Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel insists his side will “give everything” to earn victory over fellow high-flyers Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Munich bounced back from their humiliating 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt with a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to a second-half strike from Kingsley Coman and Tuchel’s side will be looking to set the record straight in the league again.

Stuttgart sit just one place beneath Munich in the table and could leapfrog the German champions with victory at the Allianz Arena.

Tuchel thinks Sebastian Hoeness’ team deserve their lofty placing due to consistent performances.

He told a press conference: “They’re very consistent. Together they’re greater than the sum of their parts. They deserve to be up where they are. They’re very homogeneous, tactically very flexible.”

“It’s impressive how Stuttgart play. You can see Sebastian’s mark on the team. I think Stuttgart have had a consistent over performance, so there must be good unity between the team and the coach.

“It’s completely deserved, so we’ll give everything our greatest respect and recognise that.”

Coman and Noussair Mazraoui both featured at Old Trafford in midweek but picked up injuries and were subsequently substituted which will rule them out of the clash on Sunday.

The pair will join Serge Gnabry on the sidelines but Tuchel will be hoping to have top scorer Harry Kane in his ranks after an illness.

Tuchel continued: “We’ve got tough games. The fixture list is how it is, we know it beforehand.

“The two injuries on our right side hurt us. They were both in good form. King has had a very good season so far. Nous too.

“It came out of nowhere and hurts because both are important players.

“Harry Kane is a bit ill. We hope he can train again tomorrow. Jamal Musiala is fine.”

Bayern will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at home with a return to winning ways but Tuchel thinks his side need to be at their best to earn a result.

He added: “Everyone wants minutes. It’s even more important now we don’t have as much competition for places that the intrinsic motivation is high.

“We showed that at Old Trafford. It needs to be there again on Sunday. If we won’t match that with the same spirit as Stuttgart show every game, then we won’t win.”

Union Berlin secured Champions League qualification for the first time in their history as Schalke suffered relegation from Bundesliga on the final day of the season.

Rani Khedira's 81st-minute winner at home to Werder Bremen saw Union pip Freiburg to fourth place in the German top flight, with Urs Fischer's side booking their spot in UEFA's top club competition for next season.

There was no such good fortune for Schalke, though, as they dropped back down to 2. Bundesliga following a 4-2 defeat to third-placed RB Leipzig on Saturday.

As Bayern Munich celebrated edging out Borussia Dortmund for the title on goal difference, Stuttgart will be left to fight for their top-flight status in a play-off after a 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim.

Stuttgart will face either Hamburg or Heidenheim, with whoever finishes third in the German second division due to battle with Sebastian Hoeness' men for a place in Bundesliga next term.

Had Stuttgart won, Augsburg would have been in that play-off after a 2-0 final-day defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach, while Bochum pulled clear of danger with a 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Edin Terzic called Borussia Dortmund's 3-3 draw with Stuttgart "brutally disappointing" as they missed the chance to move level with Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit.

The Black and Yellow looked on course to join Bayern at the top of the table when Gio Reyna struck in second-half injury time at Mercedes-Benz Arena.

But a 97th-minute equaliser from Silas Katompa Mvumpa instead saw them drop two crucial points in the title race against their 10-men hosts.

It is the latest capitulation of a topsy-turvy season for Dortmund, and Terzic did not hold back in his scathing assessment of their performance after the final whistle.

"We missed a huge chance as a team," he told Sky Sport Germany. "That is brutally disappointing.

"It is hard for me to find the words [to explain] why it happened.

"We thought that with the loss at home to Werder Bremen, we had already experienced the worst part of the season.

"But this tops it again. We were lucky in the early stages. If we are honest, we almost conceded four goals against a team that was outnumbered."

Dortmund held a man advantage for an hour of the game, after Stuttgart defender Konstantinos Mavropanos was dismissed for a second yellow card in the first half.

Their inability to capitalise on Bayern's own slip-up, after a home draw with Hoffenheim, leaves them trailing the Bavarian giants by two points in the Bundesliga title race with six games to play.

Dortmund next host Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

 

Ajax have finally filled the void left by Marc Overmars with the appointment of former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund transfer chief Sven Mislintat.

Overmars was sacked by Ajax in February 2022 after "a series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time".

The former Netherlands international apologised for his actions but departed the club, accepting a role at Belgian side Antwerp a month later.

In the meantime, Ajax have operated without a specific director of football, Overmars' duties instead handled by technical managers Gerry Hamstra and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Mislintat, who left Stuttgart in late 2022, will step into the void from May 19.

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said of the appointment: "It is good for Ajax that we have been able to fill this important position with an internationally experienced football director who can start quickly.

"A careful process preceded the search for the right person. We were looking for someone who stands for attacking and attractive football.

"Someone who has an international network, and has an eye for scouting, development, and the growth of our own youth.

"Sven meets the profile, and he made a very good impression on us from the first talks in February.

"In addition, he has a way of working that fits today's industry. I am convinced that he will make an important contribution to new successes of Ajax."

Mislintat made his name at Borussia Dortmund, where he was head of scouting and head of professional football between 2006 and 2017, playing a vital role in the identification of talents who re-established BVB among the elite.

Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mats Hummels, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele all signed for Dortmund on Mislintat's watch.

He became Arsenal's head of recruitment in 2017 but his spell in charge of transfers was largely deemed a disappointment, leaving in February 2019.

Mislintat returned to Germany with Stuttgart two months later, staying until late last year when he opted against signing a new contract as he sought a new challenge.

Julian Nagelsmann and Leon Goretzka urged Bayern Munich to become more ruthless after escaping with a 2-1 victory in Saturday's match at lowly Stuttgart.

Bayern held a convincing two-goal lead at Mercedes-Benz Arena with a little over an hour played after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added to Matthijs de Ligt's first-half opener.

The visitors took their foot off the gas at that point, and it almost backfired as Juan Jose Perea pulled one back late on and Tanguy Coulibaly headed inches wide in added time.

Despite finishing with an expected goals (xG) return of 2.30 compared to 0.67 for Stuttgart, Nagelsmann conceded Bayern almost blew it.

"After going 2-0 up, we had several counter-attacks we didn't finish well," he told Sky Sport. "We had the game under control, but if you concede late on, things gets tight again.

"We have to finish our chances better and go for the third goal, then we'd kill it off."

Goretzka, who accumulated a game-high xG of 0.54 without scoring, agreed with his manager's assessment.

"We made a few mistakes after going 2-0 up," he said. "The opponent didn't believe they could get something out of the game after going 2-0 down.

"We have to act accordingly, but we didn't manage to do that in the last 15 minutes."

Thomas Muller, whose assist for Choupo-Moting's strike was his 300th direct goal involvement in the Bundesliga, looked to take positives from his side's sluggish finish.

"We're happy. We won and we're top of the table again," Muller said. "When FC Bayern is up there, I always have a good feeling.

"The fact that the game got tight at the end is maybe a good test for the Champions League game against PSG."

Bayern lead that last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 heading into Wednesday's second leg at the Allianz Arena thanks to Kingsley Coman's goal in the reverse fixture.

Asked if he intends to stick with the same line-up that started against Stuttgart, Nagelsmann gave little away.

"I have to analyse and see how PSG are doing, then I'll decide," he said.

Bayern have now won four of their past five league matches and are above Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table by virtue of a superior goal difference.

The 10-in-a-row champions have won 13 away game on the spin against Stuttgart, who are one of four sides on 19 points at the bottom of the division.

"It was an important win for us," said Choupo-Moting, who signed a new contract on Friday. "Of course we didn't play our best game, and we can improve a few things.

"The opponent didn't give up and made it difficult. After their goal, you could feel the atmosphere in the stadium and that they were hoping for a point."

Bayern Munich beat relegation-threatened Stuttgart 2-1 on Saturday to reclaim Bundesliga top spot from Borussia Dortmund on goal difference.

In-form Dortmund defeated RB Leipzig 2-1 on Friday to reach the summit, but Bayern responded well at Mercedes-Benz Arena as they made it four wins in five league outings.

Matthijs de Ligt's 25-yard drive shortly after clearing an effort off the line gave Bayern the lead six minutes before half-time, with the game having been evenly matched until that point.

The visitors added a second through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 62nd minute and saw out the victory, despite Juan Jose Perea pulling back a late goal for Stuttgart, boosting confidence ahead of facing Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Fabian Bredlow produced a sublime save to keep out Leon Goretzka's early header, but Bayern did not look entirely comfortable against Stuttgart's high press and gave away chances.

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer was equal to Silas Katompa Mvumpa's near-post effort and De Ligt was then well positioned to hook Konstantinos Mavropanos' header off the line.

De Ligt was involved at the other end two minutes later as his low shot caught out Bredlow, who reacted late and could not keep the ball out despite getting a hand to it.

Kingsley Coman fired straight at Bredlow early in the second half, but Choupo-Moting slotted home a second for Bayern after being played in by Thomas Muller.

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann introduced substitutes Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry for the visitors, but it was Stuttgart who scored the next goal through Perea's angled header in the 88th minute, before fellow substitute Tanguy Coulibaly headed inches wide in a major let-off for Bayern.

Julian Nagelsmann knows Bayern Munich could slip up if they are not at full throttle when they face Stuttgart due to having one eye on a showdown with Paris Saint-Germain next week.

Borussia Dortmund can replace Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga table if they avoid defeat against RB Leipzig on Friday.

Bayern will be looking for a 13th consecutive away victory over Stuttgart and go into Saturday's game on the back of a 3-0 win over third-placed Union Berlin.

The Bavarian giants will then take on PSG in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie next Wednesday and hold a 1-0 lead courtesy of Kingsley Coman's goal at the Parc des Princes.

Bayern head coach Nagelsmann says there is no chance the reigning champions will take Stuttgart lightly as they battle to retain the title.

He said: "Of course it's an important game [against PSG]. We're in a good position and want to go through. Now Stuttgart is important because we don't have a 10-point lead. The next game is always the most important."

Nagelsmann added: "It doesn't make much sense to slow down tomorrow because we have an important game on Wednesday. Unfortunately, our situation in the Bundesliga doesn't allow us to give anything away. We'll give it our all tomorrow."

Sadio Mane returned from a knee injury as a substitute in the win over Union Berlin and Nagelsmann plans to give the former Liverpool forward another run-out this weekend.

He said: "He's making a good impression. We will try and give him more minutes. It was a serious injury, but his fitness levels are good. Sadio is part of the usual battle for places."

Bayern will check on Leroy Sane's fitness as the winger has been struggling with an ankle injury.

Stuttgart boss Bruno Labbadia has lost all 16 competitive matches against Bayern in his coaching career, but his side have won four of their last six home games in the Bundesliga.

Europe's elite clubs raced to beat the January transfer deadline as Pedro Porro signed for Tottenham and Enzo Fernandez neared a record Premier League move when the window slammed shut.

Argentina's World Cup winner Fernandez appeared set to complete a long-awaited move to Chelsea in a record-breaking Premier League transfer.

While Chelsea aimed to bring in the youthful Fernandez, veteran Italy international Jorginho departed as he joined Arsenal after Mikel Arteta's side were unable to secure Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Manchester United also looked to strengthen their midfield with a loan deal for Bayern Munich's Sabitzer after an injury to key playmaker Christian Eriksen at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Tottenham solidified their defensive options by snaffling Spanish wing-back Porro from Sporting CP after lengthy negotiations.

Stats Perform provides a rundown of the notable deals as the mid-season transfer window finally closed.

 

BOEHLY BREAKS RECORD FOR FERNANDEZ

Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar and the Blues' Todd Boehly-led consortium appear to have finally got their man. 

After already snatching Mykhaylo Mudryk from under the noses of Arsenal, Chelsea are set to splash a reported £105.5million (€120m) on Fernandez from Benfica.

That would break the Premier League record of £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish, as the Blues looked to secure the former River Plate midfielder on a reported seven-and-a-half-year contract.

ARSENAL'S CAICEDO BLUES CURED BY JORGINHO

Arteta and Arsenal's pursuit of Caicedo fell on deaf ears as Brighton refused to budge, despite the Gunners lodging a reported £70m bid for the 21-year-old.

After missing out on primary midfield target Caicedo, Jorginho switched the blue shirt of Chelsea for the red of Arsenal as he completed a reported £12m transfer to the Premier League leaders.

The 31-year-old will provide able competition for the impressive Thomas Partey after penning an 18-month contract at Emirates Stadium.

TEN HAG FINDS ERIKSEN COVER IN SABITZER

With Eriksen ruled out for three months, Erik ten Hag and United acted swiftly to attempt to bring in experienced midfielder Sabitzer on a short-term loan.

Opportunities had been hard to come by for the Austria international after joining Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season.

He started just 15 times in his 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, though he may now have the chance to impress in the Premier League with Ten Hag's resurgent Red Devils.

CONTE GETS PORRO AS DOHERTY AND SPENCE DEPART

It appeared Tottenham may not secure the services of attack-minded wing-back Porro, formerly of Girona and Manchester City, after it seemed negotiations had come to a halt with Sporting.

But Spurs confirmed the 23-year-old's arrival late on, with Porro signing a five-and-a-half-year deal after a reported £40m (€45m) move from Sporting, who signed Barcelona's Hector Bellerin as a replacement.

That transfer saw Djed Spence, who only signed from Middlesbrough in a deal worth up to £20m in July, sent out to Ligue 1's Rennes for the rest of the season on loan.

Fellow full-back Matt Doherty also made way as he joined Atletico Madrid on a six-month contract, with Spurs terminating the 31-year-old's contract to "enable him to join another club".

OTHER DEALS

Bournemouth paid their second-highest transfer fee in history for Illya Zabarnyi, parting with a reported £24m (€27.2m) for the Ukraine centre-back from Dynamo Kyiv.

Gary O'Neil's Bournemouth added a second signing soon after, confirming the arrival of Sassuolo midfielder Hamed Traore on a loan that will become permanent on a five-year deal in June.

Nottingham Forest continued their spending after signing Atletico centre-back Felipe on a deal that will run until 2024, while Jonjo Shelvey also arrived from Newcastle United on a deal until 2025, and a move for Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas on loan was reportedly nearing.

Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace bolstered their midfield by bringing in Naouirou Ahamada for a reported £10.5m (€12m) fee from Stuttgart, while Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga joined on a six-month loan.

Leeds United's Diego Llorente joined Jose Mourinho's Roma on loan until the end of the season, with an option for a permanent transfer reportedly worth €18m (£15.9m).

Ayoze Perez is another Premier League player who will spend the second half of the term on loan, with the Leicester City forward moving to LaLiga side Real Betis.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's Serbia team-mate Sasa Lukic traded Torino for Fulham in a transfer reportedly worth £8.8m (€10m) including add-ons, signing a contract until June 2027.

Lukic will likely be joined by Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares after Marco Silva's side reportedly agreed to bring the former Southampton defender on a six-month loan.

Outside of England, Borussia Dortmund and Belgium midfielder Thorgan Hazard completed a short-term loan move to Eredivisie title hopefuls PSV.

Bruno Labbadia has returned to Stuttgart for a second spell in charge, with the club's former coach signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The German, most recently in charge of Hertha Berlin before his dismissal in January last year, previously led the Bundesliga side between 2010 and 2013.

He now returns for a sophomore stint with the club mired in the relegation zone, having claimed just three wins in the top-flight this season, succeeding caretaker Michael Wimmer.

Labbadia, a journeyman player who was a member of Bayern Munich's 1993-94 Bundesliga-winning squad, spoke of his delight at returning to the team on a contract through 2025.

"Everyone knows VfB are not just another club to me," he told the club's website. "I spent a very important period of my coaching career in Stuttgart, and now I’d like to [keep us] in the Bundesliga.

"We'll get to work right away and get everything ready for the start of training on 12 December. We'll quickly get an overview of the team's performance level and work hard with great pleasure to make progress."

During his previous spell, Labbadia managed a best finish of sixth with the club during the 2011-12 season, and led them to the DFB-Pokal final a year later.

He will be joined by Bernhard Trares and Benjamin Sachs as assistants on the coaching staff at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

In addition to Hertha, Labbadia has also had spells in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and two stints with Hamburg.

Stuttgart resume their Bundesliga season against Mainz on January 21.

Manchester United will look to sign a replacement forward for Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 37-year-old Portuguese's exit by mutual consent with immediate effect has opened up all sorts of possibilities for the Red Devils.

But Erik ten Hag's side clearly need to bolster their ranks as they look to finish in the Premier League's top four this term.

 

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS WALKING BACK THROUGH THE DOORS AT OLD TRAFFORD?

Spanish media outlet Sport claims that Manchester United are keen on Barcelona's Memphis Depay in January.

The Blaugrana, who have been linked with United's Diogo Dalot, are eager to offload the Dutchman, whose contract ends in mid-2023.

The Netherlands international spent two years at Old Trafford from 2015 and 2017

 

ROUND-UP -

- Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are ready to make moves for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to Calciomercato. The Frenchman almost joined Manchester United in the off-season and is contracted with the Bianconeri until the end of the season.

- Football Insider claims Aston Villa are interested in Sevilla's Morocco international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who is contracted until 2025.

- Fabrizio Romano claims RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer is determined to join Bayern Munich, meaning Chelsea and Liverpool will miss out on the Austrian.

- Leeds United have enquired about the availability of Milan's Belgian midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, reports TeamTalk.

- Atalanta are in talks with Stuttgart's Croatia international left-back Borna Sosa, claims Nicolo Schira.

Bayern Munich have been drawn against Mainz in the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal, while Borussia Dortmund face a derby showdown with Bochum.

Record 20-time winners Bayern saw off Viktoria Koln and Augsburg to reach the third round for the first time in three seasons.

Julian Nagelsmann's side now face a tricky trip to Mainz, who are sixth in the Bundesliga and have defeated Bayern in their past two meetings on home soil.

Dortmund have also been drawn against top-flight opposition, with a trip to local rivals Bochum awaiting them when the ties are played at the end of January.

Defending champions RB Leipzig will host Hoffenheim, meanwhile, and surprise Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin are at home to Wolfsburg.

Elsewhere, Sandhausen have been drawn against Freiburg, Stuttgart face a trip to Paderborn, Eintracht Frankfurt host Darmstadt and Nurnberg will meet Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Former Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou has signed for Stuttgart on a free transfer.

Zagadou, an ex-youth international for France, left Dortmund at the end of last season.

The 23-year-old's time at Signal Iduna Park was plagued by injuries, with a serious knee problem seeing him miss the end of the 2020-21 campaign and the start of the following term.

Having made his Bundesliga debut at 18, Zagadou went on to play 67 times in Germany's top tier for Dortmund.

Zagadou was unable to find a new club during the transfer window but has now joined Stuttgart, who sit 16th in the Bundesliga, having failed to win any of their opening seven matches.

He has signed a four-year deal with Stuttgart, and he told the club's official website: "I'm very happy to be here.

"I'd like to thank those in charge at VfB for the faith they've shown in me. I'm really looking forward to being out on the pitch with my new team-mates soon."

The club's sporting director, Sven Mislintat, added: "Daxo has all the qualities a top-level centre-back needs. He's athletically strong, is a good passer and has gained valuable experience domestically and at European level over the past few years."

Bayern Munich must "take a good look at ourselves" if they are to get their Bundesliga season back on track after being held to a third straight draw, so says Thomas Muller.

Julian Nagelsmann's side followed up 1-1 draws against Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin with a 2-2 draw against Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Mathys Tel struck in the first half to put Bayern ahead on home soil, the 17-year-old becoming the club's youngest league goalscorer in the process.

Chris Fuhrich equalised in the second half for Stuttgart, who are winless in six games this season, but Jamal Musiala's strike had Bayern on course for all three points.

However, having had two goals ruled out and hit the crossbar, Serhou Guirassy was fouled by Matthijs de Ligt in the box and stepped up to convert the 92nd-minute penalty.

And Muller believes the latest of the stalemates has left him the most disappointed he has felt after a game this season.

"Today I'm angry for the first time," he told Sky Sport. "I'm mad at ourselves. If we want to win every game, and that's our aim, then you have to play until the very last minute.

"If we are going to stay top of the table, we have to take a look at ourselves."

 

Nagelsmann made six changes on the back of the midweek win over Inter in the Champions League, with another tough European test against Barcelona to come on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old guided Bayern to a 10th successive Bundesliga title last season, but his side have won only three of their past nine league matches stretching into last season.

Asked if he is feeling under additional pressure, Nagelsmann told reporters: "I don't know if the pressure got higher. Pressure is always subjective and comes from the outside. 

"We'll continue to work, train tomorrow and Monday, analyse the opponent and try to come up with good ideas for the Barcelona game.

"We didn't play well in the first 30 minutes today, which is a bit normal after a Champions League game. Then we had a good 15 minutes and deservedly took the lead. 

"In the second half, we had chances to score the third and kill off the game, but we didn't. So in the end we only got a point."

Bayern had won 67 of their previous 106 Bundesliga encounters with Stuttgart – no Bundesliga side has beaten another as many times.

Stuttgart were good value for their equaliser when it arrived, though, having put Bayern under intense pressure.

De Ligt was penalised for catching Guirassy in the box, with referee Christian Dingert awarding the spot-kick after being instructed by VAR to check the pitchside monitor.

"That was the correct decision," Nagelsmann said. "Matthijs played a good game. It's a pity he conceded the penalty, but it happens. We move on."

Mathys Tel made history by becoming Bayern Munich's youngest Bundesliga starter and goalscorer, but the home side were left disappointed after being held for a third league game running in their 2-2 draw with Stuttgart.

Bayern were on course to snap their winless league run when Jamal Musiala restored their lead in Saturday's contest after Chris Fuhrich had cancelled out Tel's history-making strike.

But Serhou Guirassy, having already had two goals ruled out and hit the crossbar, converted a 92nd-minute penalty awarded for Matthijs de Ligt's foul on the visiting forward.

Julian Nagelsmann's side have now drawn three Bundesliga matches in a row and have won only three of their past nine matches in the competition stretching back into last season.

 

Mathys Tel became both Bayern Munich's youngest ever starter in the Bundesliga and their youngest scorer in the competition in Saturday's meeting with Stuttgart.

The former Rennes forward turned in Alphonso Davies' left-sided cross with 36 minutes played at the Allianz Arena to make some more history for the German giants.

Aged 17 years and 136 days, Tel overtook Jamal Musiala as Bayern's youngest goalscorer in the league, with the latter 69 days older when scoring against Schalke two years ago.

Tel was already Bayern's youngest scorer in all competitions following his goal against Viktoria Koln in last month's DFB-Pokal cup victory.

 

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