Chelsea have reportedly already conducted a medical for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku with the aim of signing him at the end of this season.

It has long been thought Nkunku's time at Leipzig was coming to an end, but the Bundesliga club retained his services in the most recent transfer window, potentially setting him up for a 2023 departure.

Nkunku is off to a terrific start to the Bundesliga season, netting four goals from seven games, and while the interest in him is expected to be wide-ranging, Chelsea have used their relationship with Leipzig in an effort to jump to the front of the queue.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA COMPLETE SECRET NKUNKU MEDICAL, PREPARE TO TRIGGER RELEASE CLAUSE

According to Bild, Nkunku has a release clause in his contract set at €60million, and Chelsea are prepared to trigger it at the conclusion of this campaign.

Chelsea and Leipzig have done plenty of business together previously, including sales of Timo Werner in either direction and advanced negotiations around young centre-back Josko Gvardiol. It appears Nkunku was also discussed at length, and the German club were willing to let Chelsea take a closer look at the in-demand attacker ahead of any official bids being made.

With Gvardiol also remaining a potential target for new Chelsea coach Graham Potter – with his price tag set at a huge €90m – this could turn into one of the most expensive package deals ever.

ROUND-UP

– According to the Daily Star, Erling Haaland weighed up a potential move to Liverpool before eventually choosing Manchester City, but he categorically ruled out Manchester United.

– Football Insider is reporting Aston Villa are considering Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery for their next manager if Steven Gerrard is fired.

– Football Insider also claims Leicester City's James Maddison is "very keen" on a move to Tottenham after reports they are keeping tabs on the 25-year-old midfielder.

Chelsea will give Christian Pulisic a chance to prove his value before making a decision on his future, per 90min.

– Sport is reporting Juventus are planning a January move for Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba.

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.

Carlo Ancelotti saluted the impact of substitute Marco Asensio following his goal in Real Madrid's 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

The reigning champions made it six points from six in Group F after netting twice in the final 10 minutes to battle past their spirited opponents at Santiago Bernabeu.

After Federico Valverde opened the scoring, Asensio sealed the victory by sweeping a wonderful first-time effort into the top corner from Toni Kroos' lay-off for his eighth Champions League goal as a substitute - now the most of any player in the history of the competition.

The winger, who replaced Eduardo Camavinga in the 64th minute, was repeatedly linked with a move away from Madrid during the transfer window, and entered the contest having played just 17 minutes for Los Blancos across all competitions this season.

His frustration at the lack of playing time boiled over when he was overlooked by Ancelotti during Sunday's 4-1 win over Mallorca; throwing his bib to the ground while kicking a water bottle. But the Italian was pleased by Asensio's response.

"[I am] happy, he has had minutes and has delivered. I think he needed this goal," said Ancelotti, who became only the second coach to record 100 Champions League wins after Alex Ferguson (102). 

"At first, he hesitated whether to leave or stay, but he has stayed, and we were all happy. [It was a] good game, although we suffered a bit in the first half.

"The most important thing was to prevent them from having space behind the defenders, and that's why we wanted a slow pace. At half-time, we decided to put more energy into the game."

Madrid have now recorded clean sheets in each of their last three matches in the competition; doing so for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

And goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois highlighted the significance of making a strong start in Group F, with a double-header against Shakhtar Donetsk to come.

"It was important to start our defence with two straight wins," he said. "Now, if we can win our two against Shakhtar, we'll be nearly through to the next round.

"Maybe when we played better, we still didn't make huge danger [today], but the key was that we took our chances. 

"We applied much better pressure in the second half. We marked our men, played the ball simply when we had it. Our general play needs to improve - too many times, we failed to make our passes."

Real Madrid scored twice in the closing stages as they battled to a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

The reigning European champions had endured a frustrating day at the Santiago Bernabeu until Federico Valverde broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to play.

Substitute Marco Asensio then wrapped up the points in stoppage time to move Los Blancos to the top of Group F and give Carlo Ancelotti his 100th win in Europe's premier club competition.

Despite a spirited display – at odds with their below-par showing against Shakhtar Donetsk – Leipzig remain pointless after a second consecutive defeat.

Bayern Munich have been left with a hole after Robert Lewandowski's exit for Barcelona.

Sadio Mane moved to Munich from Liverpool in the close season but he is not a like-for-like replacement.

Bayern have started the new Bundesliga campaign in indifferent form, following up three wins with as many draws.

TOP STORY – NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY BETWEEN KANE AND BAYERN

Harry Kane is increasingly open to the idea of making the move to join German champions Bayern Munich, claims Sky Sports.

Sky Sports' Florian Plettenberg reports that negotiations have already been held by Bayern and Kane's brother Charlie, who represents him.

Bayern have made the Tottenham striker their number one target and can offer him the likelihood of silverware, in comparison to Spurs.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano reports that Lionel Messi will not make a decision on his future until after the World Cup, but Paris Saint-Germain are planning to offer him a new deal, while Barcelona are interested in re-signing him. Messi is contracted until 2023 but there is the option of another year in Paris.

Jude Bellingham's list of suitors is growing with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool all keen on Borussia Dortmund's English talent according to AS.

– New Chelsea boss Graham Potter has approved the club's pursuit of RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, with the club to try to sign him again in June 2023 reports Fichajes.

– Germany international forward Max Kruse's contract with Wolfsburg is set to be mutually terminated during the Bundesliga break, claims Sport.

– The Guardian reports that Lens head coach Franck Haise is under consideration for the vacant Brighton and Hove Albion managerial post, along with Bodo/Glimt's Kjetil Knutsen and ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss Roberto De Zerbi.

There was no shortage of thrills and spills on matchday one of the Champions League, and Wednesday's action promises more of the same as one of the world's most in-form strikers faces his former club.

Erling Haaland has made a spectacular start to his Manchester City career, hitting 12 goals in all competitions since his move from Borussia Dortmund, but how will he fare when his old team visit the Etihad Stadium? 

Elsewhere, Graham Potter will hope to have an immediate impact in his first game as Chelsea's head coach as they bid to bounce back from last week's 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, are among the favourites to be crowned European champions, and will both be hopeful of making it two wins from two outings.

Ahead of another intriguing set of European ties, Stats Perform trawls through the Opta data to highlight the most noteworthy facts for each game.

Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund

City striker Haaland netted 15 times in 13 Champions League appearances for Dortmund, and few would bet against the Norwegian haunting his former team on Wednesday.

Haaland helped himself to a brace at Sevilla last time out, bringing him to 25 Champions League goals in just 20 appearances – the highest tally managed by any player in their first 20 games in Europe's premier club competition. 

The visit of BVB will represent a landmark outing for City boss Pep Guardiola, taking him to 150 Champions League games. Only five other coaches have reached that tally, while only two have earned more victories than Guardiola's 94 – Alex Ferguson (102) and Carlo Ancelotti (99).

The omens are certainly good for the Premier League champions, who are unbeaten in their last 20 Champions League home games, winning 18 and drawing two. That represents the longest such sequence by an English side since Chelsea's run of 21 without defeat between September 2006 and December 2009.

Dortmund, meanwhile, have not won at an English side in the competition since beating Arsenal 2-1 in October 2013.

Chelsea v Salzburg

Defeat to Dinamo Zagreb spelled the end of Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea reign last week, and Potter is the man entrusted to ensure they avoid back-to-back continental defeats when Salzburg visit.

Chelsea have never previously lost their opening two games of a Champions League campaign, and last lost consecutive games in the competition in 2019-20, when they were beaten by Bayern Munich in both legs of a last-16 tie.

This will be the first meeting between Chelsea and Salzburg, with the Blues only losing one of their previous four European ties against Austrian teams (W1 D2). Salzburg, meanwhile, have never beaten an English side in European competition in six attempts (D1 L5).

But the Blues will have to be wary of Matthias Jaissle's young guns at Stamford Bridge, and may need to keep a particularly close eye on Noah Okafor. 

The 22-year-old has four goals in his last five Champions League outings for Salzburg – only Haaland (eight) has ever scored more for the club in the competition.

Real Madrid v RB Leipzig

Holders Madrid are looking to secure consecutive wins when they host RB Leipzig at the Santiago Bernabeu, and are unbeaten in their last 11 Champions League games against German opponents, scoring at least two goals in all of those matches (27 in total).

Leipzig, however, are unbeaten in their three European clashes with Spanish sides (W2 D1) and will be looking for a result comparable to their 2-1 quarter-final win over Atletico Madrid in 2019-20.

Los Blancos possess a remarkable amount of experience at the highest level; should Luka Modric feature, he will become the first 37-year-old outfield player to play a European Cup/Champions League game for Madrid since Ferenc Puskas in November 1965 against Kilmarnock.

Coach Ancelotti, meanwhile, is on the brink of his 100th win in the Champions League, and could become just the second boss to bring up such a century in the competition (after Alex Ferguson with 102).

Maccabi Haifa v Paris Saint-Germain

Kylian Mbappe scored a terrific brace to get PSG's European campaign off to a flying start against Juventus, and a trip to Maccabi Haifa gives him the opportunity to make club history.

The striker has scored 29 goals in 45 Champions League outings with PSG, scoring against 14 of the 17 opponents he's faced with the French champions. One more goal will see him level Edinson Cavani's record of 30 goals in the competition for the Ligue 1 side.

He could be aided by the in-form Neymar, who has provided eight assists for Mbappe in the Champions League, more than any player has assisted another in the competition since the start of 2017-18.

The final member of their revered forward trio, Lionel Messi, also has his eyes on making history.

Messi has scored against 38 different teams in the Champions League, the same amount as his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, and will be keen to claim the record outright when he faces Maccabi for the first time on Wednesday.

Other fixtures:

Rangers v Napoli

1 – Wednesday's rearranged match will be the first competitive meeting between Rangers and Napoli. The Serie A side have only faced a Scottish team in European competition once before, exiting to Hibernian in the Fairs Cup in November 1967.

3 – Piotr Zielinski was directly involved in three of Napoli's four goals as they thrashed Liverpool last week (two goals, one assist). This is already his best campaign for goal contributions in the competition since joining Napoli.  

Milan vs Dinamo Zagreb

6 - Milan have failed to win any of their last six home games in the Champions League (D3 L3), their longest run without a home victory in the competition.

31.8 – Dinamo Zagreb had just 31.8 per cent possession against Chelsea on matchday one, the lowest of any team who managed to avoid defeat in their opening game.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Celtic

3 – Shakhtar's Mykhailo Mudryk was one of three players to be directly involved in three goals on matchday one (one goal, two assists), along with Robert Lewandowski and Zielinski.

1/13 - Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart has only kept one clean sheet in his last 13 away Champions League games, with his last coming at Roma in December 2014 (for Manchester City).

Copenhagen v Sevilla

8 - Spanish sides are unbeaten in all eight of their Champions League games against Danish clubs (W6 D2) – only against sides from the Czech Republic (13) have Spanish teams appeared more often without defeat.

3/4 - Sevilla have lost three of their last four Champions League group-stage games (W1), as many as they lost in their previous 22 such matches (W10 D9).

Juventus v Benfica

2 - Juventus have lost their last two Champions League games. Only once in the history of the European Cup/Champions League have they lost three in a row, doing so between May 1968 and September 1972.

4 – Benfica's Alejandro Grimaldo has been involved in four goals in his last four Champions League games (one goal, three assists), more than he was in his first 27 games in the competition (two goals, one assist).

Karim Benzema is progressing well in his recovery but the Real Madrid striker will only play in Saturday's derby with Atletico Madrid if there is no risk of injury.

Benzema missed Madrid's 4-1 win over Real Mallorca last weekend because of a knee injury.

It will also keep him out of Wednesday's Champions League clash with RB Leipzig, with the fixture against city rivals Atletico seen as a potential return date.

But head coach Carlo Ancelotti is unwilling to take any chances with his star striker.

He said ahead of the Leipzig clash: "He [Benzema] is progressing well, there are options. But he will only play if there is no risk of injury."

The win over Mallorca featured a clash between Vinicius Junior and visiting coach Javier Aguirre and a furious response from Marco Asensio after Ancelotti elected not to send the midfielder on from the bench.

Asked about the latter incident, Ancelotti replied: "[Asensio] cannot be considered a young man or a veteran. He is doing well and since his anger, he is training very well.

"It is what has to happen when someone gets angry, because you can train better or lower your arms. And he has opted for the first one. He has options to win tomorrow."

On Vinicius, he added: "He's fine, lively, in a good dynamic. Fully recovered from the Mallorca game. We don't talk about this, it's not something we need to talk about."

While Madrid coasted to victory over Celtic in their opening Group F game, Leipzig started their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Shakhtar Donetsk.

Ancelotti, though, is wary of the threat posed by Leipzig, referencing their 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday as evidence of their quality.

"It's an important game, against a team that had problems at the beginning of the season, but a great game came together against Dortmund," said Ancelotti.

"They have quality, especially up front, technical and fast. We'll have to play a good game to try to win.

"Leipzig's attack is very dangerous, with Werner, Nkunku, Szobozslai, Forsberg - we're talking about a very dangerous team if you give them the chance to show their quality.

"I think the defensive aspect will be as important as the offensive."

RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a ligament injury in Saturday's 3-0 win against Borussia Dortmund.

The 25-year-old Austrian came off late in the game, and it has been revealed by his club he suffered a blow to his left syndesmosis ligament, an injury often known as a high ankle sprain.

Laimer, who was linked with Liverpool and Bayern Munich before the transfer window closed, faces "several weeks" out of action, Leipzig said.

The news comes as a blow to new Leipzig head coach Marco Rose, who was appointed last Thursday in the wake of Domenico Tedesco losing his job after a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The injury setback was confirmed on the eve of Leipzig's away game against Real Madrid in the Champions League, with Rose looking to keep the Bundesliga side in with a realistic shot of a top-two finish in Group F, which also contains Celtic.

Marco Rose insisted he took no extra satisfaction from beating Borussia Dortmund after he began his RB Leipzig tenure with a 3-0 thrashing of his former employers.

Goals from Willi Orban, Dominik Szoboszlai and Amadou Haidara got Rose's Leipzig reign off to the ideal start on Saturday, as they moved to within four points of Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.

Rose led Dortmund to a second-placed finish in his single season in charge last term, but was dismissed in May.

His exit allowed Edin Terzic, who performed the role of technical director during Rose's reign, to step back into the Dortmund dugout, and some had suggested the duo were set for an awkward reunion at the Red Bull Arena.

Speaking to Sky Sports, however, Rose said he took "zero point zero" satisfaction from beating his former colleague. 

"I really enjoyed being with the club. This is a great club," he said.

"I've met great people. In the end, it didn't fit any more, I had to go. I have a very good relationship with Edin. I wish BVB and the boys personally all the best."

Rose was later full of praise for his side's performance, declaring: "We were very present from the first minute. It wasn't perfect in terms of content, but we were intense, showed something and took the whole stadium with us.

"But I'm very happy with how we performed today. One of the keys to our success was definitely that we were able to use our pace and bring the quality of play onto the pitch.

"Leipzig is my home, with which I identify strongly. I feel very comfortable, I really like the people, and you saw that you can spark something together here."

Leipzig's clean sheet was just the second they have ever kept against Dortmund, with the other coming in their first competitive meeting in September 2016. Die Roten Bullen had conceded at least once in each of the teams' subsequent 12 meetings. 

Rose, meanwhile, has claimed just his second victory in his last seven games against BVB (five losses).

Goalscorer Szoboszlai worked with Rose at Salzburg between 2017 and 2019, and says he owes his career to the 45-year-old.

"I've known Marco since my time in Salzburg," he said. "We had both good and bad times together. But it's very clear, if he hadn't been there in my career, I wouldn't be where I am now."

Rose will face another of his former clubs when Leipzig go to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga next Saturday, though he must first navigate a Champions League trip to reigning champions Real Madrid on Wednesday.  

Chelsea's first big transfer splash under new boss Graham Potter could reportedly be RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, after the club had a £77million bid rejected before the deadline.

Gvardiol is young at 20, but he does not lack experience, having already been awarded 10 senior international caps for Croatia, as well as racking up 47 club appearances in all competitions last season for Leipzig.

He was one of many high-profile defenders to be enquired about during Chelsea's search that ended up landing Leicester City's Wesley Fofana and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.

But with Koulibaly already 31 and Thiago Silva now 37, the club may feel it is best to figure out the succession plan sooner rather than later.


TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLAN BIG MOVE FOR GVARDIOL IN JANUARY

With over £150m spent between Fofana, Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, while being tied with Manchester United for the fewest goals scored in the Premier League by a team in the top-half (eight from six games), it is curious to see the Stamford Bridge side still so desperate for defensive help.

It remains to be seen what kind of budget Potter will be allowed to use in the January window, given all the recent signings had been under Thomas Tuchel's guidance, and it is also fair to assume a potential Gvardiol deal would not have this season's results in mind, given their previous offer included loaning him back to Leipzig.

Ownership's willingness to open up the cheque book in January would have likely been discussed during their recruitment of Potter, and Bild remain convinced Chelsea's interest with the young Croatian is far from over.


ROUND-UP

– According to The Mirror, Arsenal and Newcastle United will compete for the signature of 26-year-old Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo, who is said to be available for £8.6m due to being in the last year of his contract.

– The Metro is reporting United full-back Diogo Dalot turned down a move to Milan, instead wishing to fight for his spot at Old Trafford.

– According to inews, Newcastle are joining the race for Vasco da Gama teenager Andrey Santos, who reportedly has a £30m price tag and is a target of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Jordi Alba is unsettled at Barcelona amid interest from Inter, but remains committed to the club where he now has to contend with Alejandro Balde and Marcos Alonso for the starting role, according to Marca.

Football is, indeed, a funny old game.

Given the regular twists of fate the football calendar can throw up, it should perhaps be little surprise to see the start Marco Rose has been handed after being appointed RB Leipzig head coach this week.

The first two Bundesliga games for Rose will be against his former clubs, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach, either side of a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to play Real Madrid in the Champions League.

"We all play in the same league so we'll face every team at some point," he said after he was announced by Leipzig. "It's definitely special and exciting, but I have a lot of work to do here so the scheduling isn't very important. We'll take it as it comes."

And he's right. Domenico Tedesco's replacement must get off to a good start to get Leipzig's season back on track, and who better to do it against than a Dortmund side that has already opened up a seven-point gap on them?

Opposing starts

After winning just five points from their first five games, Leipzig are experiencing their second-worst start to a Bundesliga season, though they have beaten last season's effort by a point.

Following their 4-0 humbling at Eintracht Frankfurt last time out, they have conceded nine Bundesliga goals already for the first time ever, and have never scored fewer goals at this stage (also six last season).

Dortmund, on the other hand, have collected 12 points from their first five games for the third successive season, sitting second in the table, ahead of Bayern Munich in third.

Edin Terzic's men also won their first two away games for the first time since 2015-16, meaning they could win their first three on the road in a top-flight season for only the third time (also in 2000-01 and 2010-11).

 

Kiss from a Rose

Marco Rose was in charge of 46 competitive matches as coach of Dortmund last season, but now that he is set to take on his former club in his first match as coach of Leipzig, it must be noted that he has lost five of his last six competitive games against BVB (W1).

New boss Terzic has won all three of his competitive games as head coach against Leipzig, including a 4-1 victory in the 2021 DFB-Pokal final.

In fact, Terzic has recorded more wins and scored more goals (10) against Leipzig than versus any other team, so will be confident of piling more misery on them on Saturday.

Importance of Reus and Nkunku

Marco Reus made it 1-0 to Dortmund for the 45th time in the Bundesliga when he scored against Hoffenheim last week. In doing so, he drew level with Manfred Burgsmuller's club record.

Reus has had a hand in 17 goals in the top flight in 2022 (seven goals, 10 assists) – of current Bundesliga players, only Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku has been directly involved in more (25 – 17 goals, eight assists).

Nkunku will make his 100th Bundesliga appearance on Saturday, should he play, and is the only player since his debut in August 2019 to score at least 30 goals (35) and set up 30 (32).

He was directly involved in five goals against Dortmund last season (two goals, three assists) – a record he did not better against anyone else (four goals, one assist against Hertha Berlin).

 

Keeping those sheets clean

Leipzig have only ever kept one clean sheet against Dortmund, which came in their first ever competitive meeting, a 1-0 home win in September 2016. They have since conceded at least once in all 12 meetings. Leipzig have never endured such a long wait for a clean sheet against any other side.

Despite losing Erling Haaland to Manchester City, BVB have continued to score goals, and have found the net in each of their last 33 Bundesliga games, the second-longest run in club history (37 games from 2020 to 2021).

No side has kept more clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season than Dortmund (three, level with leaders Freiburg), and only Union Berlin (three) have allowed opponents fewer clear-cut chances than BVB (five, and none over the last two matchdays).

Marco Rose has been appointed as the new coach of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a deal until June 2024.

Leipzig acted swiftly following the dismissal on Wednesday of Domenico Tedesco, who lasted just nine months in the role after replacing Jesse Marsch.

Tedesco paid the price for a poor start to the season that yielded just one win from five Bundesliga matches, while their Champions League campaign got under way with a 4-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

In his place comes Leipzig-born Rose, who parted company with Borussia Dortmund in May after just one season in charge despite securing a second-place finish.

Rose is a familiar face in the Red Bull set-up having previously coached Salzburg, after rising through their youth-team coaching ranks.

It was his work in Austria, where he won two top-flight titles and the Austrian cup, that meant Rose earned admirers in Germany, and a move to Borussia Monchengladbach occurred prior to the 2019-2020 season.

He helped Gladbach to a fourth-place finish in his first season in charge and, although they placed eighth in the following campaign, a run to the Champions League knockout stages saw Dortmund come calling.

Dortmund finished eight points behind champions Bayern last term, and the two parties went separate ways, but Rose will now have another crack at a big job in the Bundesliga with Leipzig.

RB Leipzig have sacked head coach Domenico Tedesco after just under nine months in charge, following a miserable start to the new season.

The former Spartak Moscow boss has paid the price for a poor campaign to date, having taken just one win from five in the Bundesliga.

A heavy 4-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League opener on Tuesday has now seen the German outfit dismiss his services

It marks the second permanent change in the top job in the space of a year for Leipzig, who sacked now-Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch less than half-a-year into his tenure last December.

"RB Leipzig have parted company with Domenico Tedesco with immediate effect," read an official club statement posted to social media.

"Assistant coaches Andreas Hinkel and Max Urwantschky have also left the club. RB Leipzig will announce his successor in due course."

Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taras Stepanenko said it was beyond his "wildest dreams" to thrash RB Leipzig 4-1 in their Champions League opener at the Red Bull Arena.

Igor Jovicevic's team became the first Ukrainian side to compete in the Champions League since the country was invaded by Russia, and they marked the occasion with an unlikely victory on their travels.

Despite enjoying just 32 per cent of the possession and attempting a mere four shots on target, Shakhtar scored with each of those through a Marian Shved double and further goals from Mykhaylo Mudryk and Lassina Traore.

Jovicevic's visitors finished with an expected goals total of just 1.2, compared to the 1.4 of Leipzig, who thought they had got back into the game through Mohamed Simakan's equaliser – only to fall apart soon after.

The defeat for Leipzig potentially leaves coach Domenico Tedesco's future in doubt, with the Bundesliga side winning only one of five league games, but this was a memorable victory for Shakhtar.

"I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams such a game with four goals for us. But we played well and I feel we deserved that result tonight," Stepanenko told reporters.

"I have been with the club for over a decade. This is a new team, but many of these young players are from the Shakhtar academy, so they have the Shakhtar spirit and this really helps us a lot.

"We are a tight group and have a lot of spirit. When I saw the draw, I immediately knew it was going to be a tough group, but I also knew we have a good team and should be able to get results.

"We want to progress, but with young players sometimes you are lacking consistency."

Shakhtar already have more points (three) and goals (four) than they earned in the entirety of last season's group stage (two points, two goals).

Their next task will see them face Celtic, who were 3-0 losers to reigning European champions Real Madrid in the other Group F game, but for now Jovicevic expressed his delight after seeing his positivity pay dividends.

"When the counter-attack for the third goal came and the ball was at Mudryk's feet, I already raised my arms in celebration because I know from training that he scores when he is through one on one with the keeper," Jovicevic said. 

"I tried to give this positive energy and it's all about being positive."

Shved became the 10th different Ukrainian player to score on his Champions League debut and just the second of those to do so while playing for Shakhtar – after Stepanenko in November 2010.

Jovicevic added praise for Shved, who also became the first Ukrainian to score a brace in the competition since Junior Moraes for Shakhtar at Lyon in October 2018.

"I know Marian Shved from my time at Lviv, and when Sevilla took him, I wanted him back," Jovicevic said.

"Now I am happy that he is back in my team. He is a hard worker, quick and powerful, and I know what he is capable of."

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.

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