Chelsea will have an advantage in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich, according to Leon Goretzka.

Bayern hold a commanding 3-0 lead following an impressive victory at Stamford Bridge in February, but they will not have played a competitive game in over a month when they take on Chelsea at the Allianz Arena on August 8.

The Blues, meanwhile, will conclude their Premier League campaign on July 26 and will contest the FA Cup final on August 1 if they defeat Manchester United in a semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.

Goretzka thinks that gives Frank Lampard's side an edge, though the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal champions will do their utmost to ensure Chelsea do not repeat their 2012 Champions League final success over Bayern in Munich.

"We've already had a great season, winning the championship and the cup," Goretzka told Bild am Sonntag.

"It is clear to every one of us that the competition and our path to the final is extremely challenging."

Whoever progress from the tie between Chelsea and Bayern will take on either Napoli or Barcelona in the quarter-finals in Lisbon, with one of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Lyon and Juventus waiting in the final four.

Goretzka continued: "All our focus in on the game against Chelsea. The good thing about such top opponents is that they have as much respect for us as we do for them.

"Chelsea has the advantage that they are travelling to Munich just after the season, while we want to keep up our rhythm.

"We will do everything to make sure Chelsea will not be successful again in Munich."

The Bundesliga was the first of Europe's top five leagues to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the campaign wrapped up on June 27.

Goretzka impressed in the heart of Bayern's midfield following the resumption in May and put it down to increasing his muscle mass during the hiatus.

"For me, lockdown was both a crisis and an opportunity," said Goretzka.

"A crisis because you miss football and daily training with the team. But also, a chance to gain muscle mass in co-ordination with the physiotherapist.

"In crucial games and moments, it is important to be physically and mentally fit. The weight helps me in tackles, makes me a bit more agile and robust. Not only on the ground in a one-on-one, but also in the air."

Michael Cuisance described his move to Bayern Munich as "one of the best choices of my career" despite limited game time during his maiden campaign with Die Roten.

The French midfielder joined from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach in a reported €10million deal last August.

However, Cuisance has made just 10 appearances in all competitions this season, with only three of those coming as part of the starting XI.

Bayern have a plethora of options in midfield but Cuisance, 20, believes learning every day from world-class players in his position will stand him in good stead for the future.

"It was one of the best choices of my career," he told L'Equipe about joining Bayern. 

"It is a club where I can settle for years. I learn from the best players in the world. I can only grow. It was not easy at first because I was not playing, but I decided to move on."

Cuisance also dismissed the notion that his move to the Allianz Arena was a risk.

"A risk? Why? I have five years ahead of me," he added. 

"My head is conditioned for this kind of club, for the high level. There are great players but I know I can succeed."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has "no doubt" Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara can play in the Premier League amid links to champions Liverpool.

Thiago is out of contract at Bundesliga champions Bayern next year and the 29-year-old Spaniard is reportedly ready to leave Bavaria after opting against a renewal.

Jurgen Klopp is believed to be keen on bringing Thiago to Anfield, where Liverpool won their first league title since 1990 this season, and Guardiola – who worked with the veteran at Barcelona and Bayern – hailed the midfielder.

"No doubt about it, a player who plays for Barcelona and Bayern Munich can play in the Premier League," Guardiola said when asked about Thiago ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

"Of course he can play, he's an exceptional player but I don't know what he's going to do."

Thiago – handed his first senior taste of football by Guardiola at Barcelona – emerged from the youth system at Camp Nou in 2009.

He won two LaLiga titles and a Champions League trophy among other honours before joining Bayern four years later.

Thiago has since claimed seven successive Bundesliga crowns, four DFB-Pokal titles, two DFL-Supercup honours and the Club World Cup trophy in Bavaria.

After helping Bayern to an eighth consecutive Bundesliga triumph, Thiago and the German giants are preparing for next month's second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea.

Bayern won the opening leg 3-0 in London before the Champions League was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alphonso Davies has proven "a real hit" for Bayern Munich among a squad packed with player of the season candidates, according to club president Herbert Hainer.

The 19-year-old Canadian has been at Bayern for 18 months after signing from Vancouver Whitecaps, and phenomenal pace and technique on the left flank has made Davies a raging success.

Bayern netted a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in 2019-20, with Davies making 29 league appearances, scoring three times and recording five assists.

He looks like having a major role in the future of the team, and he sprang to mind when Hainer was asked who ranked as his top performer over the season.

"It's hard to single out one person in this great team, they were all sensational. But the development of Alphonso Davies has given me a lot of pleasure," Hainer told Bayern's official website.

"A little over a year ago, nobody knew Alphonso Davies, but now he is delighting our fans all over the world.

"A real hit: he is absolutely top-class on the pitch and with his young, fresh manner, he is well on the way to becoming a popular figure. The boy makes us very happy."

If you’re wondering what I like to do on vacation, this is it. #AD19 #LoveWhatYouDo pic.twitter.com/JIot0toxmS

Not content with being the dominant men's team in Germany, Bayern also want to make themselves the cream of the women's game.

Bayern missed out on the Frauen Bundesliga in 2019-20 to a Wolfsburg side who went unbeaten through the league campaign, winning 20 of 22 games as they finished eight points clear.

Wolfsburg have reeled off four successive women's titles since Bayern had back-to-back 2014-15 and 2015-16 successes.

Bayern have recently acquired the likes of Austria midfielder Sarah Zadrazil and France forward Viviane Asseyi, as they look to close the gap on the reigning champions.

Like the men's team, they also remain in the hunt for Champions League glory this season, with a quarter-final against mighty French outfit Lyon to come on August 22 in Bilbao.

Hainer said: "It is our clear goal to knock VfL Wolfsburg off the top and become the number one in German women's football.

"A lot of work is being done to achieve this, and we have already been able to announce some notable new signings for the upcoming season. I will also be following the Champions League closely – should our team reach the final, I will be there in San Sebastian."

Leroy Sane will "unfortunately" give Bayern Munich a lot of joy, according to his former Schalke team-mate Joel Matip.

Bayern last month completed their lengthy pursuit of Sane, agreeing a €60million deal to sign him from Manchester City as he entered the last year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

The transfer was announced between the Bavarian giants clinching an eighth successive Bundesliga title and completing a domestic double by winning the DFB-Pokal.

Liverpool defender Matip believes Sane is bound to have a big impact at Bayern, though he worries the addition could stifle competitiveness in Germany's top flight.

"I know him well. He is a top player. Leroy will unfortunately give Bayern a lot of joy," Matip told Die Welt.

"Well, [it's unfortunate] for the competition, which already has a hard time. It won't be easier to keep up with Bayern.

"Leroy is a player who can help the team enormously."

An anterior cruciate ligament injury limited Sane's involvement for City this season, which saw Liverpool claim their first league title since 1990.

Asked if winning the Premier League was bigger for the Reds than last year's Champions League triumph, Matip said: "It was like that, but that has to do with the club, which had to wait 30 years for it.

"In addition, each club ticks differently. At Manchester City, the Champions League may be worth a little more."

Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund in 2012 were the last team to deny Bayern the Bundesliga title and Matip praised the manager's achievements since moving to Anfield, where he has also won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

"He is known for being casual, but when it comes to work and the team, he is very clear. He has his ideas and always tries to get them into the mind of every player," said Matip. "He has an incredibly good way of motivating us and stirring the emotions within us."

Marco Reus accepts Borussia Dortmund require a "perfect season" if they are to finally end Bayern Munich's Bundesliga dominance.

Bayern took 58 points out of a possible 60 from their last 20 games of the 2019-20 campaign to win the league for an eighth successive season, with Dortmund 13 points behind in second place.

BVB were just four points behind Bayern when the season resumed in May after the coronavirus-enforced break, but the Bavarian club never looked back after Joshua Kimmich scored the winner at Signal Iduna Park on May 26.

Dortmund have finished runners-up to Bayern in five of the previous eight seasons and BVB captain Reus acknowledged his team have to be virtually flawless.

"There's a lot of speculation it's because of this, or that, but you basically have to have a perfect season," he told BVB TV.

"Last year we had an almost perfect season and this year... I wouldn't say it was almost perfect because there were too many games before Christmas when we dropped points - Paderborn, Frankfurt, Freiburg - those games in particular, with goals in the 90th minute. Of course, other clubs can say the same.

"But in the second half of the season we showed that we'd got that consistency.

"I think since Lucien [Favre] came in we've gained that consistency throughout the season. It hasn't yet been enough to win the big prize, but you can see that we've got closer."

Reus, who is still yet to win a Bundesliga title, feels beating Bayern in Munich would be a huge step for Dortmund.

In the previous three seasons, Bayern have beaten Dortmund 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0 in the Bundesliga, and BVB's most recent league win in Munich was in April 2014 when Reus scored in a 3-0 victory.

"Basically, it's important to win the games against Bayern as they're our main rivals," Reus said.

"That's what will make the main difference and it has made the difference in the last few years.

"We've looked good in the home games, apart from this season when we lost, but we have to start winning away games in Munich to give ourselves the best chance of winning the title.

"The most important thing for me is to get that consistency in our performances and in our results, and if we get that we'll win the league.

"Over the last eight years Bayern have been better at it than every other club and we're on the right track to break through that ceiling.

"We have to keep going and keep working hard on that consistency in our performances and results.

"But ultimately if you win a game 1-0 at the weekend, two days later no one cares how you won the game and everyone just looks at the result.

"That's how it is for Bayern - they don't win every game 4-0 or 5-0 with scintillating football. They simply win their games and that's what makes you German champions."

Leroy Sane said he was "overjoyed" to be at Bayern Munich after undertaking his first training session since joining the club.

Bayern shared footage on their social media accounts of Sane being put through his paces on Monday, the winger working out alongside new team-mate Niklas Sule.

The Germany international joined the Bundesliga champions from Manchester City in a deal worth €60million this month, signing a five-year contract to seal a return to his homeland.

"It was very good," Sane said during the short video.

"It was a small group for training with Niklas Sule, but it was great to be out on the pitch again, completing my first session here on the training ground.  

"I'm just overjoyed to be here."

Sane was seemingly set to move to Bayern last year, only to suffer a serious knee injury during the Community Shield against Liverpool.

The 24-year-old played just 11 minutes in the Premier League for City this season, with Pep Guardiola revealing the Premier League club had failed in their attempts to convince the player to sign a new contract.

Bayern have already confirmed Sane will wear the number 10 shirt next season, as donned by Philippe Coutinho during his season-long loan from Barcelona.

Real Madrid could face a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo before a Clasico showdown with Barcelona after Friday's draw mapped out the final stages of this season's Champions League.

There are plenty of pieces to fall into place before that scenario is possible, with Madrid nursing a 2-1 deficit ahead of their last-16 return against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next month.

The winner of the City-Madrid tie will face the victor from Lyon versus Juventus when the reformatted one-off final stages begin in Lisbon from August 12.

Ronaldo and his team-mates are 1-0 down following the away leg against their Ligue 1 opponents.

Those teams will do battle for a spot in quarter-final one, the winner of which will take on the team to emerge from quarter-final three, which was drawn as Napoli or Barcelona versus Chelsea or Bayern Munich.

Fresh from their domestic double, Bayern are strongly placed having won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the initial match, although Lionel Messi and his colleagues have their encounter on a knife edge following a 1-1 draw at Stadio San Paolo.

The other quarter-finals comprise teams who have already booked their spots in Lisbon.

PSG overturned a first-leg deficit to knockout Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 and face the similarly free-scoring Atalanta.

The winner of that tie will take on RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid, who overcame respective Premier League opposition in the form of Tottenham and holders Liverpool in the previous stage.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full:

QF1) Real Madrid or Manchester City v Lyon or Juventus
QF2) RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid
QF3) Napoli or Barcelona v Chelsea or Bayern Munich
QF4) Atalanta v PSG

Champions League semi-finals

Winner QF1 v Winner QF3
Winner QF 2 v Winner QF4

Alphonso Davies can become a Bayern Munich legend as former head coach Carl Robinson lauded the incredible success story of the Canadian teenager.

Davies has established himself as one of the most exciting players in European football since joining Bundesliga champions Bayern from MLS outfit Vancouver Whitecaps in 2019.

The 19-year-old speedster – who capped a fine campaign with the 2019-20 Bundesliga Rookie of the Year award – has been a revelation on the left side of Bayern's defence, helping the German powerhouses to an eighth consecutive league crown.

Davies also recorded a top speed of 36.51 kilometres per hour in Bayern's 1-0 over Werder Bremen in June, the fastest of any Bundesliga player since at least 2013-14.

The success of Davies, however, comes as no surprise to Welsh coach Robinson, who handed the Canada international his debut as a 15-year-old for the Whitecaps in MLS.

So, Robinson knows Davies better than most and while he is on the path to greatness, the ex-Wolves midfielder insisted there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"I do," Robinson – now coach of A-League side Newcastle Jets – told Stats Perform News when asked if Davies can become a Bayern legend. "I know his dream is maybe one day to play in England, like it is for a lot of North American players, South American players, Australasian players. Going to play in Europe is the cream of the crop. That won't surprise me at some stage if that comes, but that will only be based upon his development and continuation.

"But one of my coaches had said to him, there was a clip where they saw him getting back on Mason Mount from 30 yards [in the Champions League]. Mount was breaking and Alphonso managed to get himself back into that area and stop the danger. Everyone was raving about how quick he is, he's not human, he's so quick.

"It's interesting that one of my coaches, Pa-Modou Kah who is now the manager of Pacific FC in the CPL and a very talented coach, turns around and says, 'Alphonso, you were in the wrong starting position'.

"So, the way he gets taught is very important. He is scary in relation to his physical attributes but the detail in it was he was in the starting position. Can you imagine if he plays against a player like him, who is as quick as him, speed of thought is quicker and more experienced? He's not getting back and it will be 1-0. The teaching point for him there was he's had an excellent season, so many attributes you can build on and they're already talking about him being a €50million, €60m player, but there's still areas on his game that he needs to improve.

"What I've learned over my career, the top players need to be coached. If you don't coach them, they complain and moan. They want to be taught. That's why the best managers in the world and Premier League – the Mourinhos, Pochettinos, Klopps and Guardiolas – they are just so demanding on their players and you can see them getting frustrated sometimes with their top players because they need to be coached and you need to show them. If you do that, they progress.

"Football is short. The lifespan of a footballer is very, very small. Your life actually starts when you retire. So, the window gets shorter every year but it's important you learn. Lots of good things but also areas to improve if he's to play at that level year in, year out, which I firmly believe he will. But when he comes up against a Marcus Rashford, he needs to be in the right position or he probably won't get back in time."

Rewind back to July 2016 and Robinson – coach of the Whitecaps at the time – introduced Davies to MLS football, just one day after signing a league contract with the club.

Davies came off the bench against Orlando City and became the second-youngest player to take the field in MLS at 15 years, 257 days, behind Freddy Adu (14 years, 306 days).

"With football, when there's success stories and they are refreshing when there's young success stories, what you tend to find is people come out the woodwork and every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to take credit for a successful story," Robinson added.

"When there's a negative or disappointing story, the same people that want to shout from the rooftops are nowhere to be seen. Alphonso Davies is an unbelievably successful story. It's due to one; himself – because he is a very, very talented player. Yes, I gave him his first opportunity in football. I threw him in as a 15-year-old kid. So, the easy thing for me to do is say 'yeah, I gave him a chance, I played him, blah, blah, blah'.

"But prior to me making the decision to give him a chance, a lot of work went on behind the scenes. My coaching staff in Vancouver – Gordon Forrest, Martyn Pert – they were key to that. They had identified him, watched him, reviewed him and gave me an insight into exactly what he was. So, when I gave him a chance, there had already been done a lot of work behind the scenes.

"He got the chance and did well. A young player does well and they usually tend to play well for two or three games then have a little bit of a blip and drop. Then you have to protect them. That's where my experiences kicked in. I was a very good player, I wasn't a top player. There are top players and world-class players, I was a very good player. I knew what I needed to get to that level and stay at that level. That's the next key.

"I was able to support him on his journey. It was his journey, no one else's journey. I kept quiet a long the way for the benefit of him. It was important then that his team-mates – Kei Kamara, Kendall Waston and experiences players like that – were supportive with him. He had reference points and coaches that were his go-to which was very important. His mum and dad, a very supportive family network.

"It's a great success story for him. I'm really pleased. I'm not surprised one bit. Yes, I gave him his debut and I'm really proud that I did do that because back then, I knew what I saw and I gave him that chance. That's what leads me into this next chapter of how can I judge a player when I don't give them a chance? Can you imagine if I didn't make the decision to throw on Alphonso because there were people that said he wasn't ready to play and he wasn't ready to step into first-team football?

"We played Crystal Palace in a friendly game at BC Place and I was told he wasn’t ready but I listened to my staff and coaches key to me, and I believed them and took the chance... Alphonso deserves all the credit.

"He is a fantastic, talented young boy. Now it's about consistency because after having a very good year at left-back, which was key for his development, then he has to do it next year and the year after. Then, he can be put into the category of the Gareth Bales, Ashley Coles, the top players like that all over the world. That will be his next challenge but I firmly believe he can do it because he's a good kid."

Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona will have home advantage for the crucial second legs of their Champions League last-16 ties after a UEFA ruling on Thursday.

Their respective clashes against Real Madrid, Lyon and Napoli are all on a knife edge after tight first games.

There had been talk of the return games possibly being played on neutral territory, as European football's governing body deals with how to finish its 2019-20 competitions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Champions League will be played to a conclusion in Portugal from the quarter-final stage onwards, and the Europa League will conclude similarly with its final rounds being played in Germany, with each competition aiming to complete by the end of August.

UEFA said it considered the "principle of sporting fairness" in reaching its decision regarding the last-16 ties that had started but were unresolved in each competition.

That means Manchester City will defend their 2-1 lead over Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium, Juventus will welcome Lyon to Turin, chasing a deficit after losing 1-0 to the French side in the first game, and Barcelona and Napoli will play again at Camp Nou after a 1-1 draw in Italy.

Bayern Munich, who lead Chelsea 3-0 after a successful trip to London, will take on Frank Lampard's side at the Allianz Arena.

The same rule will apply in the Europa League, although two last-16 ties in that competition have yet to begin and have been moved to Germany, where they will be played as single-leg fixtures, with Inter facing Getafe and Sevilla playing Roma.

UEFA said in a statement: "Consistent with the principle of sporting fairness and considering that current conditions - all clubs due to play at home the return leg of the round of 16 are currently playing the remaining matches of their domestic leagues in their own stadiums and that travelling is possible without restrictions for the visiting clubs – the UEFA executive committee decided that the remaining UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League round of 16 second-leg matches will be played at the home teams' stadiums.

"UEFA will continue to monitor the situation and reserves the right to reassign any such matches to the venues of the final tournament of the relevant competition should new events occur that would make it impossible to play one or more matches at the original venues."

UEFA said it would announce fixture details after Friday's quarter-final draws at its Swiss headquarters.

The governing body also said all its matches would be played behind closed doors until further notice.

"UEFA will monitor the evolution of the situation and advise on any full or partial lifting of restrictions at the appropriate time," its statement added.

Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl says trying to close the gap to Bayern Munich is like him chasing down Usain Bolt.

Bayern defeated Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday to complete a domestic double, having wrapped up their eighth straight Bundesliga title-winning campaign the weekend prior.

Gladbach were early pacesetters in the top flight as the Bavarian giants struggled to get going under Niko Kovac, but they ended up sealing fourth on the final day of the season.

The difference between the teams was 17 points and Eberl likened Gladbach attempting to catch up to himself in a race with eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt, who holds the world record in the 100 metres and 200m.

Asked if the Foals could lead the rest of the Bundesliga's attempts to topple Bayern, Eberl told Kicker: "It's as realistic as if I challenge Usain Bolt to the 100 metres and think I can win.

"Maybe I'll be at the front at the start. Maybe he stumbles in between. But the likelihood that Usain Bolt will end up in front of me, and Bayern Munich before Gladbach, is very high.

"It's not 100 per cent but is clearly in the region of 90 per cent."

However, he added: "We will not give up and throw in the towel. We are working on getting even better."

Gladbach's hopes of making significant personnel improvements in the close season have been hit by a loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic that could end up in the region of €30million.

"We will not now storm the transfer market and buy big-name players," said Eberl.

"Coronavirus hit us to the core. The [financial] reserves melt like ice in the sun. The big picture will be even more important in the future, not just having an eye on sport."

David Alaba is yet to agree a contract extension at Bayern Munich, but Hansi Flick says it would be special if he finishes his career at the Allianz Arena.

Austria international Alaba's deal is due to expire next year, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City all credited with an interest in the versatile defender.

Following Bayern's DFB-Pokal final victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, in which Alaba scored the opening goal, Flick said he was keen for the 28-year-old and Thiago Alcantara to sign new contracts.

However, the Bayern boss acknowledged it will be "more difficult" to keep Thiago amid links to Premier League champions Liverpool.

"I will stand up for it and try everything to keep two such quality players," said Flick.

"David has become an exceptional player here. It's not just on the pitch that he's good for us.

"He knows he has a huge appreciation at the club. It would be very special if he ended his career here with us."

Since making his debut for Bayern in February 2010, Alaba has won 19 trophies.

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are among the possible destinations.

Havertz's future could become a lot clearer following Leverkusen's 4-2 defeat to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal decider.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA BOOSTED BY HAVERTZ NEWS

Kai Havertz wants to meet with Bayer Leverkusen to discuss his future after the DFB-Pokal final loss to Bayern Munich, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.

Havertz scored a consolation goal as Leverkusen went down 4-2 to Bayern in Berlin on Saturday.

Chelsea are interested in Havertz, Real Madrid are hesitant about signing the Germany international in 2020, while Bayern are not prepared to make a bid this year.

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- Falk also claims Bayern star Thiago Alcantara could join Liverpool or United. Bayern are braced for Thiago to leave at the end of the season and the Spanish midfielder has been tipped to move to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, United are also reportedly interested.

United, Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are among the teams eyeing a cut-price deal for Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, says Marca. Everton and Wolves have also been mentioned as suitors.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are desperate to sign Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey, so much so they are prepared to sell either Matteo GuendouziAlexandre Lacazette or Lucas Torreira to fund the transfer.

- Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schirra reports Sporting CP are in advanced negotiations to extend Joelson Fernandes' contract. The Portuguese side are looking to increase the 17-year-old's release clause from €45million to €100m amid interest from Barca, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe, Foot Mercato claims. The Ligue 1 champions are looking to sign a right-back after Thomas Meunier left for Dortmund.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic remains Milan's first choice to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Calciomercato says. Milan are ready to meet Jovic's agent as they look to pair the Serbia international with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at San Siro. Patrik Schick – who spent the season on loan at Leipzig from Roma – is another option should Milan fail to land Jovic.

Inter prefer David Alaba over Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and have already met the Bayern star twice, according to SportMediaset. Alaba has also been linked to Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Manchester City.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the clear favourites to win this season's Champions League.

Both teams are in strong positions to progress to the quarter-finals, City having beaten Real Madrid 2-1 while Bayern eased to a 3-0 victory away to Chelsea in the last-16 first legs.

This season's competition is set to resume in August in a mini-tournament format in Lisbon, having been put on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool's defence of the trophy was ended in a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Atletico Madrid, and Klopp expects one of City or Bayern to triumph.

"For me, the two big favourites are Bayern and Man City," he said ahead of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Aston Villa. "That would be an interesting game.

"Bayern played obviously a very impressive season in Germany. After Hansi Flick took over, it was really impressive what they did. These are the two favourites. I don't know exactly how it could happen - we'll see in the semi-final or whatever.

"The competition will be really interesting because it's completely new. When you see Man City, when you see the squad... everybody needs luck: if you want to win the Champions League, you should have your best line-up ready for the final if that's possible.

"It's not that the other teams have no chance, but I really think these two are the favourites. Massive, massive chance. But, even in the game [Liverpool's 4-0 loss to City on Thursday], which City won deservedly, we should have scored three goals.

"We should have and we would have on a normal day. They have so much quality, but no team in the world is perfect. City are not, Bayern are not, we are not. But you need to be nearly perfect in these moments to win the Champions League, obviously.

"I will watch it, the little tournament, it will be really interesting, but unfortunately, we have nothing really to do with it this year."

Bayern Munich ran out 4-2 winners in the DFB-Pokal final to complete their domestic double and hand an unfitting potential farewell to Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

Leverkusen managing director Rudi Voller declared Havertz to be the finest player in his club's history during the build-up to the showpiece, while also noting there is an agreement with the 21-year-old that he can leave this coming close season if certain conditions are met.

Chelsea and Real Madrid have been listed among a host of clubs purportedly interested in Havertz, who endured a mixed outing at the Olympiastadion.

Playing as the most advanced forward for Peter Bosz's side during the first half, he looked on as David Alaba and Serge Gnabry established a commanding Bayern lead.

Dropping into an attacking midfield role after the break, Havertz was far more influential and concluded the match by scoring a stoppage-time penalty.

However, Robert Lewandowski's brace meant more silverware for Bayern and the type of success Havertz might be chasing in different colours come September.

Here, we take a blow-by-blow look at his performance.

4th minute – Received the ball on the halfway line but an attempted pass to release Nadiem Amiri was cut out in midfield. Havertz completed 67.7 per cent of his passes on the night.

7th minute – Sized up Alaba on the right but was easily dispossessed. He would lose possession on 20 occasions – more than any other Leverkusen player.

15th minute – After an earlier tetchy altercation with Alaba, Havertz prevented fellow Germany international Joshua Kimmich from taking a quick free-kick. A shove and a talking to from referee Tobias Welz followed.

20th minute – A cute lay-off to Julian Baumgartlinger ended with Wendell in a promising position on the left but the full-back's cross was blocked.

21st minute – The latest instalment in Havertz's personal battle with Kimmich did not go well as the Bayern man muscled him away from the ball to launch an attack, where Thomas Muller almost made it 2-0.

24th minute – Charles Aranguiz's lofted pass looking for Leverkusen's star man ran through to Manuel Neuer. Within a minute, Gnabry thrashed beyond Lukas Hradecky to double Bayern's lead.

27th minute – Havertz's frustration was clear as he again tangled with Kimmich in futile fashion, giving away a free-kick with a slide tackle of the agricultural variety.

33rd minute – Got in front of Alaba for a lovely takedown on halfway but his turning left-footed throughball was intercepted.

42nd minute – The offside flag meant it would not have counted in any case, but Amiri delaying his cross, Havertz falling over and then regaining his footing before the ball failed to reach him summed up a half to forget. Amiri made way for Kevin Volland at the interval.

60th minute – Havertz fashioned a little room on the right-hand side of the area, only to be snuffed out by Alphonso Davies and Alaba. Volland's earlier air shot in the area and Hradecky's howling error for Lewandowski's first meant it mattered little.

63rd minute – Operating increasingly from the right with Volland leading the line, Havertz got the run on the quicksilver Davies and delivered a teasing low cross that Alaba was forced to clear behind with Leon Bailey poised. From the resulting corner, Bender powered home.

66th minute – Came deep to drive a move from midfield. A searching cross from the right by Moussa Diaby narrowly evaded Volland and Havertz.

68th minute – Bailey's raking pass found Havertz on the right and he almost picked out his team-mate with a return cross.

71st minute – Bayern were now struggling to contain Havertz, who collected the ball menacingly 30 yards from goal. Unfortunately for Leverkusen, Volland was not equal to the pass he slid through.

75th minute – Again showing his influence in from central midfield, Havertz set Bailey on another menacing dribble, with the winger's shot deflected behind. The cutting edge Lewandowski showed in completing the scoring was sorely lacking from Leverkusen's period of mid-half ascendancy.

94th minute – In perhaps his last act in a Leverkusen shirt, Havertz thundered a consolation penalty into the top-left corner after VAR spotted a handball by Davies.

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