Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says they are in a "dungeon" following a dismal Belgian Grand Prix that saw Lewis Hamilton crash out on the first lap.

The Silver Arrows, last year's constructors' champions, have suffered a disappointing 2022 campaign compared to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.

Seven-time world drivers' champion Hamilton, pipped in controversial circumstances by Max Verstappen last season, has been off the pace in 2022, while the Dutchman's win at Spa edged him closer to another title.

Wolff admitted it has been a frustrating season for the Briton and team-mate George Russell, acknowledging it has been hard to be on the outside looking in at glory this year.

"They say you never lose [but] you learn," he was quoted by the Guardian. "I can tell you it is ******* difficult.

"All these nice Instagram posts and everything we have talked about over the eight years, about how we are going to take this when you arrive in the dungeon.

"To stick to your principles and your values, to keep the spirit up and continue to relentlessly seek to get better? Phew. There is more to write a book about this year than there is about the last eight years."

Hamilton saw his race come to a premature end after a collision with Fernando Alonso, but the major issues plaguing Mercedes have been race-to-race inconsistency rather than one-off errors.

"It's very difficult to cope with these swings," Wolff added. "We had a totally sub-par performance in qualifying, [and] then in the race, sometimes we go three seconds a lap faster.

"There are big question marks about what is going on. It's not where we should be with the structure and knowledge to understand a racing car but we don't with this one.

"Whatever we decide for next year, it needs to be carefully evaluated because clearly our data does not give us the results, doesn't correlate it with the reality. We have massive swings in performance we can't really get on top of.

"In this moment to take a decision for next year, changing a concept dramatically, how can you be sure that is the better direction to go because clearly you would be starting a way back?"

Tom Brady is "ready to go" for the new NFL season following an 11-day absence from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp.

Brady had time away unusually close to the regular season to deal with what have been labelled as "personal matters".

He ended his absence, for which he received prior approval from the team, this week and played one series for the Bucs against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Brady completed six of eight passes for 44 yards, including a 20-yard connection to new Bucs receiver Julio Jones.

Asked to explain his absence in a post-game media conference, Brady - who announced his retirement this offseason only to return after 40 days - said: "It's all personal.

"Everyone's got different situations they're dealing with. We all have really unique challenges to our life.

"I'm 45 years old, man. There's a lot of s*** going on. Just gotta try to figure out life the best you can. It's a continuous process."

Pressed on whether the issues he referred to had been resolved, Brady replied: "I'm ready to go."

UFC president Dana White recently said Brady was poised to sign for the Las Vegas Raiders back in 2020 before he made the move to Tampa Bay. White claimed then Raiders coach Jon Gruden put a stop to the deal.

Brady was the also the subject of what the NFL deemed "impermissible contact" from the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and 2021. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5million for reaching out to Brady and his agent Don Yee.

But the veteran moved to reject any talk of him wanting to play anywhere else other than Tampa upon leaving the New England Patriots.

He added: "I think since I came to this organisation, it's been amazing. It's just been an amazing experience for me to come to this place and be as supported as I have for a long period of time.

"I read all these stories about all these different places I was supposed to go or could have gone. And I was like, 'I only was gonna go to one place, which was here.' I think this whole organisation knows that.

"All the conversations we've had over a period of time, I chose the right place for me. And I'm very proud of the effort that everyone's put in to make the relationship work. [Owner/co-chairman] Joel [Glazer] has been amazing.

"[General manager] Jason [Licht's] a great friend of mine. Bruce [Arians],Todd [Bowles], all the coaches. It's been an amazing relationship and I'm very grateful to everybody for allowing me to come down here and experience this part of my football life which, [if] I looked back, it would probably be incomplete had I not had it. I'm happy I've had it."

Jose Mourinho has blasted the "scum" who claimed Felix Afena-Gyan was responsible for Georginio Wijnaldum's broken leg.

Wijnaldum fractured the tibia in his right leg during a training session on Sunday, just a fortnight after joining the Serie A club in a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain.

It has been claimed in certain quarters that teenage Ghana forward Afena-Gyan was to blame for an injury that could rule the Netherlands midfielder out of the World Cup in Qatar.

Roma head coach Mourinho hit back at those accusations in an Instagram post ahead of the Serie A encounter with Cremonese on Monday.

"Sometimes football can be s***. In only two weeks, Gini became one of us because of his human qualities (his football qualities we already knew)," he wrote.

"Sadly, in a very unfortunate accident he had a bad injury that will keep him away from playing for a long time.

"But it's not just football to be s*** sometimes, people can also be… Those who initiated the rumours that a top kid like Felix could be responsible for what happened are real scum.

"Let's all be together tonight: we play for @officialasroma, for gwijnaldum and for @ohenegyanfelix9."

Anthony Joshua insisted he is a "fighter for a life" with a "hunger that never dies" amid speculation over his future after another defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk outclassed the Briton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year, claiming the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

The Ukrainian was challenged more in the rematch in Jeddah on Saturday, but produced a near-perfect display in the later rounds to defend his world heavyweight champion status with a split-decision victory.

One judge scored the fight 115-113 in Joshua's favour, while another had the same result for Usyk, with the third decisively awarding Usyk a 116-112 success.

An enraged Joshua picked up the belts after the fight before throwing them down, prior to returning to the ring to launch a bizarre yet impassioned rant on his background and Usyk's skills.

Joshua has now lost three of his past five fights, all of them for world titles, and could not hide his emotions at the post-fight press conference.

"It's really, really hard for me to say I'm proud of myself," he said. "I'm upset, really, deep down in my heart."

On his actions after the conclusion of the fight, Joshua added: "When you try and do things from your heart, not everyone is going to understand," Joshua explained.

"It was just from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like 'I got to get out of here because I'm mad'.

"When you're angry you might do stupid things. Then I realised this is sport. I came back and did the right thing.

"I'm a fighter for life. That hunger never dies. Fighter for life."

Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Joshua, labelled his fighter an idol within world sport as he echoed the sentiments that the 32-year-old will not retire.

"This is someone who I want my kids to look up to," Hearn added. "If he's out in public, he gives everyone his time. He's one of the nicest guys. He's a competitor and winner.

"What you saw was raw emotion. A real person who wanted to win badly."

Leon Edwards called out the doubters after shocking the MMA world with a final-round head kick to knock out Kamaru Usman to claim the welterweight title at UFC 278 on Saturday.

Usman seemed destined for victory and a sixth title defence after dominating from the early stages but Edwards' left-foot kick knocked out the 35-year-old Nigerian with less than a minute remaining in the fifth round.

Edwards' kick caught Usman flush, appearing to knock him out on contact and stun the 17,000-strong crowd in Salt Lake City.

Jamaica-born Edwards leapt out of the octagon in celebration as Usman, whom many considered the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, lay on the ground beaten.

"You all doubted me, said I couldn’t do it," Edwards said. "They all said I couldn’t do it.

"Look at me now. Look at me now. Pound-for-pound one."

The head-kick KO ended Edwards' 15-fight UFC winning streak, falling short of Anderson Silva's UFC record.

The two had faced off previously in December 2015, with Usman triumphant by unanimous decision.

Paulo Costa got the better of Luke Rockhold in an epic, winning by unanimous decision, 30-27 30-27 30-27, to put himself back in title middleweight contention.

Rockhold seemed fatigued after the first round with the Brazilian scoring the first takedown and delivered a barrage of body shots on the ground.

The American had a moment in the second round, landing a roundhouse kick on Costa, but the Brazilian hit back with a big body kick late in the round after a timeout following a low blow.

Despite Costa's dominance, Rockhold gallantly fought on and landed a few shots but the Brazilian would not relent, capitalizing on a sloppy takedown attempt to close it out.

UFC legend Jose Aldo was outclassed by Merab Dvalishvili who claimed a unanimous decision victory, 29-28, 29-28 30-27.

Fast-rising bantamweight contender Dvalishvili was unable to get Aldo on the ground where he wanted him but outworked him for the win.

Oleksandr Usyk has called out Tyson Fury immediately after retaining his heavyweight titles with a split decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah on Saturday.

The Ukrainian's victory over Joshua meant he retained the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, while he also claimed the Ring Magazine belt.

Usyk is now eyeing off the WBC belt, vacated by Fury who had declared he was retired after beating Killian Whyte in April. Fury had recently indicated he would end his retirement to potentially fight Derek Chisora before flip-flopping on that decision earlier this month.

However, speculation has mounted that Fury would come out of retirement to face the winner of Saturday's bout.

That will only be fueled by the video posted by the 'Gypsy King' on Twitter reacting to Usyk's victory, claiming he would "annihilate" both fighters, while the 35-year-old Ukrainian was already eyeing off a bout with him.

"I'm sure Tyson Fury isn't retired yet," Usyk said on the ring immediately after the bout.

"I'm sure he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I'm not fighting Tyson Fury, I'm not fighting at all."

Fury said on Twitter: "It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen. I would annihilate both of them on the same night.

"Get your f*****g chequebook out because the Gypsy King is here to stay forever."

Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren had indicated earlier this month that the 34-year-old was getting "itchy feet" in retirement.

"He's got itchy feet at the moment, he wants to fight," he told TalkSPORT.

"I think what's going to happen is, see what happens on [August] 20th and the outcome of that and that'll determine what he intends to do in the future.

"My opinion, this is not from him, it's from me. I think he will [return] because he's a fighting man and he misses it. That's what he does, he wants to fight."

Anthony Joshua launched a bizarre yet impassioned rant after losing the heavyweight title re-match to Oleksandr Usyk on split decision in Jeddah on Saturday.

The Ukrainian retained his heavyweight belts with the victory but it was Joshua who stole the show after the bout.

The 32-year-old Briton grabbed the microphone in the ring and spoke for four minutes in an expletive-filled rant despite it being Usyk's moment of glory.

Joshua's tirade included moments of respect along with disrespect aimed at his opponent and seemed to lack coherence or direction.

"I don't care about strong, I care about skills," Joshua said. "Being strong doesn’t win boxing … skills win boxing.

"You’re not strong, how did you beat me? I got skilled. I’ve had character and determination."

Joshua, who appeared to throw two belts out of the ring amid the chaos, quickly changed his tune and added: "Usyk, one hell of a f***ing fighter, let’s give him a round of applause.

"That’s just emotion. If you knew my story, you would understand my passion. I ain’t no f***ing amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth.

"I was going to jail. I got bail and started training my ass off, because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight."

He continued: "The f***ing passion we put into this s***, man. This guy, to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world. Woo! Motherf*****!

"I'm not a 12-round fighter. Look at me! I'm a new breed of heavyweights. All them heavyweights — Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey.

"'Oh, you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano'. Cause I ain't f***in' 14 stone, that’s why! I'm 18 stone and I'm heavy! It's hard work! This guy here is a phenomenal talent."

Promoter Eddie Hearn weighed in on Joshua's confusing rant, arguing he was frustrated after Usyk was "too good" for him.

"You saw the reaction from AJ, and that was from a human who wanted to win so badly with so much pressure on his shoulders," Hearn told Sky Sports Box Office.

"I think he just exploded because he lost and he was devastated, and he's given everything to try and win this fight. He couldn't win the fight, he's a competitor, he's a winner but this man's too good.

"It was an incredible performance. He’s just too good, and there’s no shame in it. The 10th round, the 11th round, that’s why he’s the pound-for-pound number one."

Deshaun Watson apologised for "any pain this situation has caused" before the Cleveland Browns quarterback insisted that was not an admission of guilt on any level over the accusations of sexual misconduct made against him.

Watson has received an 11-game suspension and a $5million fine after the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) reached an agreement over his punishment.

The 26-year-old faced 24 civil lawsuits over sexual assault and misconduct allegations. He was not charged by two grand juries and settled 20 of 24 lawsuits in June, with a further three settlements reported ahead of a hearing verdict early this month.

Watson was given an initial six-game suspension and no further fine after a disciplinary hearing conducted by former US district judge Sue L. Robinson. However, the NFL formally appealed against that ruling in order to seek further punishment, agreeing to the new sanctions with the NFLPA.

Watson's first game back is scheduled to be on December 4, against his former team the Houston Texans.

Having denied any wrongdoing after the accusations were made, Watson last week apologised to "all of the women that I have impacted".

A similar message came on Thursday in a statement from the Browns, in which Watson said he wished to "apologise once again for any pain this situation has caused".

"I take accountability for the decisions I made," Watson's statement added. "My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my team-mates however possible while I’m away from the team."

Just minutes later, Watson faced the press and said he would continue to "stand by my innocence".

Watson said it was important to swallow the punishment, stating: "My whole life has to be able to move forward."

He spoke of needing "to grow as a person", but refused to offer a view on the level of punishment dished out.

"I can't speak on the fairness," Watson said. "The NFL did what they had to do, and the NFLPA communicated with the legal side. I'm going to keep my opinion to myself."

Watson was not mincing his words when he added: "I'm moving on with my career and my life, and I'm continuing to stand on my innocence. Just because a settlement's been paid, it doesn't mean a person is guilty for anything."

When asked about whether he would tell all at some point, Watson said: "That's definitely the plan, that's definitely the goal. I've felt like through this whole process I've been trying to tell my side of the story, but a lot of people didn't really pay much attention to it."

He said he needed "to do what's best for Deshaun Watson" and said he could not control public opinion.

On top of the ban and fine, Watson will be required to commit to an evaluation with behavioural experts while also following a mandatory treatment programme. He says he wants to prove himself to the Cleveland community.

"Counselling is definitely a big part of that," Watson said. "I'll continue to show my face and show people who I really am."

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam issued a joint statement in which they spoke of "a real opportunity to create meaningful change", saying they were "committed to investing in programmes in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of sexual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behaviour".

Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy has pleaded not guilty to an additional rape charge.

Mendy appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday to enter the plea ahead of his trial.

The 28-year-old attended court back in May when he entered pleas for nine charges of sexual offences – he then denied seven counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

Mendy also denies this further count of rape.

The offences, reported by seven different women, allegedly occurred between October 2018 and August last year, with all purported to have taken place at Mendy's home.

Mendy will go on trial with co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, who denies eight counts of rape and four of sexual assault between July 2012 and August 2021.

Both men are expected to stand trial later this week, with proceedings unlikely to conclude before November.

Mendy was suspended by City on August 26, 2021, and has not played for them since.

 

Borussia Dortmund on Sunday revealed they have held talks with defender Nico Schulz over the domestic abuse allegations that have been levelled against him by a former girlfriend.

The 29-year-old's ex-partner has reportedly filed a criminal complaint against him over an incident she alleged took place in 2020.

Schulz says he is not guilty of any wrongdoing and Bundesliga club Dortmund will not be taking any action, with the case "pending" and "in its early stages."

"Borussia Dortmund has responded to yesterday's media coverage of the criminal allegations concerning Nico Schulz's private life by immediately holding talks with the player and his advisors," read an official club statement.

"The player contests the criminal allegations that have been made against him. Nico Schulz has informed us that he will defend himself against these accusations with the help of legal counsel and, in addition, calls for the assumption of innocence to be applied.

"The allegations that have been made – of which Borussia Dortmund had no knowledge whatsoever until the media reports emerged – are extremely serious and shocking for BVB.

"Borussia Dortmund takes them very seriously and distances itself from any form of violence. However, Borussia Dortmund is not party to the proceedings and has no insight whatsoever into the investigation files or the criminal charges that are apparently pending.

"As this is a pending case in its early stages, and the factual and legal situation is extremely unclear to Borussia Dortmund as it stands today, we are not yet able to make any reliable and legally watertight decisions with regard to labour law and disciplinary measures.

"However, we reserve the right to do so at any time once we objectively know more. Borussia Dortmund will not make any further comment at this time."

Kyle Shanahan praised the aggression of his San Francisco 49ers, but warned they must channel it appropriately after stopping practice earlier in the week due to fighting.

Tuesday's practice was reportedly halted by a scuffle between linebacker Fred Warner and receiver Brandon Aiyuk, with punches thrown.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Shanahan said he wanted to see his players push one another, metaphorically, but that it goes too far when they could potentially cause each other injuries.

"I want everyone challenging each other," Shanahan said. "I don't care how much crap each other talks; I don't care how close they get to fighting.

"They can do whatever they want to get themselves to be as intense as they want and bring the best out of each other, which happens a lot that way. And it's the same on the field.

"But once you throw a punch, you get ejected or you get a penalty... I want people to be irritants, I want people to get as close as they can to all that stuff. I want people to get right on the line where they're about to black out, but you can't black out on the football field or you cost your team."

The disagreement between Warner and Aiyuk reportedly erupted after the former hit receiver Marcus Johnson late, which put Johnson in concussion protocol.

"I love the intensity of it," Shanahan added. "I don't think you have to fight to be intense, though. Scuffles are scuffles but then they lead to other stuff.

"I think that's why we've got a guy in protocol, because he took an unnecessary shot on someone, which led to the big fight and then we had a bunch of haymakers and stuff thrown in there, which only break hands.

"I think our team is pretty tough. I think we're pretty physical. Most probably [we would be] voted the most physical team on tape last year, I think we'd win most of that, and we didn't get in one fight last year. So, I don't think that totally pertains to toughness."

Sadio Mane has yet to kick a ball in the Bundesliga and already the former Liverpool striker is facing jibes – including a tongue-in-cheek volley from Bayern Munich's opening-day opponents.

Eintracht Frankfurt president Peter Fischer is relishing Friday's tussle between his team, who lifted the Europa League trophy in May, and German champions Bayern.

There is a feelgood factor around Eintracht as the new season arrives, with a UEFA Super Cup clash against Real Madrid coming up next Wednesday.

Confidence is surging, and even the prospect of facing Bayern is not intimidating the team that trailed in 11th in last season's Bundesliga.

Bayern have lost Robert Lewandowski since he hit 50 goals last season, and few would expect new addition Sadio Mane to come close to that tally.

Not many would see it wise to be hurling insults his way, though, however light-hearted the intention.

Fischer, in an interview with broadcasters RTL and n-tv, did just that though, as he said: "Who the f*** is Mane?"

 

Fischer added: "By the way, we always did relatively well with Robert Lewandowski."

That is debatable, given that Lewandowski scored 15 goals in 18 appearances against Eintracht, prior to his close-season switch to Barcelona. They came at a rate of one every 91.53 minutes.

Fischer predicted there would be "an exciting mood in the stadium" as Eintracht host the 10-in-a-row champions.

"And of course we have a chance. If it ends in a draw, I won't start to cry either."

Eintracht head coach Oliver Glasner worked with Mane when the Senegalese forward moved from Metz to Salzburg in 2012, and he has since admired the 30-year-old from afar, particularly during his stellar six-year Liverpool career.

"I am happy that Sadio is in the Bundesliga now," Glasner told a news conference. "It's been 10 years since I got to know him. He was just a young boy that was relegated from the French second to third division. He only spoke French but had enormous talent.

"He was very ambitious and had a clear idea. When we talked about learning German, he said he wants to learn English because he wants to go to the Premier League.

"I am very happy for him. And for Bayern to sign a player from Liverpool is evidence of the attractiveness of the Bundesliga which they were afraid of losing."

Glasner said his team would not be "raising the white flag" of surrender against Bayern and would "do everything we can" to score the upset win, even if he sees Bayern as champions in waiting once again.

After Bayern comes the Madrid game for Eintracht in Helsinki.

"This morning I said it's actually cool for us," Glasner added. "We play the Champions League winners three years ago on Friday and the current Champions League winners on Wednesday. Quite a cool start. Nevertheless, I think that over the course of the Bundesliga season, Bayern will have the edge again."

Jake Paul has called off his fight against Hasim Rahman Jr. due to a weight dispute less than a week before the bout at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The pair were set to clash in the ring on August 6 as part of a card that also featured Amanda Serrano, but Paul has now cancelled the bout after Rahman failed to meet the agreed weight of 200 pounds.

Paul's Most Valuable Promotions released a statement claiming Rahman had agreed to fight at 200lb, only for his team to later look to increase the weight limit to 215lb.

"Hasim Rahman Jr. has pulled out of the fight. This is not a joke, I am devastated, I can not f****** believe this. We just found out this news," Paul posted on Twitter.

"This is just another case of a professional boxer, like Tommy Fury, being scared to fight me. 

"It's clear as day that these guys have been so unprofessional to work with, looking for any excuse to suck more money out of this event, to coerce us into doing things.

"From the jump, I knew from the bottom of my heart that this guy didn't want to get into the ring with me. It's clear as day."

Rahman initially stepped up to face Paul as a replacement for Tommy Fury, who pulled out of a scheduled fight against Paul last year due to injury and then could not travel to the United States due to a visa issue.

While Rahman confirmed he was not able to meet the agreed weight, he disputed Paul's claims about money and said he would have fought for $5,000.

"I signed a contract to make 200 pounds within the three and a half weeks I had to do it, but I couldn't do it. My body simply would not let me do it, would not let me get down to 200 pounds," he said in a video message.

"But when in boxing do you see them cancelling fights a whole week in advance? I didn't even get my last week to get down as low as I could. 

"I told this man: 'If there’s penalties involved, keep the purse. I'll fight you for the $5,000 minimum.'

"That's how much it means to me and that’s how much faith I have in knocking him out."

Paul would have received a WBC ranking for the first time had he defeated Rahman.

Robert Lewandowski accused Bayern Munich of making up "bulls***" about him in an attempt to keep the fan base onside ahead of his move to Barcelona. 

Barca paid an initial €45million to sign Lewandowski from Bayern, where he had one year left on his contract and had made his desire to leave clear after a breakdown in talks over an extension. 

Lewandowski denied wanting out because of the Bundesliga champions' reported interest in Erling Haaland, who ended up swapping Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City. 

While he was unwilling to give the full details, he hit out at his former club for painting what he feels was an inaccurate portrait of the situation. 

"No, that was nothing to do with Erling," he told ESPN FC. "I am the guy who even if something's not good for me, truth is more important.

"I don't want to speak about what happened exactly. But if the question is if the decision to move was because of him, no, I didn't see the problem if he joined Bayern Munich. 

"But some people don't tell me the truth, [they] say something different. And for me, it was always important to be clear, to stay true, and maybe for a few people that was the problem. 

"In the end, I know that something doesn't work well with my person... and I feel that maybe it's a good time to move out of Bayern Munich and join Barcelona. 

"I had a very good relationship with my team-mates, with the staff, with the coach, and these are all things I'm going to miss because I spent a beautiful time there. 

"We were not only friends from the pitch but also something more. But in the end this chapter is over, and I open a new chapter in my life and a new chapter in my career. 

"So I feel that I'm in the right position, right place. So everything that's happened in the last few weeks before I left Bayern Munich, that was also of course a lot of politics. 

"The club tried to find an argument [for] why they can sell me to another club because before it was difficult to explain maybe to the fans. I had to accept that, even though it was a lot of bulls***, a lot of s*** said about me. 

"[It was] not true, but in the end I knew that the fans, even in this period, still support me a lot." 

Julian Nagelsmann has no fears about being fired by Bayern Munich if he hits a rough patch of form this term, saying the only pressure he feels is his own need to succeed.

The Bundesliga champions get their new campaign under way against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup on Saturday, before kicking off their league title defence next Friday against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Head coach Nagelsmann tasted success in his maiden season at the helm at Allianz Arena, but the 35-year-old's first campaign was far from the cakewalk Bayern have appeared to enjoy under varying predecessors in the past few years.

The loss of Robert Lewandowski this term also represents a major blow when it comes to firepower, and questions are being asked about whether this could be the year the club's league monopoly is cracked.

But Nagelsmann feels the only pressure he faces comes from himself, and that whatever challenges his side square up to will happen come what may for him.

"I always put the pressure on myself," he said. "I want to play the most successful football possible, which is also nice to look at from the outside. I feel little pressure from outside.

"It's not about life and death in football. If I get fired at some point, I'll be fired – I'm not too afraid of that! That's the way it is in the job. I don't feel the pressure from outside, only my pressure to succeed.

"We want to do certain things better than in the second half of the season [but] I don't really give a damn about the pressure that's coming from outside."

While Bayern have brought in fresh recruits this summer, including Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt, the departure of Lewandowski remains a major void they are arguably yet to fill.

Bayern admire Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, but it appears far-fetched to imagine them bringing him in now, given how tenaciously Spurs clung to Kane when Manchester City wanted him 12 months ago.

Nagelsmann has not ruled out finding a successor to Lewandowski before time runs out, adding: "There are still four weeks that the transfer window is open, so something could still happen. We are keeping our eyes on the market."

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