Leipzig's Upamecano linked with Arsenal switch

RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is reportedly attracting interest from Unai Emery's Arsenal ahead of the January transfer window.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the up and coming Bundesliga side and has been touted as one of the finest young prospects in Europe.

After joining the club in January 2017 from sister side Red Bull Salzburg, he has gone on to make 79 appearances in the German top flight.

Now, rumours are rife that he could be set to leave with Arsenal being a potential destination, despite similar reports suggesting no move was on the cards.

Leipzig were probed by interest in the summer but insisted that Upamecano was not for sale below his release clause price, which is around the 100million euro mark.

However, his contract only has two more years left to run and talks with the player have not progressed.

Arsenal are now thought to be lining up a bid of around 60million euros in January, which would surely test Leipzig’s resolve.

Upamecano began his career with Austrian second-tier side FC Liefering, where he made 16 appearances after debuting in 2015.

He made the move higher up the Austrian pyramid to join Salzburg in 2016 for a bargain fee of just over 2million euros.

Call ups to the French youth teams followed and he has gone on to play 13 times at Under-21 level but has yet to represent the senior team with a plethora of more experienced talent ahead of him in the pecking order.

Leipzig get their season back underway after the international break when they take on Wolfsburg at the Red Bull Arena before hosting Zenit St Petersburg four days later in the Champions League.

Guerreiro delighted with new Dortmund deal

Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro is looking forward to continuing his career at Signal Iduna Park after penning a new long-term contract.

The Portugal international, who has extended his stay with the Bundesliga outfit until 2023, has started to shine in defence after initially being used as a midfielder following his move from Lorient in 2016.

Dortmund have endured a tough start to the current league campaign and currently sit down in eighth place in the table ahead of Saturday's encounter against early frontrunners Borussia Monchengladbach.

Having committed his future to Dortmund, Guerreiro says he's looking forward to trying to turn the club's fortunes around against Gladbach at the weekend.

"[This] is a great club where I have been feeling very comfortable with my family for three years," he told the club's official website.

"I will do everything I can to help our team achieve their goals and we should start by getting a victory at home [against Borussia Monchengladbach] on Saturday."

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc is also pleased with the new deal for the club's Portuguese star, who has made a total of 80 appearances for BVB in all competitions and helped them win the DFB Pokal in his first season.

"Raphael is an internationally experienced and technically first-class footballer, who is flexible and can be deployed in several positions," Zorc added. "He is held in high regard within our squad."

Kovac insists his Muller comments were misconstrued

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac says he has cleared up a misunderstanding with Thomas Muller after his recent comments about the experienced forward.

There has been plenty of speculation regarding Muller's future as the 30-year-old has spent much of the current Bundesliga campaign on the bench.

"When there is need, he will definitely also get his minutes," said Kovac after questions were raised on how Muller fitted into the manager's plans this season.

Kovac now feels he was not clear enough regarding his statement on Muller, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the past, and has said he has spoken with the player and the pair are on good terms.

"It was a mistake by me," Kovac told Bild. "I expressed myself incorrectly. I've refuted the statement simply by the fact that Thomas has come on again and again over the past weeks. I didn't mean it in the way I said. But it's clear to me that it was interpreted that way.

"I spoke with Thomas the next day; everything is cleared up. He also understood it in the way I meant. I made a small mistake, happens to me sometimes."

Bayern, who last season managed to beat off nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund to seal the Bundesliga crown once again, at present find themselves in third place in the table.

The Bavarian giants take on Augsburg at the WWK Arena on Saturday, with all eyes on Muller's involvement in the Bundesliga encounter following the international break.

Sancho set to snub United chance

Manchester United's hopes of landing Jadon Sancho next summer have been dealt a huge blow.

People close to the England winger have stated he has “little interest” in making a big-money move to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are believed to be preparing a £120million bid to try and tempt Borussia Dortmund to part with the talented 19-year-old next summer, having been warned off making a bid earlier this year.

United’s bosses, however, are all agreed that they need to try and be at the front of the queue for Sancho at the end of the season, with a club-record fee on the cards.

Sancho, who quit rivals Manchester City in 2017 in search of regular first-team football, has gone on to star in the Bundesliga, with Real Madrid and Barcelona also registering notes of interest with his club.

It’s understood the teenager still regularly keeps in touch with some of his former academy team-mates at the Etihad Stadium – and it doesn’t sound particularly encouraging from a United perspective.

The Three Lions starlet is said to be “unimpressed” with the current set-up at Old Trafford and would consider a return to City and his boyhood club, Chelsea, before anyone else in England.

There is also an assertion from insiders close to his camp that Sancho is already earning the best part of £160,000-per-week at the Westfalenstadion, so money isn’t his primary motive when he does decide his next move.

United could certainly double that figure, but so can plenty of other clubs, and the mindset from Sancho’s advisers is their client can collect premium pay and still join a team that is already a viable Champions League contender.

Interestingly, City do have a clause which enables them to match any offer Dortmund receive for Sancho, in addition to a 20 per cent sell-on clause – which could potentially be worth around £25m to their coffers or a discount on buying him back.

And with Bayern Munich still pressing ahead with their efforts to sign £140m rated City winger Leroy Sane, there is increasing talk that Sancho could even be his possible replacement, which would only rub further salt into United’s wounds and the red side of Manchester.

Matthaus: Eriksen isn't good enough for Bayern

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus doesn't think Tottenham star Christian Eriksen has enough quality to make an impact at the Bundesliga champions.

The Tottenham midfielder has just eight months left on his contract and looks sure to be leaving the English Premier League club, with Bayern reported to be among the interested parties.

The Danish ace has earned a reputation as being one of the best midfielders in Europe over the years, but Matthaus believes his performances have dipped of late and he would not be good enough to get into the Bayern side.

Due to his contract situation, Eriksen would not break the bank either, but the former German international still does not believe it would be good business for Bayern.

"I've been following the player for a long time and so far in 2019 he has disappointed me," Matthaus said. "A transfer to FC Bayern wouldn't make sense in my view, and would be very surprising.

"If he's not enough for Tottenham, he's not good enough for Bayern. Uli Hoeness has also said before that Bayern doesn't need any substitutes."

Instead Matthaus has said Bayern would be best keeping their powder dry for other targets and should focus on trying to sign Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz instead.

Matthaus also prefers current loan star Philippe Coutinho and says Thomas Muller, who is struggling for action at the moment would also be a better option.

"I stand by my opinion: Eriksen makes no sense to me," Matthaus added.

Leverkusen lead race to sign Real star

Bayer Leverkusen are believed to have joined the queue of clubs who are showing an interest in Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez.

The 28-year-old is struggling to force his way into the Los Blancos side following the emergence of young Brazilian forwards Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr at the Bernabeu.

Vazquez has played a key role for Real, winning three Champions League titles during his time at the club, but the end could be near as he wants to be playing more regular football.

The winger will not be short of options, but reports in the press are claiming that Leverkusen are in the box seat to do a deal as they are willing to offer the player the better wages.

Leverkusen are also happy to match Real’s valuation of 20million euros, and as things stand that could give them the edge over their rivals.

However, the competition will still be fierce as it is claimed that both English Premier League side Arsenal and Italian Serie A outfit AS Roma are also in the hunt.

The switch to Arsenal could be particularly appealing to the player, and the chance to play in the Premier League could be tough to turn down.

It would also give him the chance to link up with Real team-mate Dani Ceballos, who joined the Gunners on a season-long loan deal in the summer and could stay there on a permanent basis once the season is done.

However, the fact that Leverkusen could match the wages and the fee still puts them in pole position to sign him.

Coutinho likely to make Bayern move permanent

Bayern Munich have inched closer to signing Philippe Coutinho on a permanent contract as Barcelona reportedly do not consider him part of their future plans.

Barca made it clear they did not see the Brazilian in their future plans as they looked to offload him in the summer, and their opinion has not changed despite his impressive performances for the Bavarians.

Bayern snapped up the 27-year-old just before the closure of the summer transfer window, taking him on a season-long loan deal and so far it looks to have been a masterstroke.

Coutinho has chipped in with two goals and two assists in six Bundesliga appearances and has slotted into Niko Kovac's side very nicely.

As things stand, the South American is due to return to the Nou Camp at the end of the loan deal but reports in Spain claim the former Liverpool star will not be there for long.

The Catalan giants have their own transfer targets and will use any cash raised from the sale of the talanted schemer to help fund them.

Bayern will get the first opportunity to sign Coutinho, with the same reports claiming it will take a fee of £104million to get the deal done.

It now remains to be seen whether Bayern will look to pursue a deal, and much will depend on how he performs between now and the end of the season.

Manchester City forward Leroy Sane, who they were pursuing during the summer but failed to sign, also remains a top Bayern target, and they could not afford both him and Coutinho.

Hernandez: I turned down Real Madrid

Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez has revealed that he rejected a move to Real Madrid before signing for the Bundesliga giants.

The Bavarians broke their transfer record when signing the France international from Atletico Madrid for £70million in the summer, but it would have been different had Real had their way.

However, having played for Madrid rivals Atletico, the 23-year-old says there is no way he could have made the switch to the Bernabeu. He stayed where he was and eventually Bayern came in to complete the deal.

"Real had already made a move for me, it's true, but not this summer," he told France Football. "And I wouldn't go there. Not after having worn the colours of Atletico for such a long time."

Meanwhile, Hernandez has also revealed the lengths that Bayern went to to ensure they got him on board, even bringing Philipp Lahm's 21 shirt out of retirement for him.

"When we were in discussions, they asked me what number I wanted. I told them I would have 21," he added. "I won the World Cup with the No.21. At Atletico, when I took the No.21, we won the European Super Cup. I told them that this was the number I wanted and, if they could give me it, that would be good.

"They told me that was Philipp Lahm's number and that no-one had worn it since he had retired, but they told me they'd give me it if I signed for them. It's just one example of the confidence that they've placed in me."

Hernandez joined Bayern to reach the next level

Lucas Hernandez says he swapped Atletico Madrid for Bayer Munich in order to take on a new challenge at one of the best clubs in the world.

The defender had spent his entire professional career with the capital outfit, making 109 appearances for Los Rojiblancos after his 2014 debut, but opted to leave La Liga for the Bavarians during the summer transfer window.

The Bundesliga giants paid a club-record 80m euros for the versatile stopper, who can operate in central defence or as a full-back, and he has made five league starts for the German top-flight champions to date.

Capped 16 times by France, the 23-year-old is already a Word Cup winner and seems to have the world at his feet but he admits a change of scenery was needed to ensure he did not stagnate in Madrid.

"This is a real step forward in joining Bayern. I wanted to go to the next level. By joining Bayern, I have arrived in one of the best clubs in the world," he said.

"I wanted to put myself under a bit of pressure, join a different club, where the language and culture is different, to put myself in danger, not stay in my comfort zone."

The Marseille-born ace has been struggling with a knee injury of late but looks set to return to action when Bayern resume their domestic campaign away at Augsburg on Saturday.

The Allianz Arena outfit are not in their customary position at the top of the table, with Borussia Monchengladbach the current pacesetters but Bayern are just two points adrift.

Watzke admits Lewandowski, Gotze regret

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has plenty of regrets about allowing star duo Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze to join Bayern Munich.

Dortmund reach the Champions League final in 2013 only to lose to rivals Bayern, who then went on to sign both Gotze and Lewandowski.

Watzke feels if BVB had been able to keep hold of the duo, then the club would have been able to add another European crown to their list of honours, having won the Champions League back in 1997.

“We had a world-class team,” wrote Watzke in his biography ‘Echte Liebe’ – ‘True Love’, a Dortmund slogan.

“And if that team’s structure had not been left in tatters, then it would have also won the Champions League – one hundred per cent!

“We just lost the final in 2013. The next few years would have been our years, for sure! But then Mario left, then Robert went, then all the s**t started.”

Dortmund, who currently find themselves down in eighth place in the Bundesliga table, are next in action after the international break on Saturday when they play hosts to Borussia Monchengladbach.

It has been a slow start to the campaign for BVB, with just three wins from their first seven Bundesliga games to date.

Dortmund find themselves still just four points off the top of the table, with Monchengladback leading the way in the standings with five wins from their first seven games.

BVB have fared much better in the Champions League in the early stages of this season and their 2-0 victory at Slavia Prague saw them climb to the top of Group F ahead of Barcelona on goal difference.

Rummenigge believes Muller will stay at Bayern

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is confident that Thomas Muller will not leave the Bundesliga champions in January despite his lack of game time.

The 30-year-old forward has been a mainstay of the Bavarians' side since he made is debut in 2008, making nearly 500 appearances and scoring 183 goals over the past 11 years.

Muller has won eight Bundesliga titles and a Champions League winners' medal in 2013 during his stint at the Allianz Arena.

However, he has endured a frustrating start to the 2019-20 season, having slipped down the pecking order behind summer signings Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho, while Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman's good form has also hampered his first-team chances.

Reports claimed Muller, whose time with the German national team also appears to be over after 100 appearances and a 2014 World Cup winner's medal, appeared to suggest that he is eyeing a January move to secure regular football.

Rummenigge fully expects Muller to be unhappy at the fact he has started just three league matches all season and only featured in 66 minutes of action in the side's last five games in all competitions.

But he does not think that the player will leave the reigning champions before the end of this season.

"I cannot imagine that," Rummenigge told Welt am Sonntag: "The relationship between Thomas and Bayern is totally intact and will remain an important part of our club."

He added: "If Thomas would sit contentedly on the bench, he would be in the wrong club. That's the reaction we even want, but he still has to deal with the situation seriously. He's exemplary."

Bayern and Real to battle it out for Eriksen

Bayern Munich have reportedly joined Real Madrid in the race to clinch the services of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window.

Eriksen, 27, signed for Spurs in 2013 and has been one of the first names on the teamsheet for the past six seasons, but was heavily linked with a move away during the summer transfer window.

Real Madrid showed more than a passing interest in the Denmark international and it seemed as though he might be on his way to the Bernabeu.

However, he remained at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and has scored one goal from eight Premier League appearances in 2019-20.

However, rumours of discontent behind the scenes in north London will not go away, with Spurs' performances appearing to suggest that all is not well and it may be that Eriksen has set his heart on a move.

Whether Real come back in for the talented schemer only time will tell but, according to Sport1, the Bavarians are now considering a bid of their own in January.

The former Ajax ace's contract is up next summer and he will be able to negotiate with other clubs in the new year.

That means Spurs will be under pressure to sell or risk losing the Dane for nothing – not a viable prospect given his market value.

Bayern are looking for midfielders after losing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and it may be that Eriksen fits the bill.

Manchester United have also been linked in the past although reports claim the Scandinavian is not interested in a move to Old Trafford.

Watzke attempted to lure Klopp back to Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed that he attempted to bring Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp back to the BVB in 2018.

Klopp left Dortmund in 2015 after winning two Bundesliga titles, the only two championships in the last ten years that Bayern Munich haven't won.

The 52-year-old led current club Liverpool to Champions League glory, while they are currently eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Despite trying to get Klopp to return, Watzke says he didn’t expect him to accept because of his loyal nature.

"I knew that Jurgen would [decline], that he will fulfil his contract in Liverpool," Watzke wrote in his new book REAL LOVE. A life with BVB (via Sky Sports).

"Jurgen has always fulfilled his contracts, but if you want to go new ways and we had to break new ground at BVB, then at least I had to ask Jurgen if he could possibly imagine that.

"I did not expect that at all, but I would not have forgiven myself for not asking him at that moment."

Watzke added: "The most important thing in our relationship was and is that we can rely on each other blindly.

"Jurgen never lied to me. He is always honest, even in the job. And I never lied to him.

"Even in the most difficult phase, in the season of separation, when we crashed to the last place sometime shortly before the separation in the Bundesliga, that was the case.

"That sounds so obvious when you say that, but I've experienced it in a different way in this business and with other coaches."

Mustafi hints at Bundesliga return

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has hinted at a return to the Bundesliga as he suggested his next move could be the most important of his career.

Mustafi, who joined from Valencia in August 2016, has started both of the Gunners’ Europa League ties, as well as the 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

However, the German centre-back has yet to feature in the Premier League this season, having been expected to leave during the summer transfer window.

The 27-year-old, though, remains determined to look ahead.

“There were talks about leaving the club in the summer, but there was no option that suited everyone. Arsenal had some demands too,” Mustafi told Der Spiegel.

“The next move is extremely important for me to be able to write a positive chapter again. If I move to the wrong place now then the situation may not improve at all. In the future I am open to offers, from the Bundesliga as well.”

Mustafi also said he had been left “very angry” by comments from former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit, who had called him ‘the king of blunders’.

The former Sampdoria stopper feels he can accept it when fans are critical of him, but said a former professional should know the difficulties players face on the pitch and be “a bit more sensible”.

Given that he was not involved in the squad for Arsenal’s last fixture before the international break, when Unai Emery’s side beat Bournemouth 1-0 on Sunday; it looks like his days in north London are numbered.

Mustafi will no doubt be hoping that a move will materialise during the January transfer window to allow him to continue his career elsewhere.

In the meantime, the third-placed Gunners will look to keep the pressure on Manchester City and Premier League leaders Liverpool by picking up three points when they travel to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in their next game on October 21.

Brandt frustrated with diminished role

Julian Brandt admits he's disappointed with his lack of playing time but says he understands that Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has his reasons.

The Germany international joined Dortmund in the summer from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal thought to be worth around £22million.

However, he has only started three fixtures in all competition so far this season, with boss Lucien Favre preferring Thorgan Hazard and Jadon Sancho out wide.

Hazard, was signed on the same day as Brandt and has got more regular football in the Bundesliga this season, with the Belgian starting five matches in the top flight.

The Bremen-born star's only goal to date was on his league debut for Dortmund, netting in their opening day 5-1 mauling of Augsburg.

Brandt admits he wants to get more game time under his belt but insists he fully respects Favre's decision to leave him out and he will not let it escalate.

"You sit on the bench a lot and only come on for short periods of time, then you'll play 90 minutes only to maybe find yourself on the bench again," he said.

"The coach has his reasons for lining up the way he does. I didn't want to talk to him about it. I'm not above the team, so it was all right."

Brandt will now join up with the Germany squad looking to win his 28th and 29th caps with a friendly against Argentina preceding a Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

Juventus striker Mandzukic linked with Bayern return

German champions Bayern Munich are reportedly in advanced talks with Juventus over the signing of forward Mario Mandzukic.

The 33-year-old spent two successful seasons with the Bavarians, scoring 48 goals from 88 appearances in all competitions between 2012 and 2014.

The former Croatia international then moved to La Liga club Atletico Madrid before he was snapped up by Juve in 2015.

He has not been so prolific with the Old Lady, netting 44 times from 162 outings, and it has been suggested the Serie A giants are prepared to let him leave this summer.

Capped 89 times by Croatian, Mandzukic was linked a move to Manchester United this summer but remained with the Italian giants.

However, it seems a switch back to the Allianz Arena could be on the cards.

The news comes despite the fact he extended his deal with Juve in April this year, signing up to play for the Italian champions until 2021.

Martinez will get more chances to play

Bayern Munich assistant manager Hansi Flick concedes that Javi Martinez has been disappointed by his lack of game time, but insists he will get a chance.

Martinez has played just 88 minutes of Bundesliga football in 2019-2020, with three substitute appearances and no starts to date.

He was again an unused substitute on Saturday as the Bavarian giants suffered their first defeat of the league campaign, going down 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim just four days after their 7-2 Champions League win against Tottenham in north London.

The result sees the Allianz Arena outfit slip to third in the German top-flight standings, with Borussia Monchengladbach top ahead of Wolfsburg.

Spain international Martinez has been on the Bayern books since August 2012 but has played just 133 Bundesliga matches and it seems as though he has had enough.

He was spotted on Saturday showing his disappointment while sitting on the bench but Flick has played down reports that the former Athletic Bilbao ace actually broke down in tears and insists the 31-year-old will get his opportunity.

"It's clear that a player cannot be happy when he's not playing. Every player wants to play," he told Spox. "But what was made out of it is too much. Every player will be needed and will get his chances with us."

Martinez has made five appearances in all competitions for the German giants this term, but again has started on the bench in a couple of Champions League games, enjoying only 43 minutes in Europe's elite club competition.

Kovac slams Bayern's lack of determination

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac says his team's collective attitude left a lot to be desired as they were defeated by Hoffenheim on Saturday.

The Bavarians were on cloud nine after hammering Tottenham 7-2 on their own patch in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but they came crashing back down to earth against Hoffenheim.

The visitors pulled off a shock 2-1 win at Allianz-Arena to leave Kovac frustrated by the fact his side could not back up the Spurs win with a crucial three points.

The Bayern boss has suggested his players may have let the Champions League win go to their heads and turned up with a bad attitude which ended up costing them badly.

Kovac was unhappy with the sloppy play in midfield and defence that contributed to the defeat, and questioned his side's mentality.

"We did not manage to bring the good game of Tuesday back to the pitch, you can tell a lot, but the truth is in the field, the victory of Hoffenheim was not undeserved," Kovac said.

"The head controls a lot, we should have finished it better, there was no determination."

Bayern have now dropped points on three occasions in the Bundesliga this season and it looks like being another tight title race.

The good news for Bayern is the fact that last season's title rivals Borussia Dortmund also dropped points following a 2-2 draw with Freiburg.

Saints facing battle for Mainz striker

Southampton look like they are battling with Newcastle United for the services of Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta this summer.

The 21-year-old has impressed with his efforts in his breakthrough season in the Bundesliga last term and his efforts have not gone unnoticed by clubs in the Premier League.

Reports have suggested Southampton are considering a move for the Frenchman but they will face stern competition from Newcastle, who are also thought to be pushing for a deal.

News from across the Channel has suggested the Magpies have already put in a substantial bid for Mateta, thought to be in the region of 20million pounds.

Should Saints miss out on Mateta, they could focus their efforts in bringing Birmingham City star Che Adams to St Mary's, having strongly been linked with the Blues forward in recent weeks.

Mainz warn English clubs off Mateta

Mainz have no interest in entertaining offers for striker Jean-Philippe Mateta, with a number of English Premier League clubs reportedly waiting to pounce.

The 21-year-old was a revelation in the Bundesliga last season when firing home 14 goals in 34 league games and his form has caught the eye of English clubs.

Newcastle, Southampton, Watford and Everton are all being linked with a swoop, but Mainz are determined to keep hold of their France Under-21 international.

Reports have gone as far as suggesting that Newcastle made a £20million bid for the player, but it was thrown out as it falls below Mainz's valuation.

Reports in Germany suggest that Mainz would not accept anything less than £35million if they were to cash in this summer, although they are hoping to tie him down to a new deal.