Bayern Munich signing Erling Haaland "doesn't make any sense" for sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic because they have Robert Lewandowski.

Haaland is believed to be available for €75million due to a clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract and is set leave in one of the upcoming off-season's major transfers. 

The Norway international has scored 82 goals and supplied 19 assists in 86 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund since making his debut on January 18, 2020. He has averaged 1.1 goals per 90 minutes, a record that is only bettered by Bayern striker Lewandowski (1.2) among players in the top five European leagues.

Haaland has been touted as a potential replacement for Lewandowski, who Bayern were said to be open to offers for with his contract expiring at the end of next season. 

However, Lewandowski leaving the Allianz Arena at the end of the campaign has been ruled out by Salihamidzic, who therefore sees no reason to pursue Haaland. 

"It doesn't make any sense," Salihamidzic said when asked on Sky90 about Bayern moving for Haaland. 

"We have the best striker in the world. We have Lewandowski." 

Asked if there was any player Bayern would break the bank for, Salihamidzic replied: "That's up to the supervisory board. But we don't want to put the club at risk. That will continue to be our philosophy in the future. 

"Of course, after the Champions League win it would've been great to keep all the players – like [Philippe] Coutinho and [Ivan] Perisic – but we can't ruin the club financially. We can't do squad planning like that. 

"We have a philosophy at the club. We have 14 top players in the squad and a number of top talents we want to develop. We don't have the money for 20 top players like in England." 

One player who could be heading to Munich for next season is Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, though Bayern are yet to agree to reported demands of a €30million fee. 

"He is a good player. We're in talks, I can say that much," Salihamidzic revealed. 

"With a transfer like this, a lot has to go right. I can't say [how it is looking]. It's difficult, like all transfers." 

Salihamidzic is also expecting to see more from Leroy Sane, who has failed to score or assist in his past eight appearances in all competitions for Bayern. 

"He's an incredibly talented young man who has everything. He's super fast, he can dribble and has this mental strength. But he has to deliver now," he said. 

"When he's showing good body language, that's good, but if he doesn't, that's not good. I don't want to see this. I spoke to him about it. 

"He has potential, but I want to see that on the pitch. We spoke several times. The people in charge, the coach, the players, everyone expects him to explode on the pitch. It's hard to say why he's not performing as expected. He's listening well. I hope he'll do it." 

Robert Lewandowski will not be sold by Bayern Munich at the end of this season, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has insisted. 

With his contract due to expire at the end of 2022-23, it had been reported that Bayern were open to selling Lewandowski to avoid losing him on a free transfer. 

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for the Poland international, who was on target in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund that clinched the Bavarian giants' 10th straight Bundesliga title. 

Salihamidzic simply replied "no" when quizzed on Sky90 about whether he would consider selling Lewandowski if an offer of €40-50million was received. 

Asked if that meant the 33-year-old striker would be staying at Allianz Arena, he responded: "Yes, he has a contract until 2023." 

Salihamidzic said contract negotiations with Lewandowski are set to begin but stressed the importance of Bayern sticking to their budget. 

"Of course [we want to keep him]. Lewandowski is highly appreciated. The fans love him. But he's our top earner at the club. We also have to look at our financial possibilities and how much money we have," he said. 

"I spoke with Lewa. We'll also talk to his agent. He has a contract until 2023. We have all the time in the world. We have the best striker in the world and we're proud of that. We haven't negotiated yet. But that's what we'll do now [that the title has been won]." 

Lewandowski has been involved in 53 goals (48 scored, five assisted) in all competitions this season – more than any other player in the top five European leagues. 

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has not yet heard anything from the club regarding talks over a new contract.

Lewandowski scored for a 27th time against former club Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, as Bayern's 3-1 win in Der Klassiker ensured the Bundesliga title was theirs for a 10th successive campaign.

That is a record across Europe's top five leagues, with no side having ever managed 10 titles in a row. Indeed, Bayern shared the previous record with Juventus (nine).

However, Lewandowski is about to enter the final year of his contract with Bayern, who he joined from Dortmund on a free transfer in 2014.

Speculation has mounted that the 33-year-old may well move on ahead of next season, with Barcelona having been linked.

 

And the Poland forward confirmed he has not yet been told if talks over a new deal were progressing.

"I read what was in the media, but I haven't heard anything from the club," Lewandowski told Sky Sport.

"A meeting is coming soon, but I don't know what will happen either.

"I also see what's happening, it's not that easy for me."

Lewandowski has scored 33 goals in the Bundesliga so far this season, 12 more than any other player, and Julian Nagelsmann would surely be against losing such a crucial player.

However, Bayern's boss - who has now won his first league title as a coach - trusts the club to make the right decision.

He told Sky Sport: "I trust in the work of [sporting director] Hasan [Salihamidzic] and Oliver [Kahn]. Today he played again very well. He secured a lot of balls and was extremely strong in tackles. 

"There is not much to say about him. It goes without saying when you look at the statistics how important he is for Bayern Munich."

Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer are 10-in-a-row heroes for Bayern Munich, the lone mainstays of a decade of Bundesliga dominance.

Saturday's win against Borussia Dortmund means Bayern are German champions again, and veterans Muller and Neuer have been instrumental in the latest success.

Muller now has 11 Bundesliga titles in all, having also been a part of the triumphant 2009-10 team, and that stands as an all-time record.

There have been times in recent seasons when both Muller and Neuer have come under scrutiny, their places in the Bayern side being called into question.

Stats Perform has looked at how these two pivotal figures for Die Roten have bounced back in magnificent style.


The reinvention of Thomas Muller

Muller was integral to the title-clinching 3-1 win against Dortmund on Saturday, with the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot winner setting up Robert Lewandowski to make it 2-0 just before half-time.

Such contributions are expected of him nowadays, but the 32-year-old has reconfigured his game to reach this halcyon period in his career.

Muller went from scoring a career-high 20 Bundesliga goals in Pep Guardiola's final season at Bayern (2015-16) to just five in the following campaign under Carlo Ancelotti.

That drastic drop-off naturally caused many to wonder what was going on, even though Muller, handed his debut by Jurgen Klinsmann in 2008, had built up plenty of credit in the bank.

Muller's goal involvements (goals and assists) had dipped below 20 for the first time since 2011-12 during Ancelotti's only full season at the helm, as he added 12 assists to those five goals. Before this conspicuous 2016-17 season, Muller's goal hauls had always at least matched, but often comfortably beaten, his tally of assists.

In every season since, he has finished with more Bundesliga assists than goals.

Eight goals and 14 assists arrived in 2017-18, a campaign that saw Jupp Heynckes replace Ancelotti in early autumn, and that suggested Muller was back on track, only for another dip to follow during Niko Kovac's reign. Six goals and nine assists from Muller in 2018-19 saw him dip back under that 20 involvements mark, and as his 30th birthday approached there were concerns his best days were in the past.

How wrong Muller's critics were. As well as being a goal threat, Muller is now the most menacing creative force in German football. The departure of Kovac brought Hansi Flick to the Bayern top job in November 2019, and Muller finished that campaign with eight goals and 21 assists – the most assists in a Bundesliga season since such detailed data collection began in 2004-05.

 

He matched that career-best 29 goal involvements in 2020-21 (11 goals, 18 assists) and is well on the way to a similar haul this time (7 goals, 17 assists).

Muller has had nine seasons in which he has managed at least 20 goal involvements in the Bundesliga, not bad for a player that Ralf Rangnick almost pinched away from Bayern during Klinsmann's reign. Bayern academy boss Hermann Gerland is said to have told the club to reject the offer from Rangnick's Hoffenheim, and they owe him eternal gratitude.

Muller averaged 1.08 goal involvements per game under Flick, his best under any permanent Bayern boss, and has managed 0.89 during the first year of Julian Nagelsmann's reign, a sliver under the 0.93 he achieved in Guardiola's time at the club. He averaged a career-high 67.27 touches per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga under Flick, dipping to 64.34 under Nagelsmann.

Under Louis van Gaal, Ancelotti, Guardiola and Heynckes, he averaged in the 50s when it came to touches per 90 minutes, so his role today is more involved. Bayern can only hope it will stay that way.

When Bayern have had Muller in their starting XI since the start of the 2009-10 season, the campaign where he made his first big impact, they have won 74.7 per cent of games; without him, they have won 68.4 per cent (54 of 79). That has meant an average of 2.4 points per game when he has made the starting XI, to 2.2 when he has not started.


Neuer saves Bayern time and again

Like with Muller, there is a marginal gain to be observed from having goalkeeper Neuer in the Bayern side. Neuer joined from Schalke in 2011 and has made such an impact he is now the Bayern captain.

When he has started in the Bundesliga (307 games), Bayern have won 77.5 per cent of those games and picked up an average of 2.4 points, but when Neuer has been absent (64 games) those figures drop to a 71.9 per cent win rate and 2.3 points. The goals-against figure rises from 0.7 goals to 0.9 on average, too.

Now 36, Neuer has so far fended off a challenge from Alexander Nubel, who has been loaned out to Monaco this season to guarantee first-team action.

Nubel was also acquired from Schalke, joining Bayern in June 2020, but the 25-year-old has barely had a sniff of a first-team opportunity, and that is down to Neuer's form.

From 2012-13 to 2016-17, Neuer enjoyed five seasons where his impressive save percentage for each Bundesliga campaign fluctuated only slightly, between 78.57 per cent and 79.78 per cent per campaign.

Major doubts over his long-term future surfaced when he twice suffered broken metatarsal bones in 2017, forcing him to miss almost all the 2017-18 season.

There have been shaky times since his lay-off too, most notably when Neuer's save percentage was a distinctly low 59.65 per cent in 2018-19, the lowest mark of all Bundesliga goalkeepers with at least 20 appearances that season.

Yet a corner was soon turned, and this term the save percentage stands at 73.75 per cent, his best effort since that five-season hot streak in the mid-2010s. From seeking a succession plan, Bayern have shifted the emphasis to hoping that Neuer has years still to come at this level.

Bayern Munich are champions of Germany for a 10th successive time after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in Saturday's Klassiker to seal another Bundesliga triumph.

While the 2021-22 season has not entirely gone to plan, with Bayern falling well short in the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, they have once again dominated in the league.

Bayern's 10-in-a-row feat, with those successes coming under six different coaches, is something that has never previously been achieved in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind the Bavarian giants' latest title romp.

Ten in a row unmatched

Bayern equalled Juventus' record, set between 2012 and 2020, with nine titles in a row last season and have now overtaken the Italian giants' record for successive crowns.

Prior to this ongoing run, Bayern's longest streak of consecutive titles were the three in a row they managed on three previous occasions (1972-1974,1985-1987 and 1999-2001).

The only other team to have had such a long run of dominance in the competition was Borussia Monchengladbach from 1975 to 1977 with three titles.

 

Julian's title joy

Julian Nagelsmann masterminded Bayern's latest triumph in his first season in charge, but he fell just short of setting the record for the youngest Bundesliga title-winning coach.

Aged 34 years and 275 days on the day of the Dortmund win, Nagelsmann is 35 days older than Matthias Sammer was when Dortmund lifted the title in 2002.

Incredibly, Nagelsmann is a seasoned campaigner when compared to Lippo Hertzka, who had only just turned 28 when he won LaLiga with Real Madrid in 1931-32.

Lewy leads from the front

Robert Lewandowski has scored 33 Bundesliga goals this term, which is 12 more than next-best Patrik Schick, meaning he is now almost certain to win another Golden Boot award.

The Poland international has been at his ruthless best once again this campaign, netting every 81 minutes in the top flight.

It seems almost certain that Lewandowski will finish top of the Bundesliga scoring charts for the seventh time, and the fifth time in a row since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did so in 2016-17.

The only other player to have finished top scorer in the division as many times was Bayern great Gerd Muller, who did so between the 1966-76 and 1977-78 campaigns.

Muller the magician

Prolific striker Lewandowski is very much the poster boy of this Bayern side, but that is not to say he has done it all on his own this season.

Thomas Muller, for example, has assisted 17 goals in 30 games. That is the most of any player in Europe's top five leagues.

However, he is still short of the 21 Bundesliga assists he managed in the 2019-20 campaign, with that the most of any player since Opta began recording such data in 2004-05. He still has three games to match that total.

 

Neuer another ever-present

Muller has been a key member of Bayern's squad throughout their decade of dominance, as has goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer.

The pair will set a record for the most German top-flight titles won in a row, surpassing ex-team-mates David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez, who have all left.

Germany international Muller also lifted the title in 2010, with his overall haul of 11 seeing him surpass Alaba as the competition's outright most decorated player of all time.

Bayern Munich secured the Bundesliga title for a 10th consecutive season as they saw off rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in Der Klassiker.

Dortmund needed a win on Saturday to halt Bayern's procession to a historic crown, but despite a steely second-half showing the visitors never looked likely to prolong the title race.

Indeed, they were run ragged in the first half as Bayern cruised into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski.

Emre Can's 52nd-minute penalty made matters more interesting, though an eighth straight Klassiker victory was capped off by Jamal Musiala's goal late on.

Bayern's fans were in party mode after 15 minutes, with Gnabry slamming a wonderful strike beyond Marwin Hitz from the edge of the box after Dortmund failed to clear a corner.

With Erling Haaland skewing wide at the other end, Gnabry swept in a second just before the half-hour mark, yet it was disallowed by VAR for Kingsley Coman having strayed offside.

Nevertheless, it was 2-0 in the 34th minute – Lewandowski helping himself to a customary goal against his former club when Bayern pounced on Dan-Axel Zagadou's error.

Leon Goretzka and Lewandowski passed up chances to stretch Bayern's lead and the hosts were made to pay early in the second half when Can coolly converted from the spot after Joshua Kimmich's foul on Marco Reus.

Bayern were suddenly living dangerously, and first Manuel Neuer and then Lucas Hernandez had to make last-ditch interventions to deny Reus.

Lewandowski dragged wide and was then denied by Hitz as Bayern searched for a third, yet it came via substitute Musiala, who tucked in from close range in the 83rd minute to round off a decade of dominance.


What does it mean? History made by Bavarian giants

Bayern are the first team across Europe's top five leagues to win their respective top flight on 10 successive occasions – they had previously shared the record of nine with Juventus, who won Serie A each year from 2012 to 2020.

Fittingly, Bayern sealed the title against their great rivals, though it has been a rather one-sided rivalry in recent seasons. In fact, only against Hamburg (between 1982 and 1985) have Dortmund suffered as many consecutive defeats against an opponent as they have Bayern (eight).

Lewy hits another against his old side

It was only fair that Bayern's talismanic striker got in on the act as they clinched the title. Lewandowski has scored more goals against Dortmund, who he left in 2014, in all competitions than against any other club in his career (27).

Haaland frustrated

It may well have been Haaland's final Klassiker appearance, but it was not one to remember.

After that shot in the first half, the 21-year-old – who might well be bound for Manchester City – had to wait until the 80th minute for his next attempt, which was blocked. Another half-chance fell his way a moment later, but the Norway international blazed over from the centre of the area. He was taken off before the game was up, having failed to get any of his three efforts on target.

What's next?

Bayern travel to Mainz in their next outing, while Dortmund host Bochum.

Bayern Munich wrapped up the Bundesliga title with three games to spare on Saturday, with a 3-1 Klassiker triumph over fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund seeing Die Roten over the line.

Dortmund needed to take at least a point at the Allianz Arena, but Bayern's victory means they have now racked up a record-extending 10 straight top-flight titles. 

Serge Gnabry's terrific opener had the home fans rocking and he had a second ruled out prior to Robert Lewandowski doubling the lead. 

Emre Can's 52nd-minute penalty gave Dortmund a lifeline, albeit a brief one as Jamal Musiala rounded out the win seven minutes from time meaning the champagne corks could be popped for Bayern.

While the 2021-22 season has not entirely gone to plan, with Bayern falling well short in the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, they have once again dominated in the league.

Bayern's 10-in-a-row feat, with those successes coming under six different coaches, is something that has never previously been achieved in any of Europe's top five leagues.

It marks Julian Nagelsmann's second trophy as a coach, but his first league title.

In this footballing climate, what are Bayern Munich and where do they sit in its pecking order?

From Barcelona, to Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in recent years, the financial and footballing disparity between Europe's elite and the rest has warped perception. Lifting the league trophy at the end of the season no longer provides safety for a head coach.

Even then, Bayern are an extreme example. In the six years since Pep Guardiola left for Manchester City, they have gone through six head coaches, despite winning the Bundesliga in every season over that same period.

Bayern have been global standard-bearers for nearly four decades. Where other clubs and leagues have had lull periods away from the very highest levels of European football, they have consistently been in contention for silverware, even in relatively weak periods.

Just as importantly, though, the superiority clubs like Bayern now enjoy almost automatically dictates they will dominate possession in many games, irrespective of the ideology of the coach in charge and whether their teams can function with the ball as a consequence.

Niko Kovac's first season in 2018-19 was a good example of this. Bayern came nowhere near functioning in possession relative to the array of talent they had and still – along with some aid from Borussia Dortmund's regression to the mean after initial xG over-performance under Lucien Favre – managed an 11-point turnaround from third place in February to win the Bundesliga.

Meanwhile, they were comprehensively beaten by Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League with the majority of possession. Things declined even further under Kovac in his second season, before Hansi Flick took over the head coaching role, conquered Europe and subsequently replaced Joachim Low as the German national team coach at the end of the 2020-21 season.

This is the wider context that must be considered for Julian Nagelsmann's first season and what follows, because both club and international football ultimately acts within a continuum. Ahead of this weekend's Klassiker, much like that first season under Kovac, there's a dissonance that will accompany Bayern's title win.

Ultimately, a 10th consecutive Bundesliga title will not wash away the taste of Bayern's meek elimination at the hands of Villarreal in the Champions League quarter-finals. Those two legs were a microcosm of numerous aspects concerning this Bayern season – their true capacity in possession relative to the level of opposition, Nagelsmann's continual switching between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 formations, and finally from a standpoint of net gain, whether he's really getting the most out of the extraordinary creative forces that are Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

It is hard to overstate how Muller and Lewandowski provided more than goals and assists for Bayern under Flick. The utilisation of that duo was integral to the team's very functioning in possession, especially with Thiago Alcantara missing significant portions of that post-lockdown run late in the 2019-20 season. Kingsley Coman's decisive goal in the 2020 Champions League final against PSG was a perfect picture of the team when all three of Lewandowski, Muller and Thiago played – having initially tried to cover Muller, Leandro Paredes had to scramble, but it was too late, as Thiago fired his pass into Joshua Kimmich and Bayern got up the pitch.

Their combined touches in open play per 90 minutes under respective coaches makes for a good starting point. Under Kovac, Lewandowski and Muller held a combined 98.19 touches and 3.35 chances created from open play per 90 in all competitions. Flick's arrival leads to a dramatic spike for the two in both categories, with 107.6 touches in open play and 4.53 chances created in open play per 90.

 

 

Father Time will dictate an inevitable decline for the two as they approach 35, but more pertinently, Nagelsmann's approach has led to a return to their numbers under Kovac, with 98.59 touches per match and 3.85 chances created from open play between the two in all competitions this season. Then there's the discrepancy in eventual shot location.

The difference lies in involvement. Under Flick, Muller and Lewandowski effectively played as two strikers in a 4-4-2, while the wingers kept the defensive line pinned back, allowing the two with sufficient space to retreat and operate between the lines. Especially with midfielders like Kimmich and Leon Goretzka who do not like receiving the ball in tight areas, it was a critical component of Bayern's play and enabled them to open up the pitch.

Kimmich's increase in chance creation – his 2.83 per 90 this season is his highest out of the last four seasons in all competitions – is arguably born of the fact he is now Bayern's set-piece taker. His chance creation in open play has actually gone down from last season's 1.68 to 1.44, despite an increase in touches from 100.8 to 105.85.

 

 

Lewandowski and Muller's comparatively higher positioning and primary objective of threat behind the defensive line under Nagelsmann frankly makes the switching between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 irrelevant, because the 34-year-old has taken away the very thing that made Bayern function to begin with – the pair's ability to incorporate as well as get on the end of moves. Jamal Musiala's deployment in a 3-4-3 in the second leg against Villarreal only managed to clog the middle of the pitch up even further.

The player who has suffered the most with this change, however, is Serge Gnabry. His combined xG+xA figure of 0.92 in 2019-20 has dramatically decreased to 0.69 this year, while the middle of the pitch has been completely closed off to him, something evident in his dribble progression.

 

 

It all relates to the eventuality of Bayern's shot location and quality. Shot volume in Nagelsmann's first season has gone up to 20.13 in comparison to the 18.08 of that treble season under Flick, but they are shooting from further away, and with no increase in xG per shot. Against better defences, teams that hold high volumes of possession but ultimately struggle to play through the middle of the pitch are eventually found out. That has been the case this year, in Europe and particular in domestic losses to Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.

This all exists amid the backdrop of Bayern Munich's waning financial power and status as a destination in relation to the rest of Europe's elite. Bayern centre-back Niklas Sule is set to leave for arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund. Emerging stars from within the Bundesliga who traditionally would have been guaranteed to end up at Sabener Strasse such as Dortmund's Erling Haaland, or RB Leipzig's Cristopher Nkunku and Josko Gvardiol, appear destined for elsewhere.

In the meantime, Bayern are reportedly haggling with Ajax over the release of Ryan Gravenberch who, despite the hype, arguably will not transform their midfield – much like Corentin Tolisso and Marc Roca.

There is also the small matter of Lewandowski's contract not being renewed and running the risk of expiring at the end of next season.

Sustained success can run the risk of providing diminishing returns, much like Juventus discovered in Italy. The question for Bayern is how to avoid it both as a club and under Nagelsmann, but can they?

Erling Haaland's talents in attack make him "an absolute weapon" for Borussia Dortmund, says boss Marco Rose, favourably comparing the forward to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.

The two Bundesliga heavyweights meet this weekend in the latest edition of Der Klassiker, with Julian Nagelsmann's side able to claim the title against their biggest rivals with victory.

Much of the result will likely hinge on the performances of two of European football's most talismanic strikers, in Poland star Lewandowski and Norway forward Haaland.

The latter looks set to play out his final few games for the Black and Yellow over the coming weeks, and is widely expected to seal a major move during the close-season to a European rival with Manchester City heavily tipped to win the race for his signature.

But his contributions have been invaluable for Dortmund and head coach Rose, who hailed his prowess when speaking about him and Lewandowski ahead of their encounter.

"They have different strengths," he stated. "Lewandowski serves all facets with more experience and drops a lot.

"He's in a good position in the box too though. His first contact is world class.

"[But] Erling has also made progress this season. In the transition game, he is an absolute weapon.

"His header game has also gotten much better. When the ball comes into the box, both know exactly where the goal is."

Dortmund's last Bundesliga Klassiker victory came back in 2018, when they defeated Bayern 3-2 on home soil under Lucien Favre.

Rose knows it is due time that his side rise to the occasion in the Bundesliga's biggest fixture, and that the merit of the occasion drives them on to deliver.

"It's a classic," Rose added. "It's also about reputation. A win in Munich is always good. We don't want to just defend.

"Bayern can become champions on Saturday and will perform accordingly. We want to prevent that.

"We played a good game last Saturday, we need that performance at an even higher level and consistently over 90 minutes."

One of world football's hottest commodities, Erling Haaland, is reportedly set to join Manchester City in the next transfer window after agreeing to personal terms.

It has long been understood that Haaland would likely not return to Borussia Dortmund for another season, with the Bundesliga club entertaining offers from the world's biggest clubs.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were considered Manchester City's biggest competition for the Norway forward's signature, but a massive contract, recent success and close personal ties to his father seem to have been the deciding factors.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND CHOOSES MANCHESTER CITY

The Daily Mail is reporting Haaland has agreed to a deal with Manchester City that will make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League at £500,000 per week.

With terms agreed, City are expected to trigger Haaland's £62.2million (€75m) release clause and sign him to a five-year deal, which could be announced in the next week.

His father, Alf-Inge Haaland, played at Manchester City from 2000-2003 and is said to have been "heavily involved in the negotiations".

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Goal, Real Madrid did not want to unsettle their dressing room by signing Haaland and making him the highest-paid player.

– Fichajes is reporting Real Madrid's attention will turn to Manchester United's Edinson Cavani now Haaland is out of the picture, while The Mirror claims Madrid have strong interest in Chelsea right-back Reece James.

Liverpool target Serge Gnabry is discussing a contract extension with Bayern Munich, according to Goal.

West Ham are hoping to add Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, with the England international likely to leave the club if they are relegated, per the Daily Mail.

Arsenal are in the box seat to land Marco Asensio from Real Madrid after Milan rejected his wage demands, reports CalcioMercato.

Julian Nagelsmann is relishing a "match point" game with Borussia Dortmund after Bayern Munich moved on the brink of another Bundesliga title with a 3-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld.

Bayern bounced back from the disappointment of their Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal in routine fashion, goals from Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala securing all three points against their relegation-threatened opponents.

It means Bayern have a nine-point lead over Dortmund with four games remaining and can clinch the title with victory over their arch-rivals at the Allianz Arena next Saturday.

"It was a deserved win and it's important for us to have this match point game at home against Dortmund," Nagelsmann said in quotes reported by Bayern's official website. 

"It's a coincidence that doesn't happen very often. We're looking forward to that."

Bayern's Joshua Kimmich added: "The first half was pretty good, but in the second half we slowed down a bit. 

"We kept allowing counter-attacks with long balls. It was a deserved win. 

"We definitely want to win the title next week against Dortmund at home. This is a special game for us and for the whole Bundesliga. Because to get the championship trophy, that's clearly the ultimate goal."

Gnabry, who also created four chances, conceded there was an element of frustration from the aggregate defeat to Villarreal that was taken out on struggling Arminia.

"It was a bit of a reduction in frustration today after being eliminated from the Champions League, in which we had planned to progress," he said.

"But in the end, football just keeps going. Today was a new game. We wanted to win and we did. We played well with the ball, created a lot of space, let our opponents run and lost the ball a few times. 

"We had a lot of chances and maybe we could have scored earlier. But we can be satisfied." 

Bayern Munich restored their nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a routine 3-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld to leave themselves on the brink of a 10th straight title.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were knocked out of the Champions League by Villarreal in midweek, leaving the Bundesliga as the only trophy they can claim this season.

Borussia Dortmund reduced the gap to six points with a thumping 6-1 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday.

However, Bayern ensured they will go into Der Klassiker against Dortmund with a comfortable buffer, goals from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, both of which were originally disallowed for offside, and some late gloss courtesy of Jamal Musiala means they can secure the title by beating their fierce rivals next time out.

Arminia started brightly and the impressive Patrick Wimmer fired into the side-netting after cutting in from the right.

But Bayern soon took control of the contest, with only an astonishing save denying Robert Lewandowski as Stefan Ortega Moreno pushed his close-range header onto the post and then off the underside of the crossbar.

Lewandowski then looked to have been thwarted by the offside flag after he met Alphonso Davies' cross and saw his effort deflected in by a defender, however, the VAR overturned the decision to give Bayern lead.

Ortega's battle with the Poland striker continued as he repelled another effort after more good work from Davies as Bayern piled further pressure on the Arminia goal.

Arminia then saw two more offside decisions go against them as a well-taken Masaya Okugawa goal was chalked off in a decision confirmed by VAR before Gnabry found the bottom-left corner with a first-time strike that was awarded after originally being disallowed by the linesman's flag.

Bayern took the sting out of a low-key second half with little difficulty and Musiala tapped in at the near post six minutes from time to put the result beyond any doubt.

 

What does it mean? Bayern a win away from title

Der Klassiker is always a massive date on the German football calendar but it will have extra significance next Saturday.

Nine points ahead of Dortmund with four games remaining, a home win over their arch-rivals will seal yet another title for Bayern.

Power Serge

Gnabry was at the heart of Bayern's dominance here, providing four key passes to go with his goal.

Arminia running out of games

Defeat for Arminia means they have taken just one point from their last seven games and are two points adrift of the relegation play-off spot.

What's next?

There could be a celebration at the Allianz Arena next Saturday, a day that will also see Arminia visit Cologne.

Bayern Munich restored their nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a routine 3-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were knocked out of the Champions League by Villarreal in midweek, leaving the Bundesliga as the only trophy they can claim this season.

Borussia Dortmund reduced the gap to six points on Saturday with a thumping 6-1 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday.

However, Bayern ensured they will go into Der Klassiker against Dortmund with a comfortable buffer, goals from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, both of which were originally disallowed for offside, and some late gloss courtesy of Jamal Musiala keeping them on course for a 10th consecutive Bundesliga crown.

Arminia started brightly and the impressive Patrick Wimmer fired into the side-netting after cutting in from the right.

But Bayern soon took control of the contest, with only an astonishing save denying Robert Lewandowski as Stefan Ortega Moreno pushed his close-range header onto the post and then off the underside of the crossbar.

Lewandowski then looked to have been thwarted by the offside flag after he met Alphonso Davies' cross and saw his effort deflected in by a defender, however, the VAR overturned the decision to give Bayern lead.

Ortega's battle with the Poland striker continued as he repelled another effort after more good work from Davies as Bayern piled further pressure on the Arminia goal.

Arminia then saw two more offside decisions go against them as a well-taken Masaya Okugawa goal was chalked off in a decision confirmed by VAR before Gnabry found the bottom-left corner with a first-time strike that was awarded after originally being disallowed by the linesman's flag.

Bayern took the sting out of a low-key second half with little difficulty and Musiala tapped in at the near post six minutes from time to put the result beyond any doubt.

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn insists the club are "totally convinced" by head coach Julian Nagelsmann, while he hit out at the "cowardly" death threats towards the manager.

The Bundesliga side crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in midweek to Villarreal, leaving the German top-flight title as the only major trophy Nagelsmann can manage in his first season.

Bayern can restore their nine-point lead at the Bundesliga summit when they visit Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday, meaning the league would be almost secured with four games left to play after the weekend. 

However, Nagelsmann revealed in the build-up to the clash with Arminia that online abuse and threats, including towards his mother, have become commonplace in the wake of defeats for Bayern.

Kahn, speaking to German TV channel Sport1, acknowledged criticism in a high-pressure role is expected but says "limits are being far exceeded" with such threats.

"We all know it, we know what happens when FC Bayern is in this situation," he said. "That's part of it, you have to be able to deal with criticism.

"Here, however, limits are being exceeded, now far exceeded. What's going on with people who are sending death threats to other people out of anonymity?

"There is nothing more cowardly than discrediting other people out of anonymity. We will think about whether we can and must put a stop to it."

As for the success of the former RB Leipzig head coach Nagelsmann, who conceded the Bundesliga title alone was not enough at Bayern, Kahn fully supports the 34-year-old.

"We want to emphasise that we're totally convinced," he added on the Bayern boss. "We want to continue on this path with him. He knows what's important to us.

"In addition to the development of the younger players, you can see that [Jamal] Musiala is a positive development, you could also see that he pulled [Leroy] Sane out of the slump in form.

"That's what we expect from him. Of course, we also want to strengthen. We knew that Julian was a young coach, that's what we wanted too.

"We knew that there would be one or two setbacks and that's part of the path we want to take.

"Of course we always have the highest demands at Bayern Munich. But if we look at the season and also look at the data, then we have made some progress.

"Especially in terms of defence, for example, we conceded 10 goals fewer than at the same time last season and scored the same number of goals.

"We lost important players, David Alaba and Jerome Boateng but on the other hand, you have to see that we conceded 44 goals last season.

"It was our goal to become more stable, we've achieved that, we've become more flexible. This team is always capable of delivering top performances."

Erling Haaland's price tag means he is an unrealistic transfer target for Bayern Munich, according the club's chief executive Oliver Kahn.

With Bayern's own star striker Robert Lewandowski linked with a move to Spain ahead of his contract expiring in 2023, it has been suggested that Die Roten could make another raid on rivals Dortmund, just as they did when bringing Lewandowski to the club in 2014.

Haaland has scored 18 goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances this season, 14 fewer than Lewandowski, albeit having played nine games fewer than the 33-year-old.

A host of Europe's top clubs expected to make serious attempts to sign the Norwegian come the end of the season. However, Kahn says Bayern do not have the finances to make a deal work.

"I don't think we would be doing our job well if we didn't deal with a young striker," Kahn told German TV channel Sport1.

"He's shown his performances too, at BVB he's an excellent striker. He's also a very interesting player for the future.

"There is always talk of the 'Haaland package'. [But] these are areas that are very, very far away from what we imagine [financially]."

Haaland has averaged a goal every 86.78 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, the third-best rate amongst players to have hit double figures, behind only Lewandowski (a goal every 78.22 minutes), and Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick (every 83.35 minutes).

Since making his Bundesliga debut on January 18, 2020, Haaland has scored 58 goals in 63 league games, a tally only bettered by Lewandowski's astonishing return of 88 goals in 72 games during that time.

The 21-year-old scored twice as Marco Rose's side hammered Wolfsburg 6-1 on Saturday, with team-mate Tom Rothe becoming the youngest player to score on their Bundesliga debut (aged 17 years and 169 days) as BVB look to deny Bayern a 10th consecutive title. 

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