Leroy Sane could once again become a target for Bayern Munich during the January transfer window.

Manchester City winger Sane was heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions but damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during August's Community Shield encounter against Liverpool.

Sane underwent surgery and is targeting a return in the new year, when interest from Bayern could also re-emerge.

“There were discussions over Sane,” Bayern board member Edmund Stoiber told Sport Bild.

"The unfortunate injury and the surgery he required for it broke the deal up.

"We'll see how things develop. As chairman of the advisory board and a member of the supervisory board, I have great faith in the sporting leadership.

"If they propose a transfer of this magnitude, that is justified."

Sane joined City from Schalke in August 2016 for a fee in the region of £37million.

The 23-year-old has scored 25 goals and supplied 28 assists over the course of 89 Premier League appearances, winning back-to-back titles in the past two seasons.

His contract at the Etihad Stadium expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

"We want him to stay here because we [have been trying] to extend the contract for more than one year," City manager Pep Guardiola said in August when speculation over Bayern moving for Sane was at its height.

"We were quite close a month ago and now it's a little bit different but that’s the reality - I can’t say any more. That's where it is."

Jurgen Klopp feels last weekend's 3-1 win over Manchester City is only the start as Liverpool chase down a first league title in 30 years.

Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane secured Klopp's Premier League leaders the victory against the reigning champions at Anfield, opening up an eight-point advantage at the summit.

Unbeaten Liverpool are also nine points better off than City, having won 11 of their 12 league outings so far in 2019-20.

Klopp believes such form is "pretty much impossible" and knows there is plenty of road to travel in a title race that my still include nearest challengers Leicester City and Chelsea.

"It's just the start, that's how it is, everybody knows that," he told Liverpool's official website.

"If you would have told me that you can have 34 points [at this stage of the season], wow! It's pretty much impossible but we did it.

"But now the boys go for the last international break of the year. They have to come back healthy. You saw it how intense it was [against City].

"Hopefully they all come back healthy and then we go to Crystal Palace. I think the last games are somewhere on the planet on Tuesday in the week that we play on Saturday against Crystal Palace.

"So they will fly back on the Wednesday, Thursday have a recovery session and Friday, Saturday, 'Hello, Crystal Palace!'.

"That's the situation so nothing happens so far but it's still the best situation we could have asked for so let's hope we can carry on."

Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back at the weekend for City, who missed several chances as they applied pressure throughout the contest.

However, Klopp felt this was to be expected and remains delighted with the clinical nature of Liverpool's display that was not derailed by influential pair Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson feeling under the weather.

"You saw in the last 15 minutes when City gets control of the game then it's like it is," he said.

"Difficult but okay, we were obviously tired then and a couple of players felt a little bit of a cold. Hendo, Bobby at half-time, it was really difficult. It was clear at one point we had to make changes there then it’s difficult to adapt.

"Then they get the momentum in the situation when we want to change, scored the goal and had a few more moments.

"But come on, you cannot win against City with no dangerous moments or whatever. Their quality is too high, it's too big, so I'm completely fine with what we did because we did it our way and I liked that a lot."

AC Milan are desperate to add some firepower, but the Serie A side may not be opting for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, 38, has been linked with a return to San Siro as the superstar prepares to leave LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

However, Milan are considering their options.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN LOOK ELSEWHERE AMID IBRAHIMOVIC LINKS

AC Milan are eyeing Napoli star Dries Mertens and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Tuttosport.

Stefano Pioli's men are struggling in 14th in Serie A, having scored just 11 goals in 12 league games.

Krzysztof Piatek is Milan's leading goalscorer in the league, but he has managed just three in 12.

The report says Ibrahimovic remains an option in the background.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus stars are expecting an apology from Cristiano Ronaldo after his outburst on Sunday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Ronaldo reportedly left the stadium after being substituted in the second half of Juve's 1-0 win over Milan.

- Expect movement at Barcelona in January. Sport reports the LaLiga champions could sell Ivan Rakitic, Carles Alena and Moussa Wague without making any additions. Meanwhile, ESPN FC says Barcelona consider €100million too high a price to pay for Salzburg star Erling Haaland.

- Dani Olmo is still attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs. CalcioMercato reports the Spanish attacker is ready to leave Dinamo Zagreb, who want €40m amid interest from Manchester City, AC Milan and Roma.

- Amid a lack of playing time at Real Madrid, Brahim Diaz and Mariano have been offered to Espanyol, according to Sport. Brahim has played just 18 LaLiga minutes this season, while Mariano is yet to feature in 2019-20.

- Andrea Belotti is set to re-sign with Torino. The striker – who has scored seven goals in 12 Serie A games this season – will get higher wages and a release clause of €100m, which will apply only for foreign clubs, according to CalcioMercato.

- Inter want to make as many as three signings in January, according to Tuttosport. Second in the Serie A table, one of those additions is set to depend on how much Inter bring in from the sale of Gabriel Barbosa – the forward is on loan at Flamengo.

Callum Hudson-Odoi described Raheem Sterling as his "idol" and insisted the forward remains a big leader in the England dressing room, despite his altercation with fellow team-mate Joe Gomez.

Manchester City star Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after a reported coming together with Liverpool defender Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

The pair clashed on the field during Liverpool's 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday and Sterling conceded his emotions "got the better" of him as he explained the incident that took place the following day.

England boss Gareth Southgate was keen to defuse the situation when he faced the media on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi has also leapt to the defence of Sterling, who has earned praise in the past for his stance on wider issues such as racism.

"Raheem's a very nice guy, very encouraging, very positive about everything he does," Chelsea teenager Hudson-Odoi said, according to several British newspapers.

"When I first came in, I didn't expect him to be so nice. Of course he is a nice person but when you see somebody always welcoming you, just talking to you, giving you advice on how he plays and just being around you a lot it makes you feel so welcome in the team.

"Someone like Raheem is like an idol to me. The position he plays, and what he's doing for club and country, is an amazing thing, which I will try to replicate myself. It is an amazing feeling to have someone like him doing what he's doing and being around you every time. I want to keep learning off what he does.

"He's a big leader in the team because he's a very top player, he's in club and country playing every game, working really hard, scoring a lot of goals, so someone like that to have a say on racism it is a big feeling for all of us. He is sticking up for everyone who is involved in the game. It is a great feeling to know he's going to do that."

Sterling will play no part against Montenegro at Wembley but is in Southgate's plans for the trip to Kosovo three days later.

He took part in training alongside Gomez on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi is confident the matter has been dealt with.

"What's happened, happened," he said. "It is a situation where we have dealt with it as a team. 

"We have moved on it. We have had a little talk with each other, and made sure everything is OK. We just want to move on as a team and focus on the game on Thursday."

England require a point from their games with Montenegro and Kosovo to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Raheem Sterling will continue to be an influential figure for England despite the fallout from his spat with international team-mate Joe Gomez, says Three Lions left-back Ben Chilwell.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after an altercation with Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

Manchester City forward Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez clashed on the field during the Reds' 3-1 win over the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday and the 24-year-old conceded his "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post relating to the incident.

Gomez and Sterling both trained with England on Tuesday, the latter remaining with Southgate's squad for Sunday's trip to Kosovo.

Leicester defender Chilwell spoke at a news conference after the session and alluded to Sterling's growing stature as an influential figure on and off the field for club and country of late.

"It's very easy to forget how much Raheem's done positively for English football over the past year or two," he said.

"Yeah, he's made a mistake but he's still a very big character in the dressing room and a very important character for us in the dressing room."

Chilwell revealed Sterling and Gomez both spoke at a team meeting on Monday and insisted the squad were behind Southgate's decision.

"Gareth obviously spoke about the situation and spoke about what he thought. He also wanted to know what we thought of it as well," he said.

"Joe and Raheem got the chance to talk as well, which they both wanted to do.

"Raheem was apologetic. He said it's not in his nature - which it's not - but we all know as football players that emotions can run high.

"There's no one trying to make excuses for him, including himself, but two days ago was a very emotional game. Two great sides battling it out. Things are going to get heated. They've both moved on and both squashed it.

"Gareth didn't want to make the decision himself. He wanted to come to the right decision with the leadership group.

"Obviously it got spoken about between the leadership group and Gareth, and the decision has been made and we're all very on board with that."

This flashpoint comes on the back of the far more serious matter of England players, including Sterling, being subjected to racist abuse during last month's 6-0 win in Bulgaria.

Chilwell believes Southgate's squad will be able to draw strength from such moments of adversity.

"I think it does help us a lot," he added. It's very easy to look at it in a negative light - with the Bulgaria game and what's gone on over the last few days.

"But with how close we are as a squad, I think it's very easy to spin it into a positive.

"It's going to make us stronger hopefully going into [Euro 2020] if we can win these next few games."

Gareth Southgate is concerned by the information being leaked to the media from the England camp in the wake of the incident involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

Manager Southgate dropped Sterling from the squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro after a bust-up between the Manchester City star and Liverpool defender Gomez.

Sterling insisted afterwards that the confrontation, which took place in a private team area of St George's Park, was quickly forgotten about and both players were seen training on Tuesday.

Details of the clash initially appeared in the media shortly before England released an official statement, while specifics about the nature of the confrontation have since continued to emerge.

Southgate suggested he would prefer such information did not find its way out of closed camps and into the public.

"There seems to be all sort of information being passed from so many different areas," he told reporters.

"This is a consequence of the England football team at the moment. That is a very difficult situation and something we have to think about getting forward.

"The team getting out, information getting out – there seems to be so many voices in the background. That's something I have to accept and deal with. Every player has had an opportunity to speak to me if they want to and my view was the group is ready to move forward."

During the World Cup, an apparent England team sheet was leaked ahead of the group game against Panama, after assistant coach Steve Holland was photographed during an open training session with notes referring to a possible line-up.

At the time, Southgate was not hugely concerned by the information on the notes, although he did suggest the decision to publish the photograph was potentially to his team's detriment.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest," he said in Nizhny Novgorod. "There's a squad of 23 names on the sheet, the next sheet has different players in different positions because we swap people in and swap people out.

"For me, no drama but obviously any time if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team is a disadvantage to us. So, of course, our media has to decide whether they want to help the team or not. But, given that was just a squad list, it doesn't make any difference really."

Defender Ben Chilwell, meanwhile, suggested such leaks are to be expected in modern football – although he admits it is key to have the "full trust" of all players and staff.

"We're a very tight squad but it's not just the team in there," he said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of people who work at the [St George's Park Hilton] hotel involved as well.

"It's not just an England team thing, it happens in club football as well. Stuff does always seem to come out.

"As long as we have full trust that the stuff that needs to stay confidential between the team does then we're happy."

Gareth Southgate presented a united front within his England camp – declaring "I love all of my players" – after his dramatic decision to drop Raheem Sterling over a bust-up with Joe Gomez.

Late on Monday, Southgate confirmed the decision to omit Manchester City forward Sterling from this week's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after the altercation at England's St George's Park training base.

Sterling and Liverpool centre-back Gomez clashed on the field during City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield in a highly charged Premier League encounter on Sunday, and the 24-year-old conceded "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post regarding the confrontation the following day.

Southgate credited his senior players for their influence in a resolution that saw Sterling remain with the England squad for training on Tuesday, and he was keen to defuse the situation when he faced a media conference afterwards.

"I think I'm dealing with a very young squad and we're in a sport where emotions often run high," Southgate said.

"I think Raheem in his post last night explained that, for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over.

"It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe. These things happen in football. Then you have to find a way for the group to move forward.

"That needed some time, it needed time for emotions to calm down across the board. We have some excellent senior players who played a part in bringing everyone together. You need, as a manager, to see that everyone is ready to work together moving forward.

"My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players – all of my players."

When asked whether he was disappointed by Sterling's actions, Southgate added: "I love all of my players. We're like a family and all families have disagreements.

"The most important thing for any family is that you communicate through those disagreements and you work through them."

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez trained with England on Tuesday after their altercation rocked the build-up to Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Sterling will not be considered for selection when England play their 1,000th international at Wembley this week after an incident in a private team area at St George's Park.

Manchester City forward Sterling clashed with Liverpool defender Gomez during the closing stages of his club's 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday and, in an Instagram post, he conceded he let his emotions get the better of him when the pair were reunited on international duty.

Despite saying he and Gomez had since put the flashpoint behind them, England manager Gareth Southgate decided to take action.

Nevertheless, Sterling is still with the England squad and will be expected to return to the fray for the subsequent trip to Kosovo.

It meant he was in attendance to train at St George's Park alongside Gomez, wrapped up in a snood and woolly hat to guard against the elements.

Gary Neville has backed Southgate's decision to remove Sterling from England's next game, but Rio Ferdinand, the ex-Manchester United defender's team-mate for club and country, accused the Three Lions boss of hanging the 24-year-old "out to dry".

Sterling has scored 18 goals in 21 appearances for City and England in 2019-20.

Gareth Southgate made the right decision to drop Raheem Sterling over the incident with England team-mate Joe Gomez, according to Gary Neville.

Manchester City star Sterling is said to have been involved in a bust-up with Liverpool's Gomez in a private team area at St George's Park.

The pair had also been in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League defeat of City at Anfield on Sunday, a result that means the Reds sit nine points clear of the reigning champions.

Sterling – who was dropped from the England squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro, the Three Lions' 1,000th international game – accepted his emotions got the better of him but insisted he and Gomez had quickly moved on.

In a statement on Monday, Southgate said the emotions of the Anfield match "were still raw" and that his decision to remove Sterling from consideration for the Montenegro game had the full backing of the squad.

Neville, who won 85 senior caps for England and was assistant to Roy Hodgson between 2012 and 2016, thinks Southgate was right to take reasonably strong action.

"I've been involved in quite a few of these things over the years with England and there is no right or wrong way, in the sense that I've seen managers sweep it under the carpet and try to keep a low profile on these sorts of things," he told Sky Sports.

"I've also seen managers go public, as Gareth has. What I would say is that the decision that Gareth has made... I feel like it's the right one without knowing the detail of what's gone on.

"There's nothing worse than sweeping it under the carpet, and then all the players going back to their own rooms they all share together, and having that feeling that they're all talking about you being weak, and that you've not dealt with it because he's a big player and that he's shied away from a big decision.

"So I feel that it's the right decision. Ultimately, if it's an incident that's happened in front of the rest of the squad that couldn't be dealt with internally and there was a breach of discipline then the manager has to act.

"Sometimes it can cause you some problems down the line, because players can then go back to their own rooms, and say 'the manager's been harsh, there - he's one of our best mates, he's one of our best players.

"But at least, if you're the manager, you know you've made the right decision based upon your principles and your values – that's what you should go with.

"I've seen incidents like this dealt with in both ways with England and there is no ideal because it's so public and the media want their pound of flesh, including ourselves. But the reality is that these things happen in football, and it will blow over."

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has warned Pep Guardiola not to buy a new defender in January.

City opted not to sign a replacement when Kompany left at the end of last season and Aymeric Laporte is not expected to return for at least another two months after sustaining a knee injury in September.

Guardiola has been left with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as his only two senior centre-backs and has been forced to deploy Fernandinho in the role at times this season.

City have looked shaky defensively in recent weeks, keeping only one clean sheet in six games in all competitions, and their concerns at the back were laid bare in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Kompany, though, does not think the solution is to spend big money on a reinforcement in the transfer window.

"I don't think they need to sign another defender," he told Sky Sports.

"We always struggle at Anfield. I said that on Super Sunday: you're fighting 25 years of not winning at Anfield and that's difficult, it's two games in one game - you're playing a great team and you're fighting history.

"Flip it around and the same will happen for Liverpool - they will fight the history of not winning the league for 30 years.

"That should be to City's advantage I still think. As to the defence, the best way for City to defend in the past has been to attack. They have no reason to change that.

"As soon as they start reconnecting with the best performances, I'm convinced that we can see a sustainable amount of wins."

The defeat, which leaves City nine points behind Liverpool in the table, was not without its controversy.

The opening goal from Fabinho was allowed to stand despite the ball having struck the arm of Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Liverpool box seconds earlier, with VAR backing referee Michael Oliver's decision not to give City a penalty.

"The incident happens and I'm confused," Kompany said. "That's the problem. I'm confused. I'm thinking 'okay, I'm not the expert in everything'. Then I look to my right at Jose Mourinho, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. We're all confused.

"Surely that says something about the process, the fact that this could still be for debate when there's a VAR system that is meant to make football simpler and fairer?

"[The] goal happens 20 seconds later. My feeling remains that although Liverpool were great, and both teams tried to play the way they are known to play, I felt this first decision was so important to get right."

Lionel Messi is seemingly in no rush to extend his Barcelona contract.

Messi's future is regularly talked about after it was revealed earlier this year the superstar can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, though it remains to be seen if he wants to stay on beyond his current deal.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI IN NO RUSH OVER BARCELONA CONTRACT

Messi has no intention of discussing a contract extension at Barcelona until next season, according to Marca.

The 32-year-old plans to be at the club next season, the report says, but will not open talks regarding a new deal.

Messi has been at Barcelona during his entire professional career, winning 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are looking to the future. Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are seriously considering a move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have been linked with moves away from PSG and the 19-year-old could help the French club going forward.

- Manchester City and Real Madrid could be set for a transfer battle. The clubs are interested in Real Sociedad and Spain forward Mikel Oyarzabal, according to CalcioMercato. The 22-year-old has scored 29 LaLiga goals since the start of 2017-18.

- Unai Emery has some time. The Sun reports the under-fire Arsenal head coach will be given until 2020 to turn the club's form around. It also reports Manchester City would allow assistant Mikel Arteta – an ex-Arsenal midfielder – to head to Emirates Stadium, should his former club want to appoint the Spaniard.

- Liverpool could strengthen in January. TalkSPORT reports the Premier League leaders are in advanced talks with Bournemouth over a deal to sign winger Ryan Fraser, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Bournemouth may want Harry Wilson – who is on loan from Liverpool – as part of a deal.

- Struggling in ninth in Serie A, Fiorentina may be ready to move on from Vincenzo Montella. The club are ready to make an approach for former Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, according to Firenze Viola.

Raheem Sterling admitted emotions got the better of him in a bust up with Joe Gomez, but the England star is moving on after being dropped.

Sterling, 24, was reportedly involved in a physical confrontation with Gomez at England's training base on Monday and has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

The Manchester City star and Gomez were also involved in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 win over the Premier League champions on Sunday.

In a post on Instagram, Sterling said it was time to move on, but admitted he had let his emotions get the better of him.

"First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me!" he wrote.

"Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point ... both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.

"We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

"We move [sic] this is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and @joegomez5 are good we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing it's done we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.

"Let's get focus [sic] on our game on Thursday."

England are on the verge of qualifying for next year's tournament and face Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday after their clash with Montenegro.

Raheem Sterling will not be considered for England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro following a reported bust up between the Manchester City forward and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez claims he almost joined Arsenal in 2016 and accused Leicester City of costing him "two years at the highest level".

Algeria international Mahrez was the star turn in the Foxes side that shocked the football world to win the Premier League title in the 2015-16 campaign under Claudio Ranieri.

However, the Foxes struggled in their defence the following season and Mahrez sought a move away from the King Power Stadium.

Mahrez finally got his wish in July 2018 when he joined City for a reported £60million and he won a Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble in his maiden campaign.

But the 28-year-old felt he should have been allowed to move on sooner.

Speaking to France Football, Mahrez said: "After the title-winning year, if I was in a top team, it would not have been the same story.

"For me, it is clear that I lost two years at the very highest level. I lost two years!

"Because instead of being at City at 27, I could have been there at 24 or 25. Leicester blocked me. They told me: 'You cannot go, you cannot go!'

"My agent had talked with [Arsene] Wenger, who really wanted to sign me, [and] it was almost done with Arsenal in the summer of 2016... I was really frustrated.

"It's not easy to go from being the PFA Players' Player of the Year to being part of a team fighting for Premier League survival. It's not the same job.

"Everyone is waiting on you and expects you to perform."

Manchester City midfielder Rodri is not giving up on retaining the Premier League title after Sunday's 3-1 loss to Liverpool, highlighting the Reds' inability to hold on to their lead last season.

A thrilling encounter at Anfield left Liverpool with a nine-point lead over City, their most likely long-term challengers.

Many feel City now have too much ground to make up if they are to retain their crown, but they found themselves in a similar situation last season.

Although Rodri was not at the club at the time, the Spain international is well aware of how City fought back from being seven points behind the Reds to lift the trophy for a second successive season in 2018-19.

When asked if defeat at Anfield ended City's Premier League chances, Rodri told reporters: "Absolutely not. This team has shown it many times before.

"This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn't a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and being considered for the title race.

"Last season, the team was seven points behind - and it could have been ten in case of losing [when the teams met in January] - and they managed to win the league in the end.

"We are in November. There are still a lot [of games] left. They [Liverpool] are very strong at the moment and they are having everything right. Let's see what happens in the future."

Rodri is also adamant Liverpool were fortunate to take all three points on Sunday, convinced City were significantly better on the day.

"They were more clinical than us, I think that was the key factor. I think we were much better overall," he said. "We created more chances than them, but they arrived to our goal three times and scored three goals."

Left-back Angelino, who impressed going forward in a rare Premier League start, was similarly rueful of City's inability to make the most of their chances, insisting the 3-1 defeat was harsh on the champions.

"I think so," he said when asked if City deserved a better result. "We created chances, we had opportunities to get back into the game, but, unluckily, we couldn't make it.

"We played really well, we have created many chances, we have only conceded three chances to Liverpool, but against a team like them, if you give them a chance, they take advantage of it.

"We have had more chances than them but, at the end of the day, we didn't use them. We are happy for the way we played.

"I think the whole team fought until the end, we gave everything and, if we keep playing like at Anfield, we can achieve great things."

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