Bayern Munich have reportedly made a first move for RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, but prising him away could prove an expensive operation.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern, who stand on the brink of a ninth successive title, are set to lose head coach Hansi Flick at the end of the season after he asked to be released from his contract.

While Flick is seen as a possible successor to Joachim Low with the Germany national team, the 33-year-old Nagelsmann is considered one of Europe's best young coaches.

His name has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Tottenham and many others at various times, but Bayern have also kept a close eye.

Bayern are said to be chasing a fee for the release of Flick to the German Football Federation (DFB), while it has been reported that Leipzig want up to €30million to free up Nagelsmann.

Bavarian newspaper TZ puts the fee being sought in the region of €20million, while Sport1 suggests the higher sum was quoted by Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff after an initial approach from Bayern.

Nagelsmann's contract with Leipzig, who sit second in the Bundesliga, runs until the end of the 2022-23 season.

The former Hoffenheim coach joined Leipzig in 2019 and helped the team reach the semi-finals of last season's Champions League, the competition that Bayern won to complete a famous treble under Flick.

Nagelsmann has yet to declare his wishes amid the discussions about his future.

Former Bayern and Germany star Lothar Matthaus recently suggested Nagelsmann was a shoo-in for the Allianz Arena job.

Nagelsmann has won 53, drawn 21 and lost 16 of his 90 matches in charge of Leipzig.

Speaking on April 18, he said there had been no talks with Bayern.

"There is simply nothing I can report," Nagelsmann told a media conference on that day. "I think it's totally wrong to then sit down and say what if, and maybe get yourself talked about somewhere and make yourself important on things that aren't there.

"I can't sit down and say, I'm going to break up with Lena Gercke [German model] tomorrow, because I've never dated her, for example.

"I'm sorry to say that there are no new developments compared to the last press conference. The same things apply that I said there.

"There are and were no discussions and no offer. That's why I don't know what Bayern's wish is. I have said I don't want to start a war with my employers - that's still the case."

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the club are working closely with Hansi Flick to "find a solution" after the head coach announced his intention to leave.

Flick revealed in a television interview after last week's win at Wolfsburg that he has asked the Bavarian giants to cancel his contract, which runs until 2023, at the end of the season.

Bayern's board subsequently voiced its disapproval at Flick for the timing of his comments, with a ninth successive Bundesliga title still not yet officially wrapped up.

However, amid talk of a possible stand-off between the two parties, Rummenigge hopes an agreement can be reached before Bayern's next game against Borussia Monchengladbach on May 8.

"We have agreed that we would sit down after the game in Mainz," he told Bild. 

"If we are to meet Hansi's request, all parties have to work together to find a solution that FC Bayern is also happy with."

Flick has been strongly linked with the Germany job, which will become vacant when long-serving boss Joachim Low steps down after this year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

The 56-year-old last week declared that succeeding Low is "an option" he is considering, but no talks have been held with German Football Association (DFB) officials.

Asked if he has given any extra thought to his future plans ahead of Bayern's 2-1 loss to Mainz on Saturday, which delayed his side's title celebrations, Flick told Sky Sport: "I can't say.

"I don't know what the next week looks like. As coaches, we only have a rough plan for what we want to do for the next week, the next 14 days."

Meanwhile, Rummenigge reiterated that Bayern would never consider forming part of a breakaway division following the furore surrounding the European Super League fiasco.

Twelve clubs from England, Italy and Spain signed up to the league, but the plans are now in tatters - despite the best efforts of Florentino Perez and Andrea Agnelli - after the majority of those teams withdrew their support 48 hours later.

"Bayern are not up for such an event," Rummenigge said. "We all have a clear stance here. You cannot separate yourself from the football family by organising your own event at the expense of others.

"In the end, it might even have been a good thing that we saw this whole circus fall through within 48 hours, which put the whole world in an uproar. 

"People have understood forever that football is something different than just business."

Hansi Flick admitted his Bayern Munich team were tired and ripe to be punished after a 2-1 defeat at Mainz delayed title celebrations.

Chasing the win that would have clinched a ninth successive Bundesliga title, Bayern gave a lethargic display and a last-gasp goal from Robert Lewandowski was as much as they deserved.

Mainz seized advantage as the one-time strugglers took their points tally to 28 from 16 games under new head coach Bo Svensson, soaring five points clear of the relegation zone.

Bayern boss Flick said: "We all know that just as the team has often shown its quality, something like that can happen. It's a shame we couldn't take the step today.

"But you have to understand that the team is tired. We were too harmless.

"We want to win every game, that was also the case today. We didn't perform well, you have to accept that.

"The team have many minutes in their legs. We just weren't strong enough."

First-half goals from Jonathan Burkardt and Robin Quaison put Bayern in a tangle, and the stoppage-time reply from Lewandowski, returning from injury, came too late to spark anything more.

Lewandowski now has 36 goals for the season, meaning he trails Gerd Muller's Bundesliga record by four with three rounds of games remaining.

His goal in Saturday's game was a gift rather than the result of any great personal endeavour, with a poor defensive header leaving Lewandowski the task of stroking the ball past cruelly exposed goalkeeper Robin Zentner.

Bayern slipped to a first Bundesliga defeat at Mainz since 2011, having won all eight of their away games against the 05ers since that 3-2 loss a decade ago.

Manuel Neuer was unusually at fault for the third-minute opening goal, getting in the way of the powerful shot from Burkardt but only being able to divert it into the corner of his net.

"I wasn't blinded by the sun," said Neuer, according to TZ.

"The ball was close to [David] Alaba, I couldn't see it well. I tried to put my arm up, I was unlucky."

Bayern have been hit by a Champions League quarter-final exit, the announcement from Flick that he wants to be released from his contract at the end of the season, and criticism from fans aimed at Hasan Salihamidzic.

That may have been a contributing factor to Saturday's below-par effort, but Neuer pointed to Mainz's qualities.

"We weren't surprised," said the goalkeeper. "It was clear that they went into the game with a high level of motivation. Our body language was bad."

Bayern could still be crowned champions this weekend, but RB Leipzig would need to lose to Stuttgart on Sunday.

"I would have preferred to have got it done ourselves," said Neuer. "The defeat hits us hard after the last few weeks."

Bayern Munich came looking for a title party and were served with a cold dose of reality as survival scrappers Mainz earned a stunning 2-1 win over the Bundesliga leaders.

First-half goals from Jonathan Burkardt and Robin Quaison put in-form Mainz in charge, and a leggy Bayern side - who would have been crowned champions with a victory - lacked the zip in their game to overturn that deficit.

Manuel Neuer was at fault for the opener, but also produced some big saves to keep Bayern in touch with their impressive hosts, who have been the most-improved team in the league in the second half of the season.

When Quaison headed the second, he showed the aerial threat that was rarely seen from Bayern's fit-again talisman Robert Lewandowski in this game. Lewandowski snatched a last-gasp consolation after a defensive clanger, but it came too late to be significant.

Burkardt stunned Bayern in the third minute when he was left unattended on the edge of the penalty area and fired a thumping shot that Neuer could only help into the left corner.

Bayern had Lewandowski back in their ranks after a knee injury absence, but before the Polish striker could show any threat they were almost two goals behind, Neuer producing a fine save at full stretch to touch a 20-yard header from Danny Latza against the left post.

Lewandowski fired waywardly from his first chance before Neuer again prevented Bayern slipping two goals behind, Quaison turning Jerome Boateng far too easily and hitting the target with a thumping shot that bounced away off the well-placed goalkeeper.

Bo Svensson's Mainz side, having won four and drawn two of their previous six games to surge out of the relegation zone, doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Quaison headed past Neuer after Philipp Mwene's free-kick from the left proved a perfect, teasing delivery.

Hansi Flick's reaction was to bring on three substitutes at the start of the second half, hauling off Leon Goretzka, who was perhaps fortunate to avoid a first-half red card, plus Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane, and introducing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Jamal Musiala and Tanguy Nianzou.

A stray arm from Lewandowski caught Mainz midfielder Leandro Barreiro in the face, drawing blood, but it appeared accidental. It was nevertheless not the impact Bayern were looking for from their star striker.

Bayern trailed 2-0 in the first meeting of these sides this season but recovered to win 5-2; however, until Lewandowski's stoppage-time strike, their second-half goal threat in this game was limited to half-chances that the likes of Choupo-Moting and Joshua Kimmich could not convert.

Bayern Munich will try to help Robert Lewandowski make Bundesliga history but securing the title is the top priority, says Hansi Flick.

Lewandowski returned to full training this week after suffering knee ligament damage while away on international duty with Poland last month.

The striker missed both legs of Bayern's Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain as the defending champions were knocked out on away goals, while an extended absence hampered his chances of surpassing Gerd Muller's record tally of 40 league goals, achieved back in the 1971-72 season.

Sitting on 35 with just four games remaining, the 32-year-old is set to make his comeback when Flick's table-topping side visit Mainz on Saturday.

A win on the road will secure a ninth successive league crown and while Lewandowski is also so close to achieving personal glory, the team still comes first for Flick.

"I think we all agree that's his major goal," the Bayern boss told a news conference on Friday.

"He's going to be part of the squad, Leon Goretzka is going to be part of the squad, Serge Gnabry is probably going to be part of the squad. The squad is slowly but surely filling up again – we are returning to normal, which is good of course.

"It's important for us to win the championship - we want to do that as quickly as possible."

On Lewandowski's impending return, he added: "Don't forget that he was out for four weeks.

"He's in very good shape, he showed that in training, but we have to wait and see how he handles the training sessions and the comeback attempt, how his body reacts.

"Of course we will all try to support him, but first of all our focus and priority is the success of the team and the club."

Lewandowski was badly missed as Bayern scored just three goals from 45 shots and eight 'big chances' against PSG. In the 3-2 home defeat in the first leg, the German club's tally of 31 attempts were worth 3.8 expected goals (xG).

Out of Europe, the Bundesliga is the solitary focus for Flick and his squad - but the outgoing head coach expects in-form Mainz to make it difficult to get over the line.

"It's definitely a very deserved championship," he said. "We hope we can win it in Mainz, but we know that they are in really good shape, unbeaten in six games – four wins and two draws – and against some teams who are at the top as well.

"They are a team who are aggressive in defence and very compact. When they win possession, they transition very quickly. These are the things we have to be wary of."

Bayern fought back to record a 5-2 win against Mainz in the reverse fixture, making it the first time since 1988 - and just the fourth occasion overall - that the Bavarians had come back to triumph after being at least two goals down at half-time in the league.

Hansi Flick has spoken out in support of Hasan Salihamidzic after the Bayern Munich sporting director's family were targets for online abuse, with the outgoing head coach making clear the issues between the pair were never personal.

Both Salihamidzic's wife and son, who plays for the Bundesliga club's under-19 side, posted Instagram messages calling for the personal attacks to stop being sent to family members.

Flick made clear such actions are unacceptable during his media conference on Friday, insisting there are more important things in life than football.

The Bayern boss stated that while the pair have had differing opinions on certain topics, Salihamidzic has still played a crucial role in a hugely successful spell working together.

Victory at Mainz on Saturday would secure a ninth successive league title, making it seven major trophies since Flick's appointment.

"What we are experiencing is a no-go situation. There are lines, borders, that are being over-stepped," Flick said of the online comments sent to members of the Salihamidzic family.

"The history between me and Hasan was never personal. If you look at the press conferences, it was always about the path we were on together. I like working more on being successful than the success at the end.

"In two years we can now win a seventh title – I don't think a lot of people have achieved that. He contributed to that greatly, of course. Not many people in the history of Bayern can say they have won seven titles in two years – and in future that is not going to happen every other year either.

"It's important to focus on the path we went down together. We have a different approach, a different attitude. There are certain topics we have different opinions about, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate each other personally.

"Each one of us here would want to protect our family. It's a no-go situation [to involve them] and I empathise with him. We have to be really, really careful these things don't become normal.

"This is about football. Of course football is important, but it's not the most important thing in life. Family is more important than football. Health is more important than football.

"These things should never be part of the game. With everything that has gone in with Hasan and me, this is something that I find awful. It's totally unacceptable."

Bayern president Herbert Hainer had condemned the attacks towards Salihamidzic and his family in a statement released by the club on Wednesday.

"FC Bayern stands united and emphatically against hostility towards Hasan Salihamidzic," Hainer said.

"Objective criticism is, of course, always permissible. However, we condemn personal attacks and agitation in the strongest possible terms. There is no place in the slightest for that at FC Bayern."

Germany's Bundesliga teams will be forced to enter 'quarantine training camps' next month in a move designed to ensure the season ends before Euro 2020.

The drastic step was announced by the German football league (DFL) on Thursday and will begin on May 3 with an initial soft quarantine as players, coaches and team officials are ordered to only leave their homes to visit club training facilities or to take part in a matchday.

A harder quarantine will follow from May 12 as the same groups are ordered to stay in locked-down team camps away from their families when not involved in games, with that period ending after the final matches of the season take place on the weekend of May 22-23. It means teams must provide accommodation and living quarters for players and core team staff over that period.

The new rules will apply to all 18 clubs in the Bundesliga and also those that make up the 2. Bundesliga, with the DFL declaring it had told clubs in March that this step was under consideration.

Hertha Berlin players were ordered to isolate last week in a move that has seen three of their Bundesliga games postponed, while the second division of the league has also been hit by call-offs due to COVID-19 cases, complicating the task of finishing the season on time.

Any further cases in the closing weeks of the campaign could cause fixture backlogs that may prove insurmountable before the Euros. Relegation play-offs follow the Bundesliga regular season, and Euro 2020 begins on June 11.

The DFL said in a statement: "Two steps are planned: firstly, the group of persons included in the regular PCR testing programme, comprising the professional team, coaching team and team officials, must stay solely in their home environment or on the training premises/in the stadium ['quasi quarantine'] from Monday, 3 May.

"This is intended to reduce contact and further minimise the infection risk and was successfully implemented in the final phase of last season after the resumption of match operations.

"In the next step, from Wednesday, 12 May, the corresponding group of persons at all 36 clubs will enter a 'quarantine training camp', having undergone a PCR test with a negative result no more than 24 hours beforehand. The 'quarantine training camp' is compulsory until the end of the final match of the respective club on matchday 34 [22/23 May]. Consequently, the last two matchdays of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 according to the fixture list fall within this specific period.

"The purpose of the 'quarantine training camps' is to provide extra safeguards for the staging of matches, particularly in view of the time pressure caused by UEFA EURO, which follows the regular season.

"It is the clubs' responsibility to ensure that players, coaches and training staff come into contact with no one but each other during the stated period."

Bayern Munich, who said they welcomed the quarantine plan, look set to wrap up the Bundesliga title before their players are forced to collectively isolate. Victory over Mainz on Saturday would guarantee a ninth successive championship for the Bavarians.

Real Madrid would be a worthy next step for David Alaba to take when he leaves Bayern Munich, according to team-mate Joshua Kimmich.

Alaba announced in February that he will leave the Bavarian giants at the end of the season, bringing an end to a 13-year association with the club.

Reports in Germany suggest the 28-year-old has already reached an agreement to join Madrid on a deal that runs through until the end of 2025-26.

While official confirmation of a move has yet to be made, Kimmich has endorsed the proposed transfer.

"He has won everything here, even multiple times," Kimmich told Sky Sport. "Twice the triple, once even six titles in one year. Real is in any case a worthy club. 

"There aren't many steps you can take after playing for Bayern but Real Madrid isn't that bad as the next step."

Alaba has made 427 appearances for Bayern since making his senior debut in February 2010, scoring 33 goals and setting up another 45 in all competitions.

The Austria international is not the only high-profile figure set to leave the Allianz Arena at the end of the season, with fellow defender Jerome Boateng also on his way out.

Head coach Hansi Flick last week announced his desire to leave at the end of 2020-21, meanwhile, having been strongly linked with the soon-to-be-vacant Germany job.

Kimmich, capped 53 times by Die Mannschaft, would welcome to appointment of Flick as his national team boss.

"If things go as they seem, I hope he takes charge of the national team afterwards," he said.

Bayern are 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with four games to go after beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 on Tuesday.

Robert Lewandowski has returned to full Bayern Munich training after recovering from knee ligament damage.

Bayern's superstar striker has not played since Poland's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on March 28.

But after nearly a month out, the club confirmed on Wednesday Lewandowski "completed the majority of full training", with coach Hansi Flick optimistic he could feature at Mainz on Saturday.

Bayern also had Serge Gnabry, returning from coronavirus, and Corentin Tolisso, out since February with a thigh injury, back in light training.

The defending Bundesliga champions can clinch another title this weekend and would be delighted to welcome back Lewandowski.

Despite missing several weeks, the 32-year-old still leads all players in Europe's 'top five' leagues in goals (42) and goal involvements (50) in all competitions.

Lewandowski has scored with 28.8 per cent of his shots across 36 matches, although he has also missed 25 Opta-defined 'big chances'. Only Duvan Zapata (29) and Cristiano Ronaldo (27) have squandered more, though this is likely down to the sheer number of chances that come their way.

Of his goals, 35 have come in the Bundesliga, putting Lewandowski just five shy of Gerd Muller's 1971-72 record of 40, albeit now with only four games remaining.

The domestic competition will be Lewandowski's sole focus after Bayern exited the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain on away goals in his absence.

Lewandowski was badly missed as Bayern scored just three goals from 45 shots and eight 'big chances' over the two legs. In the 3-2 home defeat, their 31 attempts were worth 3.8 expected goals, meaning they should have netted roughly twice as many they did.

Not since Galatasaray lost 4-1 to Arsenal in December 2014 despite 32 efforts had a team been beaten while attempting 30 shots or more in a Champions League game that did not go to extra time.

Back-up Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored home and away against his former club, however, and had four goals in six games while Lewandowski was out.

Only Gerard Moreno (six), Kylian Mbappe and Memphis Depay (both five) in the 'top five' leagues netted more in all competitions over this period.

Jose Mourinho has been out of work less than 48 hours but speculation of his next job is already mounting.

The Portuguese has already declared he is "ready to go again", despite a sizeable pay-out from Tottenham.

Tottenham sacked Mourinho on Monday with Spurs sitting seventh in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO ENTERS CELTIC COACHING RACE

Mourinho is in the mix to be the new coach of Scottish powerhouse Celtic according to The Sun.

Former Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe is the favourite to be appointed Neil Lennon's replacement at Celtic Park.

But 'The Special One' is in contention, despite his hefty wage demands and line of suitors.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich's David Alaba has agreed a five-year deal with Real Madrid with the contract to be signed in the coming weeks according to Sky Sports.

- Departing Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been offered a two-year contract by Barcelona according to TyC Sports.

- Football Insider reports Aston Villa may enter the race for Jesse Lingard who has enjoyed a super loan spell at West Ham United from Manchester United.

- Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is wanted by Spanish LaLiga club Real Betis claims The Sun.

- Julian Draxler is ready to leave PSG with a return to his homeland to join Bayern Munich his preference reports Foot Mercato.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick refused to be drawn on the stand-off between him and the club after their 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen edged them closer to the Bundesliga title.

Flick declared after Saturday's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg that he intends to leave Bayern at the end of this season and has requested for his contract, which runs until 2023, to be terminated.

The 56-year-old has been heavily linked with the Germany national team coaching role as Joachim Low's successor but Bayern have made it clear they will not let him leave without a fee, causing a stand-off.

Bayern's win over Leverkusen on Tuesday moved them within one victory of the 2020-21 Bundesliga title but Flick's future was a hot topic post-game.

"I'm not really thinking about it," Flick said when asked how he will handle talks with the Bayern directors.

"I'm not thinking that far [ahead]. You've been part of the press conferences for a while, you know I never look back or forward further than the next game.

"The next game will be Mainz. I really enjoy when the team performs like today. That's what the coach is here for."

Flick also refused to accept any congratulations despite Bayern all but being champions, with a 10-point buffer from second-placed RB Leipzig with four games to play.

"I told my team before the game that we can make a huge step in the right direction today and that's what we did," Flick said.

"We have another huge game on Saturday at Mainz. We don’t have any points to give away so we also want to win there and after that you can say congratulations."

Eric Choupo-Moting has scored three goals in three games in Robert Lewandowski's absence but Flick indicated the Poland forward has a strong chance to return against Mainz following a knee injury.

"Honestly Robert really was practicing well today," he said. "We're happy he's probably able to come back earlier. He's absolutely an option for Saturday."

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern Munich a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen and put them on the brink of a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title.

RB Leipzig's shock 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Cologne earlier on Tuesday gave Hansi Flick's side the opportunity to go 10 points clear with four matches remaining.

They did so with the minimum of fuss after Choupo-Moting – again deputising for the injury Robert Lewandowski – opened the scoring in the seventh minute.

A superb second from Kimmich made a response from Leverkusen deeply unlikely, as their struggles during the second half of this season were again laid bare at the Allianz Arena. Hannes Wolf's side are seven points behind four-placed Wolfsburg having played a game more.

Former Schalke and Stoke City forward Choupo-Moting has been much maligned during his stints at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern, but the striker now has four goals in his past five appearances and smashed home from close range via a deflection off Sven Bender after Thomas Muller's effort was saved.

Once again, Kimmich oozed class in midfield and Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky had no chance when the Germany international let fly form the edge of the box in the 13th minute.

Patrik Schick darted in behind Bayern's high line but could only entertain Manuel Neuer with a routine save, while Hradecky fumbled at the other end when Kimmich tried his luck again.

Leverkusen's number one sharply denied David Alaba before the break but Choupo-Moting rolled a clever finish past him in the 65th minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Leroy Sane, introduced from the bench with a point to prove, lashed over with 20 minutes remaining.

Another flying winger, Leon Bailey, almost helped to bring Leverkusen back into the contest when his cross was hit into the turf and against the crossbar by substitute Karim Bellarabi.

That prompted something approaching a rally from the visitors, although not one to sufficiently discomfort Bayern as they cantered towards the finish line and another domestic title.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin thanked the club officials who have stood by Champions League reform proposals on Tuesday.

Ceferin was speaking at the UEFA Congress the day after criticising those involved in the breakaway European Super League in emotional comments.

Plans for a new rival competition, widely deemed anti-competitive, were announced at the weekend by 12 clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.

They face a backlash from many throughout the world of football, including UEFA and president Ceferin.

But on Tuesday, Ceferin preferred to focus on those who have not at this stage signed up for the Super League as UEFA tries to push through its own new competition format.

Reigning European champions Bayern Munich have released a statement in opposition to the Super League, while last season's beaten Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain - chasing their first title again in this year's competition - are also not involved.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will replace Agnelli as one of the European Club Association's (ECA) representatives on the UEFA executive committee.

And Ceferin picked out Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the PSG president present at the event in Switzerland, for praise.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Nasser," Ceferin said in his opening statement. "You have shown that you are a great man and that you respect football and its values.

"I also thank Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a fantastic president for the ECA, and [Lyon's] Jean-Michel Aulas, who came here today.

"But also Jose [Castro] from Sevilla, with whom I had a very reassuring discussion yesterday evening and with whom we share the same vision of football. Thank you."

United chief executive Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli had been the subject of particularly scathing comments from Ceferin on Monday.

He spoke of "snakes" and said: "I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer. I have never seen people like that."

The European Club Association (ECA) has condemned the proposed Super League while announcing a new executive committee including representatives from Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

A 12-team group including some of European football's biggest names confirmed plans for a breakaway competition on Sunday, with those founding members guaranteed to be involved every year regardless of their domestic performances.

The competition has received widespread criticism from governing bodies, former players and fan groups alike.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin branded the European Super League as a "disgraceful, self-serving proposal" fuelled by greed, as well as confirming players from the clubs involved will be banned from playing international football.

After a meeting of its executive board on Monday, the ECA made clear it remains the only "legitimate and fully recognised voice" for Europe's leading teams.

"The board was unanimous in its condemnation of the actions of the departing members, which it holds to be self-serving and to the detriment of the game's wellbeing and in clear opposition to ECA's values," a statement read.

"We believe that European club football can be reformed from within the system to achieve the collective best interests of all stakeholders in the game.

"The board reiterated ECA's clear position as the only legitimate and fully recognised voice of the leading clubs in Europe and, as such, has taken a number of decisions to ensure that it is able to continue to perform its role efficiently and effectively."

The ECA also announced PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi will be involved on a new-look executive committee, as well as Bayern representative Michael Gerlinger. Neither of the clubs were involved in the European Super League.

They will be joined by Edwin van der Sar (Ajax), Dariusz Mioduski (Legia Warszawa), Aki Riihilahti (HJK Helsinki) and Michele Centenaro (the ECA's independent board member).

Meanwhile, UEFA announced plans for Champions League expansion on Monday, the tournament set to see an increase to 36 teams from the 2024-25 season onwards.

"We are pleased that UEFA club competitions reform has reached this important milestone," the ECA said on the structural changes to the competition. 

"The agreement of new competition formats will create a greater number of high quality, relevant, exciting European matches for fans and increase participation for clubs at all levels - principles and targets that ECA laid out back in the Spring of 2019 when we embarked on this reform journey. 

"Moving forward, the entire ECA executive board's focus will be on pursuing efforts to conclude arrangements with UEFA around its renewed relationship post-2024 as we look to shape European club football for the years ahead."

Bayern CEO and honorary ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who is to replace Andrea Agnelli as one of two representatives on the UEFA executive committee, made clear that the Bundesliga club support the revamped Champions League structure.

"Bayern has not been involved in the plans for creating a Super League. We are convinced that the current structure in football guarantees a reliable foundation," Rummenigge said. 

"Bayern welcomes the reforms of the Champions League because we believe they are the right step to take for the development of European football. The modified group stage will contribute to an increase in excitement and the emotional experience in the competition.

"I do not believe the Super League will solve the financial problems of European clubs that have arisen as result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Rather, all clubs in Europe should work in solidarity to ensure that the cost structure, especially players' salaries and agents' fees, are brought in line with revenues, to make all of European football more rational."

Hansi Flick said he made clear his intention to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season so as not to "fool around" amid growing speculation over his future.

Flick announced following Bayern's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday that he has requested the termination of his contract – which runs until 2023 – at the conclusion of the campaign.

The 56-year-old has been strongly tipped to replace Joachim Low as Germany head coach after the rescheduled Euro 2020 but, while admitting the role was an option, denied negotiations had already begun.

Bayern's board responded to Flick's declaration by stating it "disapproves of the unilateral communications issued by Hansi Flick" and that talks would continue after the Bundesliga champions' game with Mainz on April 24.

Flick said on the eve of Bayern's fixture with Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday: "I have a request in advance: I will not say anything today about the discussions about my statements on Saturday and about the opinion of the club.

"I wanted to tell the team personally that I asked the club to terminate my contract in the summer. 

"It was important to me for the players to know because it has already been leaked. It was a spontaneous thing to inform the team. 

"The logical step was then to tell the media what is happening so that I don't have to 'fool around' any further."

Flick, who said the Leverkusen game is going to be too soon for Robert Lewandowski to return from a knee injury, was asked for his thoughts on several players posting images on social media celebrating the club's period of success under the coach.

Since taking over from Niko Kovac, Flick has won six trophies with Bayern – including a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last term.

"I am very grateful to the club, I have a great, successful time here. You always have success together, not alone," Flick added.

It was announced on Sunday that 12 teams have signed up to form a breakaway European Super League, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham of the Premier League joining up with LaLiga heavyweights Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid along with Serie A trio Juventus, Milan and Inter.

The news has been met with widespread condemnation, while UEFA and Europe's major leagues and ruling bodies have vowed to do all they can to block the competition.

No German clubs have signed up and Flick voiced his disapproval for the plans.

"I can only say that I don't know all the details, but I stand behind the statement made by the club and Borussia Dortmund. I think it would not be good for European football," Flick said.

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