Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge?

Lukaku's first taste of English football was with Chelsea between 2011-14.

He could be set for a Chelsea return amid doubts over his Inter future.

 

TOP STORY – TUCHEL WANTS LUKAKU

Chelsea are planning a move for Inter star Romelu Lukaku, according to The Guardian.

Lukaku, who joined the Blues in 2011 before leaving in 2014, is reportedly considering his future after Antonio Conte quit Inter amid the Serie A champions' troubled financial situation.

Inter quartet Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Achraf Hakimi – linked with Paris Saint-Germain – and Alessandro Bastoni could be sold by the Nerazzurri.

Chelsea are now eyeing a reunion with Real Madrid and Barcelona target Lukaku after winning the Champions League, while Tottenham's Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland are also on their radar.

 

ROUND-UP

Gianluigi Donnarumma is prepared to join Juventus on a worse contract than he rejected at Milan, reports Corriere dello Sport. Donnarumma is available on a free transfer and the Italy international has been linked with Barca, Manchester United and PSG. Mundo Deportivo says Barca consider Donnarumma a good market opportunity.

- Bild reports Florian Neuhaus will remain at Borussia Monchengladbach, despite interest from Bayern Munich.

Olivier Giroud will join Milan as a free agent from Chelsea, claims Calciomercato. Giroud is available after his contract was not renewed at Stamford Bridge.

- Lille's Christophe Galtier is the latest candidate to replace head coach Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, joining Maurizio Sarri, Andre Villas-Boas and Sinisa Mihajlovic, according to Tuttomercato. Inzaghi is poised to succeed Conte at Inter.

What does the future hold for Achraf Hakimi?

In his first season with Inter, the Morocco international claimed the Scudetto.

However, his time in Milan could already be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – HAKIMI TO PSG?

Paris Saint-Germain want to sign star Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Inter won the Serie A in 2020-21 but find themselves in a tough financial situation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with head coach Antonio Conte already opting to depart.

Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alessandro Bastoni could reportedly be sold to ease some of the economic pressure at San Siro.

PSG are believed to be interested, though Inter are demanding more than €60million for the 22-year-old, who only joined from Real Madrid at the start of the season.

Madrid have the right of first refusal and can match any offer for their former defender, while Bayern Munich and Chelsea have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are plotting a shock bid for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling. The England international found himself out of Pep Guardiola's starting XI at times in 2020-21. Madrid and Barca have been previously linked.

Paul Pogba remains a dream signing for Juventus, reports Calciomercato. Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez have emerged as targets for Juve, though the Bianconeri are still keen on Manchester United star Pogba, though Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul is an alternative.

- Romano says Barca are open to selling Philippe Coutinho, though Arsenal are not interested in the former Liverpool attacker.

Lionel Messi's contract extension is a priority for Barca before any new signings are made, according to the front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo. Barca have been tipped to bring in Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers. Gianluigi Donnarumma – another free agent option as his Milan contract expires – is also a possible recruit.

- According to Romano and widespread reports in Italy, Luciano Spalletti has agreed to replace Gennaro Gattuso as Napoli head coach.

David Alaba is eagerly awaiting his Real Madrid debut after swapping Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for Los Blancos.

Madrid – looking for a new head coach following Zinedine Zidane's departure – confirmed the arrival of Alaba on a free transfer upon the expiry of his Bayern contract, the Austria star signing a five-year deal at the LaLiga giants.

Following Friday's confirmation, Alaba took to social media to talk up his move from Munich to the Spanish capital after winning 27 trophies with Bayern.

"I leave one special club for another," the 28-year-old Austria international Alaba wrote via Twitter.

"After so many years in Munich, I'll take on this new challenge and do my best to continue the history of this special club.

"I can't wait to play my first game in this legendary white shirt, in front of all of you, the Real Madrid fans.

"I'm convinced that this experience will be full of success."

Alaba made his debut in a DFB-Pokal meeting with Greuther Furth in February 2010, becoming the club's youngest player in history at the time and setting up a goal for Franck Ribery within a minute of coming on.

The Austrian was 17 years, seven months and 18 days old when he made his debut, but Jamal Musiala is now Bayern's youngest debutant.

Alaba has gone on to make 448 appearances for the Bavarian giants, scoring 35 goals and supplying 47 assists in all competitions. 

He has won 27 trophies with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga title 10 times and winning the Champions League twice – both of those European successes forming part of trebles.  

David Alaba is to join Real Madrid on a free transfer upon the expiry of his Bayern Munich contract, Los Blancos have confirmed.

The versatile Austria defender announced back in February that this season would be his last at the Allianz Arena, having initially joined Die Roten's youth set-up in 2008.

LaLiga giants Madrid have now swooped to bring Alaba to the Santiago Bernabeu on a five-year deal, beating off a host of Europe's elite clubs for his signature.

Alaba made his debut in a DFB-Pokal meeting with Greuther Furth in February 2010, becoming the club's youngest player in history at the time and setting up a goal for Franck Ribery within a minute of coming on.

The Austrian was 17 years, seven months and 18 days old when he made his debut, but Jamal Musiala is now Bayern's youngest debutant.

Alaba has gone on to make 448 appearances for the Bavarian giants, scoring 35 goals and supplying 47 assists in all competitions. 

The 28-year-old has won 27 trophies with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga title 10 times and winning the Champions League twice – both of those European successes forming part of trebles.  

It remains to be seen whether Alaba, who will be presented as a Madrid player after the completion of his Euro 2021 campaign, will be playing alongside Sergio Ramos next season, or acting as a replacement for the veteran centre-back.

Ramos is out of contract next month, and has been left out of Spain's squad for Euro 2020.

David Alaba is to join Real Madrid on a free transfer upon the expiry of his Bayern Munich contract, Los Blancos have confirmed.

The versatile Austria defender announced back in February that this season would be his last at the Allianz Arena, having initially joined Die Roten's youth set-up in 2008.

LaLiga giants Madrid have now swooped to bring Alaba to the Santiago Bernabeu on a five-year deal, beating off a host of Europe's elite clubs for his signature.

Alaba made his debut in a DFB-Pokal meeting with Greuther Furth in February 2010, becoming the club's youngest player in history at the time and setting up a goal for Franck Ribery within a minute of coming on.

The Austrian was 17 years, seven months and 18 days old when he made his debut, but Jamal Musiala is now Bayern's youngest debutant.

Alaba has gone on to make 448 appearances for the Bavarian giants, scoring 35 goals and supplying 47 assists in all competitions. 

The 28-year-old has won 27 trophies with Bayern, lifting the Bundesliga title 10 times and winning the Champions League twice – both of those European successes forming part of trebles.  

It remains to be seen whether Alaba, who will be presented as a Madrid player after the completion of his Euro 2021 campaign, will be playing alongside Sergio Ramos next season, or acting as a replacement for the veteran centre-back.

Ramos is out of contract next month, and has been left out of Spain's squad for Euro 2020.

Is David de Gea's time at Manchester United coming to an end?

De Gea has spent a decade with the Red Devils but his form has been scrutinised in recent years.

A swap involving Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak could solve United's problems.

 

TOP STORY – DE GEA OUT, OBLAK IN?

Manchester United are lining up a swap deal involving star goalkeeper David de Gea and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak, according to The Sun.

De Gea's future has been uncertain since Dean Henderson signed a long-term contract extension at United, who remain uncertain about the pair.

Spain international De Gea joined United from Atletico in 2011 and the Red Devils are prepared to offer the LaLiga giants a reunion in exchange for star Oblak.

 

ROUND-UP

- TV3 reports Barcelona have offered Lionel Messi a new contract. Messi's current deal is due to expire on June 30 and the superstar captain has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Saul Niguez is adamant he wants to leave LaLiga champions Atletico and Juventus lead the race to sign the Spaniard, claims Marca. United – long-term admirers – Bayern Munich and PSG are also interested.

- PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, says the front page of Friday's Mundo Deportivo. Zidane has announced his departure. Former Inter boss Antonio Conte, Castilla coach and club great Raul and Xabi Alonso – currently in charge of Real Sociedad's reserve side – are also on the list. Pochettino has also been linked with a sensational return to Tottenham.

Barca have held talks regarding goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, according to Fabrizio Romano. Donnarumma's Milan contract is due to expire and his departure is already confirmed. After talking with agent Mino Raiola, Barca are set to decide whether to sign Donnarumma, who has also been linked with Juve and United.

- Premier League champions City are looking to smash their transfer record to bring in £100million-rated Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, reports the Daily Mail. City are also interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane – a target for rivals United, Chelsea, Madrid and Barca.

- The Telegraph says United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to sign a new three-year contract in Manchester. Solskjaer guided United to a second-placed finish in the Premier League, while the club were stunned by Villarreal in the Europa League final this season.

Barca are close to completing free transfers for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Lyon star Memphis Depay, according to Mundo Deportivo. Ronald Koeman's men are also eyeing City's free agent pair Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.

- FootMercato reports PSG have made an approach for star Milan full-back Theo Hernandez.

Chelsea and Tottenham both have strong interest in Borussia Monchengladbach attacker Jonas Hofmann, claims Sport1.

Bayern Munich have announced the signing of defender Omar Richards on a free transfer.

Richards moves to the Bundesliga champions from Reading, having made 42 appearances for the Championship club during the 2020-21 season.

The left-back, who represented England at under-21 level, has agreed a four-year deal that runs through until 2025.

"My move to Bayern is a great honour for me. A dream has come true," Richards told Bayern's official website.

"I'm proud to be wearing the shirt of one of the world's biggest clubs. I hope I can help the team continue to be successful in the future.

"My thanks to the management at Bayern for their trust. Our conversations were very convincing. I can't wait to be on the pitch for Bayern."

Bayern sporting director and board member Hasan Salihamidzic is delighted with the latest addition to the squad as the club prepare to begin life under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

They had already completed a deal to bring in Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig, strengthening a defensive unit no longer able to call upon David Alaba and Jerome Boateng.

"We're delighted Omar is coming to Bayern," Salihamidzic said.

"Omar is a technically gifted player on the left side of defence. He finds good solutions going forward, he's very alert and we trust him to play a good role in our team."

Richards made over a century of appearances for Reading after coming through their academy. The English club confirmed they did offer the 23-year-old a new contract, but he has instead opted to continue his career in the Bundesliga.

Erling Haaland has been named the Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2020-21, despite Robert Lewandowski's 41-goal campaign.

Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller's record of 40 league goals in a single campaign when he netted with the last kick of the game – and the season – in a 5-2 win over Augsburg on Saturday.

Muller, a Bayern Munich great, had achieved the feat during the 1971-72 season.

For a long period of Saturday's game at Allianz Arena, it appeared as though Lewandowski would fall agonisingly short of sitting out in front on his own.

 

In total he had 10 shots, six of which were on target, in a game that marked the last of Hansi Flick's tenure as Bayern head coach, but the Poland star finally got his goal at the final moment.

Yet this effort was not enough to warrant the Bundesliga's Player of the Season award going Lewandowski's way, with another of the league's outstanding goalscorers instead scooping it.

Haaland, who has been linked with a huge move this close season, netted 27 times in 28 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund. 

It saw him finish third in the scoring charts, behind Lewandowski and Eintracht Frankfurt's Andre Silva (28 goals in 32 appearances).

Haaland's tally did include the 20-year-old scoring two or more goals in 11 Bundesliga matches, with only Muller – also in the 1971-72 campaign – doing so on more occasions in a single season (12).

Whereas Lewandowski and Silva scored eight and seven penalties respectively, only two of Haaland's goals came from the spot.

His trusty left foot delivered 24 goals, and he scored two with his right. Surprisingly for a player with such height, only one goal came from Haaland's head, and all but one came from inside the area.

 

Haaland averaged a goal every 89 minutes, a total bettered by some distance by Lewandowski, who hit the net every 60 minutes – a remarkable feat nevertheless by the former Salzburg striker.

Overall, Haaland helped Dortmund to 17 victories as they qualified for the Champions League – Lewandowski helping Bayern to 20 while playing one game more than his Norwegian counterpart.

"An honour to be awarded with the Bundesliga Player of the Season! An achievement not just for me but for the whole BVB family," Haaland tweeted on Tuesday.

"We won this award together!"

Is the Gianluigi Donnarumma-Milan relationship coming to an end?

Donnarumma made his debut as a 16-year-old for Milan in 2015, however, the Italy international is reportedly close to making the move to Serie A rivals Juventus.

Step forward Mike Maignan…

 

TOP STORY – DONNARUMMA OUT, MAIGNAN IN?

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan is poised to undergo a medical with Milan as Gianluigi Donnarumma edges closer to a blockbuster Juventus switch, according to widespread reports.

Donnarumma is set to become a free agent and the Milan star is yet to re-sign with the Rossoneri, who qualified for the Champions League.

Gianluca Di Marzio reports Milan are no longer waiting on Donnarumma as they step up their pursuit of Maignan, who will arrive in Italy on Tuesday after helping Lille to Ligue 1 glory.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano says Massimiliano Allegri's priority is to take charge of Real Madrid, despite interest from former club Juve and Napoli in Serie A. Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane should he leave the Spanish capital. Despite securing a top-four finish, Andrea Pirlo is being tipped to leave Juve.

- There is set to be a coaching merry-go-round in Serie A this off-season. The front page of Tuesday's Corriere dello Sport says Porto boss Sergio Conceicao is favourite to succeed Gennaro Gattuso at Napoli, with the latter tipped to replace Simone Inzaghi at Lazio. Ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is the new first choice to join Fiorentina.

Inter must sell one star – Lautaro Martinez or Alessandro Bastoni – due to their financial situation, according to Corriere dello Sport. Martinez has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Bastoni has attracted interest from Liverpool and Manchester City. There is also speculation regarding the future of coach Antonio Conte and star Romelu Lukaku, who is reportedly wanted by Chelsea, Barca and Madrid.

- The Telegraph claims Manchester United are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, who has long been tipped to join the Red Devils. Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland is also wanted at Old Trafford, while Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a sensational return.

Tottenham are interested in re-hiring Mauricio Pochettino, reports the Independent. Pochettino is in charge of Paris Saint-Germain after replacing Thomas Tuchel in January but he was unable to oversee a successful title defence this season.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona are targeting Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer, says Sky Sports.

The domestic football season concluded at the weekend in typically dramatic fashion.

The title went down to the wire in France and Spain, while Champions League qualification was up for grabs for some big names in England and Italy.

Much of the focus during the closing rounds in Germany was on Robert Lewandowski's record bid, but there was no shortage of intrigue whichever way you looked.

It was in keeping with the rest of an unpredictable campaign, one that Stats Perform breaks down with the use of Opta data.
 

LILLE, LALIGA AND LUKAKU SHAKE THINGS UP

Lille, Atletico Madrid and Inter all have relatively recent history of league glory, but a pre-season wager would have fetched long odds.

In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain had won seven of the previous eight titles and would have expected to do so again, having claimed a domestic treble and reached the Champions League final in 2020.

As it was, under new coach Mauricio Pochettino, they had to settle for pushing Lille all the way.

Les Dogues claimed the title but had already set a club points record when they reached 79 with two games to spare. PSG finished on 82, though, meaning Lille desperately needed the final two results to boost their tally.

Despite the presence of Real Madrid and Barcelona in LaLiga, Atletico's triumph was perhaps more likely, even if the impressive nature of it may have come as a surprise.

Although they stuttered on the home stretch and had to come from behind on the last day to edge out Madrid, Atleti spent 30 matchdays at the top of the table – a mark only bettered once in their 10 other title-winning campaigns (36 matchdays in 1995-96).

Indeed, Atleti are used to having to wait to celebrate, with 10 of their 11 championships seeing the destination of the trophy decided on the final day (all except 1976-77).

Inter are another big name but had been waiting even longer than Lille for their most recent title, with one Milan victory and then nine in a row for Juventus since the 2009-10 Nerazzurri treble.

Antonio Conte's men completed the job in style, though, confirmed as champions with four games to play before finishing with 91 points (behind only their 2006-07 haul of 97) and 89 goals (third-most behind the classes of 1949-50 and 1950-51 – 99 and 107 respectively).

Talisman Romelu Lukaku was involved in 35 of them, becoming the first Serie A player to have at least 20 goals and 10 assists in the same season since at least 2004-05.


BAYERN BACK ON TOP, CITY SCALING NEW HEIGHTS

In Germany, the title race was a little less exciting. Winners of everything in 2020, Bayern Munich took home the Bundesliga crown for a ninth successive season.

Prior to this run, no team had won more than three on the bounce, yet there appears no end to Bayern's dominance in sight. They have now won 52 per cent of the championships since the formation of the competition in 1963.

Julian Nagelsmann, arriving from RB Leipzig, will be the coach tasked with achieving 10 in a row and Hansi Flick has set the bar high. His 86 games brought seven trophies.

Manchester City could soon be reflecting on a similarly dominant dynasty having now claimed three titles in four seasons.

Pep Guardiola played a big part in Bayern's run and now has nine league wins in 12 top-flight seasons as a coach, although this was an unprecedented achievement, with City eighth on Christmas Day – the lowest position at that stage for an eventual Premier League champion.

A record English league run of 12 away victories played a pivotal role in City's season, while defending champions Liverpool saw a club-record 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League ended as they subsequently lost six consecutive league matches at Anfield for the first time in their history.

City could yet win the Champions League too, where Sergio Aguero is in line for his final appearance before his contract expires. He will hope it is as successful as his last league outing, during which he scored twice against Everton on Sunday to set a new record for the most Premier League goals by a player for one club (184).
 

RECORD-BREAKING LEWY DELAYS NEXT GENERATION

Aguero might have had his say on the final day, once the title was secure, but he largely took a backseat – unlike Lewandowski at Bayern.

His 41 Bundesliga goals broke Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 40 in a single season. The next-best tally in Europe's top five leagues in 2020-21 saw Lionel Messi trailing well behind on 30.

Lewandowski unsurprisingly also led Europe in expected goals, with his chances worth 32.2 xG, and expected goals on target, producing shots with a value of 35.8 xGOT.

As Lewandowski took the Kicker-Torjagerkanone and Messi went away with the Pichichi, Cristiano Ronaldo (29 goals) won the Capocannoniere, having also previously topped the charts in England and Spain.

Kylian Mbappe (27) was the leading marksman in France, while Harry Kane (23) earned the Premier League Golden Boot for a third time.

Kane is set to be the subject of intense transfer speculation throughout the close-season – replacing Aguero at City might be one option if he gets his wish to leave Spurs – and he will join Mbappe and Erling Haaland in that regard.

Haaland also scored 27 league goals and only just trailed Mbappe's seven assists with his six.

The expectation is both players will establish themselves as the world's best in the coming seasons, but it is now Lewandowski, rather than Messi and Ronaldo, they must surpass.

Ronald Koeman's first season in charge at Barcelona was less than convincing, creating doubts about his future.

Koeman guided Barcelona to third place in La Liga in 2020-21, as well as lifting the Copa del Rey, but they bowed out of the Champions League in the last 16.

It was a season of change at Barcelona, with Joan Laporta taking over as president in March and recently stating they will undergo an off-season "renovation" and that their "cycle has ended".

 

TOP STORY - KOEMAN SET FOR BARCA SHOWDOWN TALKS

Ronald Koeman will sit down with Barcelona president Joan Laporta this week for showdown talks about his future, claims Diario Sport.

Koeman was appointed by previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu on a two-year deal in August last year.

Laporta will also likely inform the Dutchman to sell up to 10 players to fund their off-season transfer plans.

Barcelona have been linked with a host of players including Sergio Aguero, Erling Haaland and Georginio Wijnaldum this off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims that David Alaba will join Real Madrid irrespective of Zinedine Zidane's future. Alaba has completed and agreed to a pre-contract.

- Le10Sport claims Paris Saint-Germain are shaping as the favourites to sign Liverpool's off-contract midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum rather than Barcelona who are yet to make an offer for the Dutchman.

- Barcelona are weighing up an off-season move for Atalanta's German versatile full-back Robin Gosens, claims Diario Sport.

Milan will look to secure Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea on a permanent deal, with a €28million option to buy him, claims Fabrizio Romano.

- Arsenal have opted out of the race for Brighton's Yves Bissouma, boosting Liverpool's hopes of signing him reports The Mail.

- Leicester City are in the hunt for Sassuolo midfielder Jeremie Boga, joining the race along with Atalanta and Napoli, according to Calciomercato.

David Alaba admitted leaving Bayern Munich would be "one of the hardest steps" of his life after playing his final game for the German champions.

The Austrian defender appears likely to join Real Madrid in the coming weeks, having run down his contract at Bayern.

Alaba, 28, joined Bayern in 2008 and rose through the youth ranks to become a mainstay of the first team, winning a staggering 10 Bundesliga titles and the Champions League twice.

He announced in February that he would be departing at the end of the season, and the reality of that decision has now dawned for Alaba.

The versatile player, who can perform at left-back and centre-back and has also featured in a defensive midfield role for Bayern, broke down in tears recently when watching a series of video messages prepared for him.

He posted a farewell note on Instagram, having wrapped up his Bayern career by helping the team to a 5-2 win over Augsburg on Saturday. Alaba, Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng all featured for the final time.

Alaba's note on Sunday read: "My friends, my home, my love, all my pride. 13 years full of emotions, hard work, dedication, big moments, outstanding memories and love for the FC Bayern family.

"A time that taught me important lessons, that strengthened me and that made me the person who I am now. Season after season I learned what #MiaSanMia meant."

The club motto translates as "We are who we are", and is held in great reverence at Bayern.

"And every game I gave my best to show that. For you," Alaba added. "I will never forget, how we fought together on the pitch, celebrated our titles off the pitch and I will never forget how you, our fans, pushed and motivated us."

Alaba made 298 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, scoring 24 goals and having 25 assists.

He helped the team keep 111 clean sheets across those games, did not receive a single red card in the league, and made only two errors leading to goals in the competition, according to Opta data.

Bayern team-mate Thomas Muller is the only other player in Bundesliga history to have won 10 titles, and Bayern have counted on Alaba as their Mr Dependable, the club stating he never served a suspension for accrued yellow cards in the league.

"I am glad and thankful that I could start here as a young boy with lots of dreams and that I could make these dreams reality," Alaba said. "Coming to Munich, joining FC Bayern was one of the best decisions in my life. Leaving this club and this city will be one of the hardest steps of my life.

"One thing for sure: I will never forget this time. @fcbayern"

 

Hansi Flick said record-breaker Robert Lewandowski's achievements illustrated the quality of his Bayern Munich team-mates, as the coach reflected on an emotional final game in charge.

Lewandowski scored with the last touch of the game in Saturday's 5-2 win over Augsburg in the champions' Bundesliga finale.

It gave the prolific Pole a 41st league goal of the season, meaning he surpassed fellow Bayern legend Gerd Muller for the most goals scored in a single Bundesliga campaign.

Lewandowski had endured a frustrating outing to that point but celebrated with an emotional embrace with Flick.

Speaking after the game, Lewandowski was keen to pay tribute to his fellow Bayern stars, a sentiment shared by Flick.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Flick said: "We win together, that's the focus. With the quality that each and every one of them has, Lewy naturally benefits from it.

"I'm happy for Lewy. I said to Tapa [assistant coach Toni Tapalovic] that it won't be anything today. But that's the class of a goalscorer that he then scores."

Flick stepped up to the head coach role, initially on an interim basis, in November 2019 following the departure of Niko Kovac.

Under his stewardship, Bayern have won seven major trophies including a memorable treble in the 2019-20 campaign.

Flick now appears certain to replace Joachim Low as Germany boss after the rescheduled Euro 2020, but for now he wants to focus on celebrating Bayern's ninth straight top-flight title.

"The team has grown very dear to my heart, that's a benchmark for me. I am very, very proud. It was a very, very great pleasure for me to coach this team," Flick said.

"Two years ago I was on vacation with my brothers, then after the cup final there was a call from Niko Kovac. Then you know how the story went on.

"I don't know yet [on the Germany role]. Today I want to enjoy the championship first. I have been a big Bayern fan since I was a kid.

"It's such a shame that there weren't many fans for me as Bayern coach."

It was not just Flick saying farewell to Bayern against Augsburg. Modern-day legends David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez all played their last game for the club.

Asked about the emotions of the day, Flick replied: "When Jerome and David come out, that's a special moment."

Robert Lewandowski was almost left lost for words after breaking Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record for goals in a single season and says it is too soon to judge where the achievement ranks in his lengthy list of accomplishments.

Prolific Pole Lewandowski had equalled Muller's previous benchmark of 40 set back in the 1971-72 season with a penalty in a 2-2 draw against Freiburg last week.

In Saturday's season finale against Augsburg, it looked as though Lewandowski was going to fall frustratingly short of outright history having been thwarted on several occasions by visiting goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz.

However, there was one last dramatic twist when Gikiewicz failed to hold a Leroy Sane strike, and Lewandowski pounced to round the keeper and slot home his 41st league goal of the campaign to seal a 5-2 win for the champions.

In scenes of pure jubilation, Lewandowski whipped off his shirt and then had a warm embrace with departing head coach Hansi Flick.

"I have no words. I tried to score for 90 minutes, I tried everything – and it fell in the 90th minute. I am very, very happy," Lewandowski told Sky Germany.

"I saw that Leroy had shot, then I just speculated. I wanted to score earlier, of course, but I knew that the situation would come at some point. I also thank my team-mates for trying everything."

Asked if the record and surpassing a legend like Muller was the greatest achievement in his career, Lewandowski replied: "It was a special moment, it was historic. 

"But I can't even classify it so soon after the game."

In total, Lewandowski had 10 shots, six of which were on target, but it was the crucial moment with the last kick of the game that proved crucial.

"I wasn't angry, but I was disappointed. I asked myself why the goal didn't work out today," he said.

"Thanks again to my team, they are also on my record."

Robert Lewandowski has broken Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record for goals scored in a single season with his 41st top-flight goal of the campaign in Bayern Munich's win over Augsburg.

Fellow Die Roten legend Muller celebrated 40 goals across the 1971-72 campaign.

But his benchmark has finally been surpassed by the brilliant Lewandowski, who had matched Muller with a penalty last weekend in a 2-2 draw at Freiburg.

Lewandowski's record-breaking moment arrived late on in the 5-2 victory at home to Augsburg, getting the last goal of the game.

 

For a long period of the game, it appeared as though Lewandowski would fall agonisingly short of sitting out in front on his own.

In total he had 10 shots, six of which were on target, in a game that marked the last of Hansi Flick's tenure as Bayern head coach.

But finally, with the last kick of the game, Lewandowski's moment arrived. The prolific Pole reacted fastest when Rafal Gikiewicz could only parry Leroy Sane's effort, and the striker picked up the ball, rounded the keeper and slotted into an unguarded goal.

Lewandowski removed his shirt in joy then shared an emotional embrace with Flick to celebrate a momentous goal.

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