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. 

Tom Rothe made Bundesliga history as Borussia Dortmund cut Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the German top flight to six points in emphatic fashion.

Dortmund thrashed Wolfsburg 6-1 on Saturday, putting pressure on Bayern ahead of their meeting with Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.

It was Rothe who put Dortmund ahead with a near-post header in the 24th minute, as Marco Rose's side scored five times in a rampant first-half display.

In doing so, Rothe - aged 17 years and 169 days - became the youngest player to score on his Bundesliga debut.

Axel Witsel, Manuel Akanji, Emre Can and Erling Haaland all found the net before half-time, with Haaland then doubling his tally in the 54th minute.

Dortmund face Bayern in Der Klassiker next Saturday, by which point Die Roten will be expected to have restored a nine-point advantage at the Bundesliga summit.

After excelling in the Champions League for Benfica, Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez has attracted interest from Newcastle United.

Darwin, who turns 23 in June, has scored 24 goals in 24 Primeira Liga games, as well as six goals in 10 Champions League appearances. No Benfica player has ever scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign.

While some of the world's biggest clubs – including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United – are hoping to sign the breakout star, they will have to contend with an aggressive offer to bring him to St James' Park.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE MAKE £50M BID FOR DARWIN

Newcastle have been linked with all kinds of big-name signings for the upcoming transfer window, but Footmercato is reporting that they have made a £50million bid for Darwin in an effort to fend off the challenge of rival clubs.

At such a young age, he could be the kind of marquee signing the new Newcastle board can build their future side around as they also chase more experienced players, such as Christian Eriksen from Brentford on a free transfer.

The Footmercato report also mentions that if Darwin is to leave, Benfica plan to replace him with Petar Musa, who is on loan at Boavista from Slavia Prague.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min is reporting Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri is very interested in reuniting with Jorginho, as he is unlikely to be offered a new contract at Chelsea beyond 2023.

– Erik ten Hag would like to bring Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni to Manchester United when he takes over as manager, according to ESPN.

Arsenal, Leeds United and Newcastle are set to compete for the signature of Hoffenheim's Florian Grillitsch when his contract expires after this season, per the Daily Mail.

– The Sun is reporting Kalvin Phillips will reject Manchester United's advances and sign a new deal with Leeds.

Burnley are targeting Sam Allardyce to take over as manager after the sacking of Sean Dyche, per The Sun.

Robert Lewandowski's attitude towards his work at Bayern Munich gives the impression he is staying at the club, coach Julian Nagelsmann believes.

Lewandowski is the leading scorer among players in Europe's top five leagues for a third consecutive season, netting 47 goals in all competitions in 2021-22 after 48 in 2020-21 and 55 2019-20.

He is the only player in Europe to have scored at least 40 goals in each of the past seven seasons.

But the 33-year-old's contract has only a year to run, and he has been linked with a move away from Bayern – most prominently to Barcelona.

Bayern have insisted Lewandowski will not be sold, yet he will be able to leave on a free transfer in 2023 if a new contract is not agreed, denying the Bundesliga giants a huge fee.

However, Nagelsmann does not think Lewandowski intends to quit the German champions based on the conversations the pair have had.

"Of course I would like to keep him, he is an important goalscorer," Nagelsmann said ahead of Sunday's game at Arminia Bielefeld. "He has a contract. There are conversations.

"I never got the impression that he wants to leave. We talk a lot about tactics, and he participates a lot. That implies for me that he wants to stay.

"But it's also quite normal to think about your future, especially when you've been with the club for so long."

Nagelsmann was speaking on Friday, three days after a Champions League draw with Villarreal that saw Bayern eliminated from the competition at the quarter-final stage.

Their failure to reach the quarter-finals in consecutive seasons will have financial implications, but Nagelsmann hopes Bayern will keep investing in order to return to Europe's top table.

"It's always a vicious circle," he said. "The squad changes, you lose regular players; on the other hand, the income is missing because you don't get that far.

"Of course, we don't have the money we would have made from the semi-finals.

"You have to decide: do you take a risk, how much do you invest? If you do not take risks, the probability of reaching a semi-final is lower, then again the money is missing. It's always a balancing act."

Now, though, the focus has to be on clinching the Bundesliga title – that is Nagelsmann's message as Bayern aim to move on from the Villarreal game, where Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman sustained muscle injuries that make them doubts against Arminia.

"There's a bit of dreariness. We won't have the opportunity to play such games again until a year from now," he said. "We have a year to think about it.

"But we now have a mission: ideally win the next two games to become champions. You have to turn that dreariness into vigour."

There is the potential for yet another Lewandowski record, too, needing only a single goal to become the outright away scorer in a Bundesliga season; he has 17 on the road so far this term, tied with Jupp Heynckes in 1973-74 and Timo Werner in 2019-20.

Lewandowski's only previous away game against Arminia in October 2020 saw him score twice and assist another in a 4-1 Bayern win.

Julian Nagelsmann revealed he regularly receives death threats in the aftermath of Bayern Munich matches and his mother is also targeted.

Bayern were eliminated from the Champions League in midweek after a 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal resulted in a 2-1 aggregate quarter-final defeat.

It means Die Roten can only win one major trophy in Nagelsmann's first season as head coach, though a nine-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with five games to go means that trophy looks reasonably secure.

Nagelsmann said receiving threats is not out of the ordinary as he opened up on the abuse when previewing Bayern's weekend fixture with Arminia Bielefeld.

"I get them after every game, regardless of whether we win or lose. I only ever see the first line and then delete them all at once," he said.

"They even shoot at my own mother, who doesn't play football at all. That's a little wild.

"There are more death threats when we play a back three. How do I deal with it? I don't give a f***. I cannot understand. As soon as you turn off the TV, people forget their decency. But that's all useless. They think they're right, that's the bizarre thing.

"I don't think the club is increasing security. You also move as a private person. I don't want to provoke anyone now."

Club legend and former CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke about how uncertainty over the contracts of several big-name players may have proved a distracting factor in Bayern's European demise.

Nagelsmann says it is easier to accept criticism from such quarters.

"I am aware that you have to put up with criticism from all sides. That's normal, part of it. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's criticism is manageable for me. I can handle that," he added.

"Maybe not quite as good with the 450 death threats on Instagram. But I don't read them all, of course that's a bit irrelevant.

"Of course, if you are eliminated in two out of three competitions, a coach will also be criticised. But I can take it and keep working."

Nagelsmann also stated he had held constructive talks with Bayern's hierarchy following the Villarreal setback.

"We sat together for two hours on Wednesday and talked about the game. I picked out the most important things again, but again our game was good. We lost it in the first leg," he said.

"I had a long phone call with [chief executive] Oliver Kahn yesterday, also about the squad and my ideas. He wants to have a picture of what the coach is thinking. The exchange has been very good so far. 

"We are very good at planning, but implementation is not that easy. The squad planning changes every day, you imagine something. Two days later it looks very different. That's where the fast pace of business comes into play."

Along with Brenden Aaronson and Luka Sucic, Karim Adeyemi is part of a young core enjoying a breakout season at Salzburg.

In his third season in the Austrian Bundesliga, the 20-year-old has come up with 16 goals and three assists in 24 league appearances, and earned his first international cap for Germany last September.

Reports also suggest that a return to Germany at domestic level is imminent.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND CLOSE IN ON ADEYEMI

Borussia Dortmund and Salzburg have reached a basic agreement over the transfer of Karim Adeyemi, according to reports from Sky Sport Germany.

After several rounds of talks, this week has finally seen a breakthrough between the two clubs, with €35million the reported fee the two clubs have agreed on.

However, Dortmund are still to arrive at a point that satisfies Adeyemi and his representatives on personal terms.

According to the report, all three parties are looking to finalise the deal, but RB Leipzig, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain also remain interested.

ROUND-UP

Harry Kane is set to turn down a move to Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag reportedly due to take over at Old Trafford instead of Kane's former boss Mauricio Pochettino, the Mirror reports.

– United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger however, as talks with Barcelona have reportedly stalled, according to the Sun.

Newcastle United have targeted Sevilla's Diego Carlos as a viable alternative if Sven Botman opts to join Milan, per the Chronicle.

– Football Insider reports Villarreal are seeking to permanently sign Giovani Lo Celso from Tottenham, having had the 26-year-old on loan since January.

– Meanwhile, Football Insider also reports that Manchester City have made Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni their top priority to replace Fernandinho.

After a cardiac episode at Euro 2020, there were questions about whether Christian Eriksen would ever be able to play football again, let alone at the highest level.

But less than a year after being released from his contract at Inter, the Denmark international is a hot commodity once again.

Since signing with Brentford on a six-month deal, Eriksen has displayed the quality that saw him net 69 goals over six and a half seasons for Tottenham, and now Premier League teams are circling.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE WANT ERIKSEN AS FLAGSHIP SIGNING

Tottenham have been linked with Eriksen in a potential reunion in the upcoming transfer window, but they are reportedly going to have to contend with Newcastle United, who wish to make him a "flagship" signing, per the Northern Echo.

Being out of contract, Eriksen will have his pick of potential suitors, yet Newcastle will likely have deep enough pockets to contend with anyone serious about adding the midfielder.

Since his return from the bench against Newcastle, Brentford have won all four Premier League matches in which Eriksen has played 90 minutes, including a 4-1 away win at Chelsea, where he scored.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Mohamed Salah is close to signing an extension with Liverpool that will pay him £400,000 per week.

West Ham have entered the race for Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, per Calciomercato.

– 90min is reporting Edinson Cavani may be Manchester United's "secret weapon" in their quest to sign fellow Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica in the upcoming transfer window.

Cardiff City and Tottenham are joint-favourites to land the services of Wales international Gareth Bale when his contract with Real Madrid expires in June, per Wales Online.

– According to the Chronicle, both Arsenal and Newcastle are heavily linked with Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta, who is expected to fetch a price of around £58million.

Robert Lewandowski will stay at Bayern Munich next season, chief executive Oliver Kahn insists, despite speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The Poland international has hit 32 goals in 29 Bundesliga games for Bayern this season, scoring 47 times for his club in all competitions.

Lewandowski's latest goal came in Bayern's 1-1 draw with Villarreal on Tuesday, making him just the third player to reach 30 goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League after Cristiano Ronaldo (67) and Lionel Messi (49).

Recent speculation has linked Lewandowski with a move to LaLiga, given his Bayern contract is set to expire in just over a year's time.

But Kahn, speaking ahead of the Villarreal game, said Lewandowski would be remaining in Munich and the club would be "crazy" to consider letting him go.

"Apparently there is a competition out there to see who brings out the biggest nonsense story about Robert Lewandowski," Kahn told Amazon Prime Video.

"It is very important to mention that we have a contract that is valid for another season. If there's something to report, then we'll do it, too.

"We are not crazy and discussing a change from a player who scores between 30 and 40 goals every season."

Kahn then insisted the striker would "definitely" remain at the club for another season.

Those words would bring some comfort to Bayern fans who then watched their team bow out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw with Villarreal, having lost 1-0 in the first leg in Spain.

Bayern have failed to win back-to-back Champions League games for the first time since their 2018-19 last-16 tie with Liverpool, when they drew 0-0 away and lost 3-1 at home.

Meanwhile, no team have suffered more Champions League quarter-final eliminations than the Bavarian giants (eight), and they have fallen in the last eight in consecutive seasons after losing to Paris Saint-Germain last term.

However, Kahn refused to criticise Julian Nagelsmann's team for their efforts and said the club were "not going to cry".

"It's always disappointing when you concede a goal just before the end," he said after the match. "We could have made it 2-0 before that. 

"You can't blame the team. They put everything into it, tried everything in the second half. 

"There are few less pleasant teams to play against [than Villarreal]. To crack this kind of defence, you need a lot of patience, you have to keep running. If there's one critique, it's that we didn't take advantage of one or two scoring opportunities and should have created one or two more chances. 

"It just wasn't meant to be. The team threw everything in. We didn't lose the battle today [but in the first leg], more commitment and will is hardly possible.

"We're not going to cry, we're going to go for it again next year in the Champions League. 

"We have a great opportunity to become league champions for the 10th time in a row. No one has ever done that in Europe. We have a nine-point lead over Borussia Dortmund. That's what we'll focus on and throw everything into that."

Julian Nagelsmann knows this season cannot be considered a success for Bayern Munich after falling short of their "minimum goal" of making the Champions League semi-finals.

Bayern are on course for a 10th consecutive Bundesliga title, nine points clear of nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund with five games to play.

But as last season, Bayern have failed to win the DFB-Pokal and been eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

After being edged out by big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in 2020-21, underdogs Villarreal put paid to their European hopes this time, claiming a 1-1 draw in Germany on Tuesday to claim a 2-1 aggregate success.

Samuel Chukwueze's late equaliser saw Bayern eliminated in the last eight for the eighth time in the Champions League era – more than any other side.

It was the first time Bayern had failed to win consecutive matches at any stage of the competition since facing Liverpool in the last 16 in 2018-19.

On the back of that disappointment, Nagelsmann was unwilling to be complacent about the Bundesliga title race as he considered the season as a whole.

"It depends on what happens in the Bundesliga," said the first-year Bayern coach.

"If we win that, we've matched what we did last year, which is not enough for Bayern Munich. The semi-finals should have been our minimum goal, but we've not done it."

While Nagelsmann insisted the damage had been done in Spain, he ranked this result among the three most disappointing of his coaching career.

"To be honest, this is one of the worst three defeats of my career," he said. "Hoffenheim v Liverpool was tough. RB Leipzig v PSG was difficult to take. We had plenty of chances, this is certainly one of the three toughest occasions.

"As to how we lift the team, everything works as normal. I'll do my job as usual. [On Wednesday] we'll start preparing for our next Bundesliga game and I'll get the team ready for it.

"A team like Bayern has experience with good and bad results. You win together and lose together, and you have to prepare for the next matches together.

"It's not easy, we will feel bad about [Tuesday], but I will do my best to lift the team."

Nagelsmann will be relieved he will at least not have to face Villarreal again this season, having grown frustrated by the approach of the LaLiga side, who had just four attempts but scored with their only shot on target.

Crucially, they limited Bayern to four shots on target from their 23 efforts, making seven blocks, and won 11 fouls to slow the pace of the game.

"It's difficult when the opposition have eight defenders in the penalty box, so it's never that easy to find your rhythm," Nagelsmann said.

"We have to score from winning the ball back, as we did. In other situations, it's super difficult.

"That's a part of how football is in southern Europe. I don't want to open up any discussion I'll have to apologise for next week, but everyone has to see their style for themselves.

"We had a couple of strong tackles where players could reasonably stay down, but not every situation needs to end with a player staying down for three minutes. I'm not going to make excuses about that, though."

Not a window goes by where Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's name does not emerge in transfer speculation.

The 27-year-old's contract expires at the end of the 2023-24 season, but Juventus are keen to move on the long sought-after Lazio midfielder.

The Serbia international has only progressed under Maurizio Sarri, attracting reported interest from the Turn giants.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE RAMP UP CHASE FOR MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

Milinkovic-Savic's agent Mateja Kezman has commenced talks with Juventus over a possible transfer from Lazio, according to Calciomercato.

The Serbian midfielder has long been a weak area since their appearance in the Champions League final in 2015, and multiple coaches in that period have not been conducive for personnel.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito famously placed an initial €100million value on Milinkovic-Savic, but it has reportedly dropped to €70m. It is perceived that price tag is still too steep a figure for Juventus, as a consequence of compatriot Dusan Vlahovic's signing in January.

It is believed that Lazio would be open to players in return as part of a packaged deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United and Arsenal have joined the race to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, the Mirror reports.

- Erling Haaland has dismissed interest from Manchester United, believing they do not meet the Norwegian striker's ambitions, according to ESPN.

- Paris Saint-Germain are in talks to sign Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku, only a year after he joined the London club from Inter, per the Sun.

- Roma are interested in signing Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, Calciomercato is reporting.

- Spanish international Marco Asensio is expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, per Mundo Deportivo, with Milan and Tottenham interested.

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann says he is unsure why Leroy Sane has struggled for form this season, acknowledging that the winger has been far from his best in recent weeks.

However, Nagelsmann also hailed Sane's "incredible qualities' and backed him to improve, rejecting criticism of his frustrated reaction to being substituted in a 1-0 win over Augsburg.

Sane played 65 minutes of the Bundesliga leaders' hard-fought victory but managed just one shot and four touches in the visitors' penalty area before being replaced by Kingsley Coman.

A late penalty from Robert Lewandowski was enough to extend Bayern's unbeaten league run to seven games, but the former Manchester City winger's below-par display marked his fifth consecutive league game without a goal.

After the victory, the Bayern coach admitted he was perplexed by Sane's poor form but backed him to get back to his best and hailed the 26-year-old's "incredible" ability. 

"I like Leroy very much, as a person and as a player. Everyone knows that he has incredible qualities," Nagelsmann said.

"He is self-critical enough and knows himself that he hasn't recently played well. I don't know exactly why.

"He's had ups and downs throughout his career. I support him completely."

Sane has scored seven goals in 28 Bundesliga appearances this season, with only Lewandowski (32) and fellow winger Serge Gnabry (11) netting more often for the perennial champions. 

However, the latest of Sane's league goals came in a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in mid-February, and the 26-year-old cut a frustrated figure when replaced against Augsburg, appearing to shake Nagelsmann's hand half-heartedly before making his way to the bench.

Nagelsmann, however, refused to criticise Sane for his reaction, and was keen to move swiftly on from the incident.

"I'm not angry, we don't have to make a headline out of it," Nagelsmann added.

Bayern are back in Champions League action on Tuesday as they attempt to recover from a 1-0 first-leg loss to Villareal when they welcome Unai Emery's team to Bavaria.

Sane has been in much better form on the European stage, recording six goals and six assists in the competition this season. Since Opta records began in 2003-04, those 12 goal contributions are the joint-most managed by a German player in one Champions League campaign, along with Mario Gomez in 2011-12 (12 goals, also playing for Bayern).

Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna's season is over after the club confirmed the United States international suffered a muscle and tendon injury against Stuttgart on Friday.

The teenager was forced off in the early stages of BVB's 2-0 Bundesliga victory in the latest of a line of fitness issues that have seriously impacted his season.

Now, Dortmund have confirmed he will sit out the rest of the campaign, with Marco Rose's side nine points of adrift of leaders Bayern Munich.

"Midfielder Gio Reyna, who had to be substituted early in the game, suffered a muscle and tendon injury," Dortmund confirmed in a statement. "The season is over for the American."

Restricted to just 13 appearances this term for the German side, English-born playmaker Reyna has struggled to live up to the heights of his first full senior season last term.

He suffered a hamstring injury in September while on international duty against El Salvador and subsequently was out of action into the new year.

A return to action in February for Dortmund saw him promptly reaggravate the problem, though he only missed a few further weeks.

He subsequently recovered in time to play a part in the Stars and Stripes' successful Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification last month but will now wait for the 2022-23 season to play again.

 

 

Jesse Lingard's future with Manchester United is unclear.

The 29-year-old England international is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lingard had a brilliant loan spell at West Ham United last season but has remained out of favour at Old Trafford this term.

 

TOP STORY – ITALIAN OPTIONS FOR LINGARD

Lingard could reunite with Jose Mourinho at Roma, with the Italian club joining the race for the forward, according to the Mirror.

Lingard is being pursued by West Ham following his impressive loan spell, while Newcastle United are also interested in the 29-year-old.

Serie A clubs Milan and Juventus also have an interest in Lingard, with a move to Italy offering a lucrative alternative option.

English pair Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham have enjoyed productive spells at Roma, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is on loan from Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid are moving on from their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe , who appears set to stay with Paris Saint-Germain, by turning their attention to landing Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, claims the Mirror.

- Inter will make a move to sign Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea, following his August exit from the Italian champions, reports Football Insider. Lukaku previously expressed his regret at leaving Inter.

- The Sun claims that Arsenal and Tottenham will battle to sign Leicester City midfielder James Maddison who is rated at £60million and could be put up for sale.

- Danny Ings could be on his way out of Aston Villa as manager Steven Gerrard plans a clear-out, according to the Mirror.

- CBS Sports claims Liverpool and West Ham are no longer interested in Leicester City's Youri Tielemans, leaving the door open for Manchester United to land the midfielder.

- Juventus are circling for Chelsea midfielder Jorginho , reports Tutto Mercato.

Xavi had no issue with Dani Alves' controversial opinion on Erling Haaland's worth, saying he would forgive his former Barcelona team-mate for anything. 

Alves, 38, is back at Barca as a veteran player under Xavi, having featured alongside the coach in hugely successful Blaugrana teams earlier this century. 

Xavi has enjoyed being able to work with his old colleague again, but Barca have their sights set on rather more ambitious signings at the end of this season. 

Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland has regularly been linked with a move to Camp Nou, although Barca are far from alone in admiring a striker whose contract reportedly includes a €75million release clause. 

However, right-back Alves has claimed Kylian Mbappe – widely expected to join rivals Real Madrid – "is a more complete player than Haaland in all aspects of the game". 

"I wouldn't do crazy things for Haaland," the Brazil defender told Sport. "Honestly, I wouldn't spend a lot of money on him." 

Alves' employers Barca, on the other hand, may well be up for splashing out on the 21-year-old – but that does not mean Xavi was concerned by his player's comments. 

"I forgive Dani everything, anything he says," the Barca boss said at a media conference ahead of Sunday's game against Levante. "He's a phenomenon, really. 

"Sometimes you guys complain that you don't have headlines, right? Well, with Dani, it's hard to choose just one. He is a phenomenon. 

"The truth is that the signing of him has gone very well for us, he is a natural leader. It is a spectacle, both for us and for you." 

On Haaland, Xavi added: "We'll see. Yes, we are planning for next year, but let's see. The situation is not easy, especially financially, economically." 

Whether Barca can afford the type of sums required to both sign and pay Haaland remains to be seen, but Xavi is confident he has the club's backing. 

"[The club] know my priorities," he said. "From here on, whatever we can do, well, we are going to do it, but it is true that we have to be very prudent and very cautious because the economic situation is what it is." 

Bayern Munich restored their nine-point lead at the Bundesliga summit thanks to Robert Lewandowski's penalty in a late 1-0 win over Bavarian neighbours Augsburg.

The hosts were beaten 1-0 by Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie in midweek and were frustrated for 82 minutes at Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Just when Bayern looked to be heading for a first league blank since January 2020, Lewandowski's header hit Reece Oxford's arm and the striker stepped up to convert from the spot.

Bayern have now won three league games in a row and retain a healthy lead over Borussia Dortmund, who beat Stuttgart 2-0 on Friday, ahead of the sides meeting in two weeks.

 

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