Newcastle United are reportedly preparing an improved offer to pry midfielder James Maddison away from Leicester City in January.

Maddison, 25, is away at the World Cup with England after a blistering start to the Premier League season saw him force his way back into the national set-up after three years in the wilderness.

After scoring a career-high 18 goals last season, Maddison has continued to show it was no fluke, bagging seven goals and four assists in 13 league fixtures this campaign.

Newcastle have been fond of the Foxes star for some time, having had two bids rejected in the range of £50million in the previous transfer window, but they are said to be discussing if they should "break their wage structure" to meet the demands.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE READY ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOR LEICESTER'S MADDISON

According to Sky Sports, Maddison's contract demands have been a stumbling point for Newcastle in their pursuit, but the club are now willing to go above and beyond to secure their key target.

The report claims Leicester value Maddison at £60m, meaning the two sides are not far apart, and with just over 18 months remaining on his contract, his value will continue to fall the closer he gets to its conclusion.

Newcastle may face some competition, as GiveMeSport also believes Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is pushing to bring Maddison to north London.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport is reporting Aston Villa are interested in a January move for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, and hope they can land him for a fee around €14m after he arrived in Spain as a free agent in July.

- According to 90min, Chelsea have offered goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to Tottenham amid news they are looking to replace club captain Hugo Lloris.

- Juventus and Newcastle United are discussing a potential swap deal that would send Moise Kean back to the Premier League and Allan Saint-Maximin to Turin, per Juve Dipendenza.

- Calciomercato is reporting Inter have rekindled their interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram after their attempt to sign him 18 months ago was torpedoed by a knee injury at the 11th hour. 

- Arsenal have been joined by Monaco and Ajax in the chase of 21-year-old Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, who the club are reportedly willing to part ways with for €24m, per ESPN.

Newcastle United are reportedly preparing an improved offer to pry midfielder James Maddison away from Leicester City in January.

Maddison, 25, is away at the World Cup with England after a blistering start to the Premier League season saw him force his way back into the national set-up after three years in the wilderness.

After scoring a career-high 18 goals last season, Maddison has continued to show it was no fluke, bagging seven goals and four assists in 13 league fixtures this campaign.

Newcastle have been fond of the Foxes star for some time, having had two bids rejected in the range of £50million in the previous transfer window, but they are said to be discussing if they should "break their wage structure" to meet the demands.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE READY ANOTHER OFFENSIVE FOR LEICESTER'S MADDISON

According to Sky Sports, Maddison's contract demands have been a stumbling point for Newcastle in their pursuit, but the club are now willing to go above and beyond to secure their key target.

The report claims Leicester value Maddison at £60m, meaning the two sides are not far apart, and with just over 18 months remaining on his contract, his value will continue to fall the closer he gets to its conclusion.

Newcastle may face some competition, as GiveMeSport also believes Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is pushing to bring Maddison to north London.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport is reporting Aston Villa are interested in a January move for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, and hope they can land him for a fee around €14m after he arrived in Spain as a free agent in July.

- According to 90min, Chelsea have offered goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to Tottenham amid news they are looking to replace club captain Hugo Lloris.

- Juventus and Newcastle United are discussing a potential swap deal that would send Moise Kean back to the Premier League and Allan Saint-Maximin to Turin, per Juve Dipendenza.

- Calciomercato is reporting Inter have rekindled their interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram after their attempt to sign him 18 months ago was torpedoed by a knee injury at the 11th hour. 

- Arsenal have been joined by Monaco and Ajax in the chase of 21-year-old Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, who the club are reportedly willing to part ways with for €24m, per ESPN.

Some of the Premier League's top clubs are reportedly keeping a close eye on Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram – including Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

Thuram, 25, is a towering presence up front, standing at six-foot-four and, after arriving at Gladbach from Ligue 1's Guingamp in 2019 for a fee of €12million, he has continued to grow as a goalscorer.

Through just 15 Bundesliga games this season, Thuram has matched his career-high tally of 10 league goals, including strikes against both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

His recent run of form has seen him earn a late inclusion into France's World Cup squad as they look to defend their title, and although he may not receive a start, he was worked his way onto the radar of some of the world's elite clubs.

 

TOP STORY – 25-YEAR-OLD FRANCE INTERNATIONAL LIKELY AVAILABLE ON FREE TRANSFER

Thuram has spent four seasons with Gladbach, and this is looking like his last as he is yet to renew his contract ahead of its expiry date at the end of this campaign.

With a transfer value likely north of €40m, the ability to land a powerful striker entering his prime as a free agent is a deal too good to pass up for forward-hungry Premier League sides.

90min is reporting Tottenham sent scouts over to Germany recently to watch him play, while Liverpool and Arsenal are also mentioned as interested parties.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Express, Cristiano Ronaldo could move to Chelsea after the departure of Thomas Tuchel, who was said to be the one blocking the idea.

– Express is also reporting Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City have identified 19-year-old Las Palmas midfielder Alberto Moleiro as a target. 

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting 22-year-old Salzburg striker Noah Okafor is available for a January transfer, with City, Liverpool and Milan named as suitors for the €40m-rated Switzerland international.

Chelsea are confident they have done enough to secure 25-year-old RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku in the January window, per 90min.

– According to Relevo, Barcelona are willing to let Memphis Depay leave on a free transfer in January.

Presnel Kimpembe has been replaced in France's World Cup squad by the uncapped Axel Disasi, despite returning from injury for Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend.

After sitting out the wins over Juventus and Lorient, PSG defender Kimpembe played the final 15 minutes of Sunday's 5-0 Ligue 1 triumph over Auxerre.

Kimpembe, who has represented France 28 times, said after the match he "is feeling fine" and was looking forward to linking up with his country for Qatar 2022.

However, the French Football Federation announced on Monday the defender "does not consider himself sufficiently recovered" to be able to represent the reigning world champions.

Didier Deschamps has added centre-back Disasi, who has made 23 appearances for Monaco this season, to his 26-man squad as Kimpembe's replacement.

Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram has also been called up after scoring 13 times and assisting four more in 17 appearances this season.

The France squad are due to meet at their Clairefontaine training base on Monday ahead of their Group D opener against Australia on November 22.

Les Blues, who are attempting to become the third team to win back-to-back World Cups, then take on Denmark and Tunisia.

Barcelona are expected to be major players in the January transfer market after a busy pre-season.

The 26-time Spanish champions are top of LaLiga at the World Cup break but crashed out of the Champions League.

The Blaugrana are still battling financial challenges, while they also have some unsettled players on their books.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLOTTING JANUARY GUNDOGAN MOVE

Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are planning to move for Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in January, with fears Franck Kessie may exit soon.

The Blaugrana are eager to bolster their midfield options and a move for Bernardo Silva appears difficult despite their ongoing interest.

As a result, Barca have turned to the Germany international, whose contract with City ends in mid-2023. The report also claims the Catalans could move for Leicester City's Youri Tielemans.

Kessie has been linked with Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Fulham by Spanish media outlet Sport. The Ivorian only joined in July, but the club's financial position means they are open to letting players go.

ROUND-UP

– Despite being linked with a long list of names, Sport claims Barcelona will only make one signing in the January transfer window, with a right-back seen as a priority. Manchester United's Diogo Dalot, Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard and Villarreal's Juan Foyth are among their options.

– New Aston Villa heard coach Unai Emery wants to bring in Real Madrid's Eden Hazard and Nacho Fernandez, according to El Nacional. Spanish boss Emery left Villarreal for the Villans last month.

Juventus are ready to offer a new contract to French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, claims Tuttosport. Rabiot had been linked with an off-season move, with Manchester United mentioned as a possible destination, but has impressed this term.

– La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Milan are putting together a bid for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech in January. The Moroccan winger is expected to cost less than €20million (£17.5m).

Inter are keen on Valencia left-back Jesus Vazquez in January and a mid-2023 move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, reports La Gazetta dello Sport.

Joao Felix is angling for a way out of Atletico Madrid, having fallen out of favour in Spain.

The 22-year-old has started only eight of the 17 games he has played in this season, netting three goals.

The forward is contracted with Atletico until 2026, having signed a bumper seven-year deal when joining from Benfica in 2019.

TOP STORY – PSG PLOTTING JANUARY LOAN MOVE FOR JOAO FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain have joined the list of clubs interested in Atletico Madrid's wantaway forward Joao Felix, according to Le Parisien.

PSG may look to sign the Portuguese on loan in January, having been interested in a move for him during the last transfer window.

Joao Felix has also been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United, with both clubs reportedly bidding for him in the last transfer window.

ROUND-UP

– Borussia Dortmund are bullish they can ward off interest in their 19-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham and retain his services, reports 90min. Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all keen on the England international.

– Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa may have penned a new contract last week, but Manchester United are still monitoring the 23-year-old, reports Nicolo Schira. United will keep an eye on him during the World Cup, although he has a €75million (£65m) release clause.

– Arsenal are willing to fork out £56m to land Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk, according to Dean Jones on GiveMeSport.

– Roma are interested in out-of-favour Barcelona full-back Hector Bellerin, having failed to lure Manchester United's Diogo Dalot, reports Calciomercato.

– West Ham have identified Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Kouadio Kone as their top transfer target, reports Bild.

Bruno Guimaraes is playing a major role in Newcastle United's impressive start to the 2022-23 season.

The 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder has scored two goals and provided two assists for the Magpies this Premier League season.

Guimaraes joined Newcastle from Lyon in January on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL AND REAL JOIN GUIMARAES PURSUIT

The list of suitors for Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is growing with Liverpool and Real Madrid keen on the Brazilian, according to TNT Sports.

Newcastle are eager to sign the midfielder to an improved and lengthy contract extension, making him their highest paid player to ward off interest.

Last week, Goal linked Chelsea with him, with clubs reportedly monitoring his contract status ahead of potential January offers.

ROUND-UP

– Premier League leaders Arsenal are looking to spend in January with three players on their radar according to The Sun. The Gunners are chasing Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Mykhaylo Mudryk and Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino .

– L'Equipe reports Bayern Munich are weighing up moving for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram as they look for a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona in the close season.

Juventus have commenced talks with English teenager Samuel Iling-Junior on a new deal, claims Calciomercato. The 19-year-old made his Champions League debut on Tuesday.

– Football Insider claims Nottingham Forest will spend another £50m-£100m in the January transfer window to enhance their Premier League survival hopes. Forest made a record 22 signings following their promotion last term.

– Former Bochum boss Thomas Reis will take over as Schalke head coach, reports Sky. Schalke sacked Frank Kramer last week after their DFB-Pokal exit.

Real Madrid had a drawn-out pursuit of Kylian Mbappe earlier this year but ultimately missed out on the France forward.

Mbappe opted to sign a lucrative contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain in May, tying him to the Parisians until 2025.

But earlier this week, Fabrizio Romano reported the situation between PSG and Mbappe had got tense, with the player keen to depart.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID MOVE ON FROM MBAPPE AMID TRANSFER TWIST

Marca claims that Real Madrid are no longer have interest in signing Mbappe amid reports that he is unsettled at PSG and wants to leave.

The report claims that Los Blancos are observing the situation from afar with no desire to participate in the latest drama.

Romano also said PSG had no intention of selling Mbappe in January amid the speculation he wanted out. PSG director Luis Campos denied the report on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

Bayern Munich will turn to Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram should they fail to land Tottenham's Harry Kane , reports TZ. Thuram's Gladbach deal ends at the end of this season.

– Sky Sport's Florian Plettenberg reports that Toni Kroos and Real Madrid are set to commence talks on a new deal running until 2024, with his currently deal expiring at season's end.

Barcelona will try to lure Chelsea pair N'Golo Kante and Jorginho to Camp Nou as free agents at the end of this season, claims the Evening Standard. The Blues are currently trying to convince both to re-sign.

– 90min claims Manchester City have told Bayern Munich and Inter that defender Nathan Ake is not for sale in January, following speculation about their interest.

West Ham have joined Roma and Manchester United in pursuing a deal for Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, according to Calciomercato.

– Football Insider reports Brentford have commenced discussions with England international striker Ivan Toney on a new deal, with Tottenham linked to him.

RB Leipzig have appointed the highly rated Max Eberl as their new sporting director well over a year after Markus Krosche left the position.

Eberl has been out of work since resigning from a similar role at Borussia Monchengladbach in January due to feeling "drained and tired" and no longer having "the strength to carry out the job in the way the club deserves".

That brought to an end a 23-year association with Borussia, having initially joined them as a player in 1999 before moving into directorial positions from 2005.

Leipzig had operated without a permanent sporting director since the club and Krosche mutually terminated their agreement in April 2021 following "intensive discussions regarding the club's future".

Christopher Vivell, Florian Scholz and Frank Aehlig had been filling the void in the interim, but in Eberl, club chairman Oliver Mintzlaff believes Leipzig have the perfect candidate to take them forward when he assumes office on December 15 after signing a "long-term" contract.

"With Max Eberl, we were able to fill the position of managing director for sport with our absolute dream candidate," Mintzlaff said.

"We have been dealing with Max for a long time but have always respected his difficult situation and are now very happy to be able to start working together in December.  

"After his press conference in January this year, I got in touch with Max and wished him all the best. After that, I kept trying to get in touch, but Max told me that he needed peace and quiet and wasn't interested in football, but that we could meet up in the summer. That's why I never let go of contact and met him in the summer.

"Here, Max confirmed to me that he finds the perspective with us very interesting, but he did not want to come back before July 1, 2023. But that opened the door a bit for us, and we are now very happy that together with Max we found the starting point of our cooperation for mid-December.

"Max is an absolute football expert and has a large network and an excellent name in the industry both nationally and internationally. For many years in Monchengladbach he showed how you can build something up and find the right solution even for difficult situations.

"He has proven himself both as a transfer expert and as a promoter of talent, achieved a great deal and delivered a successful job."

Eberl took over football operations at Gladbach in October 2009 – at that point, they had not ended a top-flight season higher than 10th since 1996.

During his time in charge, the club finished higher than 10th in 10 successive seasons and even managed four top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.

One of those came with Marco Rose as head coach, and the pair will link up again in Leipzig after the 46-year-old replaced Domenico Tedesco at the helm earlier this month.

Eberl was still technically contracted to Borussia, but the club agreed to dissolve their partnership, thus allowing him to join Leipzig.

Deadline day has seen major transfers aplenty, with clubs across Europe pushing to complete final pieces of business before the window slams shut until 2023.

Barcelona have terminated Martin Braithwaite's contract, the forward widely expected to join Espanyol, while in France, Abdou Diallo completed a switch to RB Leipzig to begin an exodus from Paris Saint-Germain.

Further deals for both clubs are also on the cards, with a frantic end to the window expected in the final hours.

Premier League's power push

PSG's exodus was of benefit to English sides, Fulham signing Layvin Kurzawa on loan and Everton bringing Idrissa Gueye back to Merseyside three years after he left for the French capital. Gueye said: "There is no better feeling than coming back home. I've followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton so that's why I chose to come back here."

Fulham have also signed former Chelsea and Arsenal playmaker Willian on a free transfer.

Nottingham Forest hit number 19 for the window, drafting in Willy Boly from Wolves, while Southampton saw Jack Stephens move across the south coast to join Bournemouth on loan.

Arsenal's quest for a new midfielder has seen attention turn to Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz, though the Gunners face a stern test with bids reportedly rebuffed from the side they defeated 2-1 on Wednesday.

Chelsea look set to bring one of the long-running sagas of the window to a close, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poised to join from Barcelona. Marcos Alonso is expected to move to Camp Nou as part of that deal and the Blues may sell Billy Gilmour to Brighton and Hove Albion.

One player not on the move, however, was Joao Pedro as he confirmed he would remain at Watford amid reported interest from Newcastle United and Everton.

Europe's eye for business

On the continent, Julian Weigl moved to Borussia Monchengladbach on loan from Benfica. 

Free agent Florian Grillitsch has joined Ajax, who are said to have turned down approaches from Chelsea and Everton for Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus respectively.

Krzysztof Piatek also departed Germany, leaving Hertha Berlin for Serie A side Salertina, and was followed to Italy by Aster Vranckx, joining Milan on loan from Wolfsburg.

The Serie A champions are not yet finished, with an announcement confirming the capture of Sergino Dest from Barcelona expected imminently.

In Spain, Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, joined second-tier outfit Eibar on a free transfer following his exit from Rayo Vallecano and Ilaix Moriba joined Valencia on loan from Leipzig, with Gennaro Gattuso's side also closing in on signing Justin Kluivert from Roma following the collapse of a proposed move to the Premier League.

Real Sociedad were also in on the late action, landing forward Umar Sadiq from Tenerife, the Nigerian likely to be a replacement for Alexander Isak.

Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer was "delighted" to deliver a record-breaking performance on a "really tough day" at Bayern Munich.

Switzerland international Sommer made a sensational 19 saves, the most on record in a single game in Europe's top five leagues, to help his team to a 1-1 draw against the champions.

Gladbach took a first-half lead against the run of play through Marcus Thuram, but a second-half onslaught from Julian Nagelsmann's side ramped up the pressure on the visitors. 

However, Sommer made save after save and looked impenetrable until Bayern finally found a way through as Leroy Sane picked out the bottom-left corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

The hosts pushed for a winner, but Sommer held firm to earn Gladbach a hard-fought draw, preventing a staggering 3.3 goals according to expected goals on target data.

"I'm glad I did a good job so we can take a point today," Sommer told Sky Sport.

"It was a really tough day today, because we know how much power and pressure Bayern exert on opponents.

"The defence can't keep everything out, so I'm delighted that I had such a good game."

Sommer has been linked with a move away from Gladbach, with Manchester United reportedly interested in the former Basel keeper.

And he indicated he would discuss his future in the next next week, adding: "I've been here for eight years, so of course I feel at home here, it's like a family"

"But we'll still sit down and have a chat in the next few days."

Bayern Munich were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Monchengladbach as their winning start to the Bundesliga season came to an end.

The champions had been in blistering form previously in 2022-23, scoring 15 goals across three wins, but they were met with firm resistance by Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann's side saw two first-half Sadio Mane goals disallowed before Dayot Upamecano's mistake was pounced upon by Marcus Thuram, whose cool finish looked like it might be enough to win the game.

Bayern threw everything at Gladbach in the second half, with most of it repelled by Sommer until a powerful Leroy Sane effort snatched a point – the very least the hosts deserved but enough to take them back to the top of the table.

Consistent with the theme that was to develop throughout the game, Bayern were nearly ahead within a minute, but Sommer made a brilliant save to palm Upamecano's header wide.

The hosts continued to dominate, and Mane saw two goals ruled out for offside in quick succession before Nagelsmann's men were hit with a sucker-punch before half-time.

Upamecano failed to deal with a long punt forward, and Thuram raced onto it, sliding the ball past Manuel Neuer to give his side the lead against the run of play.

Bayern ramped up the pressure further with a second-half onslaught, and Sommer was forced into an excellent double-stop to deny Mane from close range with just under half an hour left.

The Switzerland international was alert again to keep out Sane in a one-on-one situation, but the winger finally got the better of him on 83 minutes, steering into the bottom-left corner.

Bayern pressed for a winner, yet Sommer returned to form to keep them at bay, finishing with a remarkable 19 saves.

Robert Lewandowski deserves to receive a positive reception when he returns to Bayern Munich as a Barcelona player, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

Lewandowski is set for a swift visit to his former club after Barca were drawn to face the Bundesliga champions in Group C of the Champions League, alongside Inter and Viktoria Plzen.

The Poland international, who scored his first competitive goals for Barca in a 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad last week, left Bayern in somewhat acrimonious fashion after declaring that something had "died" within him in Germany.

But Nagelsmann believes Bayern's fans will give Lewandowski a warm welcome on his Allianz Arena return, declaring: "I think there will be applause.

"I never like it when someone gets whistled. I don't know all of the processes [leading to his exit], the fan in the stadium are even further away.

"There is always a second truth, that things are exaggerated, mistranslated."

On Bayern's tough-looking European draw, Nagelsmann added: "It's a challenging group, but we can and want to come through it."

 

Before Bayern turn their attentions to the Champions League, they will look to maintain a scintillating start to the Bundesliga campaign when they host Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

With nine points and a goal difference of +14 (15 goals scored, one conceded) after three games of the new season, Bayern have made the best start in the competition's history at this stage.

And they have been handed a further boost after midfielder Leon Goretzka returned to full training for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in July, although he will not play any part in Bayern's next outing.

"[Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting was training again but had a few problems today," the Bayern boss added at a pre-match press conference on Friday. 

"Leon was also back today and completed parts of team training. Neither of them are options to play tomorrow."

Bayern's tally of 15 goals in their first three games of the Bundesliga season is also unmatched in the competition's history, and Jamal Musiala has played a key role, matching new arrival Sadio Mane with three league goals this campaign.

Bayern and Germany great Lothar Matthaus recently declared the 19-year-old could become the best player in the world within the next few years, but Nagelsmann is keen to keep the youngster grounded.

"He doesn't have a starting eleven guarantee," Nagelsmann said of Musiala. 

"Lothar's comparison is an honour. Lionel [Messi] has played at a high level for many years and he has yet to prove that. I trust him. But he's not quite at 100 per cent yet. 

"I'll be spoiled for choice tomorrow. He has no guarantee that he will play, like everybody else."

Another Bundesliga campaign kicks off on Friday after a frantic close-season saw Germany's top flight robbed of its two biggest stars.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona, while fellow striking sensation Erling Haaland departed Borussia Dortmund as expected for Manchester City.

What do these moves do to shake up the Bundesliga, then? Perhaps not an awful lot...

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, even if the title race is a little too predictable.

MANE TO MAINTAIN BAYERN DOMINANCE

Lewandowski's exit was offset by the arrival of Sadio Mane at Bayern, and Stats Perform AI expects Julian Nagelsmann's side to again charge clear at the top of the table.

Bayern have won 10 consecutive titles, so perhaps it is no surprise they are given an 84.93 per cent chance of taking the trophy home again in May.

That figure makes Bayern the most likely champions across all of Europe's top five leagues, with nearest contenders Dortmund only in with a 6.01 per cent shot.

RB Leipzig (4.64 per cent), Bayer Leverkusen (3.38 per cent) lead a group of 10 other clubs who are given at least a slim hope of winning the championship.

For six teams – including 2003-04 champions Werder Bremen and 2006-07 victors Stuttgart – their title tilt is over before a ball has even been kicked.

 

SCRAMBLE OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Unfortunately, the top-four tussle appears as predictable as Bayern's coronation.

The champions will of course occupy one Champions League spot – their 99.53 per cent chance again the greatest across the top five leagues – while Dortmund (76.78 per cent), Leipzig (72.2 per cent) and Leverkusen (62.98 per cent) also look secure, forecast second, third and fourth respectively.

That means a return to Europe's elite competition for all of those who have qualified this year, even if Leipzig have leapfrogged Leverkusen.

Stats Perform AI suggests Union Berlin (4.66 per cent) and Freiburg (8.22 per cent) – one and three points outside the top four last term – have missed their shot, with Borussia Monchengladbach (22.94 per cent) and Eintracht Frankfurt (21.5 per cent) the most likely gatecrashers despite last season finishing 10th and 11th.

Eintracht are also in the Champions League this term after winning the Europa League, but they are considered the team most likely to return to the second-tier competition (13.32 per cent).

There could be a real scrap for those final European places, though. All but four teams have at least a 1.0 per cent likelihood of qualifying for the Europa Conference League, with title favourites Bayern one of those four.

 

SCHALKE AND WERDER FACE A FIGHT

Schalke and Werder – two of the great names of German football – have returned to the top flight following successful promotion campaigns in the 2. Bundesliga last season, but they face tricky first seasons back in the big time.

The ceiling for Schalke is a little higher, so Stats Perform AI has them finishing in the relegation play-off place in 16th.

This is despite two teams – Augsburg (14.02 per cent) and Werder (13.9 per cent) – being more likely to qualify for that play-off than Schalke (13.3 per cent).

Werder are ranked 17th, while the outlook for Augsburg is awful; 14th in the Bundesliga in 2021-22, they have a new coach in ex-Dortmund II boss Enrico Maassen and are considered a strong 38.19 per cent shot for relegation.

Bochum (30.84 per cent) are also in a little trouble, with Hertha Berlin (11.62 per cent) backed to pull away and finish 12th after their play-off scare last time out.

Daniel Farke has been named the new head coach of Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Bundesliga club announced the appointment on Saturday, with Farke signing a deal until 2025.

The 45-year-old takes up his first head coach role in the Bundesliga having previously been charge at SV Lippstadt and Borussia Dortmund II.

He was hired by Norwich City in 2017, winning promotion to the Premier League twice at Carrow Road before being sacked in November with the Canaries again battling relegation in England's top flight.

Farke was appointed head coach of Krasnodar in January but left just two months later after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Gladbach's website, sporting director Roland Virkus said: "In Daniel Farke, we have been able to sign a coach that fits perfectly to the path that we want to go down as a club.

"We are looking forward to tackling the challenges that lie ahead of us, together with him." 

Assistants Christopher John and Edmund Riemer will join Farke at Borussia-Park.

Gladbach parted ways with previous coach Adi Hutter last month following a season that saw them finish 10th in the Bundesliga, their worst placing since 2010-11.

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