten streak in the top flight. They matched their 29 wins from the previous campaign, which remains a Bundesliga record, and defeated Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund after extra time to retain the DFB-Pokal, but a humbling 5-0 aggregate defeat to Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals ended their hopes of keeping hold of the European trophy.

KEY STAT: Bayern became the first team to win the Bundesliga in March and with a record seven games to spare.

Barcelona (2014-15)

Luis Enrique's first season at the helm yielded a treble but he was unable to repeat the feat in his second campaign in the Camp Nou dugout. Midfield maestro Xavi departed but they held off Madrid in the race for LaLiga glory, topping the table by a single point. They needed extra time to overcome Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final, but that came after Atletico Madrid sent them packing in the Champions League quarter-finals – Antoine Griezmann's double sending the Vicente Calderon into raptures.

KEY STAT: Though Barcelona could not replicate their collective success in 2015-16, the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez managed to score nine more times in LaLiga to reach a combined 90. That figure remains the most of any trio for a single team in history.

Rob Friend hailed "world class" Alphonso Davies and insisted Bayern Munich's treble-winning star has put Canada on the map after years of disrespect.

Davies has established himself as one of the most exciting players in European football since joining Bayern from MLS outfit Vancouver Whitecaps in 2019.

The 19-year-old speedster, who capped a fine domestic campaign with the 2019-20 Bundesliga Rookie of the Year award, has been a revelation on the left side of Bayern's defence, helping them to an eighth consecutive league crown, DFB-Pokal success and Champions League glory.

Davies – born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled their native Liberia before moving to Canada when he was five and eventually attaining citizenship in 2017 – became the first Canada international to play in a Champions League final as Bayern defeated Paris Saint-Germain to claim the treble.

Friend earned 32 caps for Canada between 2003 and 2011 and the 39-year-old former forward, who is chief executive of Canadian Premier League team Pacific FC, marvelled at Davies' impact.

"It's unbelievable," Friend told Stats Perform News. "I can certainly tell you sitting here in Canada, being part of the Canadian game currently with the Canadian Premier League which I'm involved in and really trying to grow the game, what he's done singlehandedly as a Canadian player at his age, it's going to be very hard to repeat for any young Canadian.

"If you told me a year-and-a-half ago that we were going to have a young Canadian winning the Champions League and starting, we all would've laughed. His growth in the last couple of years has honestly been a joy to watch as a former national team player, being involved in the game on a business side here. Once in a while, it takes a player like that to put this country on the map. We've never been a footballing country. Our national team has always sort of struggled at international level, never played on the world stage at the World Cup. It's gonna take once in a while a country like this to be put on the map and be respected. 

"I can certainly tell you that what he's done has opened up the door for a lot of young Canadians. I'm getting a lot of calls, asking if there's another Alphonso out there. Is Canada a hotbed for young talent? Even you look at Jonathan David, young Canadian who just transferred to Lille. A bigger transfer than Alphonso. Those are two of the top young players in Europe and they're Canadian. I would certainly say there are more Canadians out there. It's challenging when we're not making the World Cup to be on that level. We need more young Canadians going off to Europe."

Friend, who played for Bundesliga clubs Borussia Monchengladbach, Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt in Europe, added: "It attests to his personality and the adversity he's gone through in his life, being an immigrant coming to Canada but also being a proud Canadian and representing this country. He is very grateful, him and his family. In the final on the stage he had the Canadian flag around him.

"Sitting back as a fan and a former player, I'm very proud he is representing Canada so well on and off the field. He's just a joy to watch. It's going to be fun to watch him over his career. Hopefully he has the luck, with injuries etc. I think he is world class already but you have to sustain that if you want to be at the top level year in, year out.

"Hopefully it opens up the door for more Canadians. That could honestly be one of his biggest achievements if he can help young Canadians because I certainly know you're at a disadvantage as soon as you walk into Europe with a Canadian passport. I would always joke that if I had a Brazilian passport I would have received double the offers I had. The wind is against you as a Canadian walking into Europe because they don't respect us as a country but he is certainly opening the doors and will provide more opportunities for Canadians moving forward."

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski cannot get any better so only needs to train to keep fit, according to RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.

Lewandowski scored a career-best 55 goals in 47 games as Bayern won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last season.

The 32-year-old will be expected to play a key role once again as the Bavarian giants go in search of a ninth straight league title in 2020-21.

Nagelsmann believes Lewandowski is at a point in his career where he can simply focus on keeping himself fresh for the demands of the season, a luxury players at Leipzig cannot afford.

"With all due respect, Robert Lewandowski doesn't really have to train anything anymore," Nagelsmann told Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

"He can do everything. He just has to train in such a way that he's fresh and ready for the weekend.

"In addition, we can no longer pick from the top shelf of internationally coveted young players. At this point, [Borussia] Dortmund and Bayern are ahead of us. Therefore, we will not be able to catch these teams if things go normally."

Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last season and, after losing attacking duo Timo Werner and Patrik Schick, Nagelsmann simply hopes his young squad does not go backwards.

"If we were fifth or sixth, it would be disappointing for everyone involved. I put this pressure on myself," he said.

"You have to take into account the performance gaps with young players. There will be point losses and you will find it difficult to get to the top."

Bayern will open the new Bundesliga season at home against Schalke on Friday, with Leipzig's first game against Mainz scheduled for Sunday.

Could Tottenham and Gareth Bale reunite?

Bale, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013, is not wanted in the Spanish capital.

While Manchester Untied are reportedly interested, former club Spurs are Bale's preference.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS LEAD BALE RACE

Tottenham are ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United in the pursuit of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, according to ESPN.

Bale has reportedly been told he can leave Madrid after falling out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Welshman wants to return to former club Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and the Telegraph claims Dele Alli could be included in a deal to bring Bale back to London.

While United's interest is believed to be serious, it all depends on whether they are able to sign number one target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Transfer Podcast reports United believe that if they leave final negotiations for Sancho until the last week of the transfer window, Dortmund will eventually cave in and sell the England international. Dortmund have refused to budge on their €120million (£108m) valuation.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal are close to offloading unwanted trio Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Kolasinac has been linked to West Ham, Valencia are considering Guendouzi and Torreira has been tipped to join Torino. The Gunners want to keep full-back Hector Bellerin but he may be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.

Roma are poised to sign Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, reports Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Juve close in on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, while Roma Press says the latter are set to complete the capture of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. He had been linked to Inter, Lazio and Juve.

-  Luis Suarez's move to Juve has collapsed, says RAC1. The Barcelona veteran had been tipped to leave Camp Nou for Turin but a delay in an Italian citizenship test has reportedly scuppered the deal. Atletico Madrid are now an option for the Uruguayan.

- The Mail claims Bayern Munich are ready to renew their interest in Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Englishman was linked to Bayern last year before opting to sign a new deal. Now, Hudson-Odoi could swap London for Munich before the October 5 deadline, with Juve also reportedly eyeing the Chelsea star.

- Diario AS reports Turkish giants Fenerbahce are eyeing Atletico's Diego Costa. Fenerbahce just sold striker Vedat Muriqi to Lazio and may use the transfer funds to bring Costa to Istanbul.

United had been favourites to land Sergio Reguilon from Madrid but the Telegraph and widespread reports say Tottenham are poised to sign the Spanish full-back. United have been reluctant to include a buy-back clause in any deal with Madrid.

- According to Sport Bild, Liverpool have contacted Bayern regarding Thiago Alcantara but the asking price is too high. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United.

But the England international remains in Germany and United are growing frustrated.

Could United move on from the Dortmund sensation?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO PULL PLUG ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to give up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

Sancho has emerged as United's top transfer target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to negotiate a deal with Dortmund.

With United and Dortmund apart in their valuation of Sancho, the Red Devils are frustrated and could turn to alternative targets.

Juventus attacker Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale are possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona are contemplating a loan move for Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who left Camp Nou for the Gunners in 2011. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, while Barca will only target the Spaniard if they are able to part with Nelson Semedo.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are targeting Sevilla's star centre-back Jules Kounde. The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca could wait 12 months to secure a deal. Mundo Deportivo also reports Emerson could be included in a deal to prise Lyon captain Memphis Depay to the embattled LaLiga giants.

Tottenham have had an offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti rejected, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Spurs proposed a loan deal with an option to buy the Italy international for €50million (£46m). Di Marzio also claims Tottenham will not be signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has been linked to Roma and Juventus.

Chelsea are ready to loan out winger Calum Hudson-Odoi, says 90Min. The Englishman has previously been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Remaining at Stamford Bridge and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will consider a move for West Ham's Declan Rice after having a bid accepted for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Inter are ready to sell defender Milan Skriniar as they eye Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla, according to Calciomercato. It comes as Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte tries to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and full-back Marcos Alonso.

Adama Traore to team up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin?

The Wolves winger has been linked to some of Europe's biggest clubs, but Juventus could sign the Spain international.

Watch this space…

 

TOP STORY – TRAORE OFFERED TO JUVE

Juventus have been offered Wolves star Adama Traore by agent Jorge Mendes, according to Calciomercato.

Juve, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been linked with Traore following his exploits for Wolves in the Premier League.

Traore could be made available to Serie A champions Juve for €70million (£63m) as Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi reportedly near exits.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona have lodged their first bid for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. The 19-year-old, who is out of contract in 2021, join City from Barca in 2017. Barca have offered €8m (£7.2m) plus another €2m (£1.8m) in potential add-ons, though City are asking for €40m (£36m).

- According to Tancredi Palmeri, Juve have struck a deal with Barcelona for veteran forward Luis Suarez. Unwanted by new head coach Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou, Suarez is set to join Ronaldo in Turin.

Moise Kean wants to return to Juventus, however, Calciomercato says Borussia Dortmund are preparing an offer for the Everton forward.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma are closing in on a permanent deal for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. The English centre-back spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Roma and the Serie A club have reportedly agreed personal terms.

Leeds United have submitted a new bid to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, says Fabrizio Romano. The newly promoted Premier League side have offered £19.9m (€22m) plus 20 per cent of a future sale amid interest from RB Leipzig.

- Brescia and Italy star Sandro Tonali will undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of his move to Milan, reports Tuttomercatoweb and Sportitalia.

Chelsea have not made contact for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara, reports Romano. Alcantara is wanted by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, while United have held talks with the Spaniard's agent. He has also emerged as a possible target for former club Barca.

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