Bayern Munich tightened their grip on Champions League Group E with a 4-0 win over Benfica thanks to two goals from Leroy Sane 

Julian Nagelsmann's side dominated the game at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday but had to wait until the 70th minute to open the scoring when Sane curled in a free-kick. 

Benfica's Everton increased their lead with an own goal before Robert Lewandowski tapped in and Sane put the gloss on the win with a side-footed finish from inside the box. 

Bayern are top of Group E on nine points and have a five-point cushion on second-placed Benfica, while Barcelona are a further point behind in third. 

Bayern began with a swagger and almost took an early lead when Thomas Muller's ball over the top picked out Sane but he shot wide. 

Odisseas Vlachodimos kept out a close-range Lewandowski header moments later as Benfica's defence were put on the back foot by an intense spell of Bayern pressure. 

Benfica's best chance of the first half came when Darwin Nunez brought a fine diving save out of Manuel Neuer, making his 100th appearance in the competition, with a curling effort. 

Lewandowski had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time when he got on the end of Kingsley Coman's cross, only for VAR to deny Bayern with the Polish striker deemed to have bundled it in with his arm. 

A crisp half-volley from Benjamin Pavard was deflected onto the post by Vlachodimos just after the interval, while Muller's tap in was chalked off by VAR for offside. 

Neuer's reflexes were tested again by a curling Diogo Goncalves effort that the Germany goalkeeper somehow kept out of the top corner. 

Lewandowski headed over and Roman Yaremchuk shot wide in an end-to-end contest before Bayern finally seized the lead from a free-kick. 

Sane was able to get his left-footed effort up and over the wall, although Vlachodimos was slow to react and almost appeared to dive over the ball. 

Bayern had a second goal when Everton turned a Serge Gnabry cross into his own net before Lewandowski finished from a matter of inches out after good play from Sane. 

Sane notched his second of the game with six minutes left, stroking the ball beyond Vlachodimos after a fine passing move from the Bundesliga leaders. 

Julian Nagelsmann hailed Bayern Munich's greediness as they crushed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Bayern cruised past embattled Barcelona in the Bundesliga champions' European opener before consolidating their perfect start in Group E with their fifth win in as many European home games against Dynamo.

Robert Lewandowski fired in a brace – his second goal representing his 119th strike in just 100 games for Bayern – before Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting completed the rout midweek.

Nagelsmann has now won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions – the best start by a Bayern head coach – but the highly rated German boss still wants improvements from his side.

"For a long time I'm already satisfied," Nagelsmann told DAZN post-match. "It's never easy to keep your concentration high if you lead early. There are still things that can be done better.

"It was symptomatic that the players always wanted to keep going. It's about this greed. To have it in both directions, and we showed this greed today. In the phases in which it might have tipped, the concentration was there."

"The most important scene for me was when [Dayot] Upamecano cleared the ball in the 89th minute and celebrated that we were keeping a clean sheet.

"That was an important step that the guys are so happy about. A zero for the opponent in the result just looks better."

Sane had been whistled off against Cologne by the Bayern supporters in September and Nagelsmann was pleased to see his winger's response as the hosts remained relentless in their thrashing of Mircea Lucescu's Ukrainian outfit.

"It's important for every person, for every footballer, to have a clear head," Nagelsmann continued.

"It's good to just let him [Sane] do his thing. He plays more central with me than last year. That's good for him, he has space there. He is an outstanding player with a very good character."

Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka says the side "just love playing football" after hammering Bochum 7-0 in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

The German champions turned on the style with a stunning display, with Joshua Kimmich netting a double, while four others scored along with a Vasilios Lampropoulos own goal.

Bayern raced to a 4-0 half-time lead with first-half strikes from Leroy Sane, Kimmich and Serge Gnabry before the Lampropoulos own goal.

Robert Lewandowski added a fifth on the hour, before Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded out a comprehensive performance as Bayern dominated with 24-5 shots including 15 on target to Bochum's none.

"We just love playing football," said Goretzka who got the assist for Kimmich's second goal.

"We want to develop more, from game to game, and absorb our new coach's philosophy more and more.

"Today was a lot of fun for us, but not so much for Bochum. Of course, I'm always a bit sorry about that from a personal standpoint.

"We didn't give Bochum any breathing space. The first 10 minutes were a bit hectic. That's when they got into playing the game they wanted to play - long balls, a lot of fighting for the second ball.

"But then we gradually found our structure and defended very well. That's just how we dominated."

Bayern have enjoyed an excellent start to life under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick in the off-season.

The Bavarians are top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from five games, while they have won their past seven games in all competitions.

Nagelsmann said he was happy with the way his side played and offered praise to Sane, who opened the scoring with a fine free-kick.

"I see [Sane] developing very positively," Nagelsmann said. "He was highly committed but he was also a full throttle in the games before the international break.

"He is fully committed in situations which don’t have anything to do with talent. He rewards himself by getting in these situations.

"I remember a situation in which he kept on defending for 30 metres and won the ball before his own box. He showed the same with the national team and scored today. Offensively he is always in a good position.

"Everyone tries to limit him to the wing but he has now played for the fourth time as a bit of an attacking midfielder. He finds spaces where he can use his qualities."

Former Manchester City attacker Sane has scored two goals and provided two assists from five Bundesliga games this term.

Leroy Sane "just wants to keep going" after he continued his impressive form for Bayern Munich with a goal and an assist in a 7-0 rout of Bochum. 

Sane opened the scoring on Saturday with a fine free-kick, with the Germany winger then turning provider for Joshua Kimmich to double Bayern's lead. 

Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski – who scored in a record-setting 13th successive Bundesliga home match – Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all scored again for Bayern, with Vasilios Lampropoulos also turning into his own net. 

Sane hopes to maintain his strong start to the season under Julian Nagelsmann after a difficult campaign last year. 

"I always try to do my best," he told Bayern's official website. 

"At the moment things are going very, very well. I just want to keep going. I played a good game today.  

"Sure, there are still a few things that can be improved. The coach speaks about them and I will try to implement it in the next games." 

Sane had five attempts, level with Gnabry for the most by any player in the game, with three of those ending up on target. 

It was an emphatic triumph for Bayern, who have moved to the top of the Bundesliga table with 13 points from their five matches. 

"I am satisfied with the result, but also with the way it was done," Nagelsmann said. 

"In the first ten minutes we still had a few problems. After that we got along very well. We had a good structure with the ball, we created a lot of opportunities.  

"In the second half there was a point that we didn't get a goal, and we showed the greed as if we had zero. Overall it was a very good performance. We are happy with the result." 

Paul Pogba will be in demand when his contract expires after this season.

While several big clubs are in the mix, one has reportedly taken the lead.

The Santiago Bernabeu could be Pogba's next home.

 

TOP STORY - REAL MADRID WANT POGBA

Real Madrid are confident they can land Paul Pogba on a free transfer after this season, Mundo Deportivo reports. 

The interest apparently is mutual, as the report says Pogba would favour a move to Los Blancos over interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus

The deal might not be so easy to close if Manchester United decide to sell Pogba during the January window, but he remains a top target for Madrid either way.

 

ROUND-UP

- After failing to find a landing spot in Europe following his departure from Arsenal, veteran centre-back David Luiz will join Flamengo through the end of 2022, according to reports by Fabrizio Romano and Goal Brazil. 

- Alexandre Lacazette appears on the way out at Arsenal after the Gunners made a significant effort to sign Tammy Abraham during the transfer window, Romano reports. 

- Chelsea and Bayern Munich could pursue a swap deal that sends Timo Werner back to Germany and brings Leroy Sane back to the Premier League, according to Todo Fichajes.

- Everton will make another attempt to prise Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal during the January window, ESPN reports.

- Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is drawing interest from Chelsea and Tottenham, according to 90min. 

Germany made it three wins from three under Hansi Flick and tightened their grip on top spot in World Cup qualifying Group J with a routine 4-0 victory over Iceland.

After putting eight unanswered goals past Liechtenstein and Armenia in their opening two games under Flick, Die Mannschaft kept up their positive start in Reykjavik.

Serge Gnabry's tap-in and Antonio Rudiger's header had Germany two goals ahead inside 24 minutes and Leroy Sane killed off the contest early in the second half.

Germany passed up a number of further opportunities before Timo Werner added a late fourth to seal a win that moves his side four points clear of second-place Armenia, who were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Liechtenstein earlier on Wednesday.

Gnabry opened the scoring after six minutes in the 6-0 win over Armenia three days ago and needed just four minutes to get off the mark against Iceland at Laugardalsvollur.

Joshua Kimmich played in Sane with a pass on the spin and the Bayern Munich winger laid the ball on a plate for club-mate Gnabry to convert from close range.

That goal was allowed to stand after a VAR check for offside and the visitors had a second when Rudiger powerfully headed Kimmich's delivery away from Hannes Halldorsson.

Germany were then given a scare when, moments after Werner missed a one-on-one, Johann Berg Gudmundsson struck the post and Albert Gudmundsson's follow-up was ruled out for offside.

Kai Havertz, brought on for Gnabry at half-time, was next to miss a glorious chance as he slotted wide with just Halldorsson to beat, but Sane thumped a third into the rood of the net to seal the points.

After Leon Goretzka had a goal ruled out for offside it was left to Werner to complete the rout, the Chelsea attacker's shot trickling over the line as he made amends for an earlier horror miss from six yards out.

 

What does it mean? Flick's flying start continues

As far as starts to international coaching go, three wins from three with 12 goals scored and none conceded is just about as good as it gets for Flick.

The calibre of opponent may not have been all that daunting, but Germany have done what was asked of them to overtake Armenia and open up a healthy lead at the top.

Tougher tests lie ahead for Flick, but the transition from the disappointing end to Joachim Low's long tenure has been seamless and Germany's place in Qatar is almost assured.

Kimmich runs the show

Gnabry, Rudiger, Sane and Werner will receive the plaudits for getting their names on the scoresheet, though Kimmich was once again superb for Germany in central midfield.

He was pivotal in the opening goal with his vision, set up the second and played more key passes (four) than any other player on the field.

Wasteful Werner

Werner undoubtedly has his qualities, but he is arguably now better known for his collection of horror misses than world-class goals.

The Chelsea man did manage to score his 19th international goal on his 45th cap, but only after failing to convert a one-on-one and what was effectively an open goal from his four shots in total.

What's next?

Germany host Romania in their next Group J match on October 8, the same day that that Iceland welcome Armenia to Laugardalsvollur.

Could a Premier League return be on the cards for Leroy Sane?

Sane swapped Manchester City for Bayern Munich in 2020, however, it has not gone according to plan in his native Germany.

Chelsea are reportedly trying to lure Sane back to England.

 

TOP STORY – SANE TO MAKE ENGLAND RETURN?

Chelsea are keen to sign Leroy Sane from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, according to the Express.

Sane left Manchester City for Bayern in 2020 but the Germany international has struggled for form in Munich.

Champions League holders Chelsea – led by German boss Thomas Tuchel – are reportedly targeting Sane and are willing to include Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic in any deal.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United could target Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic in January, per Manchester Evening News. Brozovic is nearing the end of his Inter contract, with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona also among the Croatia international's admirers. The report has also linked United with Barca's Pedri and Borussia Monchengladbach forward Dennis Zakaria, who has been previously linked to City and Inter.

Liverpool are continuing contract talks with star Mohamed Salah, says the Liverpool Echo, which claims Salah is not asking for £500,000 per week, despite previous reports. Salah has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona previously.

Franck Ribery is set to join Serie A newcomers Salernitana on a free transfer, according to Fabrizio Romano. The former Bayern and France star has been without a club since leaving Fiorentina at the end of 2020-21.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Roma are hoping to sign Zenit star Sardar Azmoun on a free transfer at the end of the season.

- The front page of Monday's Tuttosport claims Inter are eyeing soon-to-be free agents Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli and Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso. Insigne has previously been linked with Milan and Liverpool, while the likes of United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Roma have been credited with interest in Tolisso.

- Calciomercato reports Inter are considering Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana as a long-term replacement for Samir Handanovic.

Germany enjoyed a comfortable start to life under Hansi Flick as they ran out 2-0 winners over minnows Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying Group J. 

Following a trophy laden 18-month stint at Bayern Munich, Flick replaced long-serving Germany coach Joachim Low after Euro 2020. 

Liechtenstein's goal lived a charmed life throughout on Thursday, with it taking until the 41st minute for Timo Werner to break the deadlock. 

The scoreline would have reflected Germany's dominance if not for Liechtenstein's goalkeeper Benjamin Buchel, yet Leroy Sane capped a fine individual display with a terrific strike to ensure there was no chance of a shock comeback. 

Two of Flick's former Bayern players combined in the fourth minute, Sane teeing up Joshua Kimmich, who saw his on-target strike blocked. 

Sane swiftly crafted another chance – Buchel making a fine stop to deny Werner – before Robin Gosens headed Kimmich's wonderful cross against the left-hand upright. 

Germany's opener finally came with their 12th attempt of a one-sided contest, Werner slotting home from Jamal Musiala's flick after a brilliant run from the Bayern youngster.  

Buchel somehow denied Germany a second before the hour, making a fantastic double save to keep out close-range efforts from both Gosens and Ilkay Gundogan. 

Gosens finally seemed set to get his goal with a blistering strike that was destined for the top corner, yet Daniel Kaufmann's brave block summed up a stoic defensive effort from Liechtenstein. 

Their resolve was finally punctured again in the 77th minute by Sane's brilliance, however, as the winger set himself up with some neat footwork before drilling a low finish across Buchel, emphatically making sure of the victory for new boss Flick. 

 

What does it mean? Easy does it for Hansi 

The short trip to Liechtenstein was never likely to present too many issues for Germany, though a stunning defeat would hardly have been the way Flick wished to start his reign. 

Germany, who are second in the group, barely got out of first gear, so there cannot be too many judgements made based on this display. Still, Flick will want his team to be more clinical in future. They ended the game with 85.3 per cent possession and had 30 attempts, albeit just seven were on target, so cannot truly be pleased with only the two goals. 

Buchel keeps things respectable  

With no points and 12 goals conceded from their first four games, there is no doubting Liechtenstein's place as the whipping boys in the group. 

Yet their goalkeeper can come out of this match with his head held high. Buchel made four saves, including a truly excellent stop from Gundogan in the 58th minute – a chance which registered an expected goals (xG) value of 0.51, making it the second-best opportunity of the match after Werner's opener. 

Sane returns to form in style 

It has been a difficult start to the season at Bayern for Sane, who was substituted off at half-time in Julian Nagelsmann's first competitive home game in charge last month. 

However, playing in his preferred position on the left, the former Manchester City winger had plenty of joy on duty for his country. He created a game-leading four chances, all of which were missed by his team-mates, before slamming in a deserved goal for himself. 

What's next? 

Germany host Group J leaders Armenia in Flick's first home game at the helm, while Liechtenstein face Romania, with both matches taking place on Sunday. 

Germany enjoyed a comfortable start to life under Hansi Flick as they ran out 2-0 winners over minnows Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying Group J. 

Following a trophy laden 18-month stint at Bayern Munich, Flick replaced long-serving Germany coach Joachim Low after Euro 2020. 

Liechtenstein's goal lived a charmed life throughout on Thursday, with it taking until the 41st minute for Timo Werner to break the deadlock. 

The scoreline would have reflected Germany's dominance if not for Liechtenstein's goalkeeper Benjamin Buchel, yet Leroy Sane capped a fine individual display with a terrific strike to ensure there was no chance of a shock comeback. 

Two of Flick's former Bayern players combined in the fourth minute, Sane teeing up Joshua Kimmich, who saw his on-target strike blocked. 

Sane swiftly crafted another chance – Buchel making a fine stop to deny Werner – before Robin Gosens headed Kimmich's wonderful cross against the left-hand upright. 

Germany's opener finally came with their 12th attempt of a one-sided contest, Werner slotting home from Jamal Musiala's flick after a brilliant run from the Bayern youngster.  

Buchel somehow denied Germany a second before the hour, making a fantastic double save to keep out close-range efforts from both Gosens and Ilkay Gundogan. 

Gosens finally seemed set to get his goal with a blistering strike that was destined for the top corner, yet Daniel Kaufmann's brave block summed up a stoic defensive effort from Liechtenstein. 

Their resolve was finally punctured again in the 77th minute by Sane's brilliance, however, as the winger set himself up with some neat footwork before drilling a low finish across Buchel, emphatically making sure of the victory for new boss Flick. 

Bayern Munich's merciless 12-0 demolition of Bremer in the DFB-Pokal left the minnows' player-coach Sebastien Kmiec watching with "one eye crying and one eye lit up".

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting hit four goals as a strong Bayern side that included Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich tore apart their fifth-tier opponents with "brutal" efficiency.

Bayern had 37 shots, which is the most they have had since also having 37 in a Bundesliga clash with Darmstadt in February 2016, a game in which the Bavarian giants came from behind at the interval to seal a 3-1 win.

There were no such difficulties this time, with Wednesday's deadly dozen capped by Colentin Tolisso late on.

The French midfielder had a team-high nine goal attempts and got his reward last of all by grabbing the 12th goal in the 88th minute.

Jamal Musiala also grabbed a double as Bayern put their foot down and crushed Bremer beneath their might.

Kmiec, who is an assistant to head coach Benjamin Eta, played the first 58 minutes and departed the scene with Bremer 7-0 in arrears.

"The quality is brutal, of course. We had very little to counter with. We didn't get into the 50-50s and just ran after every ball," Kmiec said, quoted on Bayern's website.

"You see it with one eye crying and one eye lit up, because it's just brutal.

"They made substitutions, but even the ones who came on wanted to put themselves forward and played their part.

"Here on the pitch you can see how fast they are, but also how quickly they think. You just have to say: outstanding."

 

Bayern had an 89.9 per cent passing accuracy and 68 per cent of possession against their outclassed hosts at the Weserstadion. That is now Werder Bremen's home, but was once shared by Bremer.

Bremer substituted goalkeeper Malte Seemann after 70 minutes, giving deputy Ole Bahr the final 20 minutes against the rampant Bundesliga champions. The score moved on from 8-0 to 12-0 after the switch.

In the face of Bayern's brilliance, Seemann was determined not to be deflated, labelling the game as "unbelievable" and "an indescribable feeling".

Seemann even added: "It was fun. Our boys were great and the Bayern players were all nice. That's something we'll remember."

Julian Nagelsmann insisted there is more to come from Jamal Musiala following the teenager's brace in Bayern Munich's 12-0 DFB-Pokal demolition of Bremer.

Musiala scored twice on his first start of the season as Bundesliga champions Bayern put 12 past their helpless fifth-tier opponents at the Weserstadion on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old brilliantly executed a neat one-two with four-goal star Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for his opener, while rifling home a 20-yard thunderbolt for his second just after half-time.

Germany sensation Musiala carried a constant threat with his pace and ball retention down the right flank, and would have claimed a hat-trick had his goal-bound first-half shot not been turned over his own line by Jan-Luca Warm.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann is certainly excited by what the academy graduate has to offer.

"Jamal is incredibly good in possession, but there's more to him," Nagelsmann told the official club website post-match after Bayern secured their second-highest winning margin in all competitions since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 – they defeated DJK Waldberg 16-1 in the DFB-Pokal.

"There's a lot of potential in Jamal. The way he handles the ball; it does seem as if he has magnets in his boots. 

"He's got great quality. No doubt, this is a very talented 18-year-old."

Nagelsmann also hailed the performance levels of Leroy Sane, who scored a goal for the German giants and provided seven key passes including two assists.

One of four survivors in a much-changed side from Sunday's win over Cologne, the former Manchester City attacker also successfully completed 30 of his 38 attempted passes.

"He was super involved; he defended extremely well and scored a goal," Nagelsmann added.

"I think he could have scored three more if other players had passed the ball to him; he was in a very good position several times. 

"What some people accuse him of doing is not going to the limit, but today it was really obvious that he went to the limit. He gave it his all and I'm super happy."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels Leroy Sane's situation at Bayern Munich is similar to the difficulties Arjen Robben went through in his early years at the club.

Sane, signed from Manchester City in July 2020, has struggled to string together a consistent run during his time with the Bundesliga champions.

The flying winger was one of the Premier League's most exciting attackers during his time with City yet found himself a peripheral figure under Hansi Flick last term. On Sunday, he was taken off at half-time after drawing jeers from Bayern's support in Julian Nagelsmann's first competitive home game in charge.

Sane had 28 touches, two attempts – neither of which were on target – and created one chance in the first half against Cologne, with his replacement Jamal Musiala coming on to make an impact by teeing up Robert Lewandowski's opener in an eventual 3-2 win for Bayern.

Rummenigge, who left his role on the Bayern board at the end of last season, believes the Germany international's predicament, and the treatment he received from some Bayern fans, is akin to the reaction Robben initially received.

Robben joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009 and went on to become a club legend, but Rummenigge recalled that, the Netherlands attacker once considered leaving.

"At first I didn't like it, I feel sorry for him [Sane]," Rummenigge said on Bild's Reif ist live podcast about what happened on Sunday.

"He tries but has no confidence. He didn't play a good game. With his transfer fee and salary, the criticism of the fans is slowly coming up.

 

"I remembered 2012 in the stadium. There was the famous home final [in the Champions League]. It reminded me of the sad Arjen Robben. He missed a penalty in the final. 

"Arjen was almost ready to ask for his release. But we said: 'No, we won't do that.' He was an important player for Bayern Munich. We supported him. 

"Jupp Heynckes built him up as a coach. He was extremely ambitious. The result: a year later he was the match-winner in the Champions League final against Dortmund."

Since starring with a goal and two assists against former club Schalke on his debut, Sane has featured 46 times across all competitions for Bayern, which ranks him third behind stalwarts Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller (both 48).

However, only 28 of those appearances have been starts, while he has been taken off 22 times – Sane trails only Serge Gnabry (23) and Kingsley Coman (29) in that regard.

Sane has contributed nine goals and eight assists. His tally of 45 chances created is just above former team-mate David Alaba (38) but way behind Muller, who tops the list for Bayern across the period with 125.

Julian Nagelsmann insists Bayern Munich have a lot of room for improvement after narrowly defeating Cologne 3-2 on Sunday.

Serge Gnabry's brace, coupled with Robert Lewandowski's opener, ensured Bayern's new head coach his first Bundesliga win at the second time of asking.

The reigning German champions failed to win in their opener for the first time in 10 years, having drawn 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach, and Nagelsmann compared the two opening fixtures.

"The result is good," the 34-year-old told reporters. "It was a wild game that had parallels to the game against Gladbach.

"We still have a lot to do and improve. We lost the ball too often and we could have done better.

"Football is a sport of results, and in the end the result was good from our point of view today."

Gnabry's double was his fourth multiple-goal return against Cologne, while Lewandowski equalled his own record 12-game Bundesliga scoring run with a close-range finish.

However, Leroy Sane was hauled off at half-time amid first-half jeers from the crowd.

"We didn't play a good game in the first half as a whole team," Nagelsmann continued.

"I heard the whistles [from the crowd towards Sane]. The fans should support their own players – anything else does not help."

Sane's half-time replacement, Jamal Musiala impressed to create Lewandowski's tap-in and Nagelsmann hailed the Germany international's "outstanding game offensively" and lauded his one-on-one abilities to attack.

Asked whether Bayern would be active in the transfer window, having only spent money on Dayot Upamecano, Nagelsmann responded: "Transfers? We'll see what's possible. If there's something, then we will announce it. If not, then we will work with what we have."

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is eager to keep Leon Goretzka despite links to Manchester United, declaring him to be "one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe".

Goretzka has just under a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, fuelling speculation over his future.

United are reported to have lined up Goretzka as another potential new recruit, having already agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Goretzka scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last season, while he also found the back of the net twice and laid on two Champions League goals in the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking at his first Bayern press conference on Wednesday, Nagelsmann said: "Leon is a very important player. I would also be very happy to work with him for many years.

"He is one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. So, of course, we want to keep him."

Nagelsmann also gave his backing to winger Leroy Sane, who failed to hit the heights expected of him in his first season with the club following a big-money move from Manchester City.

"We would do well to leave Leroy alone a little in the media," said the former RB Leipzig boss. "He has outstanding qualities, has a lot of speed, is one of the best one-on-one players.

"We need that. I am I'm sure we'll see an improved Leroy. But of course the player has to take that step himself."

 

Nagelsmann was given a five-year contract to replace Hansi Flick and the 33-year-old, who had a win percentage of 56.84 from 95 games with RB Leipzig, knows he will be under pressure to deliver.

"It's a show of praise in advance of my work, which I want to justify," he said of his long-term deal.

"It gives someone a very good feeling to get this level of trust. It also shows, however, that you have to deliver. I know this and I want to do just that."

New Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn believes Nagelsmann will show why the club has put so much faith in him.

"Continuity in the coaching position is very important for success. We think that we can shape an era with Julian," said the ex-Germany goalkeeper.

"He identifies with the club. That is why we are convinced of the decision."

Germany playmaker Thomas Muller hopes striker Harry Kane's England goal drought goes on a little while longer.

England renew their rivalry with Germany next Tuesday in a mouth-watering Euro 2020 last-16 tie at Wembley with misfiring Kane set to lead the line for the Three Lions.

Kane started all three of England's Group D matches, but has just a solitary shot on target to show for his efforts.

The 27-year-old came into the tournament on the back of formidable season in the Premier League with Tottenham as he topped the goals (23) and assist (14) charts but has struggled so far.

He has managed five shots in total, three of which were deemed as 'big chances' by Opta. No other England player missed more than one across those three games.

"Great strikers are the best at being patient," Muller told a news conference.

"A striker is always waiting for his chances. He usually has the least contact with the ball, but the biggest picture in the newspaper after the game. 

"I don't know why he hasn't got into the final positions that he normally comes in. For us it wouldn't be a problem at all if the discussion lasts until Wednesday and we don't concede a goal.

"We're in the round of 16. We won against England World Cup 2010. That has nothing to do with Tuesday, but it might make one or the other feel good. We're looking forward to the big game with England."

Muller claimed he will be fit to face England having struggled with a knee injury during the tournament.

He added: "If I had problems I would not have trained today. The injury does not hinder me. I am experienced enough to deal with it. I am convinced that it will not be a problem for Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Serge Gnabry has backed Leroy Sane to silence the fans who have jeered his performances for Germany at Euro 2020.

Sane has no goals, assists and just one attempt on goal so far in the tournament.

"With the talent and skill level that Leroy has, he will always prevail," Gnabry said.

"It hasn't been so smooth yet. But if he gets his chance, he has to take it. I don't notice anything in the game. He gave Hungary the run-around, worked defensively. He can build on that. 

"We never need whistles. I can't understand why people whistle."

Page 2 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.