Manchester City star Leroy Sane shut down questions about Bayern Munich's interest in him while on international duty with Germany and offered a cryptic response over where his future lies.

Sane scored Germany's final goal in Tuesday's 8-0 Euro 2020 qualifying demolition of Estonia in Mainz, impressing throughout in attack.

The winger had an indifferent season at club level with Premier League champions City, scoring a respectable 10 goals, but only starting 21 matches, six fewer than the 2017-18 campaign.

Sane subsequently emerged as a primary target for Bayern, whose rebuild job will continue in the close-season after the departures of long-serving duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Bayern have rued City's "insane" valuation of the winger, though Sane failed to commit to Pep Guardiola's side post-match.

When asked about the Bayern speculation, Sane told reporters: "I'm going on holiday now. Everything else will be seen.

"That's it with the questions about Bayern Munich."

Sane, 23, has been at City since 2016, when they reportedly paid Bundesliga outfit Schalke an initial £37million.

Ola Aina is to leave Chelsea for Torino on a permanent deal after impressing during a season-long loan at the Serie A club last term, the Blues have confirmed.

The 22-year-old defender made 30 league appearances as Torino finished seventh, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win over Udinese in February.

An FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League winner during his time at the Chelsea academy, Aina made just three Premier League appearances during his time with the Blues, all of which came in his second season as a senior professional as Antonio Conte guided the club to the Premier League title.

He was loaned out to Hull City during Conte's second season at the club and was a regular starter for the Tigers, and it was during that spell that he was called up to earn his first full cap for Nigeria.

Torino have opted to take up their option to sign Aina at the end of his loan spell, while the player himself is preparing to represent Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

A statement on Chelsea's official website said: "Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Ola for his services and we wish him the best of luck for the next stage in his career."

Cesc Fabregas has hit back on social media after being accused of swapping Arsenal to become a benchwarmer at Barcelona.

The midfielder, now at Monaco, left Barca for the Gunners as a 16-year-old and quickly established himself as a key first-team player in the Premier League.

The Spain star was even named as club captain at the age of just 21 but chose to return to his boyhood club two years later after winning only one FA Cup during his time in north London.

Fabregas found consistency difficult back at Barca, though, as he competed for midfield spots occupied by Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Xavi under head coach Pep Guardiola.

It was put to him by a Twitter user that he traded the Arsenal captaincy to "sit on the bench at Barcelona", but the player himself offered a pointed response.

"I started in 121 games out of the 151 I played... I won 6 titles, I scored in 2 finals, won a league of 100 points having played 36 games, 43 goals and 47 assists... but yeah, cool," he wrote.

Fabregas won LaLiga, the Copa del Rey, two Supercopas de Espana, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup with Barca between 2011 and 2014.

The Catalans then sold him to Chelsea after claiming he had a tendency to allow his form to drop in the latter half of seasons.

Fabregas won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and EFL Cup with the Blues before he left for Monaco in January.

Bayern Munich winger Alphonso Davies does not fear the prospect of extra competition for places if Leroy Sane joins the club.

Manchester City star Sane continues to be linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions despite club president Uli Hoeness admitting the cost of such a deal could be beyond their reach.

Davies joined from Vancouver Whitecaps in January and scored one goal in six league appearances, all of which came as a substitute.

The 18-year-old is expected to play a bigger role under Niko Kovac next season, with veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery leaving the Allianz Arena.

Sane's arrival would present a sizeable obstacle to the first team for the rising Canada star, but he believes working alongside such players can only be a positive.

"The bosses see something in Leroy; they see something in me. That's why they bought me. That's why they might buy him," he told Bild.

"I want to develop here. If Leroy were to come to us, I could learn a lot from him. He's a top winger for his club and his country."

Davies does not feel there is any particular expectation from Bayern's management for him to establish himself quickly as a dependable first-team regular.

"There's no pressure whatsoever from the club," he said. "They want to build me up, that I get my game time and that I get used to the league. It's difficult to come over from Canada as a youngster and play for one of the best teams in the world. They're giving me all the time I need, and their plan has been very good so far.

"We've got a good crop of young players. KC – Kingsley Coman – Serge [Gnabry] and me are all young and hungry to play. I'm sure that everyone will get their chance to blossom and shine at this club."

Paul Pogba feels he has been "judged differently" due to the size of the fee that took him back to Manchester United, admitting he was surprised by the response.

World Cup winner Pogba has split opinions since returning to Old Trafford, where he previously starred for the United academy, in an £89million move from Juventus in 2016.

The deal broke the world transfer record at the time and the 26-year-old felt there was huge scrutiny regarding his performances as a result.

The likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have since moved for greater sums, yet Pogba does not believe the reaction has been the same because of their goalscoring exploits.

"Because it was the biggest transfer in history at the time, you get judged differently," he told the LifeTimes podcast. "They expect more from you because of the price tag.

"A good game would be a normal game. A top game would be a good game."

Pogba added: "It's a big amount. It went down when other transfers came, so it's fine. I think it's also because I'm a midfielder.

"People see more strikers because they score goals, so that's why it made such a big impact. I don't think [Neymar and Mbappe] get it because they're strikers.

"I knew it would come with it. I knew there would be a big impact. But I didn't know it would go so negative. When I signed, I wasn't used to seeing so many negative comments.

"It was a big change. I was surprised. I didn't know a price tag would change so much for people.

"Maybe they think I have the money. It's not me - I don't have the money. I don't know [the reason for the criticism]. I wish I knew so I could help them get the answer."

A Manchester United fan could soon be their next goalkeeper.

Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak – a boyhood supporter of the Red Devils – is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Talk of Oblak comes at a good time, with uncertainty continuing to hang over David de Gea's future at United.

 

TOP STORY – OBLAK EYES UNITED

Atletico's exodus could continue, with ESPN FC claiming Jan Oblak wants to leave LaLiga's runners-up following broken promises over his future.

Oblak is apparently keener on Premier League side United than Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Antoine Griezmann prepares to leave after the departures of captain Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Juanfran and Filipe Luis.

The 26-year-old only signed a new Atletico deal until 2023 earlier this year. The report is music to the ears of United fans, with David de Gea no closer to signing a new contract amid reported interest from PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are preparing a second bid, reportedly worth £50million, for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka according to Sky Sports after their initial offer was turned down.

- Marko Grujic could make a permanent move to Germany. After a successful loan spell at Hertha Berlin from Liverpool. Goal reports that Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt could use the money from Luka Jovic's sale to buy the 23-year-old. Champions League holders Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to accept anything less than £25m.

- Sticking with the Germany-Liverpool theme and the Reds have ruled out signing Werder Bremen striker Max Kruse, says the Liverpool Echo.

- According to Sky Sports, Tottenham could sign Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai if Kieran Trippier leaves Spurs.

PSG are confident of signing Ajax's in-demand captain Matthijs de Ligt, per The Independent. The French giants are reportedly offering the 19-year-old centre-back the biggest financial package amid interest from Barcelona and United.

United are refusing to entertain offers for Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, AS reports. It comes as La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Juan Cuadrado, Joao Cancelo and Mattia Perin could be sold by Juventus to fund a move for their former midfielder.

Arsenal must raise their bid for Sampdoria pair Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet after having a €48m offer rejected by the Serie A side, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is hopeful Spurs can keep Christian Eriksen, who has been linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

Madrid have emerged as a possible destination for Eriksen after the Tottenham star revealed he wants to "try something new".

Eriksen's bombshell came following Tottenham's unexpected run to the Champions League final, which they lost 2-0 to Premier League rivals Liverpool.

Amid reported interest from across Europe, Vertonghen – preparing for Belgium's Euro 2020 qualifier against Scotland on Tuesday – hopes Spurs can retain the services of the Denmark international.

"Obviously when the transfer window starts there are a lot rumours, but there were rumours last year and everyone stayed together, so I'm hopeful," Vertonghen told Sky Sports News.

"Christian is a great player. I have known him since he was 16, played with him since he was 16 or 17 [at Ajax] and I hope he's with Tottenham next season. He's an exceptional player."

Eriksen arrived from Eredivisie giants Ajax in 2013 and the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the Premier League and Europe's best midfielders.

However, Eriksen has not won silverware with Tottenham after reaching the 2015 EFL Cup final and this year's Champions League decider.

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic expects the Serie A champions to appoint a "great" coach amid links to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri has reportedly been granted a release by Premier League side Chelsea so he can replace Massimiliano Allegri on a three-year deal in Turin.

Allegri guided Juve to five successive Serie A titles before parting ways with the Italian giants at the end of 2018-19 and Pjanic has no concerns about the club's future.

"We are not worried at all, Juventus will be strong as always," Pjanic told reporters ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Euro 2020 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy to play against Italy in Turin. I think my red card against Greece was not fair, fortunately they removed my ban because I wanted to play against Italy in my stadium so badly.

"I repeat, I'm not worried about Juventus. They'll announce the new manager soon. As everyone is saying, our new manager will be a great one, for sure."

Juve's Allianz Stadium will be the location for the qualifier between Italy and Bosnia, who will be boosted by the return of Pjanic.

Pjanic was sent off in Bosnia's 2-2 draw at home to Greece in March, having given the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Italy top Group J with three wins from as many games, five points clear of third-placed Bosnia.

"It was not simple [for Italy] to come back. It was possible thanks to the experience of [head coach Roberto] Mancini but also to the leaders of this group," Pjanic said.

"Great professional that helped a lot even the young players after a bad moment for the national team. It's very unusual a World Cup without Italy. They are playing great football, people like watching them playing. It wasn't easy. We know that they are the favourite of the group, we'll try to stop them. It will be a difficult match because they have lot of great players."

Jordan Pickford believes his realisation he is no longer a "normal lad" has helped him mature and cement his position as England's first-choice goalkeeper.

After a superb World Cup in Russia last year, Pickford's form for club side Everton during the 2018-19 season came under scrutiny.

He also made headlines off the pitch in early April after footage emerged on social media showing him involved in a fracas outside a bar in his hometown of Sunderland.

The 25-year-old ended his season on a high, however, keeping five clean sheets in the Toffees' last seven Premier League games.

He followed that with a starring role in England's third-place finish in the Nations League, scoring and saving a penalty as Gareth Southgate's side beat Switzerland 6-5 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in their play-off on Sunday.

Pickford is determined to remain grounded despite his rapid ascent in the game but he believes a better understanding of his status as one of English football's most high-profile names is helping his development.  

"I think the main thing about it is that I am a normal lad but then sometimes you have got to realise you are not a normal lad; you are an England footballer," he told a media conference.

"I just want to be a normal lad, but you have got to realise in certain situations that you can't be. You learn from everything, how to become a man and grow.

"So, you move on from that and after that incident I pushed on at the end of the season and got a lot of clean sheets. It just shows my character."

Asked if he was growing into the role of Gareth Southgate's undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, Pickford added: "Yeah, I think you always learn and mature in every game, whether it is club or international level.

"I think I started on the front foot and there has been a lot of pressure, but I don't feel pressure. I just want to go and express myself and do the best for the nation and for the team.

"I don't feel any pressure and just feel I can get better to better."

Jet-heeled Manchester United-bound winger Daniel James was likened to eight-time Olympic gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt and Brazil icon Ronaldo by Hungary coach Marco Rossi ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier with Wales.

James, 21, is on the brink of a move to Old Trafford from Welsh side Swansea City, with the clubs already agreeing a deal reported to be worth £18million.

The tricky wideman came to prominence this season, playing 33 times for the Swans in the Championship, scoring four times and setting up another seven.

His blistering pace is the attribute most have taken note of, with one particular goal against Brentford February's FA Cup meeting showcasing James' speed, as he left all the defenders in his tracks before finishing coolly.

Strong form for Swansea saw James break into Wales' senior squad in November and, prior to facing Hungary, opposing coach Rossi – a former Serie A player with Brescia and Sampdoria – showered the talent with praise.

"James' speed reminds me of Usain Bolt - to be so fast like him is really incredible," Rossi told a news conference on Monday.

"In the last years I don't remember one player that gave me this sensation. His acceleration is so extraordinary, which is why Manchester United have bought him.

"In the past, I played against a very fast player who, for me, was the best after [Diego] Maradona - Ronaldo.

"He was just not known for speed, but for everything. His acceleration looked like James', though at the moment the skills are a little bit different."

Hungary host Wales looking to extend their strong start to Euro 2020 qualification, while Ryan Giggs' side will be desperate to bounce back from Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Croatia.

Schalke have announced the signing of Jonjoe Kenny on loan from Everton for the 2019-20 campaign.

The 22-year-old, who made his debut for the Toffees in May 2016, played second fiddle to Seamus Coleman last season and was restricted to just 13 appearances across all competitions.

The Bundesliga side announced the arrival of the right-back via a humorous social media post that riffed on the "oh my god, they killed Kenny" catchphrase from TV show South Park.

Kenny, who is on duty with England ahead of the European Under-21 Championships, told the club's official website: "It is a big chance for me, to come to a new country and show off my abilities, especially at a big club like Schalke.

"Schalke is a club with a long history and fantastic fans. I am happy to be here and can't wait to get up and running with the team."

Serge Gnabry would love to welcome Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich – with their special handshake.

Manchester City winger Sane has been linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions after seeing his regular starting spot come under pressure over the closing weeks of the season.

They appear the club most likely to prise Sane away from the Etihad Stadium should City decide the 23-year-old is an expendable talent, although president Uli Hoeness has cast doubt on the prospect of affording such a deal.

Bayern are parting company with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, with the departure of the veteran wingers leaving a gap in Niko Kovac's squad to be filled.

Gnabry has established himself as a threat from a wide role, and he would be thrilled to see Germany team-mate Sane also head to the Allianz Arena.

"I say hello to him with a special handshake," said Gnabry, when asked about Sane being linked to Bayern. "I've already asked him about this topic, but he is the only one who can tell us what will happen.

"I would love to have him in my team. We are getting along really well, also off the pitch."

Speaking at Germany's press conference on Monday, Gnabry added: "He would help any team and it's very fun for me to play with him.

"He would be a gain for Bayern Munich."

Gnabry is at the end of his first full season with Bayern's first team and admitted it has been a sapping campaign.

"I'm so ready to go on holidays," he said. "This season was quite tough, as we played a lot of games.

"I missed a couple of games towards the end, due to injuries.

"But overall, I am happy about meeting the expectations, which is most important to me.

"I was also happy about getting a lot of minutes and receiving that trust in my first year at Bayern. I just try to improve every day and to help the team."

Aston Villa have signed Anwar El Ghazi on a permanent basis from Lille after his successful loan spell.

The winger was a key figure as Villa secured promotion to the Premier League, scoring the first goal in the play-off final win over Derby at Wembley.

Now the 24-year-old is set for a long-term future at Villa Park after signing a four-year contract.

Villa have not disclosed the fee involved but it is widely reported they have paid around £8million for the former Ajax player, having taken up their option to buy the Netherlands international.

Villa head coach Dean Smith said: "Anwar proved to everybody at Wembley how good a player he can be for Aston Villa. He's ready for the step up to the Premier League and he's a young player who has an awful lot of potential."

El Ghazi scored six goals in 34 Championship games last season, and Smith told Villa's website: "It's now my job and the job of the coaching staff and Anwar himself to fulfil the potential that he undoubtedly has. He'll be a great addition to the squad for next season."

Paris Saint-Germain may be heading for a tough rebuild that includes losing two of the world's best players.

While they won Ligue 1 once again, PSG fell short in the Champions League, exiting in the round of 16. Still, Thomas Tuchel has earned trust in Paris, signing a new contract in May.

He may have some massive work to do in the close-season, with Kylian Mbappe reportedly eyeing a move to Real Madrid, while Neymar is considering his options.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS MADRID MOVE

After a standout season, Mbappe is feeling undervalued at PSG and wants a move to Real Madrid, according to ABC.

The France international, who scored 39 goals in 2018-19, does not feel properly valued in Paris, the report said.

Mbappe has continually been linked with a move to Madrid, where his fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane returned to the helm late in the season.

There may be even further worries for PSG, too, with Neymar considering his options, according to Telefoot.

 

ROUND-UP

- Gareth Bale is on his way out at the Santiago Bernabeu and Manchester United may be interested. According to the Mirror, United are ready to meet the attacker's wage demands, initially signing him on loan before holding on to him for a second season.

- Manchester United are also looking at potential replacements for Paul Pogba, who is linked with a move away. The Evening Standard report that United are considering Tottenham star Christian Eriksen and Monaco's Youri Tielemans, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Leicester City.

- While Madrid's rebuild has well and truly started, there appears to be some uncertainty over Vinicius Junior. According to AS, Zidane is still unsure about the forward, while president Florentino Perez believes the Brazilian should be part of Madrid's squad.

- Real Madrid are nonetheless expected to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, but AS say there are concerns over the defender's hip. The LaLiga giants are hoping to do another medical on Wednesday before confirming the signing.

- Atletico Madrid are set to lose Antoine Griezmann and are looking at AC Milan's Suso to add some strength to their attack, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Manchester United will need a bigger bid to land Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The Times report Palace rejected a £40million bid, looking for something closer to £65m.

Danny Rose says it is "no secret" he could be in line for an exit from Tottenham prior to next season.

Having struggled to nail down a regular starting spot ahead of Ben Davies in 2017-18, Rose reclaimed the left-back berth as his own last term, making 37 appearances across all competitions as Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League and reached the Champions League final.

Rose started for England in their Nations League third-place play-off against Switzerland on Sunday, playing 70 minutes before making way for his former club-mate Kyle Walker.

The 28-year-old has two years left on his current deal at Tottenham, but reports have emerged linking him with a move away from the club.

And Rose has now revealed that there could be substance to those rumours, suggesting that Tottenham's policy of moving older players on could see him sold.

"If I am, great. If not, great," Rose told reporters when asked if he would be leaving Spurs.

"It's no secret I've been linked with a move in the media. It's the club's policy to move players on when they reach a certain age."

Tottenham have been credited with an interest in Everton's Lucas Digne, though the Toffees are likely to be reluctant to sell the former Barcelona left-back.

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