Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards has joined Premier League side Crystal Palace on a five-year deal.

The eight-cap United States international spent the majority of the past two seasons on loan with Hoffenheim, where he made 34 appearances.

He was pushed further down the central-defensive pecking order at Bayern following the arrival of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus earlier this month.

Palace confirmed on their official website on Wednesday that Richards has put pen to paper on a long-term contract at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira's side are reported to have paid an initial £8.5million (€10m), potentially rising to £11m (€13m), for the 22-year-old.

Richards, who departs Bayern having made 10 first-team appearances after joining from FC Dallas in 2018, is looking forward to a new challenge in England.

"I grew up watching the Premier League and grew up watching [Wilfried] Zaha, so it'll be cool to spend some time on the field with and be a part of this historic club," he said. 

"I'm really excited for it. It's a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they're always fighting."

Richards was given a permanent contract by Bayern after impressing on an initial trial basis four years ago, but he was unable to become a regular in the senior side.

"Chris came to the FC Bayern Campus at the age of 18. He demonstrated his talent in his first year when he played for our reserves," Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

"That's why we signed him from FC Dallas, and Chris went on to develop really well on loan at Hoffenheim. 

"Now his big desire is to succeed in the Premier League. We wanted to make that possible and we wish him all the best at Crystal Palace."

Richards is Palace's fourth signing of the window after Sam Johnstone, Malcolm Ebiowei and Cheick Doucoure.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann has admitted he's "cautious" about the club's deal to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.

The 22-year-old has swapped Turin for the German capital ahead of the 2022-23 season, following what was a difficult three-year stint in Italy.

De Ligt struggled to establish himself as a core member of Juventus' defence and, as a result, saw his stock fall dramatically after previously being widely considered to be one of the best defensive prospects in world football.

Bayern will hope that he can fulfil that potential in Bavaria but Hamann has urged caution about expecting too much from the Netherlands international.

"The big question will be whether De Ligt is able to lead the defence," he told Sky, "He did a wonderful job in Amsterdam. He didn't make it in Turin. 

"Of course, it was a bigger club, bigger competition and he had very experienced players next to him.

"And I don't know if he's the player who comes here now at 22 and immediately leads a defence that was Champions League winners two years ago.

"He may have two world champions next to him in Pavard and Hernandez. That all sounds wonderful. Whether this can then be implemented in practice remains to be seen."

De Ligt is not the only member of Ajax's 2018-19 Champions League semi-final side that has found difficulties since moving to new teams, with Donny Van de Beek at Manchester United and Hakim Ziyech at Chelsea struggling for regular opportunities – which Hamann pointed out.

"All the players who left the very successful Ajax team three years ago were all at best followers of their new clubs," he added.

"And that's why he still owes the proof that he can lead a defence like that of Bayern Munich. I would be a bit cautious."

Sebastien Haller is expected to be out of action for "a few months" after undergoing the first stage of treatment for a testicular tumour, Borussia Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl has announced.

The 28-year-old striker left Dortmund's pre-season training camp in Austria last week after complaining of feeling unwell, with subsequent tests discovering the tumour.

Haller, who joined the German club from Ajax earlier this month in a club-record deal reported to be worth €36million, confirmed on social media that the first stage of his treatment had been successful.

Providing another update on Wednesday, Dortmund chief Kehl said further treatment plans are still being discussed and no exact return date had yet been fixed for the Ivory Coast international.

"Sebastien was operated on last week. We asked for patience at the time," Kehl said at a news conference. "The therapy is currently being discussed. There are various options.

"Sebastien will be out for a few months, but once we can be more precise about that we will communicate it."

Haller excelled in the Netherlands with Ajax during a prolific 18-month spell that included 11 goals in just eight Champions League appearances in the 2021-22 season.

That included a four-goal haul in Ajax's first group-stage match against Sporting CP, as well as goals in both of their fixtures against Dortmund.

All in all, he scored in all but one of Ajax's Champions League matches – the exception being a 1-0 defeat to Besiktas in the second leg of the last 16.

Haller's layoff is a major blow to Dortmund's hopes of challenging 10-in-a-row champions Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title this term, but they have been tipped to bring in another striker before the season begins.

"We are working on options and ideas, but there is nothing specific at the moment," Kehl said. "He will be out for two months and we have a tough schedule until November, but our squad offers options."

Fulham have confirmed the signing of Wolfsburg and Switzerland right-back Kevin Mbabu ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Reports suggest Fulham will pay £4.6million (€5.5m) plus add-ons for the 27-year-old, who made 24 Bundesliga appearances last season.

Marco Silva's newly promoted side have been active in the transfer market ahead of their season opener against Liverpool on August 6, acquiring Sporting CP's Joao Palhinha, Manchester United's Andreas Pereira and Shakhtar Donetsk winger Manor Solomon.

No German top-flight team bettered Wolfsburg's tally of 11 clean sheets last term (Bayern Munich also kept 11), although only six teams in the division conceded more than the 54 goals shipped by Die Wolfe.

After signing a three-year deal with the option of a further 12 months at Craven Cottage, Mbabu told Fulham's website: "I'm happy to be here as a Fulham Football Club player. It's a relief and now I can focus on my goals and the club's goals, and help the team to be successful.

"The first step is to stay in the Premier League, stay stable in the league, and then why not aim for the top 10?"

Mbabu has 22 caps for Switzerland and will hope to feature when they take on Cameroon, Brazil and Serbia in the World Cup group stages in Qatar later this year.

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn has admitted the Bundesliga champions "discussed" the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal international is widely reported to be pushing for an exit from Manchester United just one year after re-joining the club from Juventus due to his desire to continue playing in the Champions League, where he is the competitions all-time leading scorer.

Suitors for Ronaldo's services are not forthcoming, however, with Atletico Madrid stating a move was "practically impossible" despite being linked to his services – and Bayern have now also ruled out a transfer.

While the German giants have a spot in their attack to fill following Robert Lewandowski's move to Barcelona, Ronaldo is not the man they're after with Kahn saying he "doesn't fit" the club's ethos.

"We discussed this topic. otherwise we wouldn't be doing our job properly," the former goalkeeper told BILD.

 

"Personally, I think Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest-ever footballers. 

"But we came to the conclusion that, despite the esteem that we hold him in, he wouldn't have fitted our philosophy at the moment."

Ronaldo returned to training with United on Tuesday having missed the club's pre-season tour of Asia and Australia due to family reasons and it's reported he will hold talks with the club regarding his future.

The veteran forward was a shining light for United in an otherwise disappointing campaign in the 2021-22 season, finishing as the club's highest Premier League scorer with 18 goals - with only Tottenham's Son Heung-Min and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah netting more (both 23).

Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the signing of RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele on Tuesday as coach Christophe Galtier continued to shape his side.

Mukiele appeared destined to become a PSG player when Leipzig announced he had been granted absence from their squad for the DFL-Supercup due to ongoing transfer negotiations on Monday.

Despite reports of late interest from Chelsea, PSG sealed the acquisition of the 24-year-old and will reportedly pay an initial €12million fee, which could reach a total of €16million with add-ons included.

Mukiele has signed a five-year deal at the Parc des Princes, becoming the third new arrival of the transfer window after midfielder Vitinha and striker Hugo Ekitike, while left-back Nuno Mendes made his loan from Sporting CP permanent.

Speaking to PSG's website, Mukiele said: "When I found out that Paris were interested in me and that they wanted me to come here, I had to think about it because it's very important.

"It's a very big step in my career, it's not a choice to be taken lightly. But I think and I'm sure I made the right choice."

Mukiele made 28 appearances – 21 of them starts – as Leipzig finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, contributing to the side matching Bayern Munich as the competition's best defensive side.

No Bundesliga team conceded fewer than their 37 goals across the 2021-22 campaign, while only Bayern and Wolfsburg (both 11) bettered their tally of 10 clean sheets.

PSG won three out of three fixtures during a pre-season tour of Japan, though Galtier expressed frustration with their defending after Monday's 6-2 rout of Gamba Osaka.

Mukiele, who is capable of playing at full-back and centre-back, is expected to challenge for a spot in a three-man backline next season.

Bayern Munich have confirmed the capture of Rennes teenager Mathys Tel, with the highly rated forward joining on a five-year deal in a €20million-plus move.

The 17-year-old will link up with the Bundesliga champions on a contract through to 2027 after showing glimpses of his potential in Ligue 1 last season.

Tel skippered the France Under-17 team to glory in the European Under-17 Championship final last month, and he has now been rewarded with a bumper switch to one of the continent's biggest clubs.

"Bayern are one of the best teams in the world," the forward said. "I'm very much looking forward to this great challenge and I will give my all for this club.

"I've been very impressed with the discussions with Hasan Salihamidzic and the Bayern management, and I quickly realised I definitely wanted to come to Munich."

Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic said: "Mathys Tel is one of the biggest talents in Europe. We've been watching him for a long time and we were able to convince him to take his next important steps in Munich with us now.

"The development of such an exceptional young player is an exciting project for us all. We are all convinced he has a great career in front of him and that he will help our team."

Tel made 10 senior appearances for Rennes last term and is the second player to depart the French outfit in a big-money deal during the close season, following Nayef Aguerd's move to West Ham.

He takes the number 39 shirt, with the number nine still vacant after Robert Lewandowski's departure to Barcelona.

Youngster Tel is reported to have cost Bayern an initial €20million, with a further €8.5million in add-ons tied into the deal.

Newcastle United are planning a move for out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler, with the Germany international's price tag believed to be in the range of £25million (€29.5m).

Draxler, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the French giants, but his last campaign was mostly from a bench role, with 13 of his 18 Ligue 1 appearances coming as a substitute.

He also had two separate injuries that forced him to miss over a month each time, but with 58 senior caps for Germany and a World Cup right around the corner, he could be a savvy purchase for a club desperate for a marquee signing.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENQUIRE ABOUT VERY AVAILABLE DRAXLER

According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Draxler is on Paris Saint-Germain director of football Luis Campos' "blacklist" of players who have no future at the club.

The report says he has been asked to find a way out, and with a relatively low price tag – around half the £40m demanded by Lyon in Newcastle's reported pursuit of Lucas Paqueta – the stars could be aligning for the Magpies to land an established international on a cheaper deal.

Draxler was left out of PSG's pre-season squad for the recent tour of Japan, indicating he already has one foot out the door, but it remains to be seen if Newcastle will be his landing spot.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are reportedly willing to part ways with Timo Werner, with Foot Mercato claiming the forward was included in an offer to former club RB Leipzig  in exchange for defender Nordi Mukiele, who appears to be PSG-bound.

– Sport believes Chelsea will block Barcelona moves for Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso due to the Spanish club's chase of Blues target Jules Kounde.

– The Guardian is reporting that Gianluca Scamacca will have his medical this week before confirming a £35.5m move from Sassuolo to West Ham.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan have increased their bid for Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere to €32m, and are also trying to secure a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

Barcelona have told Memphis Depay to find a new club after Robert Lewandowski's arrival, according to AS.

Nordi Mukiele has thanked RB Leipzig in a social media post as he closes in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The versatile defender joined Leipzig in 2018 from Montpellier, and made 80 Bundesliga appearances for them over a four-year period.

Mukiele is now set to join PSG, with the 24-year-old's move expected to go through in the coming days. The deal is reportedly worth up to €16million.

On Monday, the 24-year-old posted a video to his Instagram account, accompanied by a farewell message to Leipzig.

The post said: "I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me. You made me feel [at] home since the very first day I arrived and it is with [a] heavy heart that I leave today.

"I want to thank everyone involved at the club that help us reach our goals on a daily basis. To my brothers on the field, let's keep this legacy alive.

"To the coaches and staff I've had during these four seasons: THANK YOU. With you, I've discovered the highest levels of football.

"Today I'm a better player but also a better human being and I've been able to achieve some of my personal dreams also thanks to you."

PSG have also been linked with a move for Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar.

Nordi Mukiele has been left out of RB Leipzig's squad for their DFL-Supercup clash against Bayern Munich on Saturday, with the defender in talks over a move to Paris Saint-Germain. 

PSG are in the market for defensive reinforcements after struggling to mount a serious challenge for the Champions League last season, with new boss Christophe Galtier keen to employ a three-man defence at the Parc des Princes.

Inter's Milan Skriniar was initially linked with the French giants, but versatile Leipzig star Mukiele appears close to becoming the first new defender through the door in Paris this window.

With reports suggesting one-cap France international Mukiele is on the verge of agreeing a five-year contract with PSG, his current club revealed he will not be available for their season curtain-raiser.

On Monday, the club announced on Twitter that the defender "has been granted absence due to ongoing contract discussions".

Mukiele made 28 appearances, 21 of them starts, as Leipzig finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season.

No German top-flight team conceded fewer than their 37 goals across the 2021-22 campaign, while only Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg (both 11) bettered their tally of 10 clean sheets.

French hot prospect Mathys Tel is expected to clinch a dream move to Bayern Munich after announcing he is leaving Rennes.

The 17-year-old has only made 10 competitive first-team appearances for Rennes, all as a substitute, but he is so highly rated that Bayern marked him out as a priority target.

That move now looks set to come to fruition after the France Under-18 international said his farewells to the Brittany club.

He said in a statement posted on Instagram: "I want to write to you this evening to announce my departure from @staderennaisfc.

"It was a huge pride and a real honour to have worn and represented this jersey since I was 12 years old."

He said Rennes had "taught me a lot ... made me grow in all aspects" and said he would "always have great gratitude" to the club.

"I would like to say thank you, on behalf of all the moments spent together, to the staff, the coaches, the players, to all my team-mates and to the Pinault family [owners of the club] who made the rest possible," Tel wrote. "Thank you to the Rouge et Noir supporters, I sincerely wish you the best."

He signed off by adding: "A page turns. Cool head, warm heart in writing to you."

French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported Rennes and Bayern have agreed terms on a deal worth just short of €30million for Tel, who helped France win the European Under-17 Championship last month.

It is expected that Bayern will pay an initial €20million, with the rest of the fee being performance-related.

Bayern have sold star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona in this transfer window, but the Bundesliga champions acquired Sadio Mane from Liverpool and also have the likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joshua Zirkzee as out-and-out striker options.

They have expressed an interest in England captain Harry Kane, and their number nine shirt remains vacant ahead of a Bundesliga season that begins for Bayern with a trip to reigning Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt on August 5.

Thomas Muller has admitted that Bayern will face a stern test following the departure of Robert Lewandowski, but says there were "good reasons" for the striker's departure.

The Poland international brought an end to a trophy-laden stint in Bavaria by completing a move to Barcelona, leaving a significant void in Bayern's attack ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Bayern have moved for a replacement, landing Sadio Mane from Liverpool and being vocal with interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane, and Muller has defended the club's decision to allow Lewandowski to leave.

"All parties decided that Lewy should leave the club, there were good reasons for that," he told BILD.

"But, without a doubt, we don't know what to expect when a player who has always scored between 30 and 50 goals per season is no longer with us on the field.

"There was no plan to always play for him, but when you know you have a striker like that, you do it. Now things will change, and it will be exciting to see how our attack develops."

While the loss of Lewandowski's goals will certainly present a difficult adjustment for Bayern, Muller identified occasions in the past where the club has coped with similar high-profile departures.

 

"We're not going to play with ten simply because Lewy left," Muller said. "Now there will be opportunities and scoring chances for other players. Maybe we score less, but that doesn't mean we won't succeed as a team. 

"For example, Mario Mandzukic replaced Mario Gomez in 2012. Mandzukic didn't get the records Gomez had, but we won the treble and were invincible as a team."

Bayern will once again begin the season as favourites for the Bundesliga, having won the past 10 titles, but Dortmund's transfer activity prior to the start of the campaign has caught the eye.

Muller, heading into his 15th season as a Bayern player, believes it's a good thing that their arch-rivals are bolstering their ranks.

"[It's good] that something is also stirring at BVB. It is not known whether BVB will now score ten more points," he said. "But it's good for the league. There is anticipation and excitement in the air."

Erling Haaland declared "it's going to be fun" working with Pep Guardiola after he scored his first goal in a Manchester City shirt.

Haaland netted the only goal of the game as City beat Bayern Munich 1-0 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday.

Stormy weather conditions disrupted the friendly contest, but that did not stop the former Borussia Dortmund striker from getting on the end of a Jack Grealish cross in the 12th minute to tap in.

Speaking after the win, Haaland said: "As you probably all know, I've been watching a lot of City games in the last years, and in the last years it has been without a striker, so of course I've been seeing myself in these situations today, so I'm not surprised."

The Norwegian scored 86 goals in 89 appearances across all competitions during two and a half years at Dortmund, with only Robert Lewandowski (123 in 108 games) and Kylian Mbappe (93 in 111 games) from Europe's top five leagues scoring more in that time.

On his new manager, Haaland added: "Guardiola is a bit crazy and I like that, so it's going to be fun. It's one week so I cannot tell too much, but I've been training good and I'm ready for what's next."

Haaland's debut goal in the United States came courtesy of neat passes from Kevin De Bruyne and Grealish, and the 22-year-old is looking forward to playing with the England international.

"[Grealish is] good. He has to get better, I have to get better, but [it's a] good link. I like the vibe around him, so it's going to be fun."

Guardiola was pleased with the first sighting of his new number nine, saying after the game: "He scored a goal, which is important. These type of goals in front of keeper – always he's there. 

"The first minutes, he needs more rhythm and time but already he had 45 minutes which is good for him.

"We'll see how he reacts to the niggles that he had in the previous weeks. After we come back we have long weeks to prepare every weekend game. In those two or three weeks we will get the best form."

Atletico Madrid are reportedly set to fund a bid for Cristiano Ronaldo by putting Antoine Griezmann up for sale, with the club hoping to bring the Portugal superstar back to La Liga.

Ronaldo has sat out Manchester United's pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia amid reports he has requested an exit from Old Trafford if a suitable bid is lodged.

The veteran forward signed a two-year deal in a spectacular homecoming last season, but could not help United avoid missing out on a top-four finish, leaving him without Champions League football this term as things stand.

 

TOP STORY - ATLETICO SEEK TO SELL GRIEZMANN TO LAUNCH RONALDO MOVE

Widely considered one of the greatest players in the modern game, Ronaldo is likely to accept only a move to a club that can offer him a shot at major European glory once again, limiting his pool of options.

Though linked with a host of European heavyweights, the funds required to cover his wage bill also present a major stumbling block - which is why Atletico are looking to push Griezmann off their books, says The Times.

Having left Atletico for Barcelona in 2019, the France international and World Cup winner returned to Wanda Metropolitano last year after a dismal stay at Camp Nou, pushing to recapture his best form.

He is halfway through a two-season loan with a permanent transfer set to come into force at the end of that deal, with Diego Simeone's side looking to move him on early.

Prospective buyers, such as Paris Saint-Germain, are not interested in taking Griezmann however, suggesting Neymar will remain at the Parc des Princes despite talk of an exit.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to the Mirror, United would let Ronaldo leave on a season-long loan deal - providing he triggered a one-year extension that would ensure his Old Trafford return in 2023.

– Sport believes that Barcelona hope to successfully hijack Chelsea's move for Jules Kounde by offering a lump sum payment to Sevilla, rather than the instalments favoured by the Blues.

– Newcastle are weighing up a move for Leicester winger Harvey Barnes, but the Foxes' £50m price tag is throwing a wrench in the Magpies' plans, says The Sun.

Brighton will not take a penny under their asking price for Marc Cucurella, with the Seagulls refusing to drop from their £50m valuation after Manchester City's £30m offer, per The Athletic.

– Timo Werner is eyeing an exit from Chelsea in this window as the Germany international is concerned over his game-time ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Antonio Conte has suggested Bayern Munich have been "a bit disrespectful" by refusing to rule out a move for Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Kane, who has two years remaining on his Spurs contract, is reportedly being lined up as a potential replacement for Robert Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena following the prolific Poland captain's switch to Barcelona.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann has expressed his admiration for the England skipper, but says he knows Kane may be too expensive.

The Bavarian giants' CEO Oliver Kahn had denied that the club are interested in buying Kane during this transfer window, but refused to rule out a move for the 28-year-old further down the line.

Speaking after his talisman Kane netted twice as Tottenham came from behind to beat Rangers 2-1 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, Conte made it clear he was not impressed with Bayern.

"For sure, I'm a coach that doesn't speak about players from another team," the Italian said.

"The situation is very clear at Tottenham and Harry is a very important part of the project. [They are] only rumours, but I don't like to talk about players from another club.

"If I want to do something, I don't do it through the media. Maybe, that's a bit disrespectful for the other club."

Kane has scored five times in three games during pre-season, with Tottenham unbeaten after their 6-3 victory over a K-League XI and 1-1 draw with Sevilla.

The London club complete their preparations for the Premier League campaign against their former boss Jose Mourinho's Roma side next weekend, and Conte is pleased with the shape his squad are in.

"I'm happy because the [Rangers] game wasn't a friendly game; it was a real game," he added.

"The last game they played against West Ham, they won 3-1, and you know the fitness of Rangers is higher. But despite this, I think that we played with a good intensity, a good pressure and a good quality.

"For sure, we can improve because we conceded a goal that we can avoid, but I'm delighted with the attitude and the will and desire that the players are showing me in this pre-season. I'm very happy."

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