Jamaica international Leon Bailey has come in for some commendation from Bayern Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz after a string of strong performances from the Bundesliga club.

The 23-year-old has settled down well to life at the German club after missing the start of the season, due to enforced quarantine measures in his home country.  Since returning to the line-up, however, Bailey has shown solid form.  Not only has he proven to be elusive for defenders but he has also managed to notch four assists.  Two coming in the team's last two wins.

With a good portion of the previous season impacted by injury and indifferent form, the player will be happy to be rounding back into the form that saw him labelled as one of Europe’s brightest prospects.

"Well, Leon had it very difficult, last year and at the beginning of this season. But I can see that he gets better every game, physically but also in terms of football,” Bosz said.

"When you see how much he runs, but also how much he sprints and the quality of his football game, that always goes up. Last game in Nice the first goal he set-up for Nadiem Amiri was really great. And he played well today too. He improves every game. "

Thomas Muller believes he has shown himself to be worthy of a Germany recall but will for now "take it easy" as he continues to star for Bayern Munich.

Muller - along with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels - was dropped by Joachim Low following Germany's disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign.

The Bayern forward has not featured for his country since, with Low standing by his decision.

The Germany coach said last month Muller "is a great player, no question" but "the future belongs to the young players".

Those comments have done little to quell speculation about a potential return for the 31-year-old ahead of the European Championships at the end of the season, however.

"Hopefully the tournament will take place next year," Muller told ZDF after Bayern's 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid, in which he assisted the fourth goal for Kingsley Coman.

"Everyone can see that I am in good shape. We don't need to say more about it. We'll take it easy and then we'll see what happens."

Muller had a key role in Bayern's treble success in 2019-20 with a record-breaking contribution to their latest Bundesliga title triumph.

His tally of 21 assists surpassed Kevin De Bruyne's Bundesliga benchmark, while he posted career-high, league-leading figures for chances created (84) and big chances created (31).

Muller has been similarly impressive at the start of the new season, too, topping the charts again for assists (four), chances created (16) and big chances created (six) through four top-flight games.

Against Atleti, the first match in Bayern's Champions League defence, Muller played three key passes - second only to two-goal star performer Coman.

Hansi Flick has given no thought to the prospect of coaching Germany as well as Bayern Munich, insisting he is focusing only on the present.

Germany boss Joachim Low has come in for criticism in recent times as Die Mannschaft have continued to struggle for consistent results.

Low's men claimed their first win since last November's Euro 2020 qualifiers when they beat Ukraine 2-1 in the Nations League on Saturday.

However, that result was sandwiched by 3-3 draws in a friendly with Turkey and a Nations League game against Switzerland.

Low has come under increasing scrutiny but Flick, his assistant during Germany's triumphant 2014 World Cup campaign, has been quick to spring to his defence.

When asked about the possibility of coaching both Germany and Bayern at a media conference, Flick replied: "Are you serious? Doing national coach a bit on the side?

"I live in the here and now. I have a lot of fun preparing the team for the tasks ahead. Everything else is the future. I look at myself.

"Jogi Low did an excellent job. We all in the Bundesliga have to help train top players. We have enough work to do and have to support the national coach."

Bayern face Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday as their squad deal with a packed schedule. Flick's men beat Duren 3-0 in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on Thursday.

Flick added that he "assumes everyone is ready", with a host of players returning to training following international duty.

The defending champions are fourth in the Bundesliga with six points from three games, a point behind RB Leipzig, Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hansi Flick believes Joachim Low does not deserve to be criticised despite Germany's shaky form and pointed to the lack of a natural centre-forward in the team.

Bayern Munich coach Flick previously served as Low's assistant for their 2014 World Cup win and then moved into the role of DFB sporting director.

He is therefore well placed to assess the national team, who have drawn four of their five matches in 2020, edging Ukraine in their other fixture.

Low - coach since 2006 - is under pressure as a result, but he has Flick's backing.

"Overall, I think the criticism is too harsh," Flick said ahead of Bayern's DFB-Pokal clash with Duren. "The work Jogi Low is doing is sensational.

"He is a great coach. That's why we should remain objective and try to do things together."

Despite Germany scoring three times against both Turkey and Switzerland but failing to win, Flick believes Low is clearly short in the striking department.

Miroslav Klose, Germany's record goalscorer and the World Cup's all-time leading marksman, is now Flick's assistant.

"This was already a big topic when I was sporting director and it still is a big topic: there is no real central striker in Germany," Flick said.

"Up front we have Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner, but they are far away from being a classic central striker.

"I have an amazing striker in my staff, Miro Klose. If he trains a few weeks, he should be fit to play. But I would prefer to keep him, I need him."

Germany's Toni Kroos made his 100th international appearance in a 3-3 draw with Switzerland on Tuesday, but insisted he cares more for results than the number of games he plays.

Serge Gnabry's superb finish on the hour secured a point in Nations League Group A4 for Germany, who had to come from two goals down in Cologne.

Switzerland raced into a 2-0 lead through Mario Gavranovic and Remo Freuler, though Timo Werner swiftly pulled one back before Kai Havertz equalised.

Gavranovic's second put Switzerland back ahead, only for Gnabry to restore parity once more with his 14th international goal since November 2016.

Though Kroos made a landmark appearance, his error ultimately led to Switzerland's second goal, and though content with reaching a century of caps, the 30-year-old said winning titles means much more to him than personal accolades.

"It was of course a special game for me. To have reached 100, that's a nice mark. But anyone who knows me knows that I care more about results and titles than appearances," Kroos said.

"But of course, 100 games is something nice. In the past I have played with incredibly good footballers and guys. I hope that we can build on these successes with the current team.

"Our problem was the first 10 or 15 minutes. After that we played a good game and improved our footballing skills to the last game. In the end we are not satisfied with the point because we aim to win the game."

Kroos is one of the old guard in Germany's squad, with Joachim Low having stood by his decision not to select Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller, despite the latter's sensational form for Bayern Munich.

Havertz, who took his goal brilliantly and looked sharp alongside his Chelsea team-mate Werner, believes the comeback is a step in the right direction for Germany, who have managed just one win so far in 2020.

"We came back after many setbacks, we showed our morals," Havertz said.

"We are in a process, we have a young team. We will not be dissuaded from our path and will keep trying. We have to defend more intelligently, but we saw good beginnings today."

Head coach Low added: "The game was incredibly intense. Both teams risked a lot, but also made a lot of mistakes. 

"We got into the game badly, then we showed very good morale. That was certainly positive. But we made some mistakes at the back. We consciously risked a lot, made mistakes, we have to fix that."

Germany produced a superb fightback as Serge Gnabry's excellent finish secured a 3-3 draw against Switzerland in Nations League Group A4.

Momentum swung between the sides in a frantic encounter at RheinEnergieSTADION on Wednesday, with Germany coming back from a two-goal deficit.

Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz got those goals, cancelling out efforts from Mario Gavranovic and Remo Freuler. 

Gavranovic's second – a thumping strike from close range – restored Switzerland's lead, though Gnabry's wonderful flick on the hour ultimately claimed a share of the spoils in Cologne, where Fabian Schar was sent off late on.

Manuel Neuer made a fine save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri in the fourth minute, but Germany's goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the net a moment later – Gavranovic looping in a wonderful header after the hosts failed to clear the resulting corner.

Germany succumbed again in the 26th minute. Toni Kroos, on his 100th cap, gifted possession to Switzerland, with Freuler lifting an exquisite finish over the onrushing Neuer.

A response was required and it came inside two minutes, as Werner caught Switzerland's defence cold with a crisp finish across Yann Sommer, and Switzerland's hard work was undone after the interval.

Having already struck the woodwork, Havertz pounced on Schar's slack pass and finished calmly beyond Sommer.

But parity was short-lived, and Switzerland retook the lead just under two minutes later when Gavranovic hammered home on the rebound following Neuer's save from Haris Seferovic.

Germany were not to be beaten, though, and Gnabry's brilliant back-heel from Werner's cut-back made it 3-3.

Kroos went close to capping his landmark with a winner when a free-kick sailed just wide, before Sommer denied substitute Julian Draxler, with Switzerland reduced to 10 in stoppage time when Schar received his second booking.

Football players have a somewhat unfair reputation for not being the brightest but several members of Germany's international squad bravely fought against that assertion on an episode of 'Who wants to be a millionaire?'.

Bayern Munich duo Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka teamed up and entertained on their way to winning €64,000 having got as far as the €125,000 question on the famous quiz show.

Club-mate Niklas Sule was paired with RB Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann and together they earned an impressive €125,000.

Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and former international Oliver Bierhoff, now part of the set-up as a director, did not fare quite as well but still took home a credible €32,000.

It is not the first time Germany stars have sat on the famous chair. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer earned a cheque for charity to the tune of €500,000 in 2011, while five years ago Lukas Podolski won €125,000.

Germany boss Joachim Low says Timo Werner is fully fit for their Nations League clash with Switzerland on Tuesday.

Chelsea striker Werner missed his country's 3-3 friendly draw with Turkey on Wednesday after suffering from flu but was fit enough to come off the bench for the final 10 minutes of Saturday's 2-1 Nations League win over Ukraine.

While Werner looks set to make his 33rd international appearance in Cologne, Low says there are fitness doubts over Julian Draxler, Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg.

"Timo Werner is back to full strength and there are no weaknesses," Low told a media conference on Monday. "He is available.

"But we have small question marks. Draxler has an Achilles problem, Halstenberg is dealing with adductors and Klostermann has knee problems."

Germany have struggled in recent months, with the win over Ukraine marking their first taste of victory in four games.

That has led to criticism of Low and his tactics, most notably from 1990 World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus, who says Germany need to adopt a "different mentality".

Low brushed off the comments, though, and expects his side to deliver a strong performance against the Swiss.

"There are different opinions in football," Low said in response to Matthaus' remarks. "The experts have to express their opinions and that is completely fine and certainly not lacking respect. What is important is that we criticise ourselves internally, and we do that.

"I expect concentration, more precision, courage and the right attacking accents [against Switzerland]. It will be a completely different game than against Ukraine. The Swiss can defend extremely well."

Germany head coach Joachim Low was not completely satisfied with his team's 2-1 victory against Ukraine as they won a Nations League match for the first time.

For the first time in seven attempts, Germany celebrated a Nations League triumph thanks to goals from Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka in Kiev on Saturday.

Germany led 2-0 after 49 minutes before Ruslan Malinovskiy's 76th-minute penalty gave Ukraine hope, but the visitors held on.

After winning for the first time when opening the scoring in 2020, having drawn on the previous three such instances, Low told reporters: "I'm happy that we won the game.

"Before we conceded, we could have been 3-0 or 4-0 up. The penalty was unnecessary. One positive is that we allowed them few chances from open play.

"We did, however, give the ball away too easily on occasion though. They were tired after it went 2-0. We played with some stability tonight.

"When we play with three at the back, we need active players, who tie up the opposition and play passes forward. We played too many long balls in the first half.

"I won't make many changes to the starting XI against Switzerland if nothing changes."

Ginter broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when he turned in a cross from Antonio Rudiger, and Goretzka made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half courtesy of a Georgi Bushchan blunder.

Germany defender Niklas Sule gave away a penalty with 14 minutes remaining, and Malinovskiy converted following Ukraine's minimal threat.

The result snapped Ukraine's streak of seven successive home competitive wins.

Ginter added: "We are pleased to have won. That's important for the journey we are on. We weren’t at our best tonight and it was a bit close towards the end. I try to remain ambitious every day and to give my all. I'm pleased that this hard work paid off tonight.

"We lost the ball too often in the first half and made too many sloppy mistakes. We knew that Ukraine would be strong on the break and wanted to avoid this happening. You rarely see so many simple errors in the national team."

Germany had a clanger from Georgi Bushchan to thank for their 2-1 win against Ukraine as Joachim Low's side finally won a Nations League match.

At their seventh attempt, Germany picked up a victory in the competition, but there were nervy moments during the closing stages in Kiev.

Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka gave the visitors a healthy 2-0 lead, with the latter nodding in from a couple of yards after Ukraine goalkeeper Bushchan practically dropped a cross onto his head.

The visitors were under pressure late on after Ruslan Malinovskiy's 76th-minute penalty gave Ukraine hope, but they held on.

Germany went ahead in the 20th minute as Ginter netted his second senior international goal, turning in a cross from Antonio Rudiger who danced around the right side of the Ukraine defence before delivering the ball low across the six-yard box.

Joshua Kimmich almost beat Bushchan from 25 yards, forcing the goalkeeper who conceded seven against France in midweek to tip over.

Germany looked sure to get another before half-time when Serge Gnabry's diving header from Ginter's clipped cross from the right arrived towards the near right corner, but Bushchan flung himself across to turn the ball wide.

Bushchan's calamitous blunder came in the 49th minute, when he made an awful mess of Lukas Klostermann's cross from the right flank, and Goretzka could not miss.

Julian Draxler should have scored a third goal for Germany 90 seconds later after Gnabry cut the ball into his path. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder had time to set himself in the penalty area, but this time Bushchan made the save.

Ukraine's threat was minimal, but they had a lifeline when Roman Yaremchuk went down under Niklas Sule's challenge, earning a penalty.

Malinovskiy fired into the bottom-left corner, but Ukraine, backed by fervent, horn-blowing home support after the stadium was open to 30 per capacity, could not find a leveller.

Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri has tested negative for coronavirus and has been granted permission to travel to Spain ahead of Saturday's Nations League clash.

Shaqiri became the third Liverpool player in the space of a week to test positive for the virus on Tuesday and was ruled out of Switzerland's 2-1 friendly loss to Croatia on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old was also expected to sit out the games against Spain and Germany in the Nations League over the next five days but his latest test has come back negative, though he is still awaiting the green light from UEFA to play in both games.

However, team-mate Manuel Akanji - who like Shaqiri has spent time self-isolating - has once again tested positive, which could have a knock-on effect for club side Borussia Dortmund.

"The Swiss Football Association received this morning the written results of the national team A Covid-19 tests carried out yesterday on all players and staff," a statement read. 

"Only Manuel Akanji tested positive. All other tests are negative, including that of Xherdan Shaqiri. 

"There is currently only one positive case for the coronavirus in the national team. Akanji is in isolation and still has no symptoms. Other medical examinations are underway. 

"All other national team players and staff will fly to Spain this afternoon, where the UEFA Nations League game against the Group A leaders takes place on Saturday.

"Following Xherdan Shaqiri's negative Covid-19 test, the UEFA health committee must now decide on his eligibility to play on Saturday. 

"At this stage, it is impossible to know when the decision will be taken. Shaqiri flies to Spain as planned."

Shaqiri has played just once for Liverpool this season and has yet to feature in a Premier League matchday squad.

Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara are the other two Liverpool players to have contracted COVID-19 over the past fortnight.

Germany head coach Joachim Low said he was "p***** off" at his team for surrendering a lead three times in their 3-3 draw with Turkey and dismissed fatigue as an excuse.

Kenan Karaman scored in stoppage time in Wednesday's friendly to cancel out Gian-Luca Waldschmidt's 81st-minute strike and leave the hosts winless in three games in 2020.

Julian Draxler and debutant Florian Neuhaus had also put Germany in front earlier in the match, only for Ozan Tufan and Efecan Karaca to hit back both times.

Germany also squandered one-goal leads in their 1-1 draw with Spain and Switzerland last month, and Low admitted it is an issue that his side must rectify.

"The problem has been around for a long time," he said at his post-match news conference. "This team, which has never played together like this, cannot be blamed. 

"That has happened to the other players as well. I am disappointed and p***** off, that is the right word."

Germany made eight changes to their starting line-up from their most recent match and had limited time on the training pitch given the tight fixture schedule.

However, Low was not looking for excuses after a third draw on the spin in Cologne, where just over 300 fans were in attendance.

"Fatigue cannot be a reason, it is not an excuse or an explanation," he said. 

"It's about losing control of the game, exploiting opportunities, simply losing the ball in zones where you don't always have to play across the pitch. 

"When it comes to organising after losing the ball, we also have open positions that the opponent can use. 

"When making the assignment, we have to say: In the box there is man against man, there is no space coverage. Concentration and mentality also play a role.

"[Karaman] was completely alone in the penalty area. Under no circumstances should that happen. We did this now and in a few other games. We have to talk about it.

"What can we do better when we have the lead? We then want to develop a mentality from this."

Draxler, given the captain's armband in the absence of Manuel Neuer, agreed with Low's assessment that Germany only had themselves to blame.

"We invited the Turks to score goals and again we didn't manage to get the result over the line," he told RTL. 

"You just have to play it more confidently. It's disappointing. In the end, it's about winning the games - and we did not do that."

One positive for Low on an otherwise disappointing day was Neuhaus' debut goal, the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder tucking in after combining with Kai Havertz.

"He had a good debut. He had a lot of good actions, especially when it came to goal, where he slipped very nicely into the corner," Low said.

Germany face Ukraine and Switzerland in their next two Nations League outings on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

Kenan Karaman's stoppage-time strike ensured Germany's wait for a first win of 2020 continued as Turkey drew 3-3 with Joachim Low's side in Cologne.

Gian-Luca Waldschmidt's first international goal nine minutes from time looked to have clinched victory for Germany in Wednesday's friendly.

Waldschmidt's strike came after Efecan Karaca had dragged Turkey level for a second time, despite a fairly blatant foul on Florian Neuhaus – who scored on his Germany debut – in the build-up.

Julian Draxler put Germany ahead before Ozan Tufan's stunning finish restored parity in a topsy-turvy encounter, but it ultimately fell to Karaman, who also hit the bar, to have the final say.

German prosecutors and tax authorities have searched the German Football Association's (DFB) offices on suspicion of tax evasion.

The homes of six current and former DFB officials have also been searched as part of an investigation into alleged intentional declared income falsification.

It relates to advertising revenue from the German national team's games in 2014 and 2015 being declared as from asset management, prosecutors say.

The DFB does not pay taxes for any income from asset management but is obliged to do so for earnings from any commercial activities.

Prosecutors say this false declaration has led to €4.7million in unpaid taxes.

Around 200 officials took part in searches across several locations in Hesse, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate.

"Based on the investigation until now there is the suspicion that those accused knew of the tax incorrectness but consciously chose to give the DFB a major tax advantage," chief public prosecutor Nadja Niesen said in a statement released to German news agency DPA.

The six people and their positions in the organisation were not made public.

 

Mario Gotze has joined Dutch giants PSV following his release by Borussia Dortmund.

The former Bayern Munich player, capped 63 times by Germany, has signed a two-year contract with the Eindhoven club.

Gotze, who was Germany's 2014 World Cup final match-winner, is now 28 and has struggled for consistent form and fitness in recent years.

That has been partly due to a debilitating metabolic condition; however, Gotze made 21 appearances for Dortmund in the 2019-20 season and said he had "a lot of offers" before agreeing to move to the Netherlands.

Attacking midfielder Gotze said of his switch: "I kept on training and got myself fit for the new adventure. I am looking forward to joining my new team-mates for full training and preparing myself for the upcoming fixtures."

PSV are confident they have signed a player capable of making a big contribution.

PSV director of football John de Jong described his arrival as a "godsend", adding on the club's official website: "We are delighted he has signed a contract with PSV. We are very proud."

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