Luka Jovic will make the grade at Real Madrid if he is afforded time, according to his former Eintracht Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier.

Jovic joined Eintracht on an initial two-year loan from Benfica in 2017 after struggling in Portugal and he went on to star in the Bundesliga.

The Serbia international scored 17 top-flight goals last season and netted a further 10 in the Europa League as Eintracht reached the semi-finals.

That form persuaded Madrid to pay a reported €60million for the 21-year-old, but he has made only two LaLiga starts, with Karim Benzema continuing his fine run of form.

But Meier, who spent a season with Jovic, is adamant there is no reason to panic about Jovic's lack of starts, while he also has no qualms with Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic departing Eintracht for West Ham and AC Milan, respectively.

Speaking to Omnisport, the Western Sydney Wanderers forward said: "It's never wrong to go to Real Madrid and Sebastien is in the best league in the world. They all went to big clubs and I think it's the best step for their careers.

"When you go somewhere new it takes time and I'm pretty sure Jovic will come good there.

"You could tell after two or three weeks how good his finishing was. He can do everything: left foot, right foot, head. He is perfect in front of the goal."

London is still something of a home for Jose Mourinho and another job in the English capital could be on the horizon for the ex-Chelsea manager.

With Tottenham struggling for form and reports of discontent in the dressing room, Mauricio Pochettino's position is far from certain.

Mourinho has been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester United in December and the Portuguese is reportedly waiting in the wings.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS SOUND OUT MOURINHO

Tottenham have made contact with Jose Mourinho amid uncertainty over manager Mauricio Pochettino, reports SoccerLink.

Pochettino's future in London is up in the air following Tottenham's poor start to the season, highlighted by a humiliating 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

While Pochettino is not facing the sack, Spurs have sounded out Mourinho about whether the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would be interested.

 

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- While Spurs target Mourinho, Manchester United appear to be closing in on Massimiliano Allegri. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling at Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reports ex-Juventus boss Allegri is preparing for the job and wants Patrice Evra to join him in Manchester.

Real Madrid will play the waiting game for Kylian Mbappe as Marca claims the Spanish giants have set a 2021 target date of trying to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

- According to Le10Sport, Atletico Madrid will look to sign Paris Saint-Germain veteran Edinson Cavani to a pre-contract agreement in January. Cavani's deal runs out at season's end and the Uruguay striker has been linked to Juventus and incoming MLS franchise Inter Miami.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United are ready to spend during the January transfer window following their poor start to the campaign. United are languishing in 12th after the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.

Bayern Munich are tracking Freiburg star Luca Waldschmidt, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old forward made his debut for Germany this month.

- According to Tuttosport, AC Milan want €20million-rated Turkey international Mehmet Zeki Celik from Lille. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are also interested in a January move for Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, who is on loan at Besiktas.

Western Sydney Wanderers have signed two-time Germany international Nicolai Muller from Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Muller joins the A-League team as an injury replacement for Polish playmaker Radoslaw Majewski, who suffered a potential season-ending knee injury in September.

The 32-year-old winger Muller signs for the 2014 AFC Champions League winners having amassed over 300 club appearances in Germany, including spells at Hamburg, Mainz and Greuther Furth.

"We are very excited to have Nicolai join us this season and can't wait to see him on the park," Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas told the club's official website on Wednesday.

"Our members and fans should be very excited about this signing. Nicolai has been a top pro in Germany for many years playing Bundesliga 1 and 2 as well as playing in the Europa League.

"We would like to welcome Nicolai into our Wanderers family and look forward to him helping us reach our goals this season."

Muller could make his debut for the Wanderers this Friday as they travel to Victoria to play Melbourne Victory.

With Edinson Cavani's contract set to expire, a move away from the French capital has been mooted.

The Paris Saint-Germain veteran has been linked to David Beckham's incoming MLS expansion franchise Inter Miami.

However, Cavani reportedly wants a return to Serie A and the titleholders stand out.

 

TOP STORY – CAVANI EYES JUVE SWITCH

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani wants to join Serie A champions Juventus, according to Calciomercato.

Cavani – who has become PSG's all-time leading goalscorer since arriving from Napoli in 2013 – is out of contract at season's end.

With limited progress on a renewal, the 32-year-old's representatives have reportedly reached out to Juve over a return to Italy.

 

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- According to Sky Sport in Germany, Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is eyeing a move to Serie A or LaLiga. The 31-year-old was linked with PSG during the last transfer window.

- Former France and PSG head coach Laurent Blanc is keen on a job in the Premier League, reports in France say. Blanc was linked to the Lyon vacancy but the Ligue 1 strugglers have opted for ex-Marseille boss Rudi Garcia.

- Passione Inter claims Crystal Palace are looking to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa. The 23-year-old Brazilian is starring on loan at Flamengo, having struggled to establish himself with Inter.

Inter and AC Milan are both interested in Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil, Calciomercato says.

- Calciomercato reports Manchester United are competing with Milan for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Lucas Hernandez says he joined Bayern Munich to take himself out of his "comfort zone" in Madrid.

World Cup-winning France international Hernandez switched to the Bundesliga champions from Atletico Madrid in an €80million deal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

He has been the centre of a row between club and country over the past week following France's decision to call him up for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's previous two matches with a knee problem.

Hernandez, who did not make it off the substitutes' bench in the 1-0 win over Iceland on Friday, says he joined the Bavarian giants as the time was right for a fresh start.

"There were other interested clubs and I had everything I needed in Madrid," he told France Football. "I put everything on the table. I thought about it; I spoke with my family.

"In the end, it was the right moment for me to change life, city, culture and country; to see something else. Bayern corresponds with who I am, my mentality, my ambitions.

"The club representatives and the players told me that I was going to be joining a family. That is the truth.

"Bayern is an historic club. It represents so many things in the world. I have already had a nice little experience and a list of achievements, but I am a big competitor and I want to win even more titles. Bayern is a winning machine. That was perfect for me.

"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.

"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 in Madrid."

Despite joining a side brimming with established and successful players, Hernandez says he has been welcomed with open arms into a dressing room that contains precious few egos.   

"When they show you everything that they've won, it is impressive," he added. "Then there is the dressing room. In your head, you say to yourself, 'Wow, this is going to be incredible!' You have stratospheric players like [Robert] Lewandowski and [Thomas] Muller, who have played it all, won it all.

"And then you quickly realise that it is a normal dressing room, where everyone is relaxed. It is not a dressing room with a clan mentality. Everyone speaks with everyone. The guys are really simple."

Where will Fabian Ruiz be playing by the end of January?

Napoli will be hoping Fabian remains at Stadio San Paolo.

However, LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are determined to bring the former Real Betis midfielder back to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SURPASS BARCA IN BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Madrid have moved ahead of Barca in the race for Napoli star Fabian and want to sign the midfielder in January, according to Marca.

Fabian has attracted plenty of interest since swapping Betis for Serie A side Napoli, where the Spaniard has starred since his €30milion arrival in 2018.

Barca have been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, but rivals Madrid have reportedly jumped to the front of the queue.

 

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- While Fabian is of interest, Tuttosport says Barca are eyeing Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who has a €111m release clause.

- There is plenty happening at Camp Nou. Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are willing to let Ivan Rakitic and Carles Alena leave in January. Barca are also reportedly not interested in signing a new centre-back as they trust Jean-Clair Todibo or Ronald Araujo, with Marca saying right-back is an area they are looking to strengthen.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Fiorentina are targeting in-demand Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United.

- AS claims Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hakan Calhanoglu's time at AC Milan could be coming to an end, with Calciomercato reporting the struggling Serie A side may sell the 25-year-old. Calhanoglu has struggled for consistency since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

Barca are lining up an approach for PSV sensation Donyell Malen, according to Sport. It comes as AS reports Ernesto Valverde's side are set to hand contract extensions to Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Nelson Semedo.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects Thomas Muller to stay at Bayern Munich beyond January despite his frustration with a lack of playing time.

Attacking midfielder Muller, 30, expressed dissatisfaction with his marginalised role in an interview earlier this month, telling Kicker he was "too ambitious" to settle for a place among the substitutes.

The 2014 World Cup winner started none of the club's final five games leading into the international break.

Reports have suggested Muller will ask for a move when the window reopens but Bayern CEO Rummenigge would be surprised to receive a transfer request.

"I cannot imagine that," Rummenigge told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

"The relationship between Thomas and Bayern is totally intact and he will remain an important part of our club."

Muller has spent his entire professional career at Allianz Arena, winning eight Bundesliga titles.

He made 28 league starts under Niko Kovac last season but the arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona has increased the competition for places in Muller's favoured position behind the striker.

Rummenigge accepted the 100-cap Germany international's decision to speak out about his concerns.

He said: "If Thomas would sit contentedly on the bench, he would be at the wrong club.

"That's the reaction we want, but he still has to deal with the situation seriously. He does that perfectly."

Either through injuries or dips in form, Luis Suarez has started to show signs of regression at Barcelona and they are planning for a future without him.

The Uruguayan striker has been a remarkable player for Barca, but at 32 he is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blaugrana have been considering who they might want to replace him with when the time comes.

Meanwhile, one player recently heavily linked with Barca could be signing a new contract with his current employers.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DRAW UP STRIKERS SHORTLIST

Barca have significantly strengthened several areas of their team in recent transfer windows, with Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Frenkie de Jong and Neto bolstering their options.

They are now beginning to turn their attentions to the central striker role, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The publication reports Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is the ideal target, though Barca are said to be hopeful of getting him on a cut-price deal in 2021 after he has entered the final year of his contract, assuming he does not sign an extension in the meantime.

England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is also said to be high up their list, despite their being acknowledgement that his wages would be more of an issue than the transfer fee.

The other two reportedly being considered are Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Inter's Lautaro Martinez.

 

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Barca missed out on securing the return of Neymar in the most recent transfer window and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are now planning to offer the Brazilian a new bumper contract.

- The LaLiga champions are also looking at midfield reinforcements with potential. Napoli's Fabian RuizEduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz are all being considered, though Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid are also tracking the trio with intent.

Christian Eriksen's future has been a hot topic for the last few months, with the Tottenham midfielder's contract ending next year. Sport1 in Germany claim Bayern Munich have already been in touch with him.

Liverpool are hoping to sign Brighton and Hove Albion-owned centre-back Ben White, 21, according to the Sun. The defender is impressing on loan at Leeds United and the Reds see him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is said to be eager for a move to get first-team football.

- Despite languishing 12th in the Premier League after a wretched start to the season, the Daily Mail say Manchester United will not be splashing the cash in the January transfer window.

- But the Daily Express report United have reached a "verbal agreement" with Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, who are said to be demanding £10million for the Croatian forward.

Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema are the wrong side of 30 and could soon be looking over their shoulders.

LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid are planning for the future and have reportedly identified ideal long-term successors to their respective strikers.

Meanwhile, two Premier League rivals could be about to do battle for the signature of a highly rated defender.


TOP STORY – ENEMIES EYE REINFORCEMENTS

AS claim Spanish champions Barca have identified Donyell Malen as the man to replace star striker Suarez, now 32.

The PSV forward scored on his international debut for Netherlands in September and has netted 10 goals in nine Eredivisie games this term.

Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Rafael Leao of AC Milan are also in the Blaugrana's sights.

Madrid, meanwhile, are considering an approach for Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, AS adds.

Luka Jovic is yet to make much of an impression in the Spanish capital and Haaland, the scorer of four goals in two Champions League games, could prove a more useful option behind Benzema.


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- Kai Havertz insists the decision on his next move will be his alone. Barca and Madrid have been linked with the in-demand Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who told a news conference he is ready to take control of his future.

- Manchester City are preparing to hijack Manchester United's move for Ruben Dias. According to The Sun, the Premier League champions see the Benfica centre-back as the solution to their defensive crisis.

- In a second blow to the under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Daily Mail claims United medical staff fear the injured Paul Pogba will spend the rest of October on the sideline. Pogba is in Dubai for warm-weather training as he battles to overcome a foot problem, but is in doubt for the blockbuster clash with leaders Liverpool in just over a week.

- Chelsea are weighing up whether to recall Ethan Ampadu from his RB Leipzig loan spell when the transfer window reopens in January, the Daily Express reports. Wales international Ampadu has not registered a single appearance for the Bundesliga outfit.

- Steven Gerrard's success in turning Rangers into genuine Scottish Premiership title contenders has garnered unexpected interest in his services. The Sun says Turkish giants Besiktas see the former Liverpool and England midfielder as a good fit to replace Abdullah Avci, should the incumbent boss fail to improve their Super Lig fortunes.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz insists he will have the final say on his next career move after being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19, scoring 17 Bundesliga goals as he helped Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League.

Havertz scored his first international goal for Germany in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Argentina and reports in Spain suggest LaLiga heavyweights Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the player.

While open to advice on his future, including from national boss Joachim Low, Havertz - who is under contract at BayArena until 2022 - will make a choice that is right for him.

Speaking at a Germany news conference on Friday, he said: "I listen to many people but in the end it will be my decision. 

"I will embrace any advice Low will give me because he has a lot experience - it wouldn't be smart to not listen to him."

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller confirmed in August that Bayern Munich have previously showed an interest in Havertz, who is in line to feature for his country in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.

Manchester United are in crisis - and the Red Devils might try to spend their way out of trouble.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 12th in the Premier League and only two points off the relegation zone, additions to the squad seem inevitable in January.

The latest transfer rumours suggest a raft of players could be heading to Old Trafford in a bid to stop the rot.


TOP STORY – FOXES DUO ON UNITED'S RADAR

Harry Maguire has already made the move from Leicester City to Manchester United and, according to the Sun, the Red Devils want to raid the club again in January. The UK newspaper claims a £130million double swoop is being lined up for Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

Goal reports West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly are also targets for United, regardless of Solskjaer's future. United also continue to be linked with striker Mario Mandzukic, who is struggling for minutes under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.


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- United are struggling but Everton have been even worse, with the Toffees in the relegation zone after eight games of the new season. According to a report in UK tabloid the Daily Star, Marco Silva has been given three games to save his job. Unfortunately for Silva, the third game of that run is against his old club Watford in the EFL Cup. The Hornets surely would love to push Silva towards the sack.

- England boss Gareth Southgate will hand Chelsea starlet Mason Mount his first international start when the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, reports Sky Sports. Mount has impressed for the Blues this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League starts.

- The forward has spent his whole career at Bayern Munich, but Thomas Muller could be moving on. The ex-Germany international has slipped out of favour under Niko Kovac and is not content to play a back-up role. According to Bild, Muller will seek a move in January.

- Sampdoria are closing in on an agreement with Claudio Ranieri to become their new coach. Bottom of Serie A, Samp are seeking a replacement for the sacked Eusebio Di Francesco. According to various Italian outlets including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Samp could pay Ranieri - who led Leicester City to the Premier League title - €1million a year. Ranieri also replaced Di Francesco after he was sacked by Roma last season.

- Right-back Elseid Hysaj could leave Napoli during the January transfer window, his agent Mario Giuffredi has told Rete Sport. Hysaj was previously linked with Manchester United and Juventus, but Giuffredi indicated Roma would be his client's preferred destination. A fee of around €30m has been mooted for the Albania international.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he cried when he sacked Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian was fired by the Bundesliga giants in September 2017 after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Ancelotti led Bayern to the Bundesliga title in his only full season in charge, but poor performances in Europe saw him depart.

Rummenigge was tasked with informing the former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach of Bayern's decision to move him on, with the experience proving emotional for Bayern's chairman.

"First of all, I think Ancelotti is a good manager," former Germany striker Rummenigge said on Thursday. "Unfortunately, Bayern were not going well after a year and a half and Ancelotti did not get the results we were expecting in the second season.

"But Ancelotti is a good man, a real friend for me. He is always incredibly calm. I have worked with a lot of managers, each with different skills and abilities. But only Ancelotti has the ability to always stay calm, even during difficult moments.

"I remember I had the task to sack him. I was about to cry. Ancelotti understood the situation, he gave me a hug and said: 'It's fine. You are not my boss anymore, but we are still friends.'

"So, I cried because I was not expecting those words from him in that moment. He was not upset. I realised he was a really good man."

Ancelotti is now in charge of Napoli, who are fourth in the Serie A table having taken one win from their past four games in all competitions.

The 60-year-old is one of only three coaches to win the Champions League or European Cup three times, along with Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane.

France boss Didier Deschamps has insisted Lucas Hernandez is "ready" to play a part in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland, despite concerns from Bayern Munich over his fitness.

Hernandez has missed Bayern's last two matches with a knee injury but is part of France's squad for their games against Iceland and Turkey.

The Bundesliga champions tried to block France calling up the versatile defender for selection, believing he would be better off resting the issue.

Club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said earlier this week Hernandez will not be able to play any part in Reykjavík, but Deschamps suggested otherwise on the eve of the game with Iceland.

"He is ready. He feels good and has good feelings," Deschamps said at his pre-match news conference. 

"We have done it gradually. He is sufficiently liberated from the injury he had. He is available. But to play 90 minutes, he must start and I can't be certain yet. But yes, he is available."

Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris are all ruled out of the double-header with Iceland and Turkey, however, with the influential trio sidelined.

Deschamps admitted it is far from ideal being without key players but has called on others to step up. 

"It is detrimental as a whole because they are very important players in the group," he said. "Also, in terms of leadership - Hugo is captain and Paul is an expressive leader. 

"But there are others who are there and used to have this role like [Olivier] Giroud, [Raphael] Varane, [Blaise] Matuidi and [Steve] Mandanda.

"But it's clear that I prefer to have everyone available. I totally trust the players who are here."

Joachim Low's decision not to select Mats Hummels for Germany must be accepted, according to former Borussia Dortmund player and coach Jorg Heinrich.

Hummels was suddenly dropped from the national team in March, along with his then Bayern Munich team-mates Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng.

The centre-back subsequently rejoined Dortmund from Bayern and has been in fine form in the early weeks of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season.

Low, though, has continued to leave Hummels out of his squad despite defensive injuries affecting his latest selection, with Freiburg's Robin Koch called up for the first time.

"Jogi Low has his strategy with dealing with this topic," Champions League winner Heinrich told Omnisport. "When Hummels played in Munich it was not a big topic for us.

"Now he's playing very well for BVB and everybody would be happy to see him in the DFB shirt, but in the end it's a decision of Joachim Low and we have to respect that."

Low has turned to youth in a bid to inspire a turnaround in Germany's fortunes after flopping at Russia 2018, where their World Cup defence ended in the group stages.

"Joachim Low is very courageous to work with such a lot of young, talented players," former Germany international Heinrich added.

"It's not an easy situation after the great success we had in 2014 to build a new team.

"He's doing very well. We have very, very talented players in Germany that have to play at a high level to improve. We're looking in a very positive way."

Jadon Sancho should stay at Borussia Dortmund for "one or two seasons longer" as the club is the right place for his development, says Jorg Heinrich.

Sancho has shot to stardom since leaving Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017, scoring 12 goals and supplying 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances last season.

The England forward has continued to shine in the new campaign with three goals and a league-high five assists to his name despite Dortmund's inconsistent form.

A Premier League return has been mooted for the 19-year-old, with Manchester United among the clubs reportedly interested in signing Sancho.

However, Heinrich, who won two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League as a Dortmund player, believes BVB remains the best club for Sancho.

"Jadon can become one of the best players in Europe, or even the world," Heinrich told Omnisport.

"It won't be easy to keep him at Dortmund. We hope he plays one or two seasons longer but we all know very, very big clubs with a lot of money want to have him in their team.

"He should know Dortmund is an excellent place for young players to play consistently and to develop on a very, very high level."

Dortmund pushed Bayern Munich hard for the Bundesliga title last term but ultimately finished two points behind the Bavarian giants.

The early weeks of the 2019-20 season have been a struggle for BVB, though, with one win in their past five league games.

"Our aims before the season were very, very high," Heinrich added. "We announced we wanted to win the league this year.

"The season so far hasn't gone that well, but we are not that far away from the top, so we are hoping we can fulfil our aims and take the top of the league."

Dortmund's poor form has put Lucien Favre's position in the spotlight, but Heinrich backed the Swiss coach to turn things around.

"No question about that, Lucien is a fantastic coach," Heinrich said. 

"We have a great amount of young players and have to show patience with that and trust in our young players and especially our coach."

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