RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann compared Brian Brobbey to Inter star Romelu Lukaku after the Bundesliga side agreed to sign the Ajax sensation.

Brobbey will join Nagelsmann's Leipzig on a free transfer at the end of the season after agreeing a four-year deal until 2025.

Eredivisie giants Ajax were determined to keep Brobbey, but the 19-year-old Dutch forward opted to leave for Leipzig.

Brobbey, who made his senior debut for Ajax in October, has scored twice in seven substitute appearances in Eredivisie this season, while he has netted as many goals during the 2020-21 Europa League campaign.

Nagelsmann compared Brobbey to in-form Inter forward Lukaku after being asked about the similarities between the two players.

"It is always very tough for a player, when you compare him to others as people start to grow expectations that are not good for a player at that age," Nagelsmann told reporters ahead of Sunday's showdown with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"In regards to his physique and the way he plays, he is similar to Romelu Lukaku. And we would be happy if he can manage to become a player with the same qualities. But to paint a picture for the fans, you can definitely say that he is similar to Lukaku. But it is a great wish of ours that he can develop himself in a similar way and that he will be able to become as important for the European football [as Lukaku].

"If that will be the case, then our scouting department has made a great decision. We will cross our fingers for that to happen. But please don't start saying that he will play just like Lukaku, because this won't be the case."

After Friday's announcement, Brobbey said: "RB Leipzig is a great club and is playing an amazing season. Julian Nagelsmann is a young and very good coach, who I can learn a lot from.

"The team is stable and gives off a strong feeling of unity. I'm looking forward to joining the team and of course want to play my part in helping the club be so successful."

Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga, two points adrift of leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich through 24 rounds.

But Nagelsmann is unwilling to discuss the title race, adding: "I have already mentioned that I do not want to talk about that so much. Last year, we were a bit closer to Bayern or maybe a bit further ahead and we still didn't manage to win the tile and eventually fell behind with a few points difference.

"For us it is about following through with the consistency that we currently have. There are still many games to be played, many points to get but also many points to lose in either direction. We don't gain a lot from just talking about it. We need to try to be the best possible opponent for all the teams we face.

"It is our aim to win every match. I also said on Wednesday after [Champions League fixture against] Liverpool that I find it disrespectful against many others to say that the championship will be decided on the third of April. There are still a few games to go. This would also imply that we will win every game that we come up against. But to do so we will have to go to our limits. It's not like we will win every game with ease and then say: 'It was nice of you to come for a visit. Goodbye and it was obvious that you'll lose'. There's a lot of work to be done with many narrow games. We have seen it against Freiburg where we took a lot of time to find our rhythm needed to win the game.

"Against [Borussia] Gladbach, it took us until the 93rd minute to win. We had a bit of luck against Berlin as well, but have solved it with dominance towards the end and scored the very important second goal. It is not a walk in the park for us. Therefore, it doesn't help us to talk about the aim at the end. We have to be successful from game to game and take them as they come. Now it is Frankfurt and then we will see what will happen at the end.

"Of course, we are happy when coaches or experts are honouring our success but we can't gain anything from that. It is important that we deserve to be where we are after the 34th matchday. Whatever it will be, we will take that into our holiday. In the middle of the season, it is a nice feeling but it doesn’t help us a lot at the moment."

Leipzig's 53 points from 24 games represents their best-ever return at this stage of a Bundesliga season. The club's previous best was 49 points, achieved in both 2016-17 and 2019-20.

Meanwhile, Leipzig have won six consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time since 2019. Their club record stands at eight wins in a row from September to December 2016.

Julian Nagelsmann has no interest in discussing links to Barcelona and Bayern Munich, insisting speculation over his future is just a topic for the media as he remains committed to RB Leipzig.

Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement for Hansi Flick at Bundesliga rivals Bayern at the end of the season, while a report in Spain suggested new Barca president Joan Laporta wants him to take over from Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.

However, the 33-year-old has made clear his indifference to such stories as he remains under contract with his current employers until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Leipzig were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool in midweek but remain in contention for the title in Germany, sitting just two points behind reigning champions Bayern after 24 games.

"I have a contract until 2023. It would be a bit much to say that it annoys me - I know how professional football works," Nagelsmann told the media ahead of Sunday's game with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"Apparently, I would've joined Tottenham, Real Madrid or Barcelona by now.

"There are great coaches at all of these clubs and they have a contract, just as I do. It is not annoying me, nor is it flattering me. It doesn't have any relevance for me. I'm only concentrating on [the game against] Eintracht Frankfurt, where we have to do a lot already.

"No matter what coaches you are talking about, whether it is Bayern or Barcelona, it would be disrespectful to talk about these clubs. It would be disrespectful, as all of those coaches are very successful and have a contract as well.

"From my perspective, it is a topic in the media. I understand that it is interesting, primarily for the fans, so I'm not upset. Neither am I saying that the question is disrespectful. All I'm saying is, that it would be disrespectful for me to talk about these topics."

Rather than be concerned over talk about his next move, Nagelsmann is focusing on making sure Leipzig collect maximum points from their two Bundesliga games before this month's international break.

After hosting fourth-placed Frankfurt, they travel to relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld next Friday.

"I have enough to do by analysing the game against Liverpool and by preparing the game on Sunday and next Friday. We want to get the six points before the international break," Nagelsmann said.

"Afterwards, we have to start preparing the upcoming games perfectly, to stay at the top for as long as possible."

Ronald Koeman only took charge of Barcelona at the start of the season, but his tenure could be brief.

With Joan Laporta back at Camp Nou as president, he is determined to make his mark.

And highly rated RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly fancied in Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – LAPORTA FANCIES NAGELSMANN

New Barcelona president Joan Laporta is eyeing RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann as the club's next head coach, according to El Larguero.

Laporta was elected Barca president on Sunday and attention has immediately turned to the dugout at Camp Nou.

Ronald Koeman is currently at the helm but while Laporta respects the Dutchman, he prefers Nagelsmann.

 

ROUND-UP

Paris Saint-Germain could make a move for Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo if Kylian Mbappe leaves, claims Le Parisien. Reports in Italy and Spain say Juve will sell Ronaldo at the end of the season following their Champions League last-16 exit. With Mbappe's future unclear in Paris amid links to Real Madrid, PSG are eyeing a possible deal for Ronaldo. Barca's Lionel Messi has also been heavily linked.

- The Daily Mail reports Chelsea are keen on Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman if Christian Pulisic leaves Stamford Bridge. Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern have emerged as possible suitors for Pulisic, who is out of favour under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Coman was linked with United during the previous transfer window.

Barca are dreaming of signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, claims Mundo Deportivo. Madrid, PSG, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester City are all reportedly keen on Haaland. City forward Sergio Aguero, Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Bayern star David Alaba and City defender Eric Garcia are also among Barca's list of targets.

- Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is a target for Inter, according to Calciomercato. The Netherlands international has been linked with Barca previously.

- Ajax's Brian Brobbey will join Leipzig on a free transfer at the end of the season, reports Fabrizio Romano.

Thiago Alcantara admits Liverpool could not imagine in their "worst nightmares" how bad this season would pan out, but the midfielder is hopeful his side are in the process of turning things around after advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Liverpool have sent a number of unwanted records tumbling this season, including a run of six successive top-flight defeats at Anfield for the first time in their history.

The reigning Premier League champions have long been out of title contention and find themselves eighth with 10 games to play, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

However, Jurgen Klopp's side put their domestic woes to one side on Wednesday by seeing off  RB Leipzig 2-0 in Budapest to complete a 4-0 aggregate victory in their last-16 tie.

And Thiago, who joined from Bayern Munich in September for a reported £20million upfront fee, believes the victory can be a catalyst for the Reds to kickstart their Premier League campaign.

"It's a boost to our morale," he told LFCTV. "We deserve to celebrate and be happy with something and from now on have this feeling we have right now. With that we can win all the games we have left.

"It's been a tough period for all of us because we didn't in our worst nightmares expect we are now in this position in the Premier League.

"But we are trying to perform the best that we can and get better in every training session, and I think this performance is a positive for all of us."

Thiago returned to the line-up against Leipzig and impressed during his 72 minutes on the field, with no Liverpool player managing more tackles (six) and only Trent Alexander-Arnold (41) playing more passes in the opposition half than the Spaniard's 30.

The 29-year-old has struggled for consistency during his first six months on Merseyside, not helped by injury and illness lay-offs, and he accepts that performances have not been good enough so far.

"I don't read a word about what people talk about me," he told TNT Sports Brasil. "I know that I receive some criticism about my performances, but I'm not happy with my performance since I came here.

"It's a new club, a strange situation [after contracting coronavirus], a bad injury, so get to into the rhythm it was hard, but it's not an excuse."

Thiago started on the right of a midfield three alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum against Leipzig in what was one of his finest performances in a Liverpool shirt.

The Spain international has been singled out for criticism this term, with club icon John Barnes suggesting he slows the game down too much, but Klopp has hit back at those comments.

"I assume when you all look at Liverpool from Germany, people say [our problems are] to do with Thiago or whatever – that's rubbish," he said.

"Thiago was good, they were all good. For the players who were new, they always needed time to get used to our game plan, but Thiago doesn't have that.

"Still, he improves week on week. It's not a short-term project, it's a long-term project and it was good."

Liverpool's win over Leipzig means they are now unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with German opponents in all European competitions since a 4-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen in April 2002.

It is the first time they have won both legs of a Champions League knockout tie while also keeping a clean sheet in each leg since their last-16 triumph against Real Madrid in 2008-09.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down his side's Champions League title hopes, insisting he is not "silly" about their form troubles.

The Reds may be wavering domestically but they secured their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals with Wednesday's 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in Budapest completing a 4-0 aggregate victory.

Liverpool had lost six of their past eight games in all competitions prior to Wednesday's Leipzig win.

They have also lost six of their past seven Premier League games, ending their title hopes and stalling their top-four ambitions, prompting talk they would target the Champions League instead.

"The only reason you play in this competition is because you want to win it," Klopp told reporters post-game.

"I am not silly, we know so far this is not a season which it will look like we will win the Champions League in the end, but that doesn't mean we don't want to go as far as possible and then we will see what is possible for us.

"Now we have to wait for the draw; it will be extremely tough games whoever we get… then we will know, we will prepare for that and then we will see how far we go."

The German was further questioned about Liverpool's continental ambitions, admitting the 2018-19 European champions will be a threat but declining to elaborate more.

"We could be that [dangerous]," he said. "I don't want to sit here now and want to create headlines about our Champions League performance.

"In the Champions League, we had kind of momentum during the season and in the Premier League not yet.

"But we have still enough games to try and get that back and win football games in the Premier League as well – and that would be helpful for the Champions League as well definitely."

Klopp added that Wednesday's win would only be positive for his side as they strive to regain momentum after their poor recent run.

"The performance was very important, the level we played tonight was really good and was necessary as well because Leipzig is a tough opponent," he said.

"It will help, that's how it is. It will help but we know that Monday at Wolves [in the Premier League] is a different kind of game. But if we play as good as we played tonight then it will be tough for Wolves, that's clear."

Mohamed Salah knows Liverpool are "not in the best shape" but says they must show fight for the remainder of the season after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

Salah scored his 25th goal of the season and Sadio Mane added a second four minutes later in the second half as the Reds beat RB Leipzig 2-0 to seal a 4-0 aggregate victory.

The Premier League champions travelled to Budapest for the second leg on Wednesday smarting from a club-record sixth consecutive home defeat in the league at the hands of Fulham.

Jurgen Klopp's men face a battle to secure a top-four finish after dropping to eighth spot and may yet have to win the Champions League in order to play in the competition next season.

Liverpool posed much more of an attacking threat at the Puskas Arena, where Salah and Mane also scored in the first leg, hitting the target with seven of their 12 shots and certainly not resembling a side devoid of confidence.

Leading scorer Salah says the six-time champions of Europe must not put too much pressure on themselves as they attempt to turn the tide.

He told BT Sport: "It is a big result for us. We came here after losing a few games in the Premier League. The team is not in the best shape but we want to fight in the Champions League and also fight in the Premier League and see what can happen.

"I would love to score more. I am happy I scored today and the team won, that is the most important thing.

"We have had a few injuries this season, we have been unlucky but the most important thing is we have to keep fighting. We just have to take each game at a time and not look to the big picture because if you look to the big picture there can be too much pressure.

"It has been tough in the Premier League, we don't want it to be tough. It is part of the game. The last couple of years we were winning and flying, this year we have had injuries, it is hard. Hopefully, now we have two or three or four centre-backs we can keep winning."

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane struck in the space of four second-half minutes as Liverpool beat RB Leipzig 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side travelled to the Puskas Arena smarting from suffering a sixth consecutive home defeat in the Premier League at the hands of Fulham, but there was a sense of deja vu as they moved into the last right.

At the same venue where Salah and Mane gave the Reds a 2-0 first-leg advantage in what was Leipzig's home leg, the Reds forwards were on target once again to seal a 4-0 aggregate win.

Liverpool wasted a host of chances, but Alexander Sorloth hitting the crossbar was the closest Leipzig came as last season's semi-finalists bowed out.

Mane volleyed over amid a bright start for the Premier League champions, who had Fabinho back in midfield, before Dani Olmo was denied by the alert Alisson at the other end.

Liverpool did not resemble a side devoid of confidence and Peter Gulacsi showed sharp reactions to palm Diogo Jota's powerful header from a corner beyond the crossbar.

Salah wasted a great opportunity to open the scoring when Thiago's sublime pass sent him clear, but the forward shot straight at Gulacsi before he and Mane were unable to finish following up.

Emil Forsberg dragged a shot tamely wide and Jota spurned a golden chance when he broke through the middle but failed to beat Gulacsi, with the Portugal international then only finding the side-netting when he should have scored following an Dayot Upamecano error on the stroke of half-time.

Jota allowed Gulacsi to save all too easily yet again 10 minutes into the second half and Salah blazed the rebound over the bar as the breakthrough remained elusive. 

Sorloth, introduced as a half-time substitute, headed Hee-Chan Hwang's inviting cross against the bar midway through the second half, with Leipzig battling to stay in the competition.

Liverpool had one foot in the last eight 20 minutes from time, though - Jota setting up Salah in a rapid attack and the Egypt international cutting into the penalty area before finding the bottom corner with his left foot.

Divock Origi then whipped in a brilliant cross for Mane to tuck home a second as Klopp's men breezed through. 

Last season's beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain are red-hot favourites to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals when Barcelona visit the Parc des Princes for the second leg of their last-16 clash on Wednesday. 

Mauricio Pochettino's side hold a three-goal advantage after Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick helped them seal a stunning 4-1 win over Barca in the first leg last month.

Liverpool are in a strong position to join them in the last eight, with Jurgen Klopp's side taking on RB Leipzig at Anfield after running out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture. 

The German club, though, might just fancy their chances of causing an upset against the Premier League champions, who have lost six of their last eight matches across all competitions. 

We used Opta numbers to preview the two clashes.

Paris Saint-Germain (4) v (1) Barcelona: Blaugrana out to make history

Barca will have to make history if they are to book the most unlikely of last-eight places, with no side ever having progressed in the competition after losing the first leg at home by a margin of three goals.

The game marks the first Champions League meeting between the sides at the Parc des Princes since February 2017, when the Ligue 1 team recorded a 4-0 victory. 

That remains PSG's biggest margin of victory in a home knockout game in the competition, while it is also Barca's joint-heaviest defeat in a knockout game away from home in the competition (also 0-4 against Liverpool in May 2019 and against Bayern in April 2013).

While the onus is on Barca to score freely, do not be surprised to see the hosts do just that themselves. They have netted at least once in each of their last 22 Champions League games at home (61 goals), in a run that dates back to December 2015. 

Spearheading their attack will be Mbappe, who will become the youngest player to reach 25 goals in the Champions League if he scores (aged 22 years and 80 days), taking the record from Lionel Messi. 

Barca talisman Messi has only ended on the losing side in four of the 75 Champions League games he has scored in. However, half of these have come against PSG – the first-leg defeat and a 3-2 loss at the Parc des Princes in September 2014.

Should Messi and his team-mates slip to defeat it will mark the first time the LaLiga giants have lost three Champions League matches in a row.

Liverpool (2) v (0) RB Leipzig: Reds have the edge over German opposition 

With a two-goal advantage from the first leg, Liverpool will expect to continue their run of never having been eliminated from a Champions League knockout tie after winning away from home in the first leg.

The game will be the 21st time the Reds have hosted German opposition across all European competitions. They are unbeaten in the previous 20 of those (16 wins, four draws), scoring 52 goals and conceding just nine.  

Central to their chances of extending that run will be two players who have enjoyed themselves in the Champions League in recent seasons. 

Since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Roberto Firmino is one of only three players in double figures for both goals (15) and assists (11) in the competition, along with Messi and Mbappe. 

Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, is Liverpool's top scorer in the competition, netting 23 goals in 40 games for the Reds. If he scores a brace in this game, he will reach 25 goals for an English club in the second-fewest appearances, following Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United (27).

If Leipzig are to have any chance of causing an upset they will need to improve dramatically on their last away clash with an English side, the Bundesliga club suffering their heaviest defeat in European competition against Manchester United at Old Trafford back in October (0-5).

Only four of their 12 wins in the Champions League have been achieved by more than a one-goal margin (33 per cent).

However, the last time they won by two or more goals in the knockout stages of the competition was against Spurs last season (3-0 in the last-16 second leg).

Georginio Wijnaldum admits he would be "devastated" if he leaves Liverpool at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old Dutch midfielder is due to reach the end of his contract in June, and there is no sign of a breakthrough in talks over a renewal.

Wijnaldum has been linked with clubs including Barcelona and Inter, and his Anfield career could be close to an end.

Speaking on Tuesday, ahead of Liverpool's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with RB Leipzig in Budapest, Wijnaldum said it would be tough to leave the Premier League giants.

"The only thing I can say is I'm really happy at the club - really happy with the team, the staff and really happy with the fans," Wijnaldum said.

"It's not that easy, like everyone thinks it is, to make some decisions for your future because you have to think about everything. You have to negotiate with the club and it's so difficult to deal with all kinds of things and that's why it takes so long.

"And also, with the situation we're in right now, it's not the most important thing right now: the most important thing is to get back on track, to start winning games again, and then we will see.

"My family is happy here, but beside that there is no news."

Asked how difficult it would be to walk away from Liverpool, Wijnaldum said: "Really difficult, because if that happened you would leave a team you really love.

"I would be devastated that I don't get to play with this team any more, that would be for sure."

Liverpool hold a 2-0 lead against Leipzig as they return to the Puskas Arena, and the Champions League is now seemingly their last hope of silverware this season after a shocking dip in form in the Premier League.

"Of course, the Champions League can rescue this season," said Wijnaldum. "But I think a lot of people only say it's rescued if you win the Champions League and everyone knows how difficult it is."

He opened up about the strain that Liverpool's drastic mid-season dip has taken on the team.

"It hit us hard, everyone can see it," Wijnaldum said. "There is confidence in the team and in the players and in each other, but I think it's less than we're used to, because of the situation we're in with the injuries, players getting COVID, and also the results have not been in our favour.

"It's a new situation we are in right now. We were used to winning games and winning trophies and now it's totally the opposite, so I think the confidence is less than in previous years."

He said Liverpool's form at Anfield, where they have lost six consecutive Premier League after a run of 68 unbeaten home matches, has been "really shocking" to the players.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still sees cause to be optimistic about the team's future, and he is eyeing success in Europe to counter what has been a grim run of domestic form.

Klopp listed the reasons to be hopeful, saying: "The team, the moments we had on the pitch, the competition, the quality of the boys and football in general, because you will always have a chance in the next game and that's already enough."

The German manager added in Tuesday's news conference: "I have no doubts about us for tomorrow, not that I know we will go through 100 per cent but I know we will give Leipzig a proper fight."

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions he could succeed Joachim Low as Germany head coach.

The Liverpool manager said on Tuesday that he remained committed to last season's Premier League champions.

Low announced earlier in the day that he would end his 15-year career as Germany boss after the Euro 2020 finals.

Klopp's name led the way in polls conducted in Germany to judge the public view of who should replace Low, but the 53-year-old former Borussia Dortmund coach counted himself out.

When asked whether the job may have come too soon for him in his career, Klopp said: "Maybe you should ask the question differently, if I'm available for the job of manager or coach of the German national team after the summer - no.

"Joachim Low did an incredible job for so many years. I think he's the longest servant we've had in Germany and one of the most successful. He did an incredible job.

"I understand he wants to have this highlight at the European Championship and try to squeeze anything out he can in this tournament and then somebody else will do the job.

"I'm pretty sure that with the amount of really good German managers at the moment, the German FA will find a good solution."

Speaking to German reporters, Klopp indicated the timing was not right for him to move into international football, given he has three years remaining on his Liverpool contract.

Klopp's team face RB Leipzig in the Champions League in Budapest on Wednesday, guarding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

Julian Nagelsmann does not expect Jurgen Klopp to be tempted by the Germany job after Joachim Low announced he would step down after Euro 2020.

The search for Low's successor is underway, and a poll by Germany's Sky Sport News broadcaster on Tuesday showed Liverpool manager Klopp would be a popular pick.

With over 7,000 votes counted, some 54.6 per cent selected Klopp as the right man for the job, with Ralf Rangnick next in line with a 15.4 per cent share.

Klopp's Liverpool are enduring a deep dip in the Premier League after last season's title triumph, and six successive defeats in the competition at Anfield have seen them slip to eighth place.

But Klopp has enjoyed huge success during his Liverpool reign, winning the Champions League in 2018-19 before the Reds ended a 30-year wait for the domestic title.

He was also highly successful during his time with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, where he twice won the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann, whose RB Leipzig side face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, said: "Jurgen Klopp is an outstanding coach. But I think that both Liverpool and Jurgen are extremely satisfied with each other."

At the age of 33, Nagelsmann appears unlikely to fancy a switch from club management into the international game.

He has performed wonders with Leipzig since being appointed in 2019, achieving a Bundesliga win percentage of 58.62, with 34 victories and just seven defeats in 58 league games in charge.

If he sustains his early coaching performance, the Germany job may be one that Nagelsmann looks at in the future.

For now, he is keen to see how Low bows out, hoping a 15-year reign can end on a high note.

"First of all, it's sad news, but he is still in office," Nagelsmann said. "That's the most important thing: that he will continue and be on the touchline for this big tournament.

"He's had an extreme impact in German football and especially on the national team. He's had great success and defined an era with titles, a development and a second rebuild during his spell."

Nagelsmann pointed to Low bringing through different generations to form new Germany sides, and said he was optimistic the latest incarnation can be trophy contenders at the European Championship.

"I am sure of it, because we have a lot of talented players, which is also an achievement of his," Nagelsmann said. "It's thanks to him making difficult decisions during crucial moments.

"He has also been criticised for this but had a great career as the coach of the German national team nonetheless. I hope he will find a glorious end and then I'm keen on finding out where he will leave his footsteps next."

Germany great Lothar Matthaus backed former Schalke and Leipzig boss Rangnick, who is currently without a club, telling Sky Sport News: "He's free. He's someone who can build something."

The next Germany coach will be expected to lead the team at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, although the qualifying process is set to begin on Low's watch, with games against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia coming up in late March.

Rudi Voller, the former Germany striker who went on to manage the team from 2000 to 2004, is thankful Low is being afforded the chance to go out on his own terms.

Voller said: "Jogi Low's decision deserves respect. He and his teams have given us great football in many tournaments and by winning the title at the 2014 World Cup, achieved great things for German sport.

"Now Jogi has the chance to go to the European Championship this summer and to achieve a wonderful conclusion. We will all keep our fingers crossed for him."

Leipzig full-back Angelino insists the pressure is on Liverpool and believes the German side can still win their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool won the first leg 2-0 in Budapest three weeks ago, with the second leg to be played on Wednesday in the Hungarian capital again.

The first leg was tighter than the scoreline suggested with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane pouncing to score early second-half goals.

That combined with the Reds' recent domestic struggles will offer Leipzig confidence they can turn around the tie.

"I would say the pressure is more on them than us. We’re the underdogs," ex-Manchester City man Angelino said.

"If we don’t make big mistakes and put our chances away, we can turn the situation around. There are still 90 minutes to go.”

Matthijs de Ligt was linked with Manchester United before his move to Juventus in 2019.

United have reportedly renewed their interest in the 21-year-old Dutch defender.

Could he end up in Manchester?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT DE LIGT

Manchester United are set to target Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, according to TodoFichajes.

United were heavily linked with De Ligt before the Netherlands international swapped Ajax for Serie A champions Juve in 2019.

With United reportedly not advancing in their pursuit of Real Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, the Red Devils are eyeing De Ligt.

United have also been linked with RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate, Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Paris Saint-Germain are poised to offer David Alaba a €25million-per year deal in an attempt to prise the Bayern Munich star to the French capital. Out of contract at season's end, Alaba has been tipped to join Madrid. Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City have also been linked.

United have been left alone in the fight to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, claims TodoFichajes. Unwilling to match Villa's valuation, City have reportedly exited the race for Grealish. The report also says United could sell Marcus Rashford to fund the move.

- Madrid stars Lucas Vazquez and Isco are wanted by Everton, according to Calciomercato. After prising James Rodriguez from the LaLiga champions, Everton are targeting another two players from the Spanish capital, though Milan and Juve are also keen.

- Diario AS reports Madrid are prioritising a move for in-demand Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. Chelsea, United, City, Juve, PSG, Barca and Bayern have all been linked but Madrid are reportedly shifting their attention from Kylian Mbappe to Haaland.

Will Kalidou Koulibaly leave Serie A's Napoli?

Koulibaly is one of Europe's finest defenders and the 29-year-old has attracted interest from across Europe.

Bayern Munich are reportedly eyeing the Senegal international.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN FRONTRUNNERS FOR NAPOLI STAR

Bayern Munich are leading the race to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Il Mattino.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a move away from Napoli, though the club's valuation has deterred suitors.

But Koulibaly's asking price has reportedly dropped to €45million (£39m), alerting Bayern, as well as Manchester United and Liverpool.

Bild, however, claims Bundesliga champions Bayern have not made an offer for the Napoli star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild reports Manchester City are favourites to sign Erling Haaland if Borussia Dortmund sanction an off-season exit. Haaland has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Liverpool, ChelseaUnited and Bayern.

- As City target Haaland, Sport Mediaset says Serie A champions Juve are considering a move for veteran forward Sergio Aguero. The Argentina international is out of contract at season's end.

Barca have been offered Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba, claims Sport. Tapsoba is valued at around €40m.

- Wolves are open to selling Adama Traore at a reduced price, according to the Daily Mail. Barca, Liverpool and City have been linked with Traore previously.

- The Sun reports United are considering the sale of star goalkeeper David de Gea. It comes as Dean Henderson expects to become number one next season. The Transfer Window podcast, meanwhile, says United are seeking a new number one amid links to Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Chelsea remain interested in RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, according to Bild. Konate is not short of admirers, linked to the likes of United and Arsenal.

United have not contacted Eintracht Frankfurt's Andre Silva as an alternative to Haaland, claims Bild.

Liverpool's Champions League last-16 second leg against RB Leipzig has been switched from Anfield to the Puskas Arena in Budapest, UEFA has announced.

Last month's first leg, which Liverpool won 2-0 through second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, was also held in the Hungarian capital due to coronavirus restrictions affecting travel between Germany and England.

The Puskas Arena will again be the venue for the return fixture between the sides on March 10, with Jurgen Klopp's men the designated home team.

"UEFA can confirm that the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg between Liverpool and Leipzig will now be played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest," read a statement on the governing body's website on Thursday. 

"The date of the match (Wednesday 10 March) and the kick-off time (21:00 CET) will remain the same.

"UEFA would like to express its gratitude to Liverpool and Leipzig for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match."

UEFA announced on Tuesday that Manchester City's last-16 second leg against German side Borussia Monchengladbach will go ahead at the Etihad Stadium as planned, despite the first leg being staged in Budapest.

That is because of different regional restrictions affecting Leipzig, in the state of Saxony, to Monchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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