Chelsea star Eden Hazard has won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award for the Premier League for 2019.

The Belgium international beat five other nominees from Manchester City and Liverpool to claim the prize, including Virgil van Dijk, the winner of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

While that particular accolade is awarded based on votes by fellow professionals, the fans' prize is determined by a public vote, which concluded on Monday.

Hazard came out on top ahead of Van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, who was named the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year.

Hazard's 16 goals and 15 assists in the top flight in 2018-19, the latter of which had already given him the Premier League's Playmaker Award, were enough to secure him 34 per cent of the total vote.

He is the first Chelsea player to win the award since Frank Lampard back in 2005.

Hazard, who is preparing with the Blues for Wednesday's Europa League final in Baku, has been widely tipped to leave Stamford Bridge ahead of next season.

The 28-year-old, who has only a year left on his contract, is said to be a top target for Real Madrid.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Leroy Sane would be Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery's successor if he decided to leave Manchester City for the Bundesliga champions.

Sane – who is contracted to City until 2021 – has been linked with a move to Bayern following back-to-back Premier League titles in Manchester.

With Bayern greats Robben and Ribery leaving Allianz Arena, Germany international forward Sane has emerged as a target for the Bavarian giants.

And Rummenigge talked up a move for Sane, who left boyhood club and Bundesliga side Schalke for City in 2016.

"You shouldn't forget that he still has two years contract and that Manchester City don't just sells their players because they need to," Rummenigge said.

"This will be difficult. But I think that the player has to be convinced to have the joy for playing here at Bayern.

"He would be the successor of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery which is very interesting. As a player, this would be a good incentive I think."

France internationals and World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard have already agreed to join Bayern in the off-season, however, James Rodriguez could be set to leave Munich.

Colombia international James swapped Real Madrid for Bayern on a two-year loan deal in 2017, with a €42million option to buy.

But James struggled with injuries and game time under head coach Niko Kovac in 2018-19 – the 27-year-old starting just 13 of his 20 Bundesliga appearances.

Asked about James, Rummenigge said: "We'll definitely meet next week and decide how to proceed. We have to put all the options on the table. And then decide together how to deal with these things, which now still have a question mark, so that they become exclamation marks.

"You can imagine if James does not play continuously from the beginning, that is not his claim, he is a superstar and of course he always wants to play. Now he has been injured in the last few weeks and we must not forget that. We will find a solution in line with him, I can promise you that."

When pressed on whether Bayern could buy James permanently before reselling him, Rummenigge replied: "No, that's not the style of Bayern. We don't want to do any human trafficking to earn anything from this story. Bayern has never done this before."

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes Vincent Kompany will one day return to the Premier League club.

Kompany, 33, is leaving City after 11 seasons to take up a position as player-manager at boyhood team Anderlecht.

But Al Mubarak is confident the club captain, who won four Premier League titles with City, will eventually be back at the Etihad Stadium.

"It's certainly not goodbye," he told City TV.

"Vincent is a part of the family, will always be part of the family and this journey continues.

"I have a good feeling for sure that we'll be seeing Vincent back here in some capacity at some point in the future."

Al Mubarak labelled Kompany a City "legend" as the centre-back prepares for the next chapter in his career.

While he said the Belgian was irreplaceable, Al Mubarak believes Kompany's decision to move on was the right one.

"Vincent sees himself certainly in his career going into coaching and I think having that opportunity to go back to his home team, to coach Anderlecht and to play as a player-coach was a very unique opportunity for that time so I think for him the stars kind of lined up and it made sense," he said.

"From a footballing sense, I think he made absolutely the right decision and I told Vincent, 'Whatever you decide, I'm behind you 100 per cent' and he ultimately took that decision.

"We'll miss, we'll miss him, no doubt about that, we will give him the right tribute, his testimonial will be an amazing event that I'm looking forward to and this club will respect Vincent in the way that he deserves and I'm confident that the story of Manchester City and Vincent Kompany is far from over."

Lothar Matthaus is sure attacker Leroy Sane will make the move from Manchester City to Bayern Munich in the close season.

Sane, 23, has been linked with the Bundesliga giants after three seasons at City, where he has won two Premier League titles.

Bayern and Germany great Matthaus is certain Sane, who is contracted until 2021, will head to the Allianz Arena.

"A player who, in my eyes, will enchant the Bayern fans next year is Leroy Sane. I am sure he will move to Munich," Matthaus wrote in a column for Sky.

"If [Bayern president] Uli Hoeness publicly reveals that it makes an effort for the player, this lands in the vast majority of cases in Bavaria.

"And it would be a fantastic transfer, as Sane is one of the best wingers out there. Tricky, dangerous for goal, fast, usable on both wings and provided with a great future.

"[Pep] Guardiola is not really satisfied with him, the player wants to play more regularly and Bayern looks for the departure of [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribery at least one man for the wing. It would be a win-win transfer for all parties."

Bayern, who won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal this season, are set for something of a rebuild, with Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard joining and the likes of Robben and Ribery leaving.

Matthaus expects Bayern to break their transfer record to land Sane, having paid €80million for Atletico Madrid's Lucas.

"Quality always has its price and Sane is more expensive than the previous record transfer of €80m for Lucas Hernandez," he wrote.

"He may not be quite as expensive as Neymar, but €100m is likely. Salary, bonus payments and transfer fees together, become a new record in Bayern's history, but the player is worth it.

"If then Timo Werner also changes to Munich, one is slowly but surely prepared for a great future. Not in this, but possibly in the next year, could [Bayer Leverkusen's] Kai Havertz land in Munich and shape with Sane an era a la Robbery."

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak hit out at the "jealousy" of detractors and insisted "facts" will clear the club of alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) referred City to its adjudicatory chamber earlier this month following a formal investigation into allegations made by German publication Der Spiegel.

City branded the claims of financial irregularities as "entirely false" and welcomed UEFA's investigation but now face the potential for a season-long Champions League ban if found guilty of FFP wrongdoing.

Manager Pep Guardiola reaffirmed his "trust" in the club's hierarchy prior to a triumphant appearance in the FA Cup final and Al Mubarak is adamant no sanctions will be brought against the domestic treble winners.

"Am I uncomfortable? No," Al Mubarak said in an interview with City TV.

"I think I respect regulatory bodies doing their job, and any regulatory process that asks questions we have to professionally respond to, which I think we've done.

"We are dealing with each one of these entities as per the process. We have clear answers. I believe quite comfortably if the process is going to be judged on facts then unquestionably we will prevail.

"If it's not about facts and it's about other things then it's a different conversation, but I certainly hope these regulatory bodies will ultimately make decisions based on facts."

He added: "In sports in general, with success there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it – that's part of the game.

"The reality is we didn't buy the most expensive player in the Premier League, we didn't buy the most expensive goalkeeper, we didn't buy the most expensive defender, we didn't buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn't buy the most expensive striker."

Al Mubarak's defence of City's spending formed part of an impassioned rebuttal to recent criticism from LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who accused City and Paris Saint-Germain of turning football into the "plaything of a state" – in reference to the funding behind both clubs – and of "ruining the entire system" in Europe.

"He talks about how we distorted the market? There is a hypocrisy in this statement that is ironic," Al Mubarak said.

"Let's go back to the world records, [Luis] Figo, [Zinedine] Zidane, these huge jumps in these transfers, where did they happen? 

"You have to look back at the history of LaLiga, a league dominated by two clubs, and Mr Tebas should look back at the history of that league and how distortion has happened throughout the ages."

Lyon star Houssem Aouar is keen on playing under Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola but is in no rush to leave the Ligue 1 club.

Aouar, 20, recently completed his second full season in Lyon's first-team, missing just a single league match as Les Gones finished third in France's top tier.

The central midfielder has been praised for his ability on the ball and his range of passing, with a host of Europe's top clubs – including Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid – said to be interested in him.

Guardiola is a known admirer, having been impressed with his performance against City in the Champions League this season, and the feeling is seemingly mutual.

When asked by Canal Plus if he would want to play for City, Aouar said: "You wouldn't like to go to City?

"It is a great European club and all players have this urge to play for the biggest European clubs, which in addition is led by Guardiola, who for me is a reference as a coach.

"Guardiola has seen everything before. It is extremely good to play his teams and that's what I like, his way of seeing football."

Lyon supporters need not get too worried just yet, though, as Aouar does not appear desperate for an immediate move and even wants more responsibility at the club that developed him.

"I'm still under contract with Lyon," he added. "I would like to leave a mark on the history of this club.

"After this season there is a new direction, a new coach [Sylvinho]. We will have to sit down and discuss the role I can have. I'm ready to have a technical leadership role.

"I'm a technical leader in the field and especially as a leader in the locker room, so there we go, we will discuss and then we will make decisions with the club."

Juventus have not spoken to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola about replacing Massimiliano Allegri, insists the club's sporting director Fabio Paratici.

Italian news agency AGI claimed on Thursday that Juve had reached an agreement with Guardiola for him to succeed the outgoing Allegri as head coach.

According to the outlet, the Catalan was set to sign a four-year deal worth €24million per season with the Bianconeri on June 4 and be presented to the media 10 days later.

City Football Group executive Alberto Galassi dismissed the claims as "a load of nonsense" and now Paratici has expressed his bemusement at the reports, describing them as "strange".

"I think we live in a strange world," he told DAZN.

"We didn't have any contact. We never even thought about it because [Guardiola] is under contract. For a thousand reasons, it all seems very strange to me."

A host of names, including Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri, have been linked with the job but Paratici says Juventus will not be rushed into a decision.

"We have clear ideas," he added. "We have already said it; we are doing our evaluations and there are still many competitions in progress. Until all the competitions end, it seems to me right, out of respect for everyone to remain in this situation."

Paratici added that Juve are in no hurry to sign new players and are happy to wait until the new man is in place before entering the transfer market.

"We will act according to what the new coach's directives will be," he explained. Before we move on, we will wait, very calmly. We try to improve every year."

Vincent Kompany has raided Manchester City for the final addition to his Anderlecht support staff with Simon Davies named head coach at the Belgian club.

The Welsh-born former Manchester United player leaves his post as City's head of academy coaching to work alongside player-manager Kompany.

Davies stepped into his most recent role last year after succeeding Patrick Vieira in charge of the Elite Development Squad in 2016.

He also had a brief stint at Chester City in 2008 and arrives at Anderlecht on Kompany's recommendation.

"When Vinny asked me to make the move with him to RSC Anderlecht, I didn't doubt [him]," Davies said.

"We are starting a beautiful project: taking RSC Anderlecht back to the place where they belong, with special emphasis on the development of talented young players."

Anderlecht sporting director Michael Verschueren added: "We hired him following Vincent Kompany's advice.

"They have been working together for quite a while and we want to bring Manchester City's success story to RSC Anderlecht."

Davies forms part of a six-man coaching staff that will support Kompany in the outgoing City captain's first managerial job.

Manchester City's 2018-19 season concluded with players celebrating on the Wembley turf last weekend, just like it did 20 years previously.

The parallels end there.

While Pep Guardiola's all-conquering domestic treble winners spent the campaign pushing to higher levels of excellence, their counterparts from two decades ago often threatened to chart new depths of farce - or "Cityitis", as then manager Joe Royle termed it.

Treble fever also hit Manchester in 1999, but for United and Alex Ferguson, who famously added a last-gasp injury-time triumph in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich to Premier League and FA Cup glory.

Meanwhile, City were grappling with life in Division Two – the third tier of English football – for the first time in their history.

"It is unthinkable now but it was only 20 years ago, a generation ago," said Nicky Weaver, the former England Under-21 goalkeeper who would end his breakthrough campaign in 1998-99 as City's saviour. "They're at Wembley every other week now."

"It was my first season playing, so for me it was just a thrill to be involved in it all. The fans probably didn't think so, going to places like York and Colchester and Lincoln and Macclesfield and places like that.

"It took us four or five months to get into our stride. I think everyone thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was."

City had been in the Premier League as recently as 1996 but two relegations in three seasons sapped morale at their tired former home of Maine Road.

A 3-0 win over Blackpool on the opening day of the season proved a false dawn as a bloated and ill-equipped squad slogged away with mixed results. Across town, United were heading for the footballing stratosphere.

A December loss at York City left Royle's pre-season promotion favourites 12th in the table and in danger of slipping into oblivion. However, no-nonsense captain Andy Morrison came in to add some steel to the backline and the corner was turned in the nick of time.

"I remember going to Wrexham on Boxing Day," Weaver said, of a game when Dutch defender Gerard Wiekens scored the only goal for City. "Ian Rush was playing for Wrexham. That was a big thing for me at the time, playing against someone like Ian Rush.

"We won 1-0 and then we beat Stoke at Maine Road and went on a really good run."

Regular goals from Shaun Goater, wing wizardry from United loanee Terry Cooke and Weaver's increasingly sharp keeping were all factors as Royle's men stormed up to third.

Automatic promotion proved out of their reach but, after a tense semi-final against Wigan Athletic was negotiated 2-1 on aggregate, Wembley – of the twin towers vintage - awaited.

Tony Pulis' Gillingham were betting outsiders but ‘Cityitis’ struck again as Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor beat Weaver with late goals. It was 2-0 heading into the final minute of the 90 and many of the Manchester contingent were heading for the exits when Kevin Horlock lashed in an apparent consolation.

Then came some hope from the touchline.

"I always thought the biggest thing was the five minutes of injury time. That was a little bit dubious," Weaver chuckled.

"Mark Halsey [referee] is a very popular man in these parts! I've got images of Tony Pulis going mad on the bench."

If Pulis was going mad there was full-scale pandemonium in the City end shortly afterwards when Paul Dickov steered a finish past a familiar face in Vince Bartram, best man at the City striker's wedding, in the Gillingham goal – an 'Aguero moment' before such a thing existed.

Extra time passed without incident before Weaver took the virtue of inexperience into the penalty shoot-out.

"I don't think I'd even been in one in a school tournament," he said. "Nowadays, you look at where the last few penalties have been, you have all the information and statistics.

"There was none of that then. I just thought, 'make yourself look as big as you can, pick a way and go that way'.

The method worked as Weaver thwarted Paul Smith, while Adrian Pennock blazed high and wide. Successes from Horlock, Cooke and - despite not having a senior goal to his name - Richard Edghill meant Guy Butters had to beat Weaver, or City were up and out of the abyss.

"He hit it well enough. It wasn't right in the corner but he got plenty of power on it," the goalkeeper recalled.

"Fortunately, I managed to get two hands on it. I waved the lads over and sort of pulled a face. I don't know where that came from."

Weaver's delirious celebration – halted only by a typically robust intervention from Morrison – is still fondly remembered by City supporters to this day, despite their vastly altered reality.

"If City had just been a mediocre Premier League club now, no-one would talk about it as much as they do, but the fact of where they are and where they have come from, it just makes the story so much bigger and so much better," Weaver said.

"If we hadn't done it, who knows what would have happened? It certainly wouldn't have been any easier.

"The new stadium followed a few years later, and then obviously the big investment came after that. If the stadium hadn't come, the investment might not have come and we might not have been sat here."

For all that Guardiola's unprecedented success is rooted in meticulous attention to detail, it owes a significant debt to the guess work of an unassuming terrace hero.

Benfica will not sell teenage forward Joao Felix unless his full €120million release clause is met, according to club chief Domingos Soares de Oliveira.

Joao Felix scored 15 Primeira Liga goals in a breakout season, reportedly attracting the attention of several top European clubs - including Premier League pair Manchester City and Manchester United.

But the 19-year-old has a significant release clause in his contract and Benfica do not plan to let the player move for anything less.

Indeed, Soares de Oliveira insists Benfica are in no rush to part with the Portugal youth international, not even for €100m.

"Selling for the release clause is what we are trying to do," Benfica's chief executive officer told TVI24. "If Joao Felix is to leave for another club, we are looking for them to meet the clause.

"But hopefully that will not happen. The aim is to keep the squad together.

"If someone bids €100m for Joao Felix, the intention is not to sell. €100m is a lot of money - there has never been a player sold for that amount in Portugal - but the aim is to win on the pitch.

"We will do everything to move in that direction. If they do not bid €120m, the player stays."

Soares de Oliveira added that there is still the possibility Benfica will look to alter the release clause, though Felix's interests must be considered in any negotiations.

"I believe the president still has the intention to review it," he said. "But on the other side, there is the player, the agent, the family.

"What we have to consider is the potential of the player, as long as we can convince the other club.

"No offer has come. There are talks and rumours - the biggest European clubs have been linked - but no proposal has come to us."

And Soares de Oliveira adds that Benfica do not necessarily now need to sell their top players, as was the case in previous years.

"The financial situation is more robust than in the past, but still the sale remains part of the business," he said. "[Outgoing players] do not need to be the starters."

Leroy Sane joining Bayern Munich would be welcomed by Germany head coach Joachim Low after Bayern Munich again stated their interest in the Manchester City winger.

Bayern are reported to be readying an €80million bid for Germany international Sane.

The 23-year-old scored 10 goals and supplied as many assists as City defended their Premier League title as part of a domestic treble this season, including strikes in the pivotal wins over Liverpool and Manchester United.

But Pep Guardiola frequently left Sane on the bench during the closing weeks of the campaign, preferring Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva as his first-choice wide attackers.

A spell out of favour evoked memories of the player's shock omission from Germany's 2018 World Cup squad, although Low has since brought Sane back into the fold and believes a switch to Bayern could be beneficial for all parties.

Speaking at the Sport Bild 100 summit, Low said: "If the transfer happened it would be a good story for him, for Bayern, for the national team and for the Bundesliga."

Later at the same event, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested Bayern would press to bring in Sane – as they did three years ago when he joined City from Schalke for a reported initial fee of £37m.

"There have not been any talks so far. He's an interesting player and we will try," Rummenigge said. "I cannot promise whether it will succeed."

Rummenigge went on to state that the departure of veteran wingers and club greats Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery creates an opening Sane would not have enjoyed when he left Schalke.

"We already had the idea when he was still with Schalke," he added.

"But at the time we did not have a guaranteed regular place for him. Robben and Ribery were the top of the top three years ago."

Massimiliano Allegri has claimed his Juventus successor will be "a manager of Manchester" amid speculation linking Pep Guardiola with a shock move to Turin.

On Thursday, Italian news agency AGI reported Manchester City boss Guardiola had agreed a four-year contract worth €24million annually to take over at Serie A champions Juve, claiming the deal will be announced on June 4 before a presentation 10 days later.

Speaking before City completed an unprecedented domestic treble by hammering Watford 6-0 in last weekend's FA Cup final, Guardiola insisted he had no intention of moving to Juventus and club board member Alberto Galassi told Sky Italia the renewed reports were "a load of nonsense".

However, Allegri made a mischievous contribution to the saga when he attended a restaurant opening in Dairago, Milan.

Local newspaper Sport Legnano reported Allegri was asked by a Juventus fan who the club's next head coach would be and he replied: "A manager of Manchester is coming."

Allegri confirmed last week he would leave Juventus after guiding them to a fifth consecutive Scudetto this term.

Success in the Champions League proved elusive for the former AC Milan boss, however, with Ajax ending the Italian club’s interest at the quarter-final stage this time around, following final losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively in 2015 and 2017 finals.

Guardiola has two years remaining on his current City contract and has swept to five of the previous six major domestic honours on offer in England.

Vincent Kompany was chosen as the new player-coach of Anderlecht after one six-hour meeting with the club, according to technical director Frank Arnesen.

It was announced last Sunday that the Manchester City captain would return to his childhood club in the close-season after 11 years at the Etihad Stadium, having won his fourth Premier League title this term as part of a domestic treble.

Arnesen has revealed the process behind hiring the Belgian centre-back and believes the 33-year-old can restore the club to their former place as the country's leading side.

"We went to City and we had a meeting with [Kompany] for six hours," Arnesen told Sky Sports News.

"I was really amazed and when we went home after this meeting I fully agreed.

"There are so many ups and so few downs. Anderlecht is on the floor at the moment. That is why I came in four months ago.

"Vincent as a player will not bring us one step ahead, [but] maybe three, four steps ahead. We have no leaders.

"Everything football-wise is fantastic [with his appointment]. I was very impressed with his explanation about the philosophy, how we will do and what he is doing.

"Vincent said I will do it about four weeks ago."

Anderlecht, who have won only one of their 10 matches in the First Division A since the start of the Championship play-off round, are 20 points behind leaders Genk.

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane is a target for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, club president Uli Hoeness has confirmed.

The 23-year-old has shone since moving to the Etihad Stadium from Schalke three years ago, but found himself down the pecking order towards the end of the Premier League season.

Bayern are in the market for reinforcements on the flanks, with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both drawing a curtain on their illustrious careers at the Allianz Arena at the end of the campaign.

Speculation has increased over the previous few weeks that they were looking to Germany international Sane as a potential signing.

 

From us all at #FCBayern, DANKE! @R13_official @FranckRibery@ArjenRobben pic.twitter.com/cl9KG92soi

— #MEIS7ER (@FCBayernEN) May 23, 2019

When asked by Suddeutsche Zeitung about Bayern's interest in Sane, Hoeness replied: "We are considering him."

Hoeness' revelation comes just a day after star striker Robert Lewandowski claimed Sane could "immediately take us higher".

Bayern have also been linked with RB Leipzig star Timo Werner and Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri.

A report that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has agreed to take over Juventus is "a load of nonsense", according to a member of the Premier League champions' board.

Italian news agency AGI claimed on Thursday that Juve had reached an agreement with Guardiola for him to succeed Massimiliano Allegri, whose departure was announced last week, as head coach.

According to the outlet, the Catalan was set to sign a four-year deal worth €24million per season with the Bianconeri on June 4 and be presented to the media 10 days later.

However, City Football Group executive Alberto Galassi categorically rejected the rumour and stated Guardiola wishes to stay at the Etihad Stadium, something the manager said himself prior to last weekend's FA Cup final against Watford.

"As a Manchester City board member, I was very surprised to read such a load of nonsense," Galassi told Sky Sport Italia.

"Firstly, our coach wants to stay and has another two years on his contract. Secondly, any club like Juventus would never have allowed the release of such news.

"It is not possible to think that there will be a presentation in a few days and that City is unaware of it before they have even contacted us. It is totally groundless and false.

"[Guardiola] is a great professional and he can't believe his words are not listened to. He does not want to leave. Therefore, the problem does not exist because the whole matter does not exist."

Galassi confirmed he has spoken with Juve vice-chairman Pavel Nedved about the rumours.

He added: "We had a laugh. We both realised the issue had become ridiculous. I'm sorry for Juventus fans, but they will need to find another coach. Let Pep enjoy his holidays."

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