Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland enjoyed another unforgettable day in his young career on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Norway striker was this week named as the winner of the prestigious Golden Boy award, which recognises Europe's outstanding player under the age of 21.

Just in case there were any doubting Haaland's suitability for the gong, he set about dismantling Hertha Berlin, scoring four times as a rampant Dortmund won 5-2 and closed to within a point of European champions Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

Such exploits underline that Haaland is as much a player for the now as he is for the future and an Opta dive into the top marksman in Germany's top flight this season finds him rubbing shoulders with the best in the business.

Living up to Lewandowski

Before his phenomenal goalscoring exploits fuelled Bayern's recent dominance at home and abroad, Robert Lewandowski was the toast of Signal Iduna Park as he led the Dortmund line with aplomb under Jurgen Klopp.

Haaland has the BVB faithful dreaming of a return to those glory days of back-to-back title triumphs they enjoyed in 2010-11 and 2011-12. If a return to the winners' enclosure is to become a reality it means one thing: matching Bayern.

Haaland is fulfilling his side of the bargain. A second scoreless outing of the season in the Bundesliga this term for Lewandowski in Bayern's 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen means his lead over the youngster at the top of the scoring charts was scythed to one, with 11 to Haaland's 10.

The Dortmund man has shown greater efficiency in front of goal. A total of 23 shots means a conversion rate of 43.5 per cent (excluding blocked attempts), while eight goals from 11 big chances amounts to a success of 72.7 per cent.

Lewandowski's conversion rate of 40.7 per cent is slightly down on Haaland (11 goals from 27 attempts, again excluding blocks), although he has missed six and scored seven of his big chances (53.8 per cent). Among players to have scored four or more Bundesliga goals this term, only Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst has missed more big chances (eight).

Crunch time in Der Klassiker

Each of Haaland's four attempts on target found the net against Hertha Berlin, with a further two blocked. In a frustrating outing against Bremen, Lewandowski failed to find the target with his two shots.

However, on the big occasion earlier this month, the 32-year-old gave the pretender to his throne a demonstration of his clinical efficiency.

Both men scored as Bayern held out for a gripping 3-2 win in Der Klassiker. Yet, Lewandowski required one fewer shot, had two goals disallowed for offside and also weighed in with an assist.

Fine margins could again be at play when the sides reconvene in Bavaria in a game slated for March 6.

In terms of goals per minute, Lewandowski remains the Bundesliga's best, striking once every 49.7 minutes this term. Haaland's one per 56.1 minutes comes in third behind Andrej Kramaric, whose seven for Hoffenheim have come along every 51.3 minutes.

No player has had more than the Poland superstar's 17 shots on target, while Andre Silva and Matheus Cunha (15) have each brought the goalkeeper into play once more than Haaland.

Still, there can be no doubt as to Haaland's skywards trajectory. As fans and elite clubs across Europe watch on with interest, the question over the rest of the season is simply quite how high he can soar.

What does the future hold for Manchester United star Paul Pogba?

Out of form and out of favour, Pogba has found himself out of the starting line-up this season and the Frenchman is not happy.

Could Pogba be prepared to wait for his perfect move away?

 

TOP STORY – POGBA EYEING EXIT

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could leave Old Trafford on a free transfer, according to The Athletic.

Pogba left United for Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 before returning to Manchester for a then-world record €105million (£89.3m) in 2016.

But the France international is unhappy at the Theatre of Dreams, where he is contracted until 2022, amid links with former club Juve and LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport says Juve have turned their attention from Pogba to his countryman and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 18-year-old has been tipped to join Madrid, while Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested.

- Bayern Munich centre-back Niklas Sule is dreaming of a move to United, claims Bild. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United are believed to be pursuing a defensive partner for Harry Maguire, with Madrid's Raphael Varane and RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano reported targets.

Isco is ready to leave Madrid in January, reports Marca. The attacking midfielder has been linked with Everton, following previous links to Juve and Manchester City.

- Liverpool Echo claims Liverpool have been quoted £26.7million (€29.8m) to sign Ajax defender Perr Schuurs. The 20-year-old is also reportedly wanted by Milan.

Arsenal are working on a structured payment plan to sign Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, says the Mirror.

Juve are targeting Sporting CP defender Nuno Mendes, A Bola reports. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves.

Inter and Antonio Conte have reached an agreement over a new contract but Corriere dello Sport says there will be no contract extensions during the season. Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez is the most problematic case for the Nerazzurri.

Will Lionel Messi be a Barcelona player for much longer?

Messi, who has called Camp Nou home for his entire senior career, is reportedly eyeing a sensational exit.

And Manchester City are continuing to pursue the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, CITY RUMOURS GROW

Lionel Messi's links with Manchester City are tightening following Pep Guardiola's renewal, according to Diario AS.

Messi was tipped to join City after handing in a transfer request at the start of the season, but the Barca captain opted to remain at Camp Nou.

However, with manager Guardiola extending his City contract, rumours are intensifying.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Premier League's 'big six' are interested in signing Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. 90min claims Liverpool, City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are eyeing the veteran defender, who is out of contract at the end of the campaign.

Milan could be set for a busy January. Tuttomercato reports Milan want Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic on loan with an option to buy for €30million. Inter and Juventus have also been linked with the Serbia international. It comes as Rossoneri duo Andrea Conti and Leo Duarte face uncertain futures, while Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai continues to be linked to Milan.

- Kicker says Paris Saint-Germain are favourites to sign Bayern Munich's soon-to-be free agent David Alaba, who has also been linked to Madrid and City.

- Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri could join Juve in January, though Alaba and Atalanta star Robin Goosens are also options for the Serie A champions, according to Calciomercato.

Joao Felix apparently has no plans to leave Atletico Madrid for Paris Saint-Germain.

Joao Felix, 21, is enjoying a fine campaign with the LaLiga giants, having struggled during his first season in 2019-20 after his arrival from Benfica.

The playmaker has attracted interest from PSG.

 

TOP STORY – FELIX WANTS ATLETICO STAY AMID PSG INTEREST

Joao Felix is not thinking about leaving Atletico Madrid amid Paris Saint-Germain's interest, according to Record.

Signed by Atletico for a reported €126million last year, Joao Felix has started to star for Diego Simeone's side.

Only Mikel Oyarzabal (six goals and two assists) has been directly involved in more LaLiga goals than Joao Felix (five goals and two assists) this season.

Joao Felix has also created five big chances – the second most behind Sergio Canales – for Atletico, who are unbeaten in LaLiga ahead of hosting Barcelona on Saturday.

 

ROUND-UP

- Out of contract at Bayern Munich at the end of the season, David Alaba is expected to leave the Bundesliga champions. Marca reports the defender is an option for Real Madrid and a move is not dependant on Sergio Ramos' future with the LaLiga giants.

- Another Madrid defender, Raphael Varane, is also linked with a move. The Manchester Evening News says Manchester United may again look at the defender, who is contracted at Madrid until 2022.

- Isco's time at Madrid could finally be coming to an end. El Confidencial reports Isco, who is in his eighth season at Madrid, is on the market. Everton have been linked with the attacker.

- A decision about RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano's future could be close. Bild says a call could be made in January amid links to United and Liverpool, with his €45m release clause reportedly too much for Bayern.

- Mariano Diaz may be set for a Madrid exit. The Daily Mail reports West Ham have been offered the chance to sign the forward, potentially on loan initially.

Lionel Messi continues to dominate headlines.

While Messi decided to stay at Camp Nou, Manchester City are reportedly still trying to prise the superstar from Barcelona.

Could he be set for a mid-season switch?

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TARGETED BY CITY

Manchester City are expected to make a bid to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in January, according to The Sun.

Messi was tipped to join Pep Guardiola's City after handing in a transfer request at the start of the season, however, he opted to stay at Camp Nou.

City, though, have not given up on signing the six-time Ballon d'Or winner – who has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

ROUND-UP

- What does the future hold for Sergio Ramos? The Real Madrid captain is out of contract at season's end, and the likes of Juventus, PSG and Manchester United have emerged as possible destinations. Should Ramos leave the Santiago Bernabeu, Diario AS claims Bayern Munich star David Alaba could arrive as a replacement at Madrid. Alaba is also wanted by Juve, Barcelona and City.

- Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is desperate for a loan move and is willing to take a pay cut to secure a short-term exit, reports The Sun.

- Eurosport says Chelsea are eyeing a future move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham, who only swapped England for Germany at the start of the season. Bellingham is seen as an alternative to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Inter are keen to make head coach Antonio Conte happy by exchanging Christian Eriksen for PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes and swapping Matias Vecino for Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik in the New Year, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Manchester City could be set to strengthen in attack ahead of next season, with Erling Haaland and Lautaro Martinez reportedly their main targets.

The Premier League giants may be looking for a forward amid uncertainty over Sergio Aguero, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

And two of Europe's top talents are apparently top of their list.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY EYE HAALAND, MARTINEZ

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez top Manchester City's wish list next year, according to 90min.

Haaland and Martinez have been heavily linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

The report says with Aguero's future unclear and some questions over Gabriel Jesus, City are prioritising a forward.

Haaland is the equal top goalscorer in the Champions League this season with four, converting 60 per cent of his big chances.

Martinez has a goal and an assist in three Champions League games, while creating five chances.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star reports City are weighing up using their £25million buy-back clause on Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, while they are also looking at star Jack Grealish.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Paul Pogba is reportedly unhappy at Manchester United, Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League giants want to extend the midfielder's contract, although nothing is advanced. Pogba's current deal runs until 2022.

- Hakan Calhanoglu seems set to leave Milan. Mundo Deportivo reports Atletico Madrid are in pole position to sign the midfielder, who has also been linked to Manchester United, Juventus and Inter. Calhanoglu is out of contract at the end of the season.

- Staying at Milan and Milan Live claims the Serie A outfit are looking at Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, another player whose deal expires at the end of the campaign.

- Barcelona could be looking to raise funds in January. Sport says Riqui Puig and Carles Alena are set for January exits.

- Also at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports the LaLiga giants will rely on Oscar Mingueza, Arnau Comas or Santiago Mingo from the B team if Manchester City do not lower their asking price, believed to be €15m (£13.4m), for defender Eric Garcia in January.

Manchester City are reportedly making plans to sign Lionel Messi next year.

Messi, 33, sensationally requested to leave Barcelona during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is out of contract at the end of the season and City continue to eye the star forward.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONTINUE TO MAKE MESSI PLANS

Manchester City are making plans to sign Barcelona captain Messi, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says the Premier League giants are trying to attract Messi with the idea of playing in England before finishing his career with fellow City Football Group (CFG) club New York City in MLS.

Messi has been linked with the likes of City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter previously.

He has six goals in 10 games this season, including three in seven in LaLiga.

Messi's dribbles success rate (56.3) in LaLiga is his lowest since 2015-16, while he is creating just two chances per 90 minutes, his lowest number since 2012-13.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports City manager Pep Guardiola is closer to agreeing to a contract extension, with his deal up at the conclusion of the current campaign.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona's pursuit of City defender Eric Garcia is seemingly continuing. Sport reports Barca will attempt to sign Garcia again in January, but City still want €15million (£13.5m) for the defender despite his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.

- Also out of contract at the end of the season is Bayern Munich defender David Alaba. Tuttosport says Juventus are considering a move for the Austria international, who has been linked with several European heavyweights.

- Sidelined with a serious knee injury, Ansu Fati's future could be clearer soon. Marca says talks between Barcelona and Fati are on track, even with the 18-year-old forward contracted until 2022.

- Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders after serious injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. The Daily Star says the Premier League champions may make a move for Olympiacos and Portugal defender Ruben Semedo in January, although it could cost them £18million (€20.1m).

- After just three Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season, Marcos Alonso again being linked with a move. The Daily Mail reports Crystal Palace are looking at the left-back.

It was perhaps inevitable that Florian Neuhaus' encouraging early performances in a Germany shirt would prompt speculation of interest from Bayern Munich.

European champions Bayern have a reputation for plucking the Bundesliga's best talents, much to the frustration of their rivals.

After watching Neuhaus sparkle with an all-action display in a 1-0 friendly win over Czech Republic on Wednesday, Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl was dismayed by talk of the 23-year-old being a potential target for Bayern.

"I sometimes ask myself: What do we want?" Eberl told SPORT1. "On the one hand, we all want a competition in which other clubs can become champions.

"But on the other hand, these players then become again linked to this club [Bayern].

"Why not just say: 'Hey, cool! Something is developing at Gladbach'. Why shouldn't a Florian Neuhaus stay with us?

"The reflex is now always: good game, good development, where is he going? It always goes way too fast for me."

The Gladbach midfielder, who debuted for Germany last month, had five shots against the Czechs - more than any other player - and won 83.3 per cent of his duels, while his 103 touches trailed only team-mate Jonathan Tah.

And unfortunately for Gladbach, Bayern could certainly benefit from recruiting a player of Neuhaus' talents.

Although he likes a shot - as evidenced in Leipzig - Neuhaus is not necessarily a reliable goal threat, having failed to net in the Bundesliga this season and hit the target only once from seven attempts.

Neuhaus has scored just four times in the league since the start of the 2019-20 season, with Bayern duo Leon Goretzka (seven) and Joshua Kimmich (five) besting that tally.

But where he stands out from Hansi Flick's existing midfield options is with dribbling skills not seen in Bavaria since Thiago Alcantara's move to Liverpool.

Thiago attempted 85 dribbles last term, completing 71, yet Bayern's next most prolific dribbler in the middle of the pitch is Kimmich, who has pulled off just 22 of 38 attempts since the 2019-20 campaign began.

Neuhaus, since the start of last season, has successfully executed 53 of his 78 dribbles, effectively getting out of tight spaces and moving Gladbach up the pitch.

He is understandably not as well rounded in possession as Thiago, failing to match up to the Spaniard's remarkable passing statistics that saw him complete 90.5 per cent of attempts, 87.3 per cent in the opposition half and 82.5 per cent ending in the final third.

However, respective figures of 84.5 per cent, 77.0 per cent and 69.8 per cent are reasonable enough when considering Neuhaus has created more chances (30) than Thiago (20), Goretzka (25) or Corentin Tolisso (16).

Only the outstanding Kimmich has won possession more often the Neuhaus (270 versus 235), and the injured Bayern man - set to return in January - joins Thiago in leading the reported target for touches (3763 and 2150 beating 2104).

Keeping such company, Neuhaus looks a Bayern player in waiting - however much that might upset Gladbach.

Bayern Munich and Germany captain Manuel Neuer hopes there will never be another season like this one as the coronavirus pandemic puts a strain on players.

Neuer, who is in the Germany squad for matches against Czech Republic, Ukraine and Spain, has already racked up 12 appearances for Bayern and two for the national team in 2020-21 as part of a packed fixture list.

Training with his team-mates is now very different to before and the 34-year-old, while reluctant to complain, cannot wait for normality to return.

"There has never been a season like this and hopefully there never will be again," he said to Sport Buzzer.

"Everyone involved knows that there is a lot at the moment. That is why communication with one another is all the more important - with the coaches, the doctors and physios and the players.

"Certain training types are currently no longer possible. We do recovery after the game, then a bit of tactics work, some final training, and then the next game is on. 

"Small tournaments, forms of play and one-to-one training no longer takes place. 

"We as players shouldn't complain, even if we have reached the limit. 

"We are allowed to play - unlike many others - and are very happy about it; you just have to look at the amateur footballers or take a look at other sports."

Neuer added he has enjoyed alternative individual training methods like a fitness mirror he uses at home.

The goalkeeper was saddened to see Joshua Kimmich suffer a knee injury in Bayern's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, though relieved the problem will only keep his club and international team-mate out until January after successful surgery.

Asked if the strain of the fixture list may have contributed to Kimmich going down, Neuer added: "Such injuries can always happen. 

"It also existed before corona and will also exist when fewer games are on the schedule. 

"The injury for Jo hurts us, of course - at Bayern and Germany - but we know him and know how motivated, conscientious and ambitious he is. 

"So I'm absolutely certain that he will come back in his old strength in January. That's the plan."

Joshua Kimmich has avoided serious injury and will return in the new year after going down in Bayern Munich's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund.

There were fears Kimmich was set for a long spell on the sidelines after he appeared to overextend his knee while fouling Erling Haaland in Saturday's Klassiker.

The versatile midfielder had to be helped off the pitch and, while refusing to comment on the nature or extent of the issue, coach Hansi Flick acknowledged afterwards Kimmich would be a big miss.

But Bayern revealed on Sunday the player had suffered a right lateral meniscus injury and had already undergone successful surgery.

The ailment is still going to keep Kimmich out of action but, according to Bayern's medical staff, only until January.

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: "We are happy that Joshua will probably be available to us again in a few weeks.

"We will give him the best possible support during his rehab."

Kimmich has started all but three of Bayern's Bundesliga matches since the start of last season, although they have a trio of wins without the Germany international in the XI, scoring 12 times and conceding just once.

He has a goal and four assists in six league games this term, creating 12 chances in all.

Kimmich has completed 89.8 per cent of his Bundesliga passes this season – 87.1 per cent in the opposition half – and has won possession on 50 occasions, although he has lost the ball 85 times.

DFB-Pokal holders Bayern Munich have been drawn against Holstein Kiel in the second round of the competition, while Borussia Dortmund will take on Eintracht Braunschweig.

Bayern have lifted Germany's top domestic cup in back-to-back campaigns and beat Duren in round one thanks to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's debut double.

Hansi Flick's side now face a trip to Holstein, who are fifth in 2.Bundesliga and are seeking a first promotion to the top tier in their history.

Fellow big boys Dortmund will also take on second-tier opposition in the form of Braunschweig, who knocked out Hertha Berlin 5-4 in a thrilling first-round fixture.

Arguably the tie of the round is the all-Bundesliga affair between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt.

The ties will take place in the week commencing December 21.


DFB-Pokal second-round draw in full:

Wolfsburg v Sandhausen
Hoffenheim v Greuther Furth
Augsburg v RB Leipzig
Holstein Kiel v Bayern Munich
Mainz v Bochum
Cologne v Osnabruck
Hannover v Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Braunschweig v Borussia Dortmund
Stuttgart v Freiburg
Union Berlin v Paderborn
Dynamo Dresden v Darmstadt
Wehen Wiesbaden v Jahn Regensburg
Elversberg v Borussia Monchengladbach
Essen v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Ulm v Schalke

Hansi Flick is unsure of the extent of Joshua Kimmich's injury but concedes Bayern Munich will find it difficult replacing a player of his quality.

The Germany international hobbled off in the first half of Saturday's 3-2 Klassiker win against Borussia Dortmund after injuring himself in a challenge on Erling Haaland.

He sought to atone for a loose touch just inside the Dortmund half but was beaten to the ball by Haaland, swiping wildly at the striker and seemingly overextending his knee.

Reports from Germany suggest the versatile midfielder may have suffered cruciate ligament damage, but Flick was unwilling to speculate over how long he might be out.

"Joshua will fly with us and then be examined in Munich," he said during his post-match news conference. 

"I don't know yet how bad it is and don't want to anticipate anything. We have to wait now. I am not participating in all the talk."

Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who has played alongside Kimmich for Bayern and Germany, is hopeful the injury is not too serious.

"I couldn't see it that well but his reaction didn't look good," he told Sky Sport Germany. "I wish him all the best.

"He's a good guy and a super footballer, both for Bayern and the national team. I've got my fingers crossed for him."

Kimmich had netted the winner in each of the sides' previous two meetings, clinching a vital Bundesliga victory last term and then settling September's DFL-Supercup final.

The 25-year-old has been a regular for Bayern since the 2015-16 season and Flick accepts it will not be an easy task filling the void should he spend time on the sidelines.

"He's an important player for us in this position," Flick said. "In addition to his mentality, he also has outstanding quality. 

"It'll be difficult, but we still won today against a good Dortmund team."

The game was goalless when Kimmich departed the pitch but five goals followed in an entertaining showdown.

David Alaba and Robert Lewandowski struck either side of half-time after Marco Reus had given Dortmund the lead and Leroy Sane extended Bayern's advantage late on.

Haaland pulled one back but the champions were able to open up a three-point lead on Dortmund and a two-point advantage on second-placed RB Leipzig.

"There were chances for both sides but we deservedly won the game in the end," Flick said.

"The way we fought today was great, despite having a couple of goals not given and the injury to Kimmich."

Substitute Sane's goal was his fourth in seven games this term and Flick is pleased with the added competition the winger has provided since overcoming a long-term injury.

"That is what we wanted," he said. "We wanted to fill our squad with high-quality players. If you bring him in, you get speed, quality and freshness on the pitch again.

"We are happy that he scored after he came on. But he is not quite yet at 100 per cent."

Barcelona's finances are reportedly precarious amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wage cuts have been flagged, but the LaLiga powerhouse are also eyeing further sales.

Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti could be among the players to depart Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE AND CO. HEADING FOR EXIT

Barcelona are ready to sell five players during the January transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Alena, Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo are the quintet up for sale as embattled LaLiga giants Barca look to raise funds.

Dembele was linked with Manchester United before the previous window closed.

 

ROUND-UP

- Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has twice snubbed Barca as he eyes the United job amid speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future, says the Daily Star.

Barcelona have been linked with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, according to Bild. Thuram's father, Lilian, played for Barca and Juventus, who are believed to be eyeing the Frenchman. Real Madrid have also been linked.

- OK Diario claims Madrid are interested in Rennes teenager Jeremy Doku. The 18-year-old has caught the eye of Madrid, who have also made Eduardo Camavinga one of their top targets.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu and OK Diario says soon-to-be free agent and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba must lower his wage demands if he wants to play for Madrid. The Austria international has also been linked with PSGManchester City and Barca.

- Tuttosport says Antonio Conte wants Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso at Inter.

- Lille star Renato Sanches is wanted in Italy. Calciomercato reports Serie A champions Juventus, Milan, Inter, Napoli and Roma are monitoring the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

- Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai is a serious January target for Arsenal, according to Index. The Hungarian has emerged as an alternative to Lyon star Houssem Aouar.

Erling Haaland is "almost obsessed with success" but comparing him with Robert Lewandowski is pointless, according to Michael Zorc.

Two of Europe's most feared strikers go head to head on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski was the top scorer in Europe's top-five leagues last season, hitting 51 goals to propel Bayern to a treble triumph, and he set a Bundesliga record by scoring 10 goals in the first five matchdays of 2020-21.

Haaland, meanwhile, has managed five goals in as many Bundesliga appearances this term from a total of 15 shots. That puts the Dortmund striker's shot conversion rate at 29.4, a little way behind Lewandowski's 34.5, but he has scored 66.7 per cent of his certified big chances this term, a better tally than Lewandowski's (58.3).

Haaland is 12 years Lewandowski's junior and Dortmund sporting director Zorc feels it is too soon to compare the two, although the 20-year-old's determination to succeed seems likely to see him reach similar standards.

"They are different types of players. They score a lot of goals, but they have a different age," Zorc told reporters ahead of the Klassiker.

"We're happy to have Erling. He's not just good for us because of goals, but also because he exudes a will to improve all the time.

"He's almost obsessed with success. The comparisons are for journalists and experts, not us."

Head coach Lucien Favre believes Haaland is important in terms of not conceding goals, not only scoring them.

Dortmund conceded 44 Bundesliga goals in Favre's first season in charge, which improved to 41 in 2019-20. They also kept 15 clean sheets last term compared to 10 this season before.

They faced fewer shots on target (106) than in 2018-19 (134), something Favre says is down to improved defending from across the team, as they attempt to set a Bundesliga record of five consecutive clean sheets.

"We were okay in the first year, we didn't concede a lot of goals in the first half of the season, but now we're doing better," he said.

"What matters is that we all defend. A team has to defend together – that starts with the striker. It's the whole team that has to do it."

Bayern have won all three competitive games against Dortmund under Hansi Flick, including the DFL-Supercup in September, when they triumphed 3-2.

They effectively ended Dortmund's title hopes in May with a 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park, courtesy of Joshua Kimmich's sublime chip, but BVB were aggrieved Haaland was not awarded a penalty when a shot struck Jerome Boateng's arm in the box.

"I think the attraction is always very great. We saw the last two games were close, with only one goal settling both," said Zorc.

"We lost the last home game because of a blatantly bad decision. That's beyond dispute. We have self-confidence and we want to throw everything into the mix tomorrow to win."

Hansi Flick expects the "whole world" to be watching when Bayern Munich and "exceptional" Borussia Dortmund lock horns in the Bundesliga.

Bayern travel to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday for an eagerly awaited Klassiker battle between the top two.

The European champions and Dortmund are level on 15 points at the summit, with Bayern only leading the way on goal difference.

Bayern head coach Flick, who welcomes Leon Goretzka back from a calf injury but will have to do without Niklas Sule and Joshua Zirkzee due to recent positive coronavirus tests, knows Dortmund pose a huge threat. 

He said in a news conference on Friday: "Dortmund are an exceptional team. They have the best defence in the Bundesliga and extraordinary qualities in switching from defence to offence.

"They have good players, not only [Erling] Haaland but also many others. They are very quick and we have to stop them by standing compact and defending well.

"That's why it is important that we as a team act just like we have in recent games. I'm looking forward to the match. These matches are the icing on the cake for everyone: Players, coaches, the staff and the fans.

"Haaland is not the only player we have to pay attention to. The whole team needs to be at 100 per cent."

Flick knows the game will attract attention way beyond Germany.

"Obviously you want to win the matches against Dortmund. It's the German 'Clasico'. Everyone is motivated," he continued.

"We all know that not only all of Germany is watching, but the whole world [too]. That's what gives us extra motivation for this match.

"We are as confident as ever in our qualities and that's why we will try everything in order to leave the pitch as the winner on Saturday."

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