Aston Villa have confirmed an agreement has been reached with Bayer Leverkusen for the transfer of Leon Bailey.

Villa are at the centre of one of the transfer window's biggest stories, with captain Jack Grealish reportedly the subject of a £100million bid from Premier League champions Manchester City.

However, while it remains to be seen where Grealish – who is rumoured to have been offered a new contract by Villa – will play in 2021-22, Dean Smith is set to bolster his attack with the addition of Bailey.

A Jamaica international, Bailey scored 15 goals and provided 10 assists for Bundesliga side Leverkusen across 40 appearances in all competitions last term.

Versatile and with a wicked turn of pace, the 23-year-old, who joined Leverkusen from Belgian side Genk in 2017, will sign for Villa subject to completing a medical and finalising personal terms, according to a statement on the club's official website.

No fee has been confirmed, though reports suggested Leverkusen were looking to recoup at least £30m for Bailey.

Once the deal is complete, Bailey will become Villa's third major signing of the transfer window, after the additions of Emiliano Buendia and Ashley Young, for £33m and on a free transfer respectively.

Buendia's former Norwich City team-mate Tom Cantwell is also being heavily linked as Villa look to push for Europe with or without their talisman Grealish.

 

COULD BAILEY REPLACE GREALISH?

Though not exactly similar in style, both Grealish and Bailey occupy a position in the front line.

While Bailey has more pace to stretch defences, Grealish prefers to get on the ball in between the lines. However, Bailey certainly has the ability to link up with his fellow attackers.

Bailey played 13 games more than Grealish last season, with the latter tallying up seven goals and 10 assists, creating a total of 85 chances.

In contrast, Bailey crafted 63 goalscoring opportunities, also creating four fewer "big chances".

But Bailey had more shots (84 compared to 53), and registered an improved shot conversion rate of 17.86 per cent in contrast to Grealish's 13.21 per cent.

While not a traditional winger, Bailey played a pass into the box (including crosses) 224 times, 63 times more than Grealish, at an average of 7.04 per 90 minutes.

He also attempted more dribbles (5.38) per 90 minutes than Grealish (4.59), though the England international boasted a better completion rate of 2.73 per 90 – Bailey managing 2.64 successful dribbles every 90 minutes.

Should Grealish leave, Villa will at least have Buendia to help Bailey fill the creative void, while the potential addition of Cantwell would add a further runner from midfield to support Ollie Watkins.

Grealish may well still stay put, however, and if so, Smith will know European qualification has to be the aim following an 11th-place finish last season.

Everton have completed the signing of former Leicester City winger Demarai Gray from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.

In a deal reportedly worth around £1.7million, the Premier League winner has signed a three-year deal at Goodison Park.

Gray will therefore be contracted to the club until the end of the 2023-24 season, with Everton having an option to extend that by a further year.

The 25-year-old joins Andros Townsend and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as the first arrivals ahead of the 2021-22 season under new manager Rafael Benitez. 

"I'm delighted to be back in the Premier League at such a big club and I'm excited to play with the team and get to work," Gray said to Everton TV.

"Speaking to the manager and [Director of Football] Marcel Brands, I had a really good feel for the Club and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop.

"The manager, with his ambition and what he has won in the past, is important and we’ll look to push forward and compete with the top clubs. I think a club of this magnitude has all the potential to be right up there.

"Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table. 

"I want to work hard on the training pitch and work my hardest for the club on the pitch."

Gray, who will wear the number 11 shirt for Everton, only spent six months in Germany and made 12 appearances for Leverkusen, scoring once.

He has linked up with Benitez's squad in Florida ahead of Everton’s participation in the Florida Cup.

Everton were due to face either Arsenal or Inter after playing against Colombian side Millonarios, but the Gunners and the Serie A champions have pulled out of the competition due to coronavirus concerns.

Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed the signing of Mitchel Bakker from Paris Saint-Germain for a reported €10m fee as the Bundesliga side look to bolster their defence.

Bakker, 21, makes the move to Leverkusen on a four-year contract and links up with new coach Gerardo Seoane.

Originally coming through Ajax’s highly acclaimed academy, the left-back made just two senior appearances before moving to France on a free transfer as PSG secured his services with a four-year deal.

In his debut season for PSG in 2019-20, Bakker won a domestic treble, playing the entire match in both the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue finals against Saint-Etienne and Lyon respectively.

The Netherlands Under-21 international typifies the modern-day wing-back, frequently providing as much in attack down the left flank as he does in a defensive sense.

Bakker made 26 Ligue 1 appearances last term and supplied two assists, although these numbers do not tell the full story of his influence.

Leverkusen's new signing (16) created more chances from open play than any other PSG defender, while he also made the most recoveries (124) of the full-back options in the squad.

Donny van de Beek has been underwhelming since his £35million (€40m) move to Manchester United from Ajax.

The Netherlands international only scored once in 19 league appearances in 2020-21.

He only managed four Premier League starts and, if reports are to be believed, could be used as a pawn in United's transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – REAL WANTS DONNY IN VARANE DEAL

Real Madrid want  United flop Donny van de Beek as part of a deal for Raphael Varane, claim The Sun.

The Red Devils have chased the French defender this off-season and Los Blancos are open to a switch which could include midfielder Van de Beek joining Madrid on a season-long loan.

Madrid have reportedly asked for €50m ($42.9m) for Varane, after the two clubs held initial talks. The 28-year-old has 12 months left on his current deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez according to La Razon. The 26-year-old Spain international is understood to be keen on a Premier League move.

- The Reds have also looked into signing Lille's Renato Sanches, reports Onze Mondial. The midfielder is said to have admirers at Arsenal, too.

- The Star reports Arsenal are considering a move for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, if they fail to land Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale .

- Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are keen on Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who they believe is more attainable than reported target James Rodriguez.

- After scoring four goals at Euro 2020, Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick has drawn interest from Milan, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

Donny van de Beek has been underwhelming since his £35million (€40m) move to Manchester United from Ajax.

The Netherlands international only scored once in 19 league appearances in 2020-21.

He only managed four Premier League starts and, if reports are to be believed, could be used as a pawn in United's transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – REAL WANTS DONNY IN VARANE DEAL

Real Madrid want  United flop Donny van de Beek as part of a deal for Raphael Varane, claim The Sun.

The Red Devils have chased the French defender this off-season and Los Blancos are open to a switch which could include midfielder Van de Beek joining Madrid on a season-long loan.

Madrid have reportedly asked for €50m ($42.9m) for Varane, after the two clubs held initial talks. The 28-year-old has 12 months left on his current deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez according to La Razon. The 26-year-old Spain international is understood to be keen on a Premier League move.

- The Reds have also looked into signing Lille's Renato Sanches, reports Onze Mondial. The midfielder is said to have admirers at Arsenal, too.

- The Star reports Arsenal are considering a move for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, if they fail to land Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale .

- Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are keen on Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who they believe is more attainable than reported target James Rodriguez.

- After scoring four goals at Euro 2020, Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick has drawn interest from Milan, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

Jamaica international and Bayer Leverkusen wide man Leon Bailey has recovered from a toe injury and is fit to take part in the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, which gets underway next week.

The 22-year-old winger had a strong season for the German outfit, overall, providing 15 goals and 10 assists during the team’s campaign.  Overall Leverkusen finished 6th and in the European League places.

Bailey, however, suffered an injury, a broken toe, during the team’s penultimate game of the season against Werder Bremen a few weeks before the end of the season.  Initially, there was concern that the player could have missed the tournament, but he recently concerned that he was fully recovered and eager to get back on the field for the country.  He has since resumed training.

Bailey was named as part of a large preliminary squad, which has also included West Ham’s Michail Antonio and several other overseas-based players.  The winger, who has represented the country eight times is also expected to play a crucial role in the country’s attempts to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.  The CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers will resume in September.

West Ham forward Michail Antonio and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey have both been included in a preliminary Jamaica squad for next month’s Gold Cup.

The 31-year-old Antonio switched country’s earlier this year, having never been capped by England after several seasons in the English topflight.  According to reports, the forward, who had an impressive season in the EPL, is still working on finalising his official documents to represent the Caribbean country but it is hoped the issue can be resolved in time for him to make his debut at the tournament.

Bailey also had a strong season for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga but will be fighting to be fit in time for the tournament after breaking his toe in the final few weeks of the season.

The squad will also include the likes of Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, Watford’s Andre Grey, and Reading’s Liam Moore.  The team also includes first-string goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Damion Lowe who have been part of teams that have made two appearances at the tournament's final.  Should all the players be available it could mark the first time the team’s coach Theodore Whitmore will have a full squad at his disposal.

Jamaica preliminary squad

 MF JAHSHAUN MUSTAF - MIAMI FC (USA)

FW MICHAIL ANTONIO - WEST HAM UNITED FC (ENG)

FW LEON BAILEY - BAYER 04 LEVERKUSEN (GER)

GK DILLON BARNES - QUEENS PARK RANGERS FC (ENG)

DF AMARII BELL - BLACKBURN ROVERS FC (ENG)

GK ANDRE BLAKE - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW BRIAN BROWN - NEW MEXICO UNITED (USA)

DF JAVAIN BROWN - VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (CAN)

FW CORY BURKE - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW NORMAN CAMPBELL - FK GRAFIČAR BEOGRAD (SRB)

GK AKEEM CHAMBERS - WATERHOUSE FC (JAM)

MF JORDAN COUSINS - WIGAN ATHLETIC FC (ENG)

FW EAST JAVON EAST -  SANTOS DE GUAPILES (CRC)

DF ONIEL FISHER - LA GALAXY (USA)

FW JUNIOR FLEMMINGS -  BIRMINGHAM LEGION (USA)

GK KEMAR FOSTER - PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

FW OWAYNE GORDON - AUSTIN BOLD (USA)

FW ANDRE GRAY - WATFORD FC (ENG)

DF WESLEY HARDING - ROTHERHAM UNITED FC (ENG)

DF MICHAEL HECTOR -  FULHAM FC (ENG)

MF KEVAUGHN ISAACS - MOUNT PLEASANT F.A. (JAM)

MF DANIEL JOHNSON - PRESTON NORTH END FC (ENG)

FW  DANE KELLY -  CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (USA)

GK AMAL KNIGHT - UNATTACHED (JAM)

MF KEVON LAMBERT - PHOENIX RISING FC (USA)

DF KEMAR LAWRENCE - TORONTO FC (CAN)

DF GREGORY LEIGH - ABERDEEN FC (SCO)

MF LUCA LEVEE - HARBOUR VIEW FC (JAM)

DF DAMION LOWE - AL ITTIHAD (KSA)

MF JAMAL LOWE -  SWANSEA CITY FC (WAL)

MF TYREEK MAGEE - KAS EUPEN (BEL)

FW KEMAL MALCOLM - AD CHALATENANGO (SLV)

DF ADRIAN MARIAPPA -  BRISTOL CITY FC (ENG)

MF CHEVONE MARSH - AD CHALATENANGO (SLV)

GK DWAYNE MILLER - SYRIANSKA FC (SWE)

DF LIAM MOORE - READING FC (ENG)

MF RICARDO MORRIS - PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

FW RAVEL MORRISON -  UNATTACHED (JAM)

FW COLORADO MURRAY - WATERHOUSE FC (JAM)

FW SHAMAR NICHOLSON - ROYAL CHARLEROI SC (BEL)

FW DEVER ORGILL - MKE ANKARAGUCU SK (TUR)

MF KASEY PALMER -  BRISTOL CITY FC (ENG)

MF KAHEEM PARRIS - NK KRKA (SVN)

DF ETHAN PINNOCK - BRENTFORD FC (ENG)

DF ALVAS POWELL - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW BOBBY REID -  FULHAM FC (ENG)

DF LADALE RICHIE - MOUNT PLEASANT F.A. (JAM)

MF KEMAR ROOFE - RANGERS FC (SCO)

MF KEVIN STEWART -  BLACKPOOL FC (ENG)

DF AJEANIE TALBOTT - HARBOUR VIEW FC (JAM)

GK DENNIS TAYLOR - HUMBLE LION F.C. (JAM)

DF CURTIS TILT - ROTHERHAM UNITED FC (ENG)

FW BLAIR TURGOTT - OSTERSUNDS FK (SWE)

FW PETER VASSELL - INDY ELEVEN (USA)

MF LAMAR WALKER -  MIAMI FC (USA)

MF JE-VAUGHN WATSON - UNATTACHED (JAM)

GK JEADINE WHITE - CAVALIER F.C. (JAM)

MF DEVON WILLIAMS- MIAMI FC (USA)

FW  ROMARIO WILLIAMS - AL ITTIHAD (KSA)

MF CHAVANY WILLIS- PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

 

In demand Bayer Leverkusen and Jamaica winger, Leon Bailey could stay in Germany after the summer transfer window, after reportedly attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund. 

The 23-year-old is currently under contract with Leverkusen until 2023 but is once again on the radar of some of the globe’s top clubs after a strong performance this season.  Bailey has scored 15 goals this season, including 9 in the Bundesliga.

The Jamaican has been linked with English clubs Everton, Manchester City, and Manchester United but has lately been tipped to replace Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who could be heading to Manchester United.

Sancho has been a long-term interest of Man United but the club and Dortmund have had disagreements over the player’s price.  Bailey missed the last two weeks of the Bundesliga season after suffering a broken toe during a league match against Werder Bremen.

The winger has made 8 international appearances for the Jamaica national team and scored one goal.

Peter Bosz has vowed to bring "attacking and attractive football" to Lyon after signing a two-year deal to become the Ligue 1 club's head coach.

The former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund boss was most recently with Bayer Leverkusen and replaces Rudi Garcia at the Lyon helm.

He takes over a club that finished fourth last season, just missing out on Champions League qualification, and the 57-year-old is eager to make his mark at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

"I am very happy to be here, in a great club," he said at a news conference on Sunday, with his appointment having been confirmed the day before.

"I have a philosophy: to produce attacking and attractive football, because we play for the supporters, not for ourselves. But obviously, it depends on the players in the squad. I prefer technical and intelligent players."

Bosz leant heavily on youth talent at Ajax, where he reached the Europa League final in 2017, and would not hesitate to take a similar approach in his new role, which will formally begin on July 1.

"At Ajax, like at Lyon now, it was important to play the youngsters," he said. "But it does not just depend on the age: I am not scared to give young players a chance and to put faith in them. They have the qualities. At Leverkusen for example, I gave Florian Wirtz a chance when he was just 16.

"In the Netherlands, it was said that the team started seasons slowly and finished strongly. In Germany, I was told that the team started strongly and finished slowly. What I want, in France, is to start and finish strongly.

"I am heading back for two more weeks of holiday, but I will of course remain in contact with Juninho to talk about the players, pre-season, the way of working. I will be thinking a lot about Lyon."

Bosz was sacked by Leverkusen in March and replaced on an interim basis by former Stuttgart boss Hannes Wolf, having endured a run of four wins in 18 matches in all competitions.

Peter Bosz has signed a two-year deal to become Lyon's new head coach after the departure of Rudi Garcia.

Former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund coach Bosz was most recently with Bayer Leverkusen and will take the reins at Lyon on July 1.

The 57-year-old fills the void left following Garcia's decision to leave the Ligue 1 club this month, having guided them to fourth spot this season.

Bosz led Ajax to the Europa League final in 2017, beating his new employers in the semi-final, before a brief and disappointing spell with BVB.

He was sacked by Leverkusen in March and replaced on an interim basis by former Stuttgart boss Hannes Wolf, having endured a run of four wins in 18 matches in all competitions.

Lyon lost to Nice on the final day of the French season to miss out on Champions League qualification.

The club confirmed the appointment on their website, adding that club president Jean-Michel Aulas, football general manager Vincent Ponsot and sporting director Juninho would join Bosz in a news conference on Sunday.

Lyon said the quartet would "clarify the new parameters of the team's technical organisation and explain what they will expect from the entire first team, as this commencement of a new cycle will give an added dimension to Olympique Lyonnais' ambitious project, both domestically and in the Europa League".

Europe's top five leagues all conclude this week and there are still plenty of matters to be resolved – not least who will be crowned champions in Spain and France.

Every division has something riding on the final days of the season, whether it be top spot, European qualification, or relegation.

Ahead of what is set to be a dramatic conclusion to the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga campaigns, we look at the state of play in each league.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title with three games to spare, making them the first team in the competition's history to win the title despite being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

All three relegation places were also decided with three games remaining – a Premier League record – with Fulham joining Sheffield United and West Brom in dropping down a division.

That leaves just the European spots to fight for, and it is shaping up to be an entertaining end to the English top-flight season in that regard. Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish, but five other teams – Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – are in the mix for the two other Champions League berths with two rounds of games to go.

There is also the small matter of the Europa League places for the teams finishing in fifth and sixth, as well as a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League, which goes to the team in seventh, meaning everyone from 10th-placed Leeds United to Leicester in third have something to play for. That includes Arsenal, who have not missed out on European football of some sort in 25 years.

LALIGA 

The Spanish title race appeared to take a dramatic twist on Sunday as Real Madrid leapfrogged Atletico Madrid at the summit for around 20 minutes. However, Atleti scored two late goals to beat Osasuna, meaning they are two points ahead of their city rivals heading into the final round of games.

Atleti, who have led the way at the top for 29 matchdays, now need to match Madrid's result against Villarreal when they travel to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on the final day of the season. It is worth noting that Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record, so a draw would not be enough for Atleti if Madrid win.

Barcelona are officially out of the title race, meanwhile, but they are assured of a top-four finish along with Sevilla. Real Sociedad and Real Betis occupy the Europa League spots, while Villarreal are in a Europa Conference League berth, though just one point separates the three teams so that could all yet change.

To complicate matters, Villarreal could still qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Manchester United.

At the bottom end of the division, Eibar are already relegated and they will be joined by two of Valladolid, Elche or Huesca. Valladolid must beat Atletico in their final game to have a chance of staying up, while the onus is on Elche to better Huesca's result as they are level on points but have an inferior head-to-head record.

LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 title battle is also going right down to the wire in a three-way dogfight. After a thrilling race that has lasted the course of the season, underdogs Lille lead heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain by one point with one matchday left.

Monaco have won seven of their previous eight games and are three points off leaders Lille, though they require both Les Dogues and PSG to slip up on the final day, as well as beating Lens. Should it come down to goal difference, PSG hold a big lead over their two title rivals.

Incredibly, PSG are still not yet technically assured of a Champions League place as Lyon in fourth are only three points worse off, although it would take a defeat for the reigning champions and victory for Lyon, plus a goal swing of 16, for them to miss out.

Monaco's opponents Lens, incidentally, also have plenty to play for at the weekend as they are sixth – enough for Europa Conference League qualification – but can still be caught by Rennes in seventh, while they could yet overtake Marseille in fifth if results go their way.

At the opposite end of the table, there may only be one spot left to be settled in the bottom three – Dijon and Nimes are both already down – but six teams are still very much in danger of the drop. Nantes occupy the relegation play-off spot, with Lorient, Brest and Strasbourg just a point better off, and Bordeaux and Reims only two points clear.

SERIE A

With Inter being crowned Scudetto winners for the first time in 11 years at the start of the month, the biggest storyline in Serie A regards Juventus' top-four fate. The dethroned champions, who had finished top nine years running before this season, are currently down in fifth.

Juve are one point behind Napoli and Milan in the two spots directly above them, while Atalanta are three points better off in second and have the better head-to-head record against the Bianconeri.

Andrea Pirlo's side are therefore in need of favours on the final day in what is poised to be a nail-biting finale in terms of those Champions League places. Lazio will finish sixth, so they are assured of Europa League football next term, while Roma hold a two-point advantage over Sassuolo in the Europa Conference League position.

Parma and Crotone are both down already and one of Benevento or Torino will join them, the latter currently three points outside of the relegation zone and with a game in hand to play on Benevento.

BUNDESLIGA

RB Leipzig provided Bayern Munich with some stern competition for a while, but the Bavarian giants' quality eventually told and they are Bundesliga champions for a ninth year running.

It's not only the title race that's done and dusted in Germany, in fact, as RB Leipzig are certain of second place, and both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will join them in the Champions League next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, will finish in fifth and sixth respectively regardless of events later this week.

However, Union Berlin have work to do if they are to finish seventh for a place in the Europa Conference League play-offs as Borussia Monchengladbach are a point further back, while Stuttgart and Freiburg are two behind with a game to go.

Seven-time German champions Schalke will be competing in the second tier of German football next season, but Cologne and Werder Bremen are hanging on in there, sitting two and one point behind Arminia Bielefeld respectively in 15th place.

Jamaica international and Bayer Leverkusen winger, Leon Bailey, will be out of action for the rest of the season after suffering a broken toe.

The 23-year-old sustained the injury after a collision early in the match but continued to play until halftime when he was withdrawn.    

The player then missed the team’s midweek training session, with later scans confirming that the midfielder had fractured the digit.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Hannes Wolf confirmed on Friday that the player would not return for the season.  The diagnosis meant that Bailey missed the player’s match against Union Berlin on Saturday, a 1-1 draw, and the club’s final game against Dortmund.

"He will not be able to play again [this season]," Wolf told reporters ahead of Leverkusen's game against Berlin.

The winger was not expected to suit up for his country during the international break, due to contractual issues and it remains to be seen how long he will be out of action.

In total, Bailey has scored 15 goals this season and provided 10 assists in a solid campaign for Leverkusen who are fighting for a place in European football next season.

 

Bayer Leverkusen winger and Jamaica international Leon Bailey could be set for a spell on the sideline after sustaining a toe injury against Werder Bremen last weekend.

The 23-year-old suffered the injury after a collision early in the match but played until halftime before he was withdrawn.  Bailey, who it is feared might have suffered a fractured toe, did not take part in the team’s training session on Wednesday.

Leverkusen will be looking to secure UEFA Europa League qualification at home to Union Berlin on Saturday.  Should he be unable to take the field, the Jamaican will be a major miss, particularly given his form at home this season. 

Bailey has scored five goals in the last two home games.  Leverkusen have won all three of their fixtures at the Bay Arena under interim coach Hannes Wolf.  Bailey, who was also not called to the Jamaica national team, for its friendlies next month due to a contractual issue, has played eight times for the country since making his debut in 2019.

Leon Bailey scored his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season and assisted in another as Bayer Leverkusen defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 at the Bay Arena on Saturday.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick refused to be drawn on the stand-off between him and the club after their 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen edged them closer to the Bundesliga title.

Flick declared after Saturday's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg that he intends to leave Bayern at the end of this season and has requested for his contract, which runs until 2023, to be terminated.

The 56-year-old has been heavily linked with the Germany national team coaching role as Joachim Low's successor but Bayern have made it clear they will not let him leave without a fee, causing a stand-off.

Bayern's win over Leverkusen on Tuesday moved them within one victory of the 2020-21 Bundesliga title but Flick's future was a hot topic post-game.

"I'm not really thinking about it," Flick said when asked how he will handle talks with the Bayern directors.

"I'm not thinking that far [ahead]. You've been part of the press conferences for a while, you know I never look back or forward further than the next game.

"The next game will be Mainz. I really enjoy when the team performs like today. That's what the coach is here for."

Flick also refused to accept any congratulations despite Bayern all but being champions, with a 10-point buffer from second-placed RB Leipzig with four games to play.

"I told my team before the game that we can make a huge step in the right direction today and that's what we did," Flick said.

"We have another huge game on Saturday at Mainz. We don’t have any points to give away so we also want to win there and after that you can say congratulations."

Eric Choupo-Moting has scored three goals in three games in Robert Lewandowski's absence but Flick indicated the Poland forward has a strong chance to return against Mainz following a knee injury.

"Honestly Robert really was practicing well today," he said. "We're happy he's probably able to come back earlier. He's absolutely an option for Saturday."

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