RB Leipzig have appointed the highly rated Max Eberl as their new sporting director well over a year after Markus Krosche left the position.

Eberl has been out of work since resigning from a similar role at Borussia Monchengladbach in January due to feeling "drained and tired" and no longer having "the strength to carry out the job in the way the club deserves".

That brought to an end a 23-year association with Borussia, having initially joined them as a player in 1999 before moving into directorial positions from 2005.

Leipzig had operated without a permanent sporting director since the club and Krosche mutually terminated their agreement in April 2021 following "intensive discussions regarding the club's future".

Christopher Vivell, Florian Scholz and Frank Aehlig had been filling the void in the interim, but in Eberl, club chairman Oliver Mintzlaff believes Leipzig have the perfect candidate to take them forward when he assumes office on December 15 after signing a "long-term" contract.

"With Max Eberl, we were able to fill the position of managing director for sport with our absolute dream candidate," Mintzlaff said.

"We have been dealing with Max for a long time but have always respected his difficult situation and are now very happy to be able to start working together in December.  

"After his press conference in January this year, I got in touch with Max and wished him all the best. After that, I kept trying to get in touch, but Max told me that he needed peace and quiet and wasn't interested in football, but that we could meet up in the summer. That's why I never let go of contact and met him in the summer.

"Here, Max confirmed to me that he finds the perspective with us very interesting, but he did not want to come back before July 1, 2023. But that opened the door a bit for us, and we are now very happy that together with Max we found the starting point of our cooperation for mid-December.

"Max is an absolute football expert and has a large network and an excellent name in the industry both nationally and internationally. For many years in Monchengladbach he showed how you can build something up and find the right solution even for difficult situations.

"He has proven himself both as a transfer expert and as a promoter of talent, achieved a great deal and delivered a successful job."

Eberl took over football operations at Gladbach in October 2009 – at that point, they had not ended a top-flight season higher than 10th since 1996.

During his time in charge, the club finished higher than 10th in 10 successive seasons and even managed four top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.

One of those came with Marco Rose as head coach, and the pair will link up again in Leipzig after the 46-year-old replaced Domenico Tedesco at the helm earlier this month.

Eberl was still technically contracted to Borussia, but the club agreed to dissolve their partnership, thus allowing him to join Leipzig.

Deadline day has seen major transfers aplenty, with clubs across Europe pushing to complete final pieces of business before the window slams shut until 2023.

Barcelona have terminated Martin Braithwaite's contract, the forward widely expected to join Espanyol, while in France, Abdou Diallo completed a switch to RB Leipzig to begin an exodus from Paris Saint-Germain.

Further deals for both clubs are also on the cards, with a frantic end to the window expected in the final hours.

Premier League's power push

PSG's exodus was of benefit to English sides, Fulham signing Layvin Kurzawa on loan and Everton bringing Idrissa Gueye back to Merseyside three years after he left for the French capital. Gueye said: "There is no better feeling than coming back home. I've followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton so that's why I chose to come back here."

Fulham have also signed former Chelsea and Arsenal playmaker Willian on a free transfer.

Nottingham Forest hit number 19 for the window, drafting in Willy Boly from Wolves, while Southampton saw Jack Stephens move across the south coast to join Bournemouth on loan.

Arsenal's quest for a new midfielder has seen attention turn to Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz, though the Gunners face a stern test with bids reportedly rebuffed from the side they defeated 2-1 on Wednesday.

Chelsea look set to bring one of the long-running sagas of the window to a close, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poised to join from Barcelona. Marcos Alonso is expected to move to Camp Nou as part of that deal and the Blues may sell Billy Gilmour to Brighton and Hove Albion.

One player not on the move, however, was Joao Pedro as he confirmed he would remain at Watford amid reported interest from Newcastle United and Everton.

Europe's eye for business

On the continent, Julian Weigl moved to Borussia Monchengladbach on loan from Benfica. 

Free agent Florian Grillitsch has joined Ajax, who are said to have turned down approaches from Chelsea and Everton for Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus respectively.

Krzysztof Piatek also departed Germany, leaving Hertha Berlin for Serie A side Salertina, and was followed to Italy by Aster Vranckx, joining Milan on loan from Wolfsburg.

The Serie A champions are not yet finished, with an announcement confirming the capture of Sergino Dest from Barcelona expected imminently.

In Spain, Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, joined second-tier outfit Eibar on a free transfer following his exit from Rayo Vallecano and Ilaix Moriba joined Valencia on loan from Leipzig, with Gennaro Gattuso's side also closing in on signing Justin Kluivert from Roma following the collapse of a proposed move to the Premier League.

Real Sociedad were also in on the late action, landing forward Umar Sadiq from Tenerife, the Nigerian likely to be a replacement for Alexander Isak.

Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer was "delighted" to deliver a record-breaking performance on a "really tough day" at Bayern Munich.

Switzerland international Sommer made a sensational 19 saves, the most on record in a single game in Europe's top five leagues, to help his team to a 1-1 draw against the champions.

Gladbach took a first-half lead against the run of play through Marcus Thuram, but a second-half onslaught from Julian Nagelsmann's side ramped up the pressure on the visitors. 

However, Sommer made save after save and looked impenetrable until Bayern finally found a way through as Leroy Sane picked out the bottom-left corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

The hosts pushed for a winner, but Sommer held firm to earn Gladbach a hard-fought draw, preventing a staggering 3.3 goals according to expected goals on target data.

"I'm glad I did a good job so we can take a point today," Sommer told Sky Sport.

"It was a really tough day today, because we know how much power and pressure Bayern exert on opponents.

"The defence can't keep everything out, so I'm delighted that I had such a good game."

Sommer has been linked with a move away from Gladbach, with Manchester United reportedly interested in the former Basel keeper.

And he indicated he would discuss his future in the next next week, adding: "I've been here for eight years, so of course I feel at home here, it's like a family"

"But we'll still sit down and have a chat in the next few days."

Bayern Munich were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Monchengladbach as their winning start to the Bundesliga season came to an end.

The champions had been in blistering form previously in 2022-23, scoring 15 goals across three wins, but they were met with firm resistance by Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann's side saw two first-half Sadio Mane goals disallowed before Dayot Upamecano's mistake was pounced upon by Marcus Thuram, whose cool finish looked like it might be enough to win the game.

Bayern threw everything at Gladbach in the second half, with most of it repelled by Sommer until a powerful Leroy Sane effort snatched a point – the very least the hosts deserved but enough to take them back to the top of the table.

Consistent with the theme that was to develop throughout the game, Bayern were nearly ahead within a minute, but Sommer made a brilliant save to palm Upamecano's header wide.

The hosts continued to dominate, and Mane saw two goals ruled out for offside in quick succession before Nagelsmann's men were hit with a sucker-punch before half-time.

Upamecano failed to deal with a long punt forward, and Thuram raced onto it, sliding the ball past Manuel Neuer to give his side the lead against the run of play.

Bayern ramped up the pressure further with a second-half onslaught, and Sommer was forced into an excellent double-stop to deny Mane from close range with just under half an hour left.

The Switzerland international was alert again to keep out Sane in a one-on-one situation, but the winger finally got the better of him on 83 minutes, steering into the bottom-left corner.

Bayern pressed for a winner, yet Sommer returned to form to keep them at bay, finishing with a remarkable 19 saves.

Robert Lewandowski deserves to receive a positive reception when he returns to Bayern Munich as a Barcelona player, according to Julian Nagelsmann.

Lewandowski is set for a swift visit to his former club after Barca were drawn to face the Bundesliga champions in Group C of the Champions League, alongside Inter and Viktoria Plzen.

The Poland international, who scored his first competitive goals for Barca in a 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad last week, left Bayern in somewhat acrimonious fashion after declaring that something had "died" within him in Germany.

But Nagelsmann believes Bayern's fans will give Lewandowski a warm welcome on his Allianz Arena return, declaring: "I think there will be applause.

"I never like it when someone gets whistled. I don't know all of the processes [leading to his exit], the fan in the stadium are even further away.

"There is always a second truth, that things are exaggerated, mistranslated."

On Bayern's tough-looking European draw, Nagelsmann added: "It's a challenging group, but we can and want to come through it."

 

Before Bayern turn their attentions to the Champions League, they will look to maintain a scintillating start to the Bundesliga campaign when they host Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

With nine points and a goal difference of +14 (15 goals scored, one conceded) after three games of the new season, Bayern have made the best start in the competition's history at this stage.

And they have been handed a further boost after midfielder Leon Goretzka returned to full training for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in July, although he will not play any part in Bayern's next outing.

"[Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting was training again but had a few problems today," the Bayern boss added at a pre-match press conference on Friday. 

"Leon was also back today and completed parts of team training. Neither of them are options to play tomorrow."

Bayern's tally of 15 goals in their first three games of the Bundesliga season is also unmatched in the competition's history, and Jamal Musiala has played a key role, matching new arrival Sadio Mane with three league goals this campaign.

Bayern and Germany great Lothar Matthaus recently declared the 19-year-old could become the best player in the world within the next few years, but Nagelsmann is keen to keep the youngster grounded.

"He doesn't have a starting eleven guarantee," Nagelsmann said of Musiala. 

"Lothar's comparison is an honour. Lionel [Messi] has played at a high level for many years and he has yet to prove that. I trust him. But he's not quite at 100 per cent yet. 

"I'll be spoiled for choice tomorrow. He has no guarantee that he will play, like everybody else."

Another Bundesliga campaign kicks off on Friday after a frantic close-season saw Germany's top flight robbed of its two biggest stars.

Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona, while fellow striking sensation Erling Haaland departed Borussia Dortmund as expected for Manchester City.

What do these moves do to shake up the Bundesliga, then? Perhaps not an awful lot...

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, even if the title race is a little too predictable.

MANE TO MAINTAIN BAYERN DOMINANCE

Lewandowski's exit was offset by the arrival of Sadio Mane at Bayern, and Stats Perform AI expects Julian Nagelsmann's side to again charge clear at the top of the table.

Bayern have won 10 consecutive titles, so perhaps it is no surprise they are given an 84.93 per cent chance of taking the trophy home again in May.

That figure makes Bayern the most likely champions across all of Europe's top five leagues, with nearest contenders Dortmund only in with a 6.01 per cent shot.

RB Leipzig (4.64 per cent), Bayer Leverkusen (3.38 per cent) lead a group of 10 other clubs who are given at least a slim hope of winning the championship.

For six teams – including 2003-04 champions Werder Bremen and 2006-07 victors Stuttgart – their title tilt is over before a ball has even been kicked.

 

SCRAMBLE OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Unfortunately, the top-four tussle appears as predictable as Bayern's coronation.

The champions will of course occupy one Champions League spot – their 99.53 per cent chance again the greatest across the top five leagues – while Dortmund (76.78 per cent), Leipzig (72.2 per cent) and Leverkusen (62.98 per cent) also look secure, forecast second, third and fourth respectively.

That means a return to Europe's elite competition for all of those who have qualified this year, even if Leipzig have leapfrogged Leverkusen.

Stats Perform AI suggests Union Berlin (4.66 per cent) and Freiburg (8.22 per cent) – one and three points outside the top four last term – have missed their shot, with Borussia Monchengladbach (22.94 per cent) and Eintracht Frankfurt (21.5 per cent) the most likely gatecrashers despite last season finishing 10th and 11th.

Eintracht are also in the Champions League this term after winning the Europa League, but they are considered the team most likely to return to the second-tier competition (13.32 per cent).

There could be a real scrap for those final European places, though. All but four teams have at least a 1.0 per cent likelihood of qualifying for the Europa Conference League, with title favourites Bayern one of those four.

 

SCHALKE AND WERDER FACE A FIGHT

Schalke and Werder – two of the great names of German football – have returned to the top flight following successful promotion campaigns in the 2. Bundesliga last season, but they face tricky first seasons back in the big time.

The ceiling for Schalke is a little higher, so Stats Perform AI has them finishing in the relegation play-off place in 16th.

This is despite two teams – Augsburg (14.02 per cent) and Werder (13.9 per cent) – being more likely to qualify for that play-off than Schalke (13.3 per cent).

Werder are ranked 17th, while the outlook for Augsburg is awful; 14th in the Bundesliga in 2021-22, they have a new coach in ex-Dortmund II boss Enrico Maassen and are considered a strong 38.19 per cent shot for relegation.

Bochum (30.84 per cent) are also in a little trouble, with Hertha Berlin (11.62 per cent) backed to pull away and finish 12th after their play-off scare last time out.

Daniel Farke has been named the new head coach of Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Bundesliga club announced the appointment on Saturday, with Farke signing a deal until 2025.

The 45-year-old takes up his first head coach role in the Bundesliga having previously been charge at SV Lippstadt and Borussia Dortmund II.

He was hired by Norwich City in 2017, winning promotion to the Premier League twice at Carrow Road before being sacked in November with the Canaries again battling relegation in England's top flight.

Farke was appointed head coach of Krasnodar in January but left just two months later after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Gladbach's website, sporting director Roland Virkus said: "In Daniel Farke, we have been able to sign a coach that fits perfectly to the path that we want to go down as a club.

"We are looking forward to tackling the challenges that lie ahead of us, together with him." 

Assistants Christopher John and Edmund Riemer will join Farke at Borussia-Park.

Gladbach parted ways with previous coach Adi Hutter last month following a season that saw them finish 10th in the Bundesliga, their worst placing since 2010-11.

Adi Hutter is leaving Borussia Monchengladbach after a single season as head coach.

Hutter joined Gladbach at the start of the 2021-22 campaign following an impressive three-year spell with Eintracht Frankfurt, replacing Marco Rose.

But the Austrian coach struggled to have the same impact at his new club, who looked as though they might be dragged into a Bundesliga relegation battle at one stage.

A sequence of only two wins in 13 matches – including two 6-0 losses but also a victory at Bayern Munich – left Gladbach only four points above the relegation play-off place and five above the bottom two in early March.

However, Hutter and his side turned the season around, losing just one of the remaining nine games and earning twice as many points (18) as they had over that concerning 13-match stretch (nine).

Gladbach finished with a flourish, overturning an early deficit on Saturday's final day to beat Hoffenheim 5-1 for their biggest comeback win since 1997.

But it was not enough to convince either the club or Hutter to continue, with his departure seemingly already agreed and confirmed soon after full-time.

"Borussia and head coach Adi Hutter have mutually agreed to go their separate ways after the end of the 2021-22 season," a short statement read on Gladbach's Twitter page.

"This is the result of the discussions and analyses of the past season that have been conducted over the past few weeks and days."

Gladbach finished in 10th with 45 points, their fewest since 2010-11 (36) when they required the relegation play-off to beat the drop.

Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Germany defender Matthias Ginter, who will join from Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season.

Ginter came through the Freiburg academy and made his Bundesliga bow for the club at the age of 18 in January 2012, scoring the winner against Augsburg.

He went on to make 81 appearances for Freiburg before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and played 102 times across three seasons, helping them to a DFB-Pokal triumph in 2017.

Ginter switched to Gladbach ahead of the 2017-18 season and established himself as a key player in defence, and has made 46 appearances for Germany.

However, it was confirmed earlier in the season that the 28-year-old would not be signing a new deal with Gladbach, and Freiburg announced on Wednesday that he will be making a return to his first club.

 

"I wanted to do something special in my career, and there's nothing more meaningful to me than a return to my home," Ginter said.

"The development the club has undergone, as well as the potential in the team and the discussions with the club over the last weeks have been great. To find something like that in my hometown, especially nowadays, is extremely rare. It was just a perfect fit all round."

Ginter could well be playing in the Champions League next season, with Freiburg sitting in fourth place after a superb season.

They have won three of their last four Bundesliga games – drawing the other one against Gladbach – and hold a one-point advantage over RB Leipzig and a three-point lead over sixth-placed Cologne, while they are three behind Bayer Leverkusen, who they face in a potentially huge clash in the final game of the league season after a contest with seventh-placed Union Berlin on Saturday.

That will not be the last match of Freiburg's campaign, however, as they also have a DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to on May 21. It will be their first appearance in the final of the competition.

Borussia Monchengladbach have announced they will play a charity friendly against the Ukraine national team at Borussia Park.

All profits from the game, which will take place on May 11, will be donated to charitable causes for people in or from Ukraine.

The match will be Ukraine's first since the start of the invasion by Russia and is part of Oleksandr Petrakov's team's preparations for their rescheduled World Cup playoff with Scotland in June, as well as subsequent Nations League fixtures.

Gladbach chief executive Stephan Schippers told the club's website: "We're very happy to be able to help the Ukrainian FA through this game, and hope that as many football fans as possible from all over the country come to the stadium and make a donation to a good cause by buying a ticket to the match.

"All Ukrainian citizens will have free entry to the game."

It follows an exhibition match between another Bundesliga side, Borussia Dortmund, and Ukrainian opponents Dynamo Kyiv, who raised €400,000 in support of victims of the war as Dynamo secured a 3-2 win at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

The contest was part of Dynamo's Match for Peace tour, which has also included games against Legia Warsaw, Galatasaray and Cluj.

Assistant referee Christian Gittelmann was struck by a projectile from the crowd in Bundesliga on Friday, forcing an abandonment between Bochum and Borussia Monchengladbach.

With Gladbach up 2-0 in the 77th minute, after goals from Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo, Gittelmann was hit in the back of the head by a beer thrown from the crowd.

Bochum had posted an announcement hours before the game on social media, advising fans not to throw beer from the stands.

The club again used social media after incident, this time to issue an apology.

"We can only formally apologise to linesman Christian Gittelmann," a tweet from Bochum said. "A highly embarrassing and bitter evening for us. An extremely stupid action from an idiotic fan."

The match was promptly abandoned after the incident, with the Bundesliga to release further details.

Victor Osimhen has netted 11 goals in all competitions, prompting admiration from some top clubs.

The Napoli striker is valued at around €80million by the Serie A leaders.

Manchester United are understood to be interested in Osimhen.

TOP STORY – REAL TO RIVAL MAN UTD FOR OSIMHEN

The race for Napoli forward Osimhen is heating up with Real Madrid joining United in pursuit of his signature, according to Calciomercato.

Osimhen's Napoli contract does not expire until 2025 but both clubs are ready to flex their muscles and move for him in the off-season transfer window.

The 23-year-old forward's stock has risen dramatically since Napoli signed him for €70m from Lille in 2020.

ROUND-UP

- Inter are lining up a move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram as they prepare for Lautaro Martinez to be prized away amid interest from Manchester City, claims The Sun.

- Nicolo Schira claims that Milan have agreed personal terms with Lille defender and Newcastle United target Sven Botman, who has been lured by a five-year deal.

- Barcelona are set to join the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who has interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, reports the Mail.

- The Express claims that Aston Villa are interested in manager Steven Gerrard's ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez along with Milan's Franck Kessie .

- Teenage England international Jude Bellingham has opted to remain with Borussia Dortmund for one more season, claims Bild.

- Kicker claims that Roma have joined the pursuit for Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic along with Tottenham, West Ham, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig .

- West Ham are interested in Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo, according to The Mirror, while Celtic are also tracking him.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose admitted he fears the worst after Giovanni Reyna came off injured during the victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Rose's side remained within six points of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich following a comprehensive 6-0 rout at Signal Iduna Park.

Marco Reus produced a man-of-the-match display for the hosts; becoming their first player in over five years to register five direct goal involvements in a single German top-flight game (two goals, three assists).

However, the victory was marred by an injury to Reyna, who limped off just 27 minutes into his first start since August.

Leaving the pitch in tears, the United States international had only recently returned from a hamstring injury sustained while on duty with the Stars and Stripes five months ago.

While the extent of the damage is yet to be revealed, Rose is fearful for the 19-year-old.

"You have to assume that something has broken open again in the previous place," the head coach said.

"A fit Gio would have been important for us. He's just coming off a long-term injury. Of course that's very bitter."

The hosts also lost Dan-Axel Zagadou before half-time, the defender trudging off with a thigh problem, making him doubtful for Thursday's Europa League knockout round play-off second leg against Rangers, in which Dortmund will attempt to claw back a 4-2 deficit.

Rose added: "The injuries are already clouding the victory."

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus became the club's first player in over five years to register five direct goal involvements in a single Bundesliga game, as he starred in Sunday's drubbing of Borussia Monchengladbach.

With leaders Bayern Munich having beat Greuther Furth 4-1 earlier on, Dortmund responded with a 6-0 thrashing of coach Marco Rose's former team at Signal Iduna Park.

It ensured BVB kept within six points of the champions, while also saw them get back on track after Thursday's humbling Europa League defeat to Rangers.

Reus, who had just one shot and failed to create a chance against Rangers, was the star of the show, scoring twice and assisting three other goals against his former team.

 

The Germany forward, who scored 36 Bundesliga goals for Gladbach before joining Dortmund in 2012, opened the scoring from close range in the 26th minute, before playing in Donyell Malen for BVB's second.

Reus laid it off for Marius Wolf to score two minutes after coming on midway through the second half, before then crossing in for teenager Youssoufa Moukoko to tap home.

The 32-year-old's second goal arrived in the 81st minute, as he finished coolly after latching onto Mats Hummels throughball. Reus could have had a hat-trick when Dortmund were awarded a stoppage-time penalty, but it was Emre Can who stepped up to convert it.

Reus' display marked the first time a Dortmund player has been involved in five goals in a league match since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did so against Hertha Berlin in November 2016.

It was the 100th Bundesliga meeting between the two sides, with Gladbach having gone into the match on the back of two wins over Dortmund from their last two encounters.

Erling Haaland will not return for Borussia Dortmund this weekend, with Marco Rose calling on the other attackers to start pulling their weight. 

Dortmund have been without Haaland for their past three matches after the striker sustained a muscular injury in the 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on January 22. 

In his absence, BVB suffered heavy 5-2 and 4-2 losses to Bayer Leverkusen and Rangers respectively either side of a 3-0 win at Union Berlin. 

Rose revealed Haaland would not be ready to feature against the coach's former club Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday. 

He laid down the gauntlet to the other attackers in the team, despite Dortmund having scored 57 goals - of which Haaland has contributed 16 - after 22 games this season. The only time they have managed more at the same point in a Bundesliga campaign was when they had 63 in 2019-20. 

"Erling is not ready for the game. He has participated in parts of training, but he is not yet fully operational," Rose told a news conference on Saturday. 

"Others have to step into the breach. It's not about wanting to sugarcoat anything. 

"We're now introducing Donny [Donyell] Malen to the Bundesliga and Dortmund. He's felt like he's taken one-to-two steps back in the last two games. Before that, I publicly praised him for his development here. 

"If Erling isn't there, others have to pull on the chains and prepare the gates. I have to say this, too; we won 3-0 in Berlin a few days ago. We kept a clean sheet after a long time." 

Gladbach will be aiming to make it three straight Bundesliga wins over Dortmund for the first time since 1981, but they have only triumphed once away to BVB in their past 16 attempts in all competitions. 

BVB will be without defender Manuel Akanji due to a muscle tear sustained in the defeat to Rangers, while Marius Wolf is a doubt and Thomas Meunier will not play. 

Page 1 of 7
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.