Borussia Dortmund suffered a pre-season setback as both Thomas Meunier and Julian Brandt tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.

Dortmund had been due to hold a public training session to showcase their squad, bolstered by the signings of Donyell Malen and Gregor Kobel, though they had to postpone due to positive tests among the first-team group.

The club initially announced Meunier's COVID-19 results with a statement, before releasing details of Brandt's test on Twitter as they communicated the cancellation of the open training session.

The statement concerning Meunier on the official website said: "Borussia Dortmund defender Thomas Meunier has tested positive for coronavirus. The Belgium international took two tests prior to the training camp in Switzerland and an additional test before departing from Bad Ragaz. All of those tests came back negative. 

"Having had several days off, the player has now tested positive before commencing training this week. Thomas Meunier has since been in isolation. We hope that Thomas' symptoms are as mild as possible and that he gets well soon."

Later on Tuesday, Dortmund's official Twitter account posted the news that Brandt, too, had tested positive.

Marco Rose's new side finished third in Bundesliga last term, with a late push securing Champions League football for the 2021-22 campaign.

The German side failed to keep hold of Jadon Sancho, who moved to Manchester United in the transfer window, though they do still have Erling Haaland to call upon for the new season.

Dortmund get their Bundesliga campaign underway against Eintracht Frankfurt on August 14 before facing Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup three days later.

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United have reportedly emerged as strong suitors but Chelsea are believed to be at the front of the queue to land the France international.

 

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- Goal, Sport1 and other outlets report Bayern Munich have opened talks with RB Leipzig to hire head coach Julian Nagelsmann. With Hansi Flick set to depart at season's end, Nagelsmann is wanted in Munich.

Jose Mourinho is ready to return to Inter should Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte exit, claims Calciomercato. Conte is poised to lead Inter to their first Scudetto since 2009-10, when Mourinho oversaw a treble, but the former Italy coach's future is far from certain. Mourinho is available after he was sacked by Tottenham.

- According to Gol Digital, Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Roma are targeting Maurizio Sarri as their next head coach, says Corriere dello Sport. Paulo Fonseca is currently at the helm but he is under pressure in the Italian capital. Roma have reportedly already met with ex-Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli coach Sarri to discuss finer details.

Milan have given star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma one month to decide on a contract extension, reports Tuttosport. Donnarumma is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Italy international is yet to re-sign. The likes of United, Chelsea, Juventus, PSG and Madrid have been linked. Milan are reportedly eyeing Lille's Mike Maignan as a possible replacement.

- Bild claims Arsenal are lining up a move for Dortmund's Julian Brandt as a replacement for loanee Martin Odegaard, who is attracting interest from elsewhere. Brandt could be one of many Dortmund players to leave in the off-season as clubs circle Haaland, including Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona, United, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly eyeing Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero.

Aguero, 32, is out of contract at the end of the season and his future with the Premier League giants is uncertain.

And PSG are apparently eyeing the forward.

 

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Mauricio Pochettino and PSG have Aguero in their sights on a free transfer at the end of the season, according to the Mirror.

Injuries have limited Aguero to just nine appearances in all competitions this season.

Aguero is Manchester City's all-time leading scorer with 256 goals.

 

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- Linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt, Arsenal may also be looking elsewhere. Bild reports PSG's Julian Draxler, who is out of contract at the season's end, is an alternative for the Premier League club.

- Also at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil seems set to leave the club. The Guardian reports the playmaker is in talks to join Fenerbahce on loan, but Arsenal do not want to pay any part of his salary if he moves to the Turkish giants.

- Lyon striker Moussa Dembele is again being linked with a switch. Goal reports Dembele is not interested in a move to West Ham, and Atletico Madrid are keen to land him. L'Equipe says Atletico want Dembele on loan.

- Kieran Trippier's ban has been put on hold pending an appeal, but his January reportedly could have been very different. TalkSPORT reports Manchester United were considering a bid for the defender, who was keen on a move, before his ban over betting rule breaches.

- Manchester United are apparently not chasing Moises Caicedo. Fabrizio Romano reports United, who were previously linked to Caicedo, will not sign the Independiente del Valle and Ecuador attacker, who is said to be the subject of a bid from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisted there had been "no offers at all" for reported Arsenal target Julian Brandt.

Brandt, 24, has been linked with a move to the Premier League club in January.

But Zorc said no offers had arrived for the midfielder, who is contracted at Dortmund until 2024.

"I don't want to answer any rumours that were made by the media. Now there is permanently a name [Brandt] coined that we don't even think about giving up on," he told a news conference.

"Overall, we look at many different scenarios primarily due to an economical background that is simply not the best due to the ongoing pandemic.

"But I can only repeat myself again. We have no offers at all."

Dortmund, who are fourth in the Bundesliga, visit RB Leipzig on Saturday.

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After tracking ex-Manchester City youth product Sancho before the season, United are ready to switch their attention to Haaland, with reports suggesting he has a £70million release clause.


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The Mirror report Solskjaer is so keen on Haaland, he flew to Salzburg and attempted to hijak the goalscoring sensation’s move to Dortmund last January.

Borussia Dortmund have had no contact from Arsenal over a potential move for Julian Brandt.

The Gunners are looking for midfield reinforcements in the January transfer window and reports in Germany suggest Brandt is one option.

Arsenal technical director Edu craves creativity in the centre of the pitch, with Mikel Arteta's side having fashioned just 120 chances in the Premier League this season, more only than Sheffield United, Newcastle United, Burnley and West Brom.

Brandt would appear to provide that spark, having played a key role in a Dortmund side who have forged 162 opportunities in 2020-21 to lead the Bundesliga in this regard.

The Germany midfielder has accounted 18 of those key passes, ranking third for BVB behind Raphael Guerreiro (26) and Jadon Sancho (22). Left-back Kieran Tierney, with 17 chances, is Arsenal's top creator.

If Brandt is to move this month, though, Dortmund are still waiting to hear more - according to Michael Zorc, their sporting director.

"I read that, too," Zorc said of the Arsenal rumours. "I cannot say more about that. Nobody has contacted us. There is nothing on the table yet or even in the fax machine."

Discussing the January window in general, Zorc added: "We don't have any big plans right now.

"However, my years of activity have taught me that, at the beginning of the transfer window, I don't rule out anything."

Speaking on Saturday, Zorc was also asked about the troubles of rivals Schalke, who are bottom of the Bundesliga and winless in 29 matches, just two shy of Tasmania Berlin's all-time top-flight record.

"We have our own problems, in somewhat higher realms than Schalke," the Dortmund chief said.

"Basically, I would like Schalke to stay in the league. The traditional competition in this region is good for us all. We want that for next year as well."

Zorc was appearing alongside interim head coach Edin Terzic prior to Sunday's meeting with Wolfsburg.

Terzic and Dortmund will be without 16-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko but can welcome back Erling Haaland following a hamstring injury.

Haaland has averaged a goal every 65.1 minutes in the Bundesliga this season yet has not played since November and will not be rushed on his return.

"Erling is known for always being hungry," Terzic said. "So, we still have to be careful, slow it down a bit. But he makes a very good impression.

"Every team in the world depends on the player who has the last touch in front of the goal. Erling is extremely important to us - and not just because of his goals.

"He was missing, of course, but we tried to make up for it. Borussia Dortmund is not just Erling Haaland."

Wolfsburg's visit will be Edin Terzic's first home game in charge of Dortmund. Bert van Marwijk, in 2004, was the last BVB coach to lose on their home bow, although that also came against Wolfsburg.

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