Jurgen Klinsmann has resigned as Hertha Berlin head coach after just 11 weeks at the helm.

The former Germany boss, who assumed the role in November following Ante Covic's departure, confirmed he was stepping down on Tuesday.

Writing on Facebook, the 55-year-old said he would revert to his position as a member of the supervisory board at the Bundesliga club.

Hertha Berlin forward Krzysztof Piatek revealed he took every chance he got to learn from Poland team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

Piatek joined Hertha from Milan for a reported €27million in January, having struggled to get to his best at San Siro.

The 24-year-old made his debut for the Bundesliga club off the bench in a 0-0 draw against Schalke on Friday.

With one of the world's best strikers in Lewandowski alongside him at international level, Piatek said he watched the Bayern Munich star closely when he had the chance.

"He is the best striker in Germany and one of the best in the world," Piatek told the Bundesliga website.

"When I train with Robert in the national team I always watch him. I watch everything he does and see what he does best.

"I speak with him all the time because I want to learn, and I hope I will learn all the time."

Piatek only managed four goals in 18 Serie A games for Milan this season before making the move to Hertha, who face Schalke in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday.

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.

Krzysztof Piatek has joined Hertha Berlin on a long-term contract from AC Milan just a year after moving to the Rossoneri, the Bundesliga club have confirmed. 

The Poland striker made the switch to Milan in January 2019 after spending seven months with Genoa, for who he scored 19 goals in 21 appearances.

Piatek continued his fine form at Milan initially, scoring a further nine Serie A goals and drawing comparisons with compatriot Robert Lewandowski.

However, he has been unable to reach the same heights this season, having found the net just five times in all competitions and slipped further down the pecking order when Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived on a free transfer, while Ante Rebic has also found form.

Piatek, who was subbed off during Milan's 4-2 win over Torino in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday, has now joined Bundesliga club Hertha on an unspecified long-term contract, for a fee reported to be in the region of €27million plus bonuses.

"I am very happy that this transfer worked out," Piatek told Hertha's official website. 

"I feel great desire to help the club together with my new team-mates and to climb up a few places in the table as quickly as possible."

Premier League clubs Tottenham and Manchester United had also been linked with a move for Piatek to cover for respective injuries to Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford.

Hertha Berlin have completed a move for Lucas Tousart, with the midfielder immediately heading back to Lyon on loan.

The 22-year-old has joined the Bundesliga club for a reported €24million for what a Hertha statement described as "the long term".

"I can identify very well with the ambitions of Hertha BSC," said Tousart, who will continue with Lyon for the remainder of the season.

"Something very exciting is happening in Berlin and I want to be part of it.

"At the same time, I am happy and grateful that I can finish my job in Lyon."

Tousart has been a regular fixture in the Lyon first-team squad for the past four seasons, making over 100 appearances in all competitions.

Jurgen Klinsmann's Hertha have already signed Argentina international midfielder Santiago Ascacibar from 2. Bundesliga club Stuttgart and are reportedly in the running to bring in Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.

Hertha sit 13th in the Bundesliga and host Schalke on Friday.

Tousart's next assignment with Lyon could be Thursday's Coupe de France trip to Nice.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick praised his players for turning on the style in the second half to see off Hertha Berlin 4-0 at the Olympiastadion.

The reigning Bundesliga champions scored four goals in the final half-hour of Sunday's match to climb into second place, four points behind RB Leipzig.

Thomas Muller opened the scoring and Robert Lewandowski added a second from the penalty spot to pave the way for an ultimately emphatic win.

Thiago Alcantara and Ivan Perisic were also on target as Bayern made it four league wins in a row and back-to-back away victories in the competition for the first time since March.

Flick was pleased to begin the second half of the campaign with all three points against a Hertha side that had not conceded in their past three outings.

"A four-nil win – not every team in Berlin can do that!" he said at his post-match news conference. 

"I think we deservedly won. In the first game after the [mid-season] break, with such a short preparation, it is not always so easy to know where you are. 

"So, it was great for us that we started the second half of the season with such a result."

Muller scored the all-important breakthrough goal and, in the process, became the first player to net every calendar year in the German top flight since 2009.

The Germany international, who also set up Perisic to make it 12 league assists for the campaign to go with his three goals, told Sky Sport Germany: "We made them tired.

"The gaps got bigger in the second half. In my opinion, we played too patiently in the first half. We didn't play bad, but we weren't really that dangerous.

"We let Hertha play in the first half, but in the second half we kept going."

Hertha boss Jurgen Klinsmann, who spent a season in charge of Bayern in 2008-09, claimed the game turned on the 72nd-minute penalty awarded to Bayern.

Lukas Klunter was adjudged to have pulled back on Leon Goretzka inside the box with the scoreline at 1-0 and Lewandowski made no mistake from the spot.

Hertha's first loss in five outings leaves them two points above the bottom two zone and Klinsmann told reporters: "Four goals is a bit much. I think we played well for an hour.

"We had two or three chances in the first half. Then the first goal comes, but I think the sticking point was certainly the penalty – it broke us a little.

"We have to get points against the teams that are around us in the lower half of the table."

Bayern Munich produced a much-improved second-half showing to overcome Hertha Berlin 4-0 at the Olympiastadion and climb into second place in the Bundesliga.

Hertha entered Sunday's game unbeaten in four matches, keeping a clean sheet in three of those, and they held firm until the hour mark on Sunday when Thomas Muller opened the scoring.

Robert Lewandowski added another goal to his tally from the penalty spot and Thiago Alcantara scored a thunderous third as the reigning champions turned on the style in the capital.

A fourth top-flight win in a row was rounded off by Ivan Perisic's late header as Hansi Flick's men recorded back-to-back away league wins for the first time since March and leapfrogged Borussia Monchengladbach into second spot, four points behind RB Leipzig.

Lewandowski squandered a big chance to put Bayern ahead after 25 minutes, the Poland international poking wide when put under pressure by Rune Jarstein.

The Hertha goalkeeper was equal to Lewandowski's next attempt and also easily dealt with weak efforts from Philippe Coutinho and Perisic in a goalless first half.

Perisic twice went close early in the second half and played a big part in Bayern's eventual breakthrough, climbing highest to head Leon Goretzka's cross into the path of Muller, who rifled home on the half-volley.

Bayern were denied an instant second by VAR, with Lewandowski adjudged to have headed the ball out of Jarstein's hands before tapping it over the line.

However, Lewandowski did manage to double his side's tally with 17 minutes remaining, converting from the penalty spot after Lukas Klunter pulled Goretzka back in the box.

Thiago picked out the top corner to put Bayern out of sight after finding a pocket of space and Perisic rounded off an ultimately emphatic win with a back-post header.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has softened his stance on wanting new players in January as Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry have returned to fitness.

Bundesliga top goalscorer Lewandowski had groin surgery following the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in December and could not take part in the mid-season training trip to Doha.

Gnabry hurt his Achilles during the camp and only returned to full training this week ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Flick had stated publicly he wanted new signings to bolster Bayern's trophy push, comments that left sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic "surprised".

However, with Lewandowski and Gnabry ready to face Hertha Berlin on Sunday, Flick no longer appears desperate to bring in new faces in the transfer window.

"The injury situation has improved. Robert Lewandowski is back, so too Serge Gnabry, with a new haircut!" he told reporters on Friday.

"Robert is close to 100 per cent. He is an absolutely top professional and, when we were in Doha, he worked very well individually. Even when he was shooting, he didn't feel any pain.

"Lucas Hernandez will train on the pitch today. Javi [Martinez] and Kingsley [Coman] are a few weeks away. The goal is to have everyone together again in February and March, because then the tough weeks begin.

"It's true that I said [we need signings], but something has changed in the meantime. With the return of Serge and Robert, we've got two additions.

"I had a good conversation with Hasan and we both want to work successfully. When it comes to arrivals, it's important that players come to help us. I trust Hasan and his scouting department to make it possible for us.

"But that also has to be done carefully. You can't do anything crazy."

Bayern head to the capital in third place in the table, and they could be seven points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig by the time they kick off if Julian Nagelsmann's side beat Union Berlin on Saturday.

"We have to make a strong start. It's very important we start the second half of the season well," said Flick.

"We're all looking forward to it. We face a difficult task against a team that are very compact defensively. We must be prepared for that.

"We have the quality to become champions. Bayern showed last year under Niko [Kovac] that they can catch up. But we have to think from game to game.

"I don't feel any more pressure now than I did before the break. I really enjoy working with my team and coaching staff, but of course you're always under pressure, regardless of the situation."

Serge Gnabry completed full training on Thursday ahead of Bayern Munich's Bundesliga clash with Hertha Berlin.

The champions head to the capital on Sunday for their first game in the second half of Germany's domestic season.

Gnabry was forced to miss part of the mid-season training camp in Doha due to problems with his Achilles tendon, which he sustained at the start of the month.

However, Bayern confirmed on their website that the 24-year-old winger completed the full 90 minutes of training on Thursday, including a match.

The news comes a day after top scorer Robert Lewandowksi returned to team training, the striker having undergone surgery following the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on December 21.

Gnabry has scored six times in the Bundesliga this season and set up a further six goals. Only Thomas Muller (11) has provided more league assists for Bayern this term.

Hansi Flick's side face Hertha knowing they could be seven points off the top of the table if leaders RB Leipzig beat Union Berlin on Saturday.

Hertha Berlin have signed Argentina international midfielder Santiago Ascacibar from 2. Bundesliga club Stuttgart on "a long-term deal".

The 22-year-old, who earned the most recent of his three Argentina caps in November 2018, becomes Hertha's first signing since Jurgen Klinsmann replaced Ante Covic.

Ascacibar previously played two seasons of Bundesliga football for Stuttgart prior to their relegation last year and featured 13 times in the second tier this term.

He will join the rest of the squad for their mid-season training camp in Orlando and is in contention to make his debut when Bayern Munich visit the Olympiastadion on January 19.

"I'm happy that the transfer has been completed in the winter break," Ascacibar told his new side's official website.

"After holding talks with [sporting director] Michael Preetz and Jurgen Klinsmann, I believe I can continue to develop as a player here and that we can achieve a lot together. 

"I'm really looking forward to that and can hardly wait to get to know my new team-mates. We'll do everything we can to keep climbing up the table in the second half of the season."

Hertha, 12th in the Bundesliga after collecting eight points from Klinsmann's opening five matches, are also in the running to sign Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.

Manchester United may be eyeing Everton forward Richarlison, but Carlo Ancelotti has other ideas.

Brazil international Richarlison, 22, is reportedly among numerous attackers being targeted by United.

However, the arrival of Ancelotti at Goodison Park could mean Richarlison is going nowhere.

 

TOP STORY – ANCELOTTI TO BLOCK MAN UTD'S RICHARLISON BID

Ancelotti will block any Manchester United bid for Richarlison, according to The Sun.

The report says Everton would even reject a £70million bid for the forward, who signed a five-year deal earlier this month.

Richarlison has scored six Premier League goals this season, having netted 13 in 2018-19.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Everton and Ancelotti would seriously consider a move for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, according to Le 10 Sport. Ancelotti and Insigne worked together in Naples before the former was sacked earlier this month.

- Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Juventus full-back Mattia De Sciglio, according to CalcioMercato. Emre Can has been linked with a move to PSG and Leandro Paredes to Juve, with De Sciglio potentially being included in those talks.

- Inter are moving quickly for Arturo Vidal. Sport reports the Serie A club have offered €12m for the midfielder, although Barcelona want €20m, amid reports Vidal has agreed to terms with Inter ahead of a possible move in January.

- Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is a wanted man. The Spain international is a key target for Real Madrid for the 2020-21 season, according to AS, which says Fabian wants a move to the Santiago Bernabeu despite interest from the likes of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

- Mikel Arteta is not ready to let Granit Xhaka leave. Amid reports the midfielder has told Arsenal he wants to join Hertha Berlin in January, The Sun suggests Arteta is in no rush to sell Xhaka as he assesses his squad.

- After links to numerous coaches, it seems Inter Miami have found their man. ESPN reports the MLS club – which will make their debut next year – have reached an agreement with former Monterrey and Pachuca coach Diego Alonso.

Granit Xhaka has reached an agreement with Hertha Berlin and informed Arsenal he wants to join the Bundesliga club, according to the player's agent.

Xhaka's future at Emirates Stadium has been in doubt since the midfielder reacted angrily to being replaced during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach star cupped his ears to the home fans, who mockingly cheered his substitution during the Premier League fixture, then removed his shirt before walking straight down the tunnel.

After being stripped of the captaincy by former boss Unai Emery, a January exit appeared likely. Yet new head coach Mikel Arteta has made clear of his admiration for the Switzerland international, revealing how he had suggested that Manchester City should sign him in 2016.

Xhaka, who joined the Gunners from Monchengladbach, started in the 1-1 draw away at Bournemouth on Boxing Day – Arteta's first game since taking charge.

However, Jose Noguera claims the 27-year-old has a deal in a place with Jurgen Klinsmann's Hertha in the hope of completing a transfer in the January window.

"Look, I will say it frankly and honestly - we are in agreement with Hertha and would like to go to Berlin," Noguera told Blick.

"That's what we said to Arsenal's club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta."

 

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta revealed he wanted to bring Granit Xhaka to Manchester City in 2016 as the new boss talked up the former Gunners captain's future at Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka has been linked with a move away from Arsenal following a turbulent season in London, which saw the midfielder stripped of the armband under Unai Emery after reacting angrily to his substitution during a Premier League clash against Crystal Palace in October.

After a falling out with some of Arsenal's fans, former Borussia Monchengladbach star Xhaka has found himself back in the fold amid links to Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin.

Arteta, though, has no intention of parting with Xhaka, who was a potential transfer target for Pep Guardiola and City prior to the Switzerland international's move to Arsenal three years ago.

"When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list," said Arteta, who left City for Arsenal last week. "This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.

"He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded.

"But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him. Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him."

"I told him how much I like him and what I expect from him," Arteta added. "How important he is for the team. I am here to help him, I want him to feel that we are right behind him. Not just myself but the whole club.

"If we can get the people in the right way as well, the fans with him, I think it will be helpful for the team, which is where it matters."

Arteta will oversee his first match in charge since replacing Emery when Arsenal travel to Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

With Atletico Madrid struggling for regular goals, Diego Simeone is keen to address the problem.

Atletico have only scored 20 goals in 18 LaLiga matches this season – the club relying heavily on Alvaro Morata's seven strikes.

Simeone's solution could be about to arrive from the French capital, where a Paris Saint-Germain star has fallen down the pecking order.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID NEARING CAVANI DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is close to joining Atletico Madrid in January, according to Marca.

Cavani has reportedly agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Atletico, while PSG would prefer to keep the 32-year-old until the end of the season.

The soon-to-be free agent has found himself behind loanee Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar this season.

Signing Cavani in the January transfer window could force Atletico to sell due to their salary-limit issue, with Thomas Lemar a possible casualty.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and Marcos Rojo have been told they will be sold in January, according to the Daily Star. Matic has been linked with Serie A duo Milan and Inter, while Atletico have emerged as an option for the veteran midfielder.

- According to AS, Valencia want to sign right-back Joao Cancelo from Premier League champions Manchester City. The LaLiga outfit are keen for a January reunion with Cancelo, who initially joined Valencia in 2014 before leaving permanently in 2018. Valencia want to re-sign the Portugal international on an initial loan.

Hertha Berlin have entered negotiations with Granit Xhaka to bring the former Arsenal captain back to the Bundesliga, reports RMC Sport. Hertha have turned their attention to ex-Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Xhaka after failing to prise Lucas Tousart from Lyon.

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Isco. The Daily Express says Real Madrid are trying to offload players to free up funds to bring in Tottenham star Christian Eriksen in January. City are also reportedly interested in Madrid's Isco.

Mario Mandzukic's proposed switch to Qatari outfit Al-Duhail from Juventus has broken down due to wage expectations, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona only want to loan out defender Jean-Clair Todibo in January amid interest from Milan and Bayern Leverkusen. United have also been linked with the 19-year-old.

Lucien Favre insisted his circumstances at Borussia Dortmund were "not important" amid pressure on the coach.

Dortmund are winless in three matches in all competitions and sit sixth in the Bundesliga, five points adrift of Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke.

Favre, who has been in charge since May last year, is under increasing pressure, but the 62-year-old played down his circumstances ahead of a trip to Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

"I'm trying to concentrate only on the game in Berlin. My personal situation is not important," he told a news conference.

"This is part of the game and happens very fast when you don't get results. That's how it is and I accept it.

"But I will keep going and am confident in the team and in myself."

Dortmund suffered a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday and are third in Group F, level on points with second-placed Inter.

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