Lewandowski warns Bundesliga rivals: My best is yet to come!

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski has 23 goals already this season but believes he is only going to get better.

Robert Lewandowski is enjoying an outstanding start to the season with Bayern Munich but insists there is room for him to get even better.

The Poland international has 23 goals in 18 club matches so far this term, more than any other player in Europe’s top leagues.

However, Lewandowski believes he is only now approaching his peak and can improve further, insisting he does not feel his 31 years.

“I worked very hard for this form. Currently it is going perfectly, my body feels good,” he told Sport Bild.

“It’s good to have that in mind, but it does not mean that I’m resting. I want to get even better.

 

“I know when I can do more and when I need to slow down. My passport says: ‘Robert Lewandowski, 31 years old’. But that’s not how I feel.

“My best spell is just starting now and hopefully will continue for some more years. The best is yet to come.”

Lewandowski is set to return to club action following the international break on Saturday, as Bayern visit Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Mauricio Pochettino a ‘top coach’ – Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Bayern Munich have been linked to Mauricio Pochettino, a coach admired by Joshua Kimmich.

Joshua Kimmich gave a strong endorsement of Mauricio Pochettino’s coaching ability after the rumoured Bayern Munich target departed Tottenham.

Spurs brought Pochettino’s well-regarded stint in charge to an abrupt end on Tuesday, dismissing the man who led them to the Champions League final following a poor start to the new season.

The development could have ramifications in Bavaria, where the Argentinian is said to be held in high regard.

Bayern were reportedly interested in Pochettino even before they parted company with head coach Niko Kovac at the beginning of November and could now pursue him as a free agent.

The Bundesliga champions have entrusted Hansi Flick with overseeing the team until the end of 2019 but have not committed to a long-term appointment.

“I do not know if he is a candidate for us,” Kimmich told reporters when asked about Pochettino after Germany’s win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2020 qualifying.

“What you can say is that Tottenham were fighting at the top for years. They have had huge consistency.

“He’s a top coach, but I do not know if he’s an option for us.”

 

Flick has won each of his two matches since taking charge on an interim basis, the second a 4-0 thrashing of Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last week said: “We decided that he will be coach at least until Christmas and possibly beyond. We trust Hansi Flick.”

Bayern have reportedly identified Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel as their preferred candidates but would likely struggle to prise either coach away from their clubs before the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho had also been linked with the Bavarian club, but he was appointed Pochettino’s successor at Spurs on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman up and running again after France setback

France winger Kingsley Coman

Kingsley Coman suffered a muscle injury on France duty but was back running at Bayern Munich’s training ground on Tuesday.

Kingsley Coman was back running at Bayern Munich’s training ground after leaving the France squad early with a muscle problem.

Coman was forced off in the 88th minute of France’s 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Moldova on Thursday. He was sent home early by France, meaning he missed Sunday’s 2-0 away win in Albania.

An examination by Bayern’s chief medical officer Dr. Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt revealed a muscle hardening in his thigh.

Bayern said the former Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus forward would undertake a reduced training programme following the injury but he appeared to making progress at the club’s Saebener Strasse training ground on Tuesday.

The defending Bundesliga champions are third in the table, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayern visit Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday, before travelling to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Reports: Manchester City target Bayern Munich star as Leroy Sane replacement

Manchester City's Leroy Sane

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane was rumoured to be very close to a move to Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window. However, the move failed to materialise and the German international stayed put. And even though Sane is out of action because of an ACL injury, City believe that he would leave the club come the next summer transfer window.

According to reports by Sky Sports, Pep Guardiola and co. have identified Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman as a potential replacement for the outgoing forward. The French international played under the Spanish tactician during his time in Bundesliga and believes Coman could be the perfect replacement for Sane.

The 23-year-old moved to the Bavarian giants in 2015 on a loan deal before the move was made permanent in 2017. He has since gone on to make 139 appearances for Bayern Munich and has scored 28 goals and provided 33 assists in them. Sane is expected to occupy Coman’s place if he ends up moving back to Germany and City believe that could work in their favour.

While a January move is out of the question as both the clubs continue competing on all fronts, a deal could be struck next summer if everything falls into place.

Xabi Alonso: I left Real Madrid because of Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola was behind Xabi Alonso’s decision to leave Real Madrid for Bayern Munich in 2014, the former Spain international has said.

Xabi Alonso has revealed he left Real Madrid for Bayern Munich because he was “curious” to find out Pep Guardiola’s coaching secrets.

The 37-year-old swapped clubs in 2014 after five seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he won six major trophies.

Alonso left Madrid three months after helping them to Champions League glory and went on to spend three years with Bayern before announcing his playing retirement.

Explaining his reasons for wanting to leave the Spanish giants, Alonso told The Athletic: “I was so curious to find out [Guardiola’s] secrets.

 

“He has a relentless natural enthusiasm. Football seasons are long but right until the very end, Pep never seemed to be tired.

“He was alert, always ready. For the players, maybe this gave us an extra few metres in our legs when it mattered most.”

Alonso, who took over as Real Sociedad B head coach in June, also praised the work of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The former Spain international, who played against Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side during his time at Madrid and Bayern, said: “I didn’t enjoy playing against them because they made it so intense, you’d almost break.

“It was like he wanted you to be in a cage. He wanted to trap you. There was an organised pressure. I was under pressure all the time.

“I enjoyed the mood around those games because they were so important but the challenge of beating Dortmund was immense.”

Bayern Munich president targets top head coach amid links to ‘great’ Guardiola

Former Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola

Following his induction as Bayern Munich president, Herbert Hainer gave a warm endorsement of Pep Guardiola’s managerial abilities.

Bayern Munich’s new president has praised Pep Guardiola and vowed the club will target the best possible candidate for the vacant head coach position.

Herbert Hainer formally succeeded Uli Hoeness as president at Friday’s AGM, assuming the role amid the search for a full-time replacement for Niko Kovac.

Hansi Flick will continue in a caretaker capacity for at least the rest of 2019 while the Bundesliga champions weigh up their options.

Guardiola – along with Erik ten Hag and Thomas Tuchel – is one of three men being considered, according to Sport Bild, and Hainer has great respect for the Catalan, whose contract with Manchester City runs until 2021.

“The board of directors will try to get the best coach for Bayern Munich,” Hainer said, as quoted by Sport1.

“When I say the best, it means, on one hand, a coach who we want to have and, on the other, one who is available.

“Pep Guardiola is a great coach but he has a contract with Manchester City.

“For now I would say, let’s wait until the board comes to us. Then we will deal with the options. But in principle, we want to have the best coach at Bayern Munich.”

 

Guardiola spent three seasons in charge of Bayern before leaving for Premier League side City in 2016.

The Bavarians won three Bundesliga titles and lifted the DFB-Pokal twice during his time at the helm.

Reports: Chelsea emerge favourites for signing of €75m-rated Barcelona star

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho moved to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on a season-long loan, who have the option to sign him on a permanent deal as well. However, if reports from Spain are to be believed, Coutinho could return to Barcelona after the end of ongoing season. And the La Liga giants are already looking for potential suitors for the Brazilian.

According to Don Balon, the German club have informed Barcelona that they don’t want to sign Coutinho on a permanent deal despite the fact that he has impressed in his short stay at the club with two goals and four assists in 15 appearances. The report claims that the Catalan giants would want to sell him permanently next summer and Chelsea have emerged as the favourites.

Though he joined Barcelona for €145 million a couple of seasons ago, the club might be ready to sell him for only €75 million, the report claims. However, Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had claimed only last month that they are happy with Coutinho and will take a decision on his future when ‘the right point in time has arrived’.

“We will decide about that when the right point in time has arrived,” club chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German publication Kicker.

“Philippe is a high-quality player. Philippe has no star attitudes. He is a very pleasant person and he is very popular throughout the club. We are very satisfied with the transfer.”

Herbert Hainer confirmed as new Bayern Munich president

Uli Hoeness’ presidency at Bayern Munich is officially at an end, with Herbert Hainer confirmed as his successor.

Herbert Hainer has been confirmed as the new president of Bayern Munich.

The former Adidas CEO was nominated by Uli Hoeness as his successor in August when the former Bayern star announced he would be stepping down.

Hoeness was given a standing ovation at Bayern’s annual general meeting on Friday, the final day of his presidency at the Allianz Arena.

The 67-year-old, who will continue in his role with the club’s supervisory board until November 2023, has been associated with Bayern for 49 years.

Hoeness was a prominent player until injury forced him to retire at the age of 27, after which he took over as the club’s general manager.

His presidency has brought about 21 major trophies, including the treble of 2012-13 and seven Bundesliga titles in a row.

He resigned in 2014 after being sentenced to three and a half years in prison for tax evasion but was re-elected unopposed in November 2016, nine months after his release.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge backed Hainer to be a worthy new president, and praised his own future successor as chief executive, Oliver Kahn, who is due to assume that role in 2022.

Speaking at the AGM, Rummenigge said: “I am sure that with these great personalities at the top, there is no need to worry about the future of Bayern.”

div class=”apester-media” data-media-id=”5db19fc72b2176307f62f876″ height=”539″>

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: Hansi Flick to remain interim Bayern Munich coach for rest of 2019

Bayern Munich will remain under the stewardship of Hansi Flick for the rest of 2019 and possibly beyond

Hansi Flick will remain interim Bayern Munich coach for at least the rest of 2019, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced on Friday.

Bayern placed Flick in charge after Niko Kovac left the post in the wake of a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt – their heaviest Bundesliga loss since April 2009 – on November 2.

The former Germany assistant coach led Bayern to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Olympiacos in his first match at the helm and followed it up with a 4-0 Klassiker crushing of Borussia Dortmund last weekend.

The performances earned Flick the confidence of Rummenigge, outgoing president Uli Hoeness and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

“Uli, Hasan and I publicly announced after the Dortmund match Hansi would be our coach until further notice,” Rummenigge said at Bayern’s annual general meeting.

“[On Thursday] we decided that he will be coach at least until Christmas and possibly beyond. We trust Hansi Flick.”

 

A host of candidates were linked with the position after Kovac departed.

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag ruled himself out of immediate contention, while former RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick reportedly turned down an approach from the Bavarian giants.

Pep Guardiola, Massimiliano Allegri and Jose Mourinho have all been touted as potential long-term targets, as was Arsene Wenger until being appointed FIFA’s chief of global football development this week.

Reports: Mauricio Pochettino ‘furious’ with Tottenham Hotspur for failure to sign Barcelona star

Reports: Mauricio Pochettino 'furious' with Tottenham Hotspur for failure to sign Barcelona star

According to reports, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is “furious” with the club’s board, including Chairman Daniel Levy, for failing to sign Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho during the summer.

Express claims that Pochettinho wanted to bring the Brazilian back to the Premier League, nearly 20 months after he left Liverpool to join Barcelona.

But Daniel Levy and co were apparently not so keen as Pochettino – and eventually, Bundesliga defending champions Bayern Munich signed him on a season-long loan. And what’s even worse for the North Londoners, is the fact that Coutinho also played the full match as Bayern sunk them by a scoreline of 7-2 in the Champions League.

According to The Sun, the board’s failure to pursue a deal for the versatile attacker has not gone down well with Pochettino.

The Argentine manager, who is a target for both Real Madrid and Manchester United ahead of the upcoming 2020-21 season, strongly believed that the Barcelona ace would solve a lot of his current side’s attacking woes.

Later during the transfer window, Spurs also failed to complete the signing of Paulo Dybala from Juventus.

However, they were still able to land Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis – and they are likely to sign him on a permanent deal next summer.

Joachim Low discounts Germany’s Euro 2020 chances

Germany boss Joachim Low

Germany boss Joachim Low has assessed his side’s Euro 2020 chances and weighed in on the rumours linking Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich.

Joachim Low sees similarities between Germany’s youthful squad and the exciting 2010 vintage but does not consider his team a leading Euro 2020 contender.

Victory over Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday and anything less than a win for Northern Ireland against Netherlands would confirm Germany’s place at next year’s tournament.

A developing Die Mannschaft have won five of their past seven matches and are starting to build momentum after a rocky post-World Cup period.

Just one member of the squad, captain Manuel Neuer, is over the age of 30 and Low compared the potential of the team to the one that reached the semi-finals in South Africa almost a decade ago.

But the long-serving head coach moved to temper expectations of a serious challenge for silverware.

“As of today we have a very talented, ambitious, hungry team with a lot of potential, comparable to the team for the 2010 World Cup,” Low said.

“But we will not be among the absolute top favourites. For that, many players have to be even further along in their development. We’re working on it.

“France, England have been playing with the same players for years.

“There’s the Dutch, Spain… to play for a title is incredibly difficult. But the guys are really good, we have a good base.”

 

Neuer, 33, will start in goal against Belarus, with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen to take over for Tuesday’s final Group C clash at home to Northern Ireland.

Low confirmed two more Bayern Munich regulars, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry, would be in the starting XI this weekend following their impressive performances in the club’s recent Bundesliga win over Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga champions, still without a full-time head coach, are now being linked with an audacious bid to bring Pep Guardiola back to Allianz Arena.

Asked about that scenario, Low replied: “Pep Guardiola was very good for the Bundesliga.

“He is one of the best coaches. I don’t know if he will come back and whether he wants to [return] is just speculation. I don’t know what Bayern are planning, that’s their business.”

Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are playing at Robert Lewandowski’s level – Timo Werner

Robert Lewandowski is playing “in the category of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo”, says Bundesliga rival Timo Werner.

Timo Werner acknowledges he has little hope of outscoring Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga this season, as the Bayern Munich forward’s form can only be matched by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

RB Leipzig striker Werner has scored an impressive 11 league goals so far in 2019-20, yet he lags behind the remarkable Lewandowski.

The Bayern and Poland superstar has struck 16 times in the Bundesliga and leads the way among players in Europe’s top leagues this season, with 23 goals in 18 games in all competitions – including in each top-flight and Champions League match.

Indeed, Werner believes only all-time greats Messi and Ronaldo can reach the extraordinary standards set by Lewandowski.

“It’s hard [to be top-scorer],” Werner told a news conference on Thursday.

“When you score two goals against Hertha Berlin and then watch the game evening game, having scored four or three goals less than Robert Lewandowski this season, and he scores twice against Borussia Dortmund…

“Against whom is he not going to score? That’s very hard.

 

“How he is playing at the moment, maybe only one or two players on the planet are on this level. That’s the category of Messi and Ronaldo.”

Werner was speaking alongside Germany team-mate Joshua Kimmich on international duty.

The duo each came through the Stuttgart academy before moving on to Leipzig, but Werner claimed he was not discussing a next move with Bayern’s Kimmich, despite repeated talk of him switching to the Allianz Arena.

“We don’t really talk about it at all,” he said. “It was also a coincidence that I came to Leipzig when he was there. I don’t imitate everything that Joshua Kimmich does.

“If he goes to Real Madrid, I’m not going to Real Madrid also. Leipzig was the perfect step for me as well as for him.

“He took the step to Bayern Munich relatively early, which was also a good step. Now I’m still a player at Leipzig. That was the right step for me.

“I don’t know what the future will bring. But I won’t imitate Joshua and go wherever he is.”

Jann-Fiete Arp injured again two days after returning to Bayern Munich training

Bayern Munich winger Jann-Fiete Arp

Jann-Fiete Arp must wear a cast after damaging his left arm on his return to Bayern Munich training following wrist surgery.

Bayern Munich youngster Jann-Fiete Arp has been diagnosed with another injury just two days after returning to full training with the Bundesliga champions.

The 19-year-old, who joined from Hamburg in July, was welcomed back to a team session at Sabener Strasse on Tuesday for the first time since having surgery on a broken left wrist in September.

However, the forward is now expected to be sidelined for a time after damaging his left forearm.

Bayern confirmed on Thursday that scans showed Arp had suffered “minor damage to the radial bone in his left forearm during training”, adding that he will need to wear a cast.

The Germany youth international has yet to make a competitive senior appearance for Bayern, although he was an unused substitute for the 1-1 league draw with RB Leipzig in September and the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund in August.

I have a lot to thank him for – Joshua Kimmich not against Guardiola returning to Bayern Munich

Joshua Kimmich (L) with Pep Guardiola

With rumours linking Pep Guardiola with a second stint at Bayern Munich, Joshua Kimmich has spoken fondly of his former boss.

Joshua Kimmich says he would not be against the return of Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich.

The Manchester City manager is being linked with a possible return to the Allianz Arena at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Guardiola, who was a rumoured target for Juventus before they appointed Maurizio Sarri, is said to be one of Bayern’s top candidates as a permanent successor to Niko Kovac, who left in the wake of the 5-1 Bundesliga defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Although Hansi Flick appears likely to stay on as interim boss for the time being, and perhaps until the end of the season, Kimmich would not be averse to Guardiola’s return next year.

Speaking at a news conference while on Germany duty, the Bayern full-back said: “Regarding Pep Guardiola. I have no idea what Bayern’s plan is with Hansi Flick.

“At first you thought that we would get a new coach after the international break. Now, we won both games with Flick and it sounds like he will stay until winter or even the entire season. What happens then is the business of the club – we players have nothing to do with it.

“But of course, I know [Guardiola] and have a lot to thank him for. He took me from the second division and let me play in the Bundesliga. We won the double together and after that season I became a player for Germany. So, of course, I won’t be against him coming back.”

 

Kimmich joined from RB Leipzig ahead of 2015-16, Guardiola’s final season in charge of Bayern, and won the domestic double.

In total, Guardiola guided Bayern to three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup in his three years in charge.

He could not deliver the Champions League, though, losing to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage in each of his three seasons in Germany.