Dortmund director can't guarantee Guerreiro stay

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says the club is still locked in talks with Raphael Guerreiro and admits he cannot give "any indication right now" on whether the full-back will stay.

BVB are reported to have offered the Portuguese full-back a new extended deal to keep him at Signal Iduna Park, but there is no sign of him putting pen-to-paper just yet.

Guerreiro is out of contract this time next year and there is a chance he could leave on a free transfer if a deal cannot be hammered out in time.

The deal on the table is said to be for three years and worth 5million euros a year, but Zorc was not giving too much away when quizzed by the press today.

"We are still in talks," Zorc said. "I cannot give you any indication right now. We have to wait, we're not the only ones who decide."

When quizzed about possible changes to the squad during what is left of the transfer window, Zorc was just as vague.

"It's just over a week's time," he added. "There may be something else happening, but I cannot promise that."

Bayern's Sanches poised for Lille switch

Wantaway Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches is finally closing on a move away from the Bavarian giants, with French outfit Lille reported to be preparing a transfer offer.

Sanches has hit out at Bayern in recent weeks, claiming they have blocked him from leaving the Allianz Arena, something that has been dismissed by the powers that be.

Either way, the 22-year-old is now heading for the exit door after Lille agreed to pay Bayern a fee that could rise to 25million euros depending on adds on.

He is said to have arrived in Lille to undergo a medical before agreeing terms on a five-year deal.

Sanches arrived at Bayern Munich from Benfica in 2016 with high expectations but failed to live up to them and now looks set for a fresh start and attempt to get his career back on track.

Loan moves at the likes of Swansea have not helped either and permanent move away could be just what he needs.

Leverkusen lining up Lovren loan swoop

Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren could still depart Anfield before the European transfer deadline, with Bayer Leverkusen reportedly eyeing a loan swoop after his proposed move to Roma collapsed.

Leverkusen are keen to bolster their ranks before the transfer window closes on September 2 and Lovren has now emerged as a potential target as he remains out of favour with the Reds.

Roma looked to be in the box seat to do a deal for the Croatian but could not agree terms with the player and for now he is still at Anfield.

That could change though if Leverkusen get their way, with a potential loan deal on the cards.

There is talk of the Bundesliga side paying a loan fee of 3million euros to take him for the season, a figure the Reds could accept.

Bayer have only Aleksandar Dragovic as back-up to Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender, but Lovren would want to step straight into the first team if a deal was to happen.

Witsel targets long-term Dortmund stay

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel has hinted at one day ending his career with Borussia Dortmund, saying he has "never known a team with so many young, talented players".

England international Jadon Sancho, who had been the subject of intense transfer speculation throughout the summer, committed his immediate future to Dortmund earlier this week by signing an improved deal.

There are still rumours Manchester United could try and land Sancho in a £100million+ deal in the January window, but it is hard to imagine Dortmund sanctioning a mid-season departure given they have now significantly strengthened their hand by tying him down to fresh terms.

The 19-year-old isn't the only talented young player in the BVB squad.

Midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud may only be 23 but he has already made over 100 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund and former employers Borussia Monchengladbach.

Julian Brandt, a summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen, and Julian Weigl have 30 Germany caps between them and are both 23 years old, while 20-year-old French defender Dan-Axel Zagadou is already a regular in the matchday squad.

Witsel moved to the Westfalenstadion last summer after a stint in China and at 30 is one of the more experienced heads in the BVB squad.

The Belgium international agreed a four-year deal when he moved to the German giants and Witsel intends to see out his deal - at the very least.

Dortmund led the way in the Bundesliga for much of last season but fell just short as they finished two points behind Bayern Munich, but Witsel feels if they can keep their squad intact they will be able to land titles in the not too distant future.

"I signed a four-year contract, and I want to be at BVB for four years - perhaps even longer," he told spox.com.

"I've never known a team with so many young, talented players - and after travelling so much [during his career] it's the right time for me and my family to stay in one place."

Dortmund will face a battle to keep hold of their rising stars in the coming years but they look well placed to challenge Bayern again this season and if they are still in the title hunt when the winter window opens, they won't be selling any of their key men.

Before Sancho signed a new deal, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke had revealed fears the former Manchester City youngster could depart but for now he looks fully committed to the Dortmund cause and, after narrowly missing out on Bundesliga glory last term, this could well be their year.

Guardiola won't seek Sancho reunion - Report

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reportedly has no interest in bringing Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho back to the Etihad due to the acrimonious nature of his departure in 2017.

The Borussia Dortmund and England winger is celebrating this week after signing a new long-term deal at the Westfalenstadion worth £190,000-per-week.

Reports have claimed City and rivals Manchester United are both plotting bids in excess of £100million to bring him back to these shores, having seen Sancho light up the Bundesliga since his arrival in August 2017.

The blue side of Manchester do retain a 'matching' option should Dortmund eventually decide to cash in on the talented teenager – along with a 15 per cent sell-on clause.

However, City sources have stated Guardiola and club bosses were "disappointed" with the actions of the 19-year-old after he decided to go in search of regular senior first-team football, elsewhere.

Sancho was only seventeen at the time and went AWOL after refusing to go on City's pre-season tour to the United States, entering the final year of his contract.

The Londoner also rejected a new deal which would have made him the highest-paid youngster in City's history on around £30,000-per-week.

The Premier League champions were eventually forced to accept a £10m figure from Dortmund and that has not been forgotten by either Guardiola or the top-brass.

Sancho scored 13 times for Dortmund last season and created 15 assists, with a report by CIES Football Observatory rating him the fifth most-valuable player on the planet at £145m.

City are happy for their former charge but Guardiola has a long memory on how it eventually played out, preferring to work with midfielder Phil Foden, who listened to his advice and was willing to wait for his chance.

The news could be welcomed across Manchester at United with their boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought to be keen on adding more new faces to his ranks in January.

Despite spending over £150m on three new faces in the summer transfer window - Harry Maguire, Aron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James - the Norwegian could be about to offload Alexis Sanchez, while the future of Paul Pogba remains in doubt.

If that pair are sold and their wages are removed from the bill, a swoop for Sancho cannot be completely ruled out regardless of the mega new deal he has penned in Germany.

Bayern deny Sanches accusations

Bayern Munich have denied comments made by Renato Sanches that he has been forced to stay at the Bavarians even though he wants to leave.

The 22-year-old arrived at the Bavarians with the world at his feet and high expectations, but he has struggled to live up to them and game time has been limited over the last three years.

Speaking after a five-minute appearance in Friday’s 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin, Sanches complained about his playing time and suggested the club had twice refused to let him leave.

Such talk has left sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic baffled.

“Renato has played three times since the start of the season,” Salihamidzic told reporters during the presentation of new signing Mickael Cuisance.

“Against Borussia Dortmund he was subbed on, in the DFB-Pokal he started and this weekend, although it was only for five minutes, he was also subbed on.

“Therefore, I didn’t really understand why he had to make these remarks. We will see [if he stays], I already explained on Monday that we’ll keep all our options open until September 2 [when the transfer window closes]. Other than that, I don’t want to say much more about it.”

Lewandowski praises Coutinho signing

Robert Lewandowski has hailed the acquisition of Philippe Coutinho and believes he will make a significant impact at Bayern Munich.

The Bavarians have pulled off something of a coup by luring the Brazilian to the Allianz Arena from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move at the end of the term.

Bayern have been desperate to bring in new forwards to replace the departed Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and the capture of Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan did little to appease the club’s supporters.

Lewandowski himself has also been critical of Bayern’s recruitment this summer, but the Polsnd international is pleased with the capture of Coutinho and believes he will be a massive signing for them.

“A top player who can play in a few positions and that gives us many options,” he told reporters. “He can play really good offensively, with good passes and creativity. I think he can help us well.”

Liverpool 'could not afford' Coutinho - Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the Merseyside outfit "could not afford" to bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield due to the massive fees involved.

The Reds sold Coutinho to Barcelona for a fee that could rise to around £142m in January 2018.

The Brazilian struggled to settle in Spain, however, and has joined Bayern Munich just over 18 months later.

Liverpool were linked with a move to bring their former player back, and while Klopp suggested they considered the option, he stated that they "could not afford it".

"It sounds a bit strange, but we could not afford it," Klopp told Goal. "We have already spent the cash that we got for him.

"We were reluctant to hand him over [last January], but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak.

"The move makes sense for both sides. He's a super player and a great boy.

"He is a world-class footballer who can change games in the right environment."

Coutinho eyeing permanent Bayern deal

Philippe Coutinho says he is hoping to stay at Bayern Munich for a long time and win plenty of trophies with the Bundesliga giants.

After a disappointing 18-month spell at Barcelona, the Brazil international has moved to the Allianz Arena on a year-long loan deal and was unveiled to the media on Monday.

It is not known if he will return to the Nou Camp next summer and much will depend on Barca’s recruitment between now and then.

The former Liverpool forward admits that things could have been better with the Spanish giants but is now focusing his efforts on the Bavarians in both the short and long term.

“Concerning Barcelona, things didn’t work out the way we wanted,” he said. “But that’s the past. This is a new club, a big club, an important club. I hope I’ll be here for a long time and win lots of titles.”

Ribery ready for 'new challenge' amid Fiorentina links

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery says he is "prepared for a new challenge" amid reports of an imminent move to Serie A side Fiorentina.

The 36-year-old former France international winger is on the lookout for a new club after ending a 12-year stint with Bayern Munich, where he made 445 appearances and won the Champions League and nine Bundesliga titles.

Ribery had been linked with a move to Dubai with Al Nasr, but reports claim he will instead move to Italy with Fiorentina.

The former Marseille man is poised to pen a two-year contract worth €4m per season.

Ribery has recently posted a picture on Instagram with the caption: "Prepared for a new challenge! Soon".

He later responded with positive emoticons when his former Bayern team-mate Luca Toni quizzed him about a possible move to La Viola.

Former Liverpool team-mate tips Coutinho for big things in Germany

Marko Grujic reckons his former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho will become the best player in the Bundesliga by a long way.

The Barcelona man has completed a season-long deal to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, with the German champions admitting they have been working on the prospective deal “for quite some time”.

The 27-year-old was announced as Bayern’s latest recruit on Monday – arriving on a season-long loan deal for an €8.5m loan fee, with Bayern covering the player’s wages.

The Bundesliga side also hold an option to buy the player for 120m euros, presumably at the end of his loan next summer.

And Grujic, who still plays for Liverpool, but who is on loan with Hertha Berlin, has no doubt that Coutinho will be a big hit in Germany.

“It is a big opportunity for the whole Bundesliga that we get the chance to see Coutinho,” he told Bild.

“He is a special player that is capable of crazy tricks and I enjoyed every minute of training with him at Liverpool.

“He will be the best footballer in Germany by far. Coutinho will be welcomed in Germany and hopefully he can show his talents here.”

Coutinho has scored 21 goals in 75 games in all competitions for Barcelona and produced 11 assists. He has won LaLiga twice and the Copa del Rey during his time with the Nou Camp outfit.

Bayern had announced on Friday evening that a deal “in principle” to sign Coutinho had been agreed, with their chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic having been in Barcelona that week.

Rummenigge said on Monday: “We’ve been working on bringing in Philippe Coutinho for quite some time and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to complete this transfer.

“Our thanks go to FC Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack.”

Salihamidzic said: “Philippe made it very clear to us during the negotiations in Barcelona that he absolutely wanted to move to FC Bayern.

“He’s a world-class player with great ability, who we can deploy in a number of positions in our forward line, so the FC Bayern squad has gained even more quality.

“Philippe Coutinho will help us achieve the ambitious targets we’ve set for this season.”

Liverpool set to miss out on millions from Coutinho deal

According to reports, Liverpool are set to lose out on millions of pounds as a result of Philippe Coutinho's loan move to Bayern Munich.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed on Friday that Coutinho was set for a medical over the weekend before completing a season-long loan deal.

The deal reportedly includes an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season if he proves a success at the Allianz Arena.

The Brazil international has flattered to deceive since his 155million euro switch from Anfield to the Nou Camp in January 2018.

And Spanish publication Sport (via Sport Witness) claims that Liverpool are set to lose 25m euros from the deal that convinced the Reds hierarchy to sell him to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants reportedly paid 120m euros up front with 40m coming in add-ons and the Reds so far receiving 15m of the further ‘variables’.

The Reds got 10m for Barcelona qualifying for the Champions League in the last two seasons and 5m for him playing 25 matches for the club.

The report adds that because of his move to Bayern, the Reds are likely to miss out on 20m euros as he did not appear 100 times for Barcelona and 5m because he did not win the Champions League while he was at the club.

Coutinho joins Bayern on season-long loan

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

Barca said in a statement on Monday that Bayern will pay 8.5 million euros (£7.8m) and the Brazil playmaker's wages, and that the agreement also includes an option to buy for the Bundesliga champions fixed at 120m euros (£109.8m).

They added: "FC Barcelona would like to publicly thank Philippe Coutinho for his commitment and dedication (and) wishes him all the best in this new stage of his career."

Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 and has since struggled to reproduce the kind of form he showed for the Reds.

The 27-year-old's future had been the subject of speculation throughout the summer, during which Barcelona signed Antoine Griezmann, and he was not part of the matchday squad for their first game of the season, last Friday's 1-0 LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao.

Coutinho has scored 21 goals in 75 games in all competitions for Barcelona and produced 11 assists.

In Bayern's statement confirming the deal on their official website, Coutinho said: "For me, this move means a new challenge in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe.

"I'm very much looking forward to that. Like FC Bayern, I have big ambitions and I'm convinced that I can achieve them together with my new team-mates."

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "We've been working on bringing in Philippe Coutinho for quite some time and we're very happy that we've been able to complete this transfer.

"Our thanks go to FC Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack."

Coutinho poised for Bayern Munich loan move

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho is on the verge of sealing a loan move to Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions announcing that a deal has been agreed "in principal".

The Bundesliga champions announced following their 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin on Friday night that they had reached an agreement with the former Liverpool star, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.

The Brazilian is due in Munich in the coming days to finalise the deal and undergo a medical.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic travelled to Barcelona this week to seal the deal.

"I can confirm that I was in Barcelona with Hasan on Wednesday and that we reached an agreement with both the club and the player," Rummenigge said on the club website. "We have been watching Coutinho for a while."

Salihamidzic added: "I would also like to thank Barcelona. Of course, a few details are still to be sorted out, but we are very happy that we will bring this player to Bayern."

Coutinho's future has been the subject of intense speculation for the whole summer, given the arrival at the Nou Camp of Antoine Griezmann and their interest in bringing Neymar back to the club.

The Brazilian, who has struggled to reproduce the sort of form he showed for Liverpool since leaving the Reds in a £142million deal in January 2018, was not in the Barcelona squad for their defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who saw his side drop two points at home in their opening game of the Bundesliga season, also welcomed the impending arrival of Coutinho.

"I am of the opinion that not only FC Bayern, but the entire Bundesliga and all of Germany can look forward to welcoming such a top player here in this league," he said.

Bayern also announced the "imminent signing" of 20-year-old French midfielder Mickael Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach.

On the pitch, Kovac admitted his side were punished for not making the most of their dominance against Hertha.

In the end, the hosts needed a Robert Lewandowski penalty to earn a point after Hertha scored two quickfire goals at the end of the first half.

"Hertha were a bit lucky to share the spoils, but they defended well," Kovac said. "We had a lot of chances, we failed to take many clear-cut chances.

"But I can't blame my team. They tried everything, they gave it everything. It was one-way traffic, we were dominant. But we lacked the bit of luck you need. A compliment to Hertha for bearing up against it. We must make sure we soon collect the two points we failed to take today."

Hertha boss Ante Covic, in his first Bundesliga match as a head coach, said: "When you play away to Munich you know from the start you can't dominate the match as you'd like to. You must still believe you can have some good moments to take something away from here."

Kovac: 'We want to win the title'

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac is targeting a win in their season-opener against Hertha Berlin as he aims to steer the Bavarians to another Bundesliga title.

The Bavarians host Hertha at the Allianz Arena having secured their seventh successive title in what was the Croatian tactician's first season in charge of the club last term.

And, while their opponents finished in a disappointing 11th position in 2018-19, Kovac is still expecting a tough curtain-raiser for his players on Friday night.

Indeed, Hertha won the last meeting between the sides 1-0 and looking ahead to the game, a determined Kovac told his press conference: "It's like every year, no one really knows where he stands.

"(You should not) overvalue the results of the preparatory games. A lot of work is waiting for us.

"But we play at home, we have the first game of the Bundesliga season and, of course, want to end this with a win. We want to win the title."

Kovac is unable to call on his new signing Ivan Perisic as the striker must serve a suspension from the end of last season when playing for Inter Milan.

Javi Martinez has also picked up a knock in pre-season and is also unavailable for selection.

Bayern's Gnabry sets sights on Champions League title

Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry says the "aim is clear" for the Bundesliga outfit as he looks to add the Champions League trophy to to his personal list of accolades.

The 24-year-old has come on leaps and bounds since making the move away from Arsenal and has now emerged as a key player for the Bundesliga champions.

Having enjoyed a domestic double last season, the Germany international says he now has his eyes firmly set on doing something special in the Champions League this term.

"The aim is clear. After winning the Bundesliga title and the DFB Cup with Bayern, I want to win the UEFA Champions League.

"A big source of motivation for me comes from wanting to pick up where I left off last season, get even better and to produce even better performances.

"No one can provide any guarantees in football, no matter who you are. So you should never rest on what you achieved last season or the season before that."

Bayern manager Kovac defends Perisic signing

Manager Niko Kovac has defended the signing of Ivan Perisic, saying the winger will be a valuable addition to the Bayern Munich ranks.

Bayern have turned to the experienced Croatian after missing out on a number of top targets, including Manchester City's Leroy Sane, and the move has not gone down well with the fans.

However, Kovac says Perisic is a great addition to the ranks and also pointed out that he too was second choice 12 months ago when Bayern were looking for a new coach.

"I was also the second choice [for Bayern] and we won the double. It’s like this: we made this choice all together," Kovac told a news conference. "We analysed and spoke about a lot of names.

"He [Perisic] was already on the list. I brought him up back then, because I know Ivan, I know what he’s capable of, I know what kind of skills he has, and we all know what he’s achieved in Germany.

"Personally, I have a good connection to [Perisic’s former coach] Dieter Hecking, who told me many things from his time in Wolfsburg. And from the national team, I know his status in Croatia.

"He's one of the top three players in our national team and as you know, the best player in the world is Croatian [Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric].

"So, Ivan is certainly a top player and I’m happy to have him."

Watzke says 'super club' was interested in Sancho

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed that he turned away "a chief of one of the super clubs" after being asked about Jadon Sancho's availability.

The 19-year-old has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City following some sensational appearances for BVB over the last two seasons.

Watzke has refused to name the club that made an approach but it is not hard to hazard a guess as not many could pay the kind of fee that Dortmund would demand.

However, it did not get beyond a telephone conversation as Watzke told the club Sancho was not for sale, and that was the end of it.

"A chief of one of the super clubs asked me if there was a chance," Watzke said. "I told him he should forget about it and he never contacted me again."

Sancho has three years remaining on his current deal, and Dortmund are in a very strong position to knock back all offers.

Dortmund willing to let Sancho go - at some point

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed that he will not keep starlet Jadon Sancho at the Bundesliga club against his will.

The 19-year-old England international joined Dortmund from Man City for £7million in August 2017 and contributed 12 goals and 17 assists in his debut season.

He was named in the Bundesliga Team of the Year and his form drew interest from a host of top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid and Man Utd.

It was reported that Sancho was keen on a move to Old Trafford but changed his mind as he wanted to play Champions League football.

Dortmund are aware of Sancho’s desire to return to the Premier League at some point, but also recognise that any deal has to be right for both the club and the player.

“There aren’t many 19-year-olds with such a potential,” Watzke told Ruhr Nachrichten. “He is also not a player from the region or one who would have any connection to it.

“When you have a player like Jadon Sancho, you must reassess the situation every single year. Everything else would not be honest. If a foreign player is not convinced that the club is right for him at the exact time, it just does not make any sense.”

“A chief of one of the super clubs asked me back in spring if there was a chance [to sign Sancho] but I told him straight away he should forget about it and he never contacted me again,” Watzke added. “He knew I meant what I said.”

Gareth Southgate gave Sancho his fist international cap in October 2018 and he has now played six times for the Three Lions.

Coutinho set to snub move to Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are still in the hunt to sign Philippe Coutinho but the Barcelona player is not keen on the switch to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern have just snapped up Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan but still need another attacker and could turn their attention to Coutinho, whose future at Barca has been shrouded in doubt all summer.

Barcelona are willing to let the Brazilian go although Bayern face a couple of problems as they try to strike a deal before the transfer deadline on September 2.

First up, Paris Saint-Germain want Coutinho as part of a swap deal that could see Neymar head to the Nou Camp, and, secondly, reports claim the player is not interested in moving to Bavaria.

Bayern have already missed out on a number of targets this summer, including Leroy Sane and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and it looks as though another could slip through their fingers.