Bayern Munich's DFB-Pokal semi-final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, as has the last-four fixture between Saarbrucken and Bayer Leverkusen.

Holders Bayern, who defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 in last season's final, were due to host Frankfurt on either April 21 or 22, while Leverkusen were scheduled to visit fourth-tier side Saarbrucken.

However, it was confirmed on Friday that both matches will not take place on the planned dates due to the continued threat of COVID-19.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since March 13 and is on hold until April 30 at the earliest.

There have been 49,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 321 people having died.

Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic is worried about the financial impact if the Bundesliga season ends prematurely due to coronavirus, insisting it would a "major economic loss" for all clubs.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe with more than 14,500 deaths, shutting down cities and sports around the world amid the pandemic.

The Bundesliga – through 25 games at the time of postponement – is scheduled to resume after April 2 and Wolfsburg are planning to return to training on Monday, despite Germany's social-distancing measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

"A premature end of the season would of course not be a positive thing," Bobic said via Eintracht Frankfurt. "It would be a major economic loss for all clubs and also for Eintracht Frankfurt.

"We will do everything we can to ensure that we can continue to play football. It's not just about the money, but also about jobs in the club and around it. Many people are directly and indirectly involved with football and live from it. Football is a huge industry.

"In addition, we naturally want to do our bit at some point to ensure that people start talking about other things than the coronavirus. That is what sport is all about. It's like the gladiators in the past: bread and games.

"But it must be safe and not harmful to health. That's why we wait and see what the virologists and doctors tell us. We should listen to them. If the season were to end, it would hit a lot of people very hard. Like many small and medium-sized enterprises."

Eintracht – 12th in the Bundesliga after playing 24 rounds in 2019-20 – have confirmed two unnamed players tested positive for coronavirus.

"They're doing all right, considering the circumstances," Bobic said. "We'll have the rest of the test results soon. Therefore it is possible that one of the other players is positive as well. But both players are doing well so far.

"They show the typical symptoms, but it is not a critical condition. The doctors assured me that. And they both still have their sense of humour. Once you've had contact with them, it encourages you.

"I hope they both come out of this okay. And I don't think they'll be the only two who will get it. Unfortunately, there will probably be others involved – just like with any other team."

Football may be on hiatus in most of Europe and across the globe due to coronavirus, but Fabian Ruiz's future is still making headlines.

The Napoli and Spain star has established himself as one of the best midfielders on the continent since arriving from Real Betis in 2018.

Now, Liverpool are desperate to prise Fabian to Anfield but they have competition.

 

TOP STORY – REDS MAKE FABIAN TOP TARGET

Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is Liverpool's top transfer target, reports The Express.

Fabian has attracted interest from his homeland, where LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling for the Spain international's signature.

However, Premier League leaders Liverpool are ready to pay £74million (€80m) for Fabian.

 

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- The Mirror says Manchester United – led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – have re-opened talks with star midfielder Paul Pogba's agent Rino Raiola. It comes amid uncertainty over Pogba, who continues to be linked to Madrid and former club Juventus.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Milan at the end of the season, reports Sport Mediaset. The 38-year-old return to San Siro on a one-year and had been discussing a renewal before chief football officer Zvonimir Boban was sacked, angering the Swede.

Liverpool and Arsenal are among a number of clubs monitoring Eintracht Frankfurt's Evan Ndicka, claims Sky Sports. The defender has also been linked to Milan, Inter, Valencia and Sevilla.

- According to The Mirror, Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Tottenham have enquired about Barca's Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich.

United are confident of beating Borussia Dortmund to the signing of Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Jude Bellingham.

- Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard is being eyed by Arsenal, The Mirror reports, amid doubts over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and United.

Fourth-division side Saarbrucken and Bayern Munich were kept apart in Sunday's DFB-Pokal semi-final draw, keeping alive the possibility of an extraordinary final between the minnows and Germany's most successful team.

Saarbrucken, the first team from the fourth tier to ever make the last four, will host Bundesliga high-fliers Bayer Leverkusen on April 21 or 22.

Holders Bayern, meanwhile, face a home tie against Eintracht Frankfurt - the side who beat them 5-1 in the league last November to herald Niko Kovac's sacking as head coach.

Bayern's fortunes have improved significantly since then under Hansi Flick and they remain in contention for three trophies after hitting top spot in the Bundesliga and winning 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie against Chelsea.

However, Frankfurt also got the better of Bayern in the 2018 Pokal final, winning 3-1.

Saarbrucken dramatically defeated Fortuna Dusseldorf on penalties in last week's Pokal quarter-finals, goalkeeper Daniel Batz saving five spot-kicks - one in normal time and four in the shootout.

 

Andre Silva scored twice as Eintracht Frankfurt battled to a 2-2 draw at Salzburg in their delayed Europa League last-32 second leg to progress 6-3 on aggregate.

A storm warning saw the clash in Austria put back until after Friday's round-of-16 draw, in which the winners were paired with Basel. Frankfurt's Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen on Sunday was subsequently postponed.

Eintracht were unable to weather an early deluge of Salzburg pressure, as captain Andreas Ulmer inspired home hope as he thrashed beyond Kevin Trapp into the top-left corner.

Silva nodded a crucial away goal on the half-hour mark, and the hosts – shorn of the talents of January departees Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino – scarcely looked capable of scoring the three they would require after the break to force extra-time.

They got one through Jerome Onguene's header from a corner with 19 minutes remaining but were then caught on the counter, Silva expertly picking out the top-right corner from 20 yards.

Salzburg's Europa League last-32 second-leg tie with Eintracht Frankfurt has been postponed due to a storm threat.

The fixture was scheduled to take place at 21:00 CET on Thursday at the Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, with Frankfurt protecting a 4-1 first-leg lead.

But UEFA confirmed the match will not go ahead.

"Due to a storm warning, the public authorities in Austria have postponed tonight's UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie between FC Salzburg and Eintracht Frankfurt," read a statement released a matter of hours before kick-off.

"An announcement will be made by UEFA in due course about the re-arranged date and time for this match to be played."

Bayern Munich will travel to Schalke in the quarter-finals of this season's DFB-Pokal.

The holders will head to Gelsenkirchen after they edged out Hoffenheim 4-3 in the previous round.

Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat Bayern in the 2018 final – will host Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen will meet Union Berlin at BayArena.

Fortuna Dusseldorf, who were 5-2 winners at Cologne in round three, were handed an away match against fourth-tier Saarbrucken.

The games will be played on March 3 and 4.

RB Leipzig recruit Dani Olmo scored his first goal for the Bundesliga club as they crashed out of the DFB-Pokal.

Olmo was linked to Bayern Munich and Barcelona prior to joining Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported initial fee of €20million last month.

Making his second appearance, Spain international Olmo opened his account in Tuesday's 3-1 third-round defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.

A half-time substitute, Olmo made it 2-1 with his 68th-minute goal at Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt.

It was Leipzig's second loss to Eintracht in less than two weeks, having suffered a 2-0 Bundesliga defeat on January 25.

"We are of course very disappointed with the result. We now have to learn from our mistakes and continue to work hard," Olmo said via Leipzig's official website.

"We're still in two races and want to do better in the next few weeks."

Leipzig remain firmly in the Bundesliga race, with Julian Nagelsmann's side second and a point behind defending champions Bayern after 20 matches.

A Champions League last-16 tie against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham also awaits Leipzig.

"We should have taken the lead early, but we don't score," said head coach Nagelsmann. "After the unfortunate deficit, it is very difficult to come back into play here in Frankfurt. At the moment we are not doing things the way we train them."

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

Erling Haaland's decision to join Borussia Dortmund brought an end to one of Europe's most fascinating transfer stories.

Manchester United had been in the frame for his signature but were reportedly put off by a key demand from the striker's representatives.

As often seems to be the case for the Red Devils, Mino Raiola's involvement led to complications.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PULLED PLUG ON HAALAND BID

According to The Guardian, United abandoned their bid for the highly sought-after Haaland after learning of a request from his agent, Raiola, and father Alf-Inge Haaland.

The pair reportedly asked for a share of any future transfer fee for the 19-year-old, a stipulation the Old Trafford outfit were unwilling to meet despite their firm interest.

Haaland settled on Dortmund after the Bundesliga side activated his Salzburg buyout clause.

He had been linked to RB Leipzig, Juventus and several more top European clubs after emerging as a Champions League star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Haaland's arrival at Dortmund could lead LaLiga side  Atletico Madrid to narrow the transfer focus on Spanish striker Paco Alcacer, according to Marca. The former Barcelona player has struggled to cement a place in BVB's starting XI and represents a cheaper option in terms of wages than Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, an apparent favourite of Diego Simeone.

- AS, meanwhile, reports on potential movements elsewhere in the Spanish capital. The newspaper claims Real Madrid are preparing to recall Jesus Vallejo from his loan spell at Wolves, with a view to finding him more playing time. That could lead to a short-term switch to Leganes or Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Juventus are close to extending Wojciech Szczesny's contract yet the Serie A champions remain admirers of Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tammy Abraham wants a better deal at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea are not yet prepared to accept his demand for parity with Callum Hudson-Odoi's £180,000 per week salary, reports The Athletic.

- Manchester City are set to beat Premier League rivals United, Arsenal and Liverpool to the January signing of Barcelona's teenage left-back Juan Larios, says the Daily Star.

The full draw for the Europa League's round of 32 is: 

Wolves v Espanyol

Sporting CP v Istanbul Basaksehir

Getafe v Ajax

Bayer Leverkusen v Porto

Copenhagen v Celtic

APOEL v Basel

Cluj v Sevilla

Olympiacos v Arsenal

AZ v LASK Linz

Club Brugge v Manchester United

Ludogorets v Inter

Eintracht Frankfurt v Salzburg

Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica

Wolfsburg v Malmo

Roma v Gent

Rangers v Braga

The first legs will take place on Thursday 20 February, with the return fixtures scheduled for a week later.

Club chiefs will return to Nyon for the last-16 draw on February 28.

David Wagner insists Alexander Nubel did not intend to do harm to Mijat Gacinovic with his horror challenge in Schalke's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Schalke goalkeeper was shown a 66th-minute red card for a wild lunge with his foot that caught his opponent high on the chest.

Head coach Wagner accepted referee Felix Zwayer had little option other than to give Nubel his marching orders but defended his captain.

"Alexander Nubel wasn't trying to catch Mijat Gacinovic when he was sent off, but just arrived too late," Wagner said in quotes reported by Schalke's official website. 

"It obviously looks really bad. The referee's decision was definitely correct. Markus Schubert was great after coming on, as was Juan Miranda."

Gacinovic later posted on Instagram to show the result of the challenge, with stud marks visible across the midfielder's chest.

Schalke's win, which was sealed by Benito Raman's effort in the 53rd minute, leaves them fourth in the table and five points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig.

Unai Emery refused to discuss his future after Arsenal's 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt piled further pressure on the head coach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front in first-half stoppage time as Granit Xhaka played for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But a promising showing unravelled spectacularly after the interval as Daichi Kamada netted a fine brace and the hosts disintegrated.

"I am thinking about the next match and how we can improve and achieve confidence with the players," Emery told reporters afterwards, looking ahead to Sunday's trip to Norwich City and his side's latest opportunity to end a winless run that now stands at seven matches.

"They know we are a little down in our feelings, but if we continue with our first-half performance, that is the way.

"My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.

"In the first half we were happy with the performance as a team and individually. We started the second half the same but lost control of the game in 15 minutes and they scored twice.

"At the end we changed two players because of injuries and we couldn't make more offensive changes to bring on fresh players. We didn't take chances to draw or win the match."

David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi were forced off, while Xhaka appeared to be playing through the pain of a knee injury.

Nevertheless, forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looking on as unused substitutes raised questions of Emery's game management after opposite number Adi Hutter introduced Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr at half-time to change the complexion of the contest.

"We needed to achieve confidence here [at Emirates Stadium] and play well and we improved. We improved some things to take three points, but in 15 minutes we lost all the work of the first half," Emery said.

"I spoke with the players to be consistent and be positive but really, we need to win.

"To recover confidence, we need to win and feel better here with our supporters in the Emirates. Maybe we deserved more, but it is the first match we lost here [this season]."

Xhaka was applauded, after receiving treatment, by a fanbase that barracked him on his previous appearance against Crystal Palace.

In the context, it amounted to a rare positive for the embattled Emery.

"It's very good news with Granit," Emery added. "The supporters helped him and I think it's good news."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Unai Emery should consider standing down as head coach after "an absolute shambles of a performance" in the 2-1 Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Daichi Kamada's fine second-half brace overturned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener and stretched the Gunners' winless streak to seven matches in all competitions.

A sparsely populated Emirates Stadium, where the officially announced figure of 49,419 tickets sold was hardly represented by the attendance, booed Emery and his players at full time.

Keown, who played in the decorated Arsenal sides managed by George Graham and Arsene Wenger, feels the ex-Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss has run out of road – as evidenced by their "relegation form".

"I think he may well have taken the team as far as he can," Keown told BT Sport in his role as a pundit.

"We just witnessed an absolute shambles of a performance in the second half. The team selection, the team motivation, the substitutes, the performance. Everything was missing here. It was a dreadful performance.

"Is he able to motivate this team? He seems to have lost the players. The desire seems to have ebbed away."

Injuries to defenders David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi further compromised Emery, while Granit Xhaka – back in the side for the first time since being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy – completed 90 minutes despite appearing hindered by a knee problem suffered before half-time.

Forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looked on as unused substitutes while their team-mates unravelled.

"I could question players," Keown said. "Xhaka stayed on the pitch, perhaps should have gone off; Mustafi couldn't get off quick enough.

"The substitutions that he made, the players that are sitting on the bench. You've got Pepe there, you've got Lacazette – you're trying to get back into the game.

"It's not enough. The manager might be in a position where he might even feel he has to step to one side.

"Serious questions really need to be asked. It's as bad as I've seen it. I know change was needed, Wenger was at the football club just a little bit too long.

"Now it looks as if the club has gone in a different direction. We're going only one way at the moment. This is relegation form.

"Do the club really realise how trying this is now going to be? Football people at the top of the club, make the decisions that need to be made. Otherwise Arsenal are going to plunge even further down the table."

Keown added: "It's a sad day. We don't say these things lightly because we still love the club. The club will never be taken away from former players.

"You have your view. They do their talking with their management and what they do on the pitch, we do that as pundits.

"I feel it's very sad. There were hardly any fans there tonight. They're voting with their feet. They knew what was coming there.

"Where's the desire, where's the identity of the football club. It was there under Wenger and it's ebbed away far too quickly. We've got to get it back."

Daichi Kamada's second-half brace secured a 2-1 Europa League win for Eintracht Frankfurt and piled further pressure on Arsenal head coach Unai Emery.

The Gunners are now without a win for seven matches across all competitions, with two rasping strikes from Japan forward Kamada adding to the impression Emery was on borrowed time at a sparsely populated Emirates Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a deserved lead at the end of a first half they dominated, with Granit Xhaka slotting back into the midfield for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But the brittle nature of their collapse spoke of a club in turmoil and a positive result at Standard Liege in a fortnight's time may be needed to be absolutely sure of progress to the knockout stages.

Who might be in their dugout at that stage feels less clear.

Arsenal were on top early on. Bukayo Saka raided down the Frankfurt right in the 11th minute but Joe Willock and Aubameyang appeared to get in each other's way and the latter headed wide.

Gabriel Martinelli passed up chances to add to his haul of three Europa League goals this season when he shot too close to Eintracht goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow from a Xhaka corner and saw Gelson Fernandes clear his header from the subsequent set-piece off the line.

Ronnow dashed out to deny Saka when the winger darted in behind David Abraham, also saving from the teenage winger in the 41st minute.

David Luiz departed with a chest injury in between those two chances and Aubameyang blasted in via Ronnow's leg and the crossbar during the resulting period of stoppage time.

Martinelli played in Willock shortly after half-time but the midfielder misjudged his dinked finish and Ronnow was able to save.

It meant Kamada's spin infield and shot into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 55th minute was against the run of play.

The same could not be said when, after Emiliano Martinez saved sharply from Filip Kostic, Kamada was afforded ample room from similar range to dispatch a partially cleared  64th-minute corner.

To compound matters, Shkodran Mustafi hobbled off and Arsenal never recovered their poise. It remains to be seen whether Emery will be given the chance to recover his own poise.

What does it mean? Emery crisis at breaking point

If Emery could not get Arsenal back on track here, the obvious question was 'when on earth might he do so?'. A Frankfurt side they beat 3-0 in September were on a run of three straight defeats before this rematch and they lie 10th in the Bundesliga. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot, as it happened, as the hosts missed chances to put the game to bed and suffered injuries before collapsing. Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter changed the match with the half-time introduction of Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr. In the circumstances, Emery's failure to adequately respond feels grimly significant for his own job prospects.

Kamada's double delight

If the space Arsenal afforded Kamada for his first goal was foolish, the room he enjoyed for his second bordered on gross negligence. Nevertheless, both finishes from the 23-year-old forward were of the highest order and the Gunners never recovered from his initial sucker punch.

Willock wastefulness proves costly

Arsenal's promising youngster have generally proved immune to their club's wider disfunction on these midweek occasions, but the richly-gifted Willock found himself sucked in here. He either needed to finish or get out of Aubameyang's way early on and did neither, while his team-mates surely would not have unravelled to such an extent had he made it 2-0 after half-time.

What's next

Arsenal and their embattled boss will try and claim a first win since the start of October when they travel to Norwich City on Sunday, while Frankfurt can recuperate until Monday when Mainz welcome them in the Bundesliga.

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