Florian Wirtz says now is not the time to discuss his Bayer Leverkusen future, as he prepares to lead Germany's bid for Euro 2024 glory on home soil.

Wirtz has emerged as one of the most highly rated attacking midfielders in world football, starring for Xabi Alonso's team as they went unbeaten to become Bundesliga champions in 2023-24.

He was named Bundesliga Player of the Year after scoring 11 goals and adding 11 assists, also helping Die Werkself win the DFB-Pokal to make it a double.

The likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been linked with a move for Wirtz, while German media reports claim he is Bayern's top long-term target.

Wirtz is under contract at the BayArena until 2027, though, and he will not contemplate his club future while Julian Nagelsmann's side prepare for next week's Euros opener against Scotland.

"Everyone knows my contract," Wirtz told Sky Sports in Germany. "It's not the moment to talk about it now. 

"I'm definitely having a very good time at Leverkusen, I feel good. In my head it's now 100 per cent about the European Championship. I don't care about anything else right now."

Wirtz has won 17 senior caps for his country, scoring his first international goal in an impressive friendly win over France in March.

Euro 2024 will be the fourth major international tournament to be hosted solely by Germany (or West Germany prior to unification).

They reached at least the semi-finals at the previous three, beating Johan Cruyff's iconic Netherlands side in the 1974 World Cup final and going out in the last four at Euro 1988 and the 2006 World Cup.

However, they have not won a single knockout game at a major tournament since Euro 2016. They suffered back-to-back group-stage exits at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and were beaten by England in the last 16 at Euro 2020.

Vincent Kompany challenged Bayern Munich to bounce back from their 2023-24 disappointment, and wants to see which players are "most hungry to win again".

The Belgian was named Bayern's new boss on a three-year deal, replacing the outgoing Thomas Tuchel following a trophyless campaign at the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarian giants surrendered their 11-year grip on the Bundesliga title to Xabi Alonso's unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, while Real Madrid defeated them in the Champions League semi-finals.

Kompany knows what it takes to respond in the face of adversity, with Manchester City coming up just short against the likes of Manchester United in the Premier League in between the four titles he won during his time with the Citizens. 

And he has urged his new squad to demonstrate that character and determination to get back in the winner's circle next season.

"We're in a situation now where, last year, we lost," he told reporters during his introductory press conference. 

"Having been in this position myself as well as a player, I know that this is when you react, this is where you see real winners come to life.

"I'm actually excited to start pre-season with them. I make no distinction; I just want to see which players are most hungry to represent this club next season and win again, and be successful.

Kompany's appointment earlier this week was widely reported as a surprise one, after he was unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League in 2023-24.

However, the 38-year-old insists he has already settled into his new surroundings.

"My mentality is that I never haven't ever worked for a top club in my head," he added. 

"A top club is the environment you create. It's the mentality you have towards your job in good and bad times, that's what defines working at the top level. It already feels like home."

Vincent Kompany admits "it's a great honour" to have been named Bayern Munich's new head coach, and is confident "success will follow" at the Allianz Arena.

The former Burnley boss has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Bundesliga giants, after succeeding the outgoing Thomas Tuchel.

Kompany's appointment is widely regarded as a surprise one, with the former Manchester City captain unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League in 2023-24.

Nevertheless, the Belgian now finds himself at one of Europe's biggest clubs, and cannot wait to get started.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of FC Bayern," he told the club's official website. "It's a great honour to be able to work for this club - FC Bayern is an institution in international football.

"As a coach, you have to stand for what you are as a character: I love having the ball, being creative - but we also have to be aggressive and courageous on the pitch.

"I'm now looking forward to the basics: working with the players, building a team. Once the basis is right, success will follow."

"Vincent Kompany is the type of coach who fits in very well with FC Bayern's playing philosophy and identity," sporting director Christoph Freund added. 

"His teams want the ball, and want to play dominant and high-intensity football. He's a young, very ambitious coach with a lot of international experience.

"He has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the players and knows exactly what needs to happen on the pitch. He can and will give our team an enormous amount."

Departing Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel was unhappy with his team's lack of focus following their 4-2 loss at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Bayern threw away a two-goal lead, condemning them to a third-place finish behind unbeaten Bayern Leverkusen and Stuttgart

After failing to win the Bundesliga title for a 12th consecutive season, Tuchel's side will also go without domestic or European silverware for the first time in more than a decade.

"We started really well, but then we had a string of individual mistakes," Tuchel said in a short press conference.

The coach is leaving Bayern after just over a year in charge after the club announced his departure in February. There had been talks to potentially reverse that decision last week, but no agreement was reached.

"In the second half we played well for 15 minutes, but then it was again a series of individual mistakes and loss of possession," Tuchel said. "We gave away a two-goal lead for a completely unnecessary and bitter defeat."

Despite a string of injury absences, Bayern were 2-0 up by the sixth minute but Hoffenheim scored four times, including an Andrej Kramaric hat-trick in the second half to turn the game around.

"It happens far too often, like that. It happened in Stuttgart where we conceded two late goals [for a 3-1 defeat]. In Heidenheim, the same [for a 3-2 loss]. Here the same. It just happens too often," Tuchel added.

"I have an explanation for that, but it is not for the public."

Bayern's Aleksandar Pavlovic, who is part of Germany's preliminary Euro 2024 squad, went off injured early in the match and will undergo further tests.

"He twisted his ankle. We will have to wait and see what the checks show," Tuchel said.

Bayern Munich squandered a two-goal lead to slump to a 4-2 loss at Hoffenheim courtesy of a second-half Andrej Kramaric hat-trick in Thomas Tuchel's final game.

Early goals from Mathys Tel and Alphonso Davies saw the injury-depleted Bavarians go 2-0 up by the sixth minute.

Hoffenheim, however, pulled a goal back through Germany international Maximilian Beier just two minutes later, with the hosts gradually taking some of the early pace out of the game.

Bayern's injury troubles were further compounded when they lost Aleksandar Pavlovic to injury in the 35th minute, and struggled to cope with Hoffenheim's threat in the second half. 

Kramaric then delivered a stunning 19-minute hat-trick with the Bayern defence in ruins, ending a disappointing season in third place with 72 points.

Bayer Leverkusen finished in top spot on 90 points. VfB Stuttgart finished runners-up on 73 with a 4-0 demolition of Borussia Moenchengladbach, while Hoffenheim finished seventh, in the Europa Conference League place. 

Data Debrief:

Thomas Muller made his 473rd Bundesliga appearance for Bayern on Saturday, drawing level with Sepp Maier as the club's record appearance maker in the competition.

Bayern failed to have a single shot on target in the second half, while Kramaric ran riot to subject Bayern to their worst league finish since 2011.

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed he will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season after failing to reach an agreement with the club to stay on as coach after talks this week.

Tuchel took over last March and steered them to the Bundesliga title last season but Bayern will finish the current campaign without any silverware for the first time in more than a decade.

Bayern bosses had informed Tuchel in February he would not stay on for the last year of his contract and would leave at the end of the season.

But after several prospective successors, including Julian Nagelsmann, Ralf Rangnick and Xabi Alonso, decided to remain in their current jobs, Bayern turned to Tuchel to discuss the possibility of him staying on.

"This is the last press conference here. The February decision remains," Tuchel said on Friday.

"There were talks again with the club in the past week but we did not reach an agreement on a continued cooperation so we stick with the February decision.

"We did not agree but I won't go into individual points. That all happens behind closed doors."

The Bavarians, who travel to Hoffenheim on the last matchday of the season on Saturday, are battling to hold on to second place in the table and are two points ahead of Stuttgart.

They crashed out to third-tier Saarbrucken in the DFB-Pokal and were eliminated by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, ending the campaign without a trophy despite spending a league-record €100 million to sign striker Harry Kane.

"The decision for me to leave was taken in February so you can imagine that my head, after processing, was 1000% behind that decision," Tuchel said.

"There was the theoretical possibility of a 180 degree turn now and the initiative came from the club.

"The reasons why it did not happen, I don't know, are minimal. Maybe the reasons are not clear, also for the decision in February, but it is what it is." 

Bruno Fernandes is reportedly drawing interest from Bayern Munich and Saudi Arabian clubs but Erik ten Hag remains confident the midfielder will stay at Manchester United.

The Portugal international, who joined the Red Devils from Sporting in January 2020, is said to be attracting attention from numerous clubs in the Saudi Pro League.

Bundesliga giants Bayern are also reportedly weighing up their options in attempting to sign Fernandes, though under-fire Ten Hag expects him to remain at Old Trafford.

When pressed at Tuesday's press conference on Fernandes' future, Ten Hag responded: "It is the same question as last week. So I answered.

"The same answer. Now in all the years he was, he was a tremendously important player for Manchester United and creating the most chances across the Premier League.

"So many assists, so many goals. It's clear he's a very important player for us."

Indeed, since his debut against Wolves on February 1, 2020, Fernandes leads United for chances created (644), goals (79) and assists (63) across all competitions.

In the same period, the 29-year-old also leads the way among Premier League players overall in chances created, ahead of Kevin De Bruyne (519), Trent Alexander-Arnold (424) and Pascal Gross (388).

Though Ten Hag is keen to keep Fernandes in Manchester, Raphael Varane has announced his intentions to leave the Red Devils at the end of the current season.

Casemiro is also said to be of interest in Saudi Arabia, where clubs are reportedly targeting moves for the likes of Mohamed Salah, De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.

Second-placed Bayern Munich beat Wolfsburg 2-0 with teenager Lovro Zvonarek scoring on his first start in their final Bundesliga home game of the season on Sunday as they eased towards the end of a trophy-less campaign.

Bayern have 72 points, two ahead of third-placed Stuttgart with one game remaining. Unbeaten champions Bayer Leverkusen, on 84, visit Bochum later on Sunday.

Four days after Bayern's Champions League semi-final exit to Real Madrid confirmed their first season without silverware in over a decade, the Bavarians put in a solid performance against the Wolves despite a string of changes to Thomas Tuchel's team.

They were missing striker Harry Kane, nursing a minor back problem, and were also without Serge Gnabry, who was injured in their defeat by Real, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala.

Zvonarek, the 19-year-old Croatian who had only made a handful of substitute appearances for the team, scored four minutes into his first start, drilling home for the lead.

Leon Goretzka doubled the advantage nine minutes later with the hosts quickly taking full control of the game.

Bryan Zaragoza also thought he had netted on his first league start for the Bavarians, but the 22-year-old Spaniard's effort was disallowed for offside.

The hosts took their foot off the gas with Tuchel's Bayern career coming to an end next week, a year earlier than his contract, after a disappointing domestic campaign that also included a German Cup exit to third-tier club Saarbruecken.

Data Debrief: Clean sheet for Neuer on landmark outing

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his 500th Bundesliga appearance, 156 of those having come for Schalke and 344 for his current side.

The veteran stopper had two saves to make en route to becoming the fourth goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to reach that 500 mark, after Oliver Kahn (557), Eike Immel (534) and Uli Stein (512).

Departing Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel opted on Sunday to quietly slip into the changing rooms instead of joining his players to celebrate after the Bavarians beat Wolfsburg 2-0.

Tuchel will be leaving at the end of the season – a year earlier than his contract ends – following a disappointing campaign with no silverware.

The win came four days after Bayern's Champions League semi-final exit to Real Madrid confirmed their first season without a trophy in over a decade.

"These are the moments for the players," he said when asked why he did not join his squad who went in front of the Bayern ultras after their final home game of the season.

"I don't want to be in the spotlight there. That's for the team. I know that the cameras are there.

"I prefer to go in [to the changing rooms]. It is about the team. The fans are there for the team. They need to be celebrated."

There has been little to celebrate for Tuchel in his 14 months in charge, with Bayern having managed to win only the Bundesliga title last season after Borussia Dortmund slipped up on the final matchday.

He said he did not yet know what he would take away from his time at Bayern, who missed out on Bundesliga glory to Bayer Leverkusen this term.

"Last home game and what remains I don't really know," he said. "It will take some time to see what is left.

"It is a privilege to coach at this level. I came to win as many titles as possible. We did not succeed in that."

Second-placed Bayern Munich beat Wolfsburg 2-0 with teenager Lovro Zvonarek scoring on his first start in their final Bundesliga home game of the season on Sunday as they eased towards the end of a trophy-less campaign.

Four days after Bayern's Champions League semi-final exit to Real Madrid confirmed their first season without any silverware in more than a decade, the Bavarians put in a solid performance against the Wolves despite a string of changes to Thomas Tuchel's team.

Zvonarek, the 19-year-old Croatian who had only made a handful of substitute appearances for the team, scored four minutes into his first start, drilling home for the lead.

Leon Goretzka doubled the advantage nine minutes later with the hosts quickly taking full control of the game.

Bayern have 72 points, two ahead of third-placed Stuttgart with one game remaining. Unbeaten champions Bayer Leverkusen, on 84, visit Bochum later on Sunday.

Data Debrief: Clean sheet for Neuer on landmark outing

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his 500th Bundesliga appearance, 156 of those having come for Schalke and 344 for his current side.

The veteran stopper had two saves to make en route to becoming the fourth goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to reach that 500 mark, after Oliver Kahn (557), Eike Immel (534) and Uli Stein (512).

Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich were left fuming after Matthijs de Ligt's contentious late strike was disallowed in their semi-final defeat to Real Madrid.

Bayern crashed out 4-3 on aggregate at Santiago Bernabeu after a dramatic double from substitute Joselu saw the hosts snatch victory to advance to the final on June 1.

Tuchel's side thought they had forced extra-time when De Ligt had the ball in the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle after the linesman raised his flag, so VAR could not intervene.

The replays showed that the original decision was closer than first thought, and the head coach bemoaned the lack of consistency after Madrid's second goal was awarded following a VAR review.

"I think it's pretty clear and there is no doubt that is against the rules of modern football," he said. "A disaster. An absolute disaster.

"With Real's second goal, they let the play continue. The clear rule is that the scene must continue. The first mistake was made by the linesman, the second by the referee."

Bayern had taken the lead through Alphonso Davies at the midway point in the second half, before Joselu's late intervention denied them a crack at a seventh title against compatriots Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

De Ligt said the linesman had apologised to him after the game.

"[It is] very difficult. Of course, as sportspeople, we accept it," Tuchel said. "But it is a semi-final, it's not for two such mistakes.

"Everyone has to be at their limit. The referees have to be there as well. That is what we expect, so the apology does not really help."

Carlo Ancelotti saluted Joselu after the striker climbed off the bench and scored twice against Bayern Munich to send Real Madrid through to their 18th Champions League final.

Following Alphonso Davies' earlier strike at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid trailed Bayern 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate when Joselu replaced Federico Valverde with nine minutes of their pulsating semi-final tie remaining.

The 33-year-old, who is on loan from second-tier Espanyol, turned the tie on its head with two dramatic late goals.

First, he pounced on a rare mistake by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer to stab in an 88th-minute equaliser, before volleying home Antonio Rudiger's cross in the first minute of stoppage time.

This was Joselu's eighth substitute appearance in this season's Champions League and Ancelotti praised the professionalism of his striker, who has now netted 17 times across all competitions, despite spending much of the campaign on the bench.

"He's a player who's contributed a lot this season, even if he hasn't played many minutes," the Italian said. 

"But he's the perfect reflection of what this squad is: players who contribute a lot without losing confidence [if they're not playing] and the idea that they can offer the team something."

Ancelotti, whose side will play Borussia Dortmund in his sixth Champions League final as a manager on June 1, also hailed the character demonstrated by his players during another "magical" Madrid performance.

"It's happened so many times now, it's something inexplicable," he added. "It's happened again [thanks to] fans that push [us], a fantastic atmosphere and players who never stop believing that they can do it. It's something magical, there's no explanation for it."

 

Real Madrid striker Joselu was in dreamland after he came on in the dying moments of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and turned the game on its head with two goals to snatch a stunning victory.

Joselu, whose journeyman career has included spells at clubs such as Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96, Stoke City and Newcastle United, only touched the ball a few times in their 2-1 second-leg win, but it was a night he is likely to remember for a long time.

He pounced on a rare mistake by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, stabbing the ball into the net to equalise for Madrid in the 88th minute, and just under three minutes later, he volleyed them into the lead from a cross by Antonio Rudiger.

"I don't know anything about being a hero, but I'm very happy... You can imagine," he said. "It was incredible, something spectacular. This team never gives up, it's in its blood to fight to the end and that's what we've done.

"You always dream of this kind of performance, but not even my most beautiful dreams are as big as what happened today."

On loan from second-division side Espanyol, Joselu's journey to becoming the semi-final hero has been long and winding in a career involving a dozen clubs across Europe.

He began his career at Celta Vigo before being bought in 2009 by Madrid, where he excelled in their B team but rarely made it to the first team.

He was sold to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in 2012 and then loaned to Eintracht Frankfurt before joining Hannover 96 in 2014.

In 2015, he moved to Premier League side Stoke City, playing 27 times and scoring four goals, before spending two seasons at Newcastle United. He returned to Spain with Alaves, where he scored 36 times in three seasons.

He signed as a free agent with Espanyol in the summer of 2022, and a year later was loaned to Madrid and has scored nine goals in 32 appearances this season in LaLiga.

Joselu, born in Stuttgart, Germany, made his debut for Spain aged 33, coming off the bench against Norway to score twice in two minutes in March 2023.

"I don’t think Joselu will be sleeping much tonight, he’ll be useless in training tomorrow!" team-mate Jude Bellingham said. "He deserves it all, he’s been an amazing member of the squad all season, and it’s his night."

Thomas Tuchel reflects on "tough to accept" defeat after Real Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 and knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the semi-final at the Allianz Arena, Bayern took the lead in the 68th minute through Alphonso Davies.

However, Joselu came off the bench to score twice in three minutes to send the LaLiga champions to the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Bayern.

"It hurts. It’ll take a while to recover, but on the one hand, it’s a loss where we left it all out on the pitch,” Tuchel told DAZN after the game.

"Of course, it’s tough to accept. It’s part of reality. No regrets. But on the other, there were too many injuries, a few too many substitutions, too many cramps.

"We started with a front four and by the end they were all off the pitch. And then Manu, who had been exceptional in saving us all night, made a mistake he wouldn’t make in another 100 years."

In stoppage time, Matthijs de Ligt had the ball in the back of the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle after the linesman raised his flag, so VAR could not intervene.

The replays showed that the original decision was closer than first thought, and Tuchel was frustrated with how the situation was handled.

Speaking to TNT Sports, Tuchel said: "We are almost through, it's almost there and there was a very unusual mistake from our best player for the equaliser, then we conceded the second one in stoppage time.

"Then we scored one and there was a disastrous decision from the linesman and the referee. It feels like a betrayal in the end. There was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch, and we were almost there. Now we say congratulations to Real Madrid.

"The linesman says sorry, but that does not help. To raise the flag in a moment like this... The referee sees we get the second ball, and we get the shot - it's a very, very bad decision. It's against the rules. It's a disaster. It's hard to swallow, but that's the way it is."

Manuel Neuer made five saves in the game and looked equal to Madrid’s threat until he spilled the ball in the build-up to Joselu’s first goal.

"Anyone who’s ever played football knows how I’m feeling right now," he told DAZN.

"That we’ve been knocked out in the closing stages, having led 1-0 until the 88th minute, it’s extremely bitter.

"We’d taken one step to London; we saw ourselves in the final, and now I’m lost for words."

Joselu was the hero for Real Madrid as he scored twice off the bench to send them through to the Champions League final.

The Spaniard’s late brace secured Madrid’s comeback after Alphonso Davies had given the German side the lead, securing a 2-1 victory on the night, and a 4-3 win on aggregate to set up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund on June 1. 

With only 10 minutes plus stoppage time to make an impact, Joselu made his time on the pitch count.

He scored with both his shots, becoming the oldest substitute to score a brace in a knockout game in the Champions League.

The forward is Madrid’s highest scorer in the competition this season with five goals, netting three of those after coming off the bench.  

It is also the second time he has scored a double against a German team in the Champions League this campaign, getting his other against Union Berlin in the group stages.

Bayern were left to rue a late lapse in concentration that saw them concede twice in the space of two minutes and 44 seconds.

After Davies, who has been heavily linked with Los Blancos, became the first Canadian player to score in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with what was his maiden goal in the competition, it was a mistake that led to Madrid's equaliser.

It is the first time since April 2021 against Paris Saint-Germain that Manuel Neuer made an error leading to an opposition goal in the competition.

Bayern have now lost 11 Champions League matches against Madrid, the most one side has lost against another in the competition’s history.

It was always going to be a tough game for Thomas Tuchel’s side even after taking the lead – Madrid have won four matches despite conceding first in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since they won the trophy in 2016-17 (five).

Los Blancos have reached an 18th final in the European Cup/Champions League, but this is the first time they will play the showcase game at Wembley or in England altogether.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has reached his sixth Champions League final, two more than any other coach in the history of the competition. 

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